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  • 05/30/2012, 08:04PM ET

Are the Washington Nationals For Real?

basebal1fan7600 (1-6-2) vs CuntryBlumpkin (305-247-64)
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The Nationals have struggled since their debut season in 2005. They have not had a single winning season. This year, they have gotten off to a hot start with a 29-21 record, good for 1st place in the National League East.

I am telling YOU right now that there is no chance in hell that this will last.

Sorry to anyone who is happy to see the Nats succeeding (even though I am too.). But, you have to look at basic facts. How are the Nationals doing it? The answer is with their stellar pitching staff. From top to bottom, the rotation is succeeding. Strasburg at the top is 5-1 with a 2.64 ERA, Jordan Zimmerman is 3-5 but his ERA is under 3.00, and the shining light is Gio Gonzalez who is 7-1 with a 2.04. Gonzalez is the best pitcher in the NL right now and he was a fantastic pickup. With all this you may think, the Nationals are set for the playoffs. WRONG.

The Nationals offense could be one of the worst in the division. You have Jayson Werth who is not hitting for power, Ian Desmond who's average is dropping, Danny Espinosa who is slumping mightily, and even the reliable Ryan Zimmerman is batting .246.

This is a hole that not even Bryce Harper can fill.


I don't think you've been paying attention to the Nationals.

I'm a Braves fan, so I definitely didn't want to see another contender in the NL East, but before the season started, I predicted the Nationals to finish second in the East, behind only the Phillies, so I wasn't the least bit surprised by the hot start.

Last season, the Nationals finished around .500, and you could tell they were on the verge of being playoff contenders.

They're 29-21. Jayson Werth isn't just not hitting for power, he's been hurt, and will be back at some point this season.

The Nationals have also been without one of their best bats last season in Michael Morse. When Morse gets back, they will have a big bat that they need in their lineup.

And their stud closer, Drew Storin hasn't pitched yet this season

Their pitching isn't going to go away. Gio Gonzalez will be a Cy Young contender, he was an ace in the AL, now he doesn't have to face a DH. Zimmermann has been a highly rated prospect for years, not a surprise he's doing well, and if Strasburg can stay healthy, you know what he's capable of.

The Nationals are a very talented team, and they will be contenders this season.


I actually have been paying more attention to the NL East than i normally do. This division is strong now which is another demon the Nationals have to deal with. The Marlins and Mets are doing well at the moment, and the Atlanta Braves are also above .500. The Phillies are the only disappointment and they are 1 game over .500.

Just because the Nationals finished a bit south of .500 last year just not mean anything for the immediate future. It means a lot to their future, because in the future they have extraordinary potential do not get me wrong. BUT, they will not succeed until their offense is under control.

Do not tell me anything about Werth. He is a bust, plain and simple. Last year was atrocious and why should this year be any different? Werth is facing even more obstacles this year than last in the nagging injuries that keep him on the bench.

Also, Michael Morse is no catalyst. He is a player who rode a power surge last year, and sure him not being in the lineup hurts the Nationals, but his bat is not one that will change the direction of this offense altogether. Right now you have several almost automatic outs in the lineup which is a problem for any team.


You're not giving credit where credit is due. Morse didn't just ride a power surge, in 2010, Morse hit 15 homers in very limited duty for the Nationals, last season he hit over 30, and had a batting average of over .300.

He's a very important part of the Nationals lineup and he hasn't played yet this season, getting him back will absolutely help their offense, and so will getting Jayson Werth back around the time the pennant chase starts(and a broken wrist is a bit more than a nagging injury)

The Nationals are a young team, and an improving team, nothing should indicate that they will not improve over last season with the improvements and the year of experience over last season.

And I noticed you didn't bother to say anything about their pitching. They have the pitching to keep them in most any game, and their bullpen will improve when Storin comes back and the other relievers get back to their normal roles.

The Nationals might not win the NL East this season, as you've said it's a strong division this season and every team has a shot, but the Nationals are a good team and they are real contenders.

Comment #1 has been removed
May 30, 2012  09:21 PM ET

Umm...does left actually watch the Nationals? Werth doesn't have a nagging injury. He has a broken wrist and is on the DL.

May 30, 2012  09:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Umm...does left actually watch the Nationals? Werth doesn't have a nagging injury. He has a broken wrist and is on the DL.

Yeah, out for a couple months. He'll be back around pennant chase time, but a broken wrist is a bit more than a nagging injury.

May 30, 2012  10:02 PM ET

I glanced at the score of the Rangers-Mariners game and saw it was 17-0. Naturally, I assumed it was the Rangers on top, but then I looked again and saw somehow the Mariners have managed to score 17 runs and shut the Rangers out so far.

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Comment #6 has been removed
May 30, 2012  10:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

The Marlins won today. They beat the Nationals, again. Miami is freaking cruising right now with 21 wins in May and 20 comeback wins overall. And today's win was the finales of the series against Washington, a series the Marlins swept.Feels good being a (the?) Marlins fan right about now.

I was in Miami a couple of years ago and decided to try to go to a game. I called the box office to find out what time the game started. They answered: "What time can you get here? We'll wait"

May 30, 2012  11:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

The Marlins won today. They beat the Nationals, again. Miami is freaking cruising right now with 21 wins in May and 20 comeback wins overall. And today's win was the finales of the series against Washington, a series the Marlins swept.Feels good being a (the?) Marlins fan right about now.

Braves have McCann back and Freeman got some special glasses and is back at 100%. Feels good to win a series again. Getting healthier. Still need Chipper back. Medlen is gonna take Minor's(I assume) spot in the rotation here in a couple weeks, he was sent down to make a few tune up starts. Things are looking good for the Braves for the first time in a couple weeks.

May 30, 2012  11:02 PM ET

And attendance for weeknight games has improved for the Braves this season, which is good to see. It's not much, but it's nice to see around 30,000 in the stands on a Wednesday night.

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Comment #11 has been removed
May 30, 2012  11:30 PM ET



Snoop Dog sounds hilarious trying to sing country with Willie, Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson.

Comment #13 has been removed
May 31, 2012  09:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

The Marlins won today. They beat the Nationals, again. Miami is freaking cruising right now with 21 wins in May and 20 comeback wins overall. And today's win was the finales of the series against Washington, a series the Marlins swept.Feels good being a (the?) Marlins fan right about now.

If the Braves can't win the NL East, I'd rather it be the Marlins than any of the others.

May 31, 2012  09:55 AM ET

I really don't believe in the Nationals either. For starters, how long is Strasberg going to last? I thought he was going to be limited to only 170 innings? Next, I can't see these pitchers keeping up this pace. At some point, the starting pitching is going to come back to earth. Even if these guys continue to pitch good, they aren't going to keep up this pace. Then what do the Nationals have? The offense is pretty weak and the bullpen is horrendous. Its a good story, but I don't think it will last.

I still think the division comes down to Atlanta and Philly. Philly took a major blow with the Halladay injury. Then news came out yesterday that its going to be at least another month with Howard, and Chase Utley is still up in the air.

The way it looks right now, I would think Atlanta has the advantage.

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May 31, 2012  02:37 PM ET

Damn right they're for real.

===========>

 
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