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Reasons for alarm in Washington?

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11:11 AM ET 04.14 | The Nationals were 8-3 after 11 games last season. This year, after Saturday's 11th game, a 3-1 loss to Atlanta, they are 7-4. So why does it feel like these Nats are playing nowhere near their 2012 level? Because their defense and bullpen are struggling? Because No. 1 starter Stephen Strasburg is now 1-2? Because they've lost two games in less than 24 hours to their division rivals? Essentially, yes. It's April, but the Nats shouldn't dawdle. It's April in Atlanta, too, and the Braves appear strong -- and that's without catcher Brian McCann, first baseman Freddie Freeman and reliever Jonny Venters. Yes, that's why you play 162 games. But the Nats are at 151 and counting.

Washington Post

Steven Strasburg, Washington Post/Getty Images Steven Strasburg, Washington Post/Getty Images
April 14, 2013  11:22 AM ET

Yawn... it's a bit early to be worrying when you've got a winning record.

April 14, 2013  11:26 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Yawn... it's a bit early to be worrying when you've got a winning record.

That's the media for you. They always need to be worrying about something.

April 14, 2013  11:34 AM ET

You have to be new to baseball to write a stupid article like this. With a 162 game schedule comes ups and downs during the long season and if your team loses less than 65 games Mr. Writer your Nats will be in the playoffs for sure.

April 14, 2013  11:35 AM ET

With the Nats now totally out of contention, its time to shut down Strasburg.

Comment #5 has been removed
April 14, 2013  11:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

It's April dawg, wait til June for these articles

is april, and its not like the nationals are 0 and 15,the angels are in worse position with the worse record of 3 and 8? now nationals are 7 and 4? nothing wrong with that!!!

April 14, 2013  11:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

With the Nats now totally out of contention, its time to shut down Strasburg.

its time to examine their rotation, it could be a simple twist in their rotation who knows??

April 14, 2013  12:12 PM ET

It's the Braves for Petes sake. Regular season champs, then, not so much.

April 14, 2013  12:18 PM ET

The Post writers aren't really used to a 162 game baseball season. Don't get your Post panties in a twist in mid-April. But yes. Friday nite was a bad beat. And the Bullpen has let them down so far. But, if it is defense they want to see, then it should be Espinosa at SS, Lombardozzi at 2b. But then they'd eventually miss Desmond's bat.

April 14, 2013  02:49 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

With the Nats now totally out of contention, its time to shut down Strasburg.

Agree. Now is the time to trade him and Bryce Harper before the trading deadline, while you can still get some prospects for them.

April 14, 2013  02:54 PM ET

I blame Werth...

April 14, 2013  05:16 PM ET

Maybe for once, the media prognosticators ranked them a tad to high. One less win at this time than last year is a call to concern for who???

April 14, 2013  08:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

It's the Braves for Petes sake. Regular season champs, then, not so much.

Not in 1995!

April 14, 2013  08:56 PM ET

Since when is 7-4 cuase for alarm? So far we're 2 for 2 on really dumb threads.

April 14, 2013  09:00 PM ET

*cause.

Comment #16 has been removed
April 14, 2013  09:36 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

It's the Braves for Petes sake. Regular season champs, then, not so much.

a reference to the Braves postseason woes...how original (rolls eyes)

April 14, 2013  09:39 PM ET

it's early, the Nats will come around; their team and pitching staff are too good not to. they gotta do something about Ryan Zimmerman's arm...it's almost painful watching him throw.

i'll take this series for what it is right now: the Braves pitching staff just shut down the Nats after the 2nd inning of Friday's game, with the bullpen's help. a little offense here, a couple of homers there = a sweep. it was fun to watch. now, back to business....

April 14, 2013  11:26 PM ET

The Nats simply didn't start the season ready to play their best baseball. This is a direct result of Davey Johnson's laissez faire approach to spring training. The potential benefit, however, will be a team that finds it's stride by May and still has enough gas in the tank to make a long run in October.

But this article's overall point - that the Nationals can't afford too much complacency because the Braves are for real this year - is well-taken. I'll be very curious to see how the Nats respond to this sweep over the next two to three weeks. At this point, the Nats just need to adjust to life with expectations. Once they fully accept that they're going to get their opponents' best shot each night, they will raise their level. This will only help them deal with the pressure of the playoffs.

 
April 15, 2013  12:17 AM ET

They are one game under where they were last at this time. Atlanta won't play at this rate forever and Straburg will pitch better.

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