The Washington Nationals have managed to pack as much frustration into one month as they were supposed to experience all season.
The saviors of the 100-win season, everyone’s pick to win the National League and the greatest rotation in baseball history have cashed in all of that hyperbole for a 12-14 record and a seat at fourth place in the division.
And if things don’t change soon, “too early to panic” can morph into “too late to contend” in a heartbeat.
Washington has scratched and clawed its way within arm’s length of .500, but the team is one familiar losing streak away from going back to square one. Even the predictable, like Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer‘s early-season conquests, has yielded unpredictable results in the win-loss column.
This exercise is designed to hash out those factors contributing to the Nationals’ success, or lack thereof, and assign significance to them. The following takeaways are ranked in order of overall impact on the team, positive or negative.
Let’s see if we can’t make sense of this nonsensical first month of Nationals baseball.