Washington Nationals Typify Gridlock In Nation’s Capital

Recap of Washington Nationals Nothing succeeds like failure. Work your way up in the standings, tease the fans with a modicum of success, draw big crowds, and then? Eventually...

Recap of Washington Nationals

Nothing succeeds like failure.

Work your way up in the standings, tease the fans with a modicum of success, draw big crowds, and then? Eventually time runs out without winning the big prize.

Maybe that’s what happened to the Washington Nationals.

Losers of 17 of their last 22 games and five straight, they’re 42-43 and in third place in the National League East, which they had won three of the last four years (only to take an early exit from the playoffs).
Problems, problems. They make the small, brainless errors that cost them games. Theoretical pitching ace Stephen Strasburg’s biggest effort lately is throwing 60 pitches in a bullpen session. Yes, hurt again. On the disabled list again. For all of the noise about this guy, he has never won more than 15 games in a season.

Bryce Harper? Hitting home runs (21) and nothing else (.215 batting average).

After being swept in a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox, the Nationals held a players-only meeting. As well they should. The 3-0 defeat on July 4 included (remember the part about small, brainless errors) a throwing error on a foul popup and a wild pitch. They’ve now lost four series in a row. Bring back memories of the first five years in Washington, when they finished last in four of them.

Veteran pitcher Max Scherzer stepped up to call the meeting and, according to the Washington Post, made it a loud gathering. Wakey wakey! Listen to Mad Max.

Sure, the Nats have had injuries. Catcher Matt Wieters is still out, Strasburg is out and first baseman Matt Adams is finally back from a broken finger. But every team has injuries.

The Nats are only seven games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, who are young and haven’t been here before. The Nats know what it’s like to win the division, though they have done it by large margins in the past. So there’s the challenge.

Can they meet it? Will they meet it? Or will it be a season to forget?

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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