Monday, July 18, 2011

Where's the swagger gone?

And we're back.

After an extremely disappointing weekend where the Nats got destroyed post-All-Star Break and lost a heartbreaker on Sunday, it's time to evaluate where the excitement and winning ways have gone.

It's just a few weeks ago that we were praising the JuggerNats, the team that continued to find a way to win against all odds and in 1-run games. Now, the Nats are quickly 1-2 after the All-Star Break. Let's manage expectations here, first. No one here legitimately thought the Nats would flirt with .500 in late-July, especially after a bad start.

So, the swagger seems to be fleeting. Let's list who's killing the swagger.
  • Jayson Werth - We don't mean to keep ripping on him (except we totally do), but he just continues to be absolutely awful. Hitting just .213, he's on pace for 4 year lows in average, on-base percentage, home runs, runs, and RBI. And because of that, he always seems to be at the plate in big spots with runners on base. (Bonus points for anyone who would let us know how many runners Jayson's stranded this season.)
  • The bullpen - And it's not entirely their fault. Their workload has been absolutely unsustainable except for when JZimm is pitching, and he's on an inning limit this season. The worst offender thus far is Sean Burnett, but really no one has been innocent of a few meltdowns.
  • Changes - In the last month, the Nats have had 3 managers, 3 bench coaches, 2 1st base coaches, and countless different lineups. It's hard to maintain any sort of stability during that. Jim Riggleman's departure may be coincidental, but it seems like it may have had some sort of affect on the club. Maybe not because he's gone, but because of all the changes that have happened since.
Where do you think the swagger's gone, CapBallers?


  1. Jayson Werth - I would like an unofficial stat on how many rallies he has killed.
    Bullpen - our bullpen should NOT be taxed at this point - our starters have gone waaaay longer this year. We have no Miss Iowa with a rubber arm - that's a problem. Detweiler's odd role is a problem. Sean Burnett is a real problem.
    Changes - definitely an issue.

  2. It may be a recurrence of 2005 Syndrome, i.e. coming down to earth. Whether it's 2005 or 2001, when you rely on winning tons of 1-run games, the law of averages eventually catches up to you. The Nats are on their way to contention, but they haven't arrived yet.