The sheer lack of hitting with Runners in Scoring Position. More commonly known as RISP.
Let's take a quick gander at the Nationals effectiveness game-by-game with RISP:
- Yesterday - 3-2 win vs. Reds - 2 for 7 - LaRoche and Desmond with the hits
- April 11 - 4-0 win vs. Mets - 1 for 14 - Flores with the hit
- April 10 - 6-2 win vs. Mets - 4 for 14 - Werth (2), Bernadina, and Ramos with the hits
- April 9 - 4-3 loss vs. Mets - 2 for 9 - LaRoche with both hits
- April 8 - 4-3 loss vs. Cubs - 2 for 5 - LaRoche and Desmond with the hits
- April 7 - 7-4 win vs. Cubs - 3 for 5 - Bernadina, Tracy, and Lombardozzi with the hits
- April 6 - 2-1 win vs. Cubs - 1 for 7 - Desmond with the hit
For those of you scoring that home, that's a whopping 15 for 61 since the season started and only 7 for 35 in the past three games.
To put it another way - the Nationals BRS% (Base Runner Scoring Percentage) is 3rd worst in all of baseball with 10%. Meaning only 10% of Nationals base runners are scoring.
And while the offense struggles to get runs across the plate, the Pitching Staff is showing exactly what they are made of.
The last three starting pitching lines for the Nationals are as follows:
- Gio - 7 IP. 2 H. 0 R. 0 ER. 0 BB. 7 K. Game Score - 80
- Strasburg - 6 IP. 3 H. 0 R. 0 ER. 3 BB. 9 K. Game Score - 74
- Detwiler - 5 IP. 2 H. 0 R. 0 ER. 1 BB. 6 K. Game Score - 68
This is absolutely a case of "anything you can do, I can do better". Detwiler pitches a gem, Strasburg ups the ante and Gio ups it again by posting the 7th best MLB pitching performance of the season thus far (per Game Score).
I know that it's still early in the season (Sample Size Alert!), but if the offensive and pitching trends continue, I think we are going to be looking at a lot of 2-1 games... Get the heart meds ready...