Saturday, April 16, 2011

Despite Walk-Off Win, Nats Offense Still Struggling

The Brewers try the 5-man infield on the Nats before the walk of sacrifice by Adam LaRoche.
(Photo - Joe Drugan/Capitol Baseball 2011)

The Nats took down the Brewers in exciting walk-off fashion on Friday evening. The story could be that Sean Burnett blew his first save of the season, but it's not. It could also be that Tom Gorzelanny threw just 85 pitches in 6 innings and looked sharp all night, but that's not it either. The story is that the Nats won a 4-3 game by managing just 5 hits

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a walk-off win and forget how ugly it was that it even happened, though. The 3 Nats runs that scored in the 2nd inning were not generated as much by clutch hits; it was because Chris Narveson walked in 2 of them, and the bases were still loaded when Danny Espinosa sacrificed Michael Morse home with just 1 out. The only reason Morse wasn't gunned out at home was because Braun's throw from left field was up the 1st base line. Then, the game winning run was only scored because of an errant throw on a Jayson Werth grounder in the 10th by SS Yuniesky Betancourt that allowed Werth to get to 2nd on what would have been the 2nd out of the inning.

Sure, there are positives to glean from the Nats offense. There were hitters patient enough to draw walks to get runs. Even more than that, Jayson Werth stealing 3rd after getting to 2nd on Betancourt's error sealed the game for the Nats. It's smart baserunning and smart plate presence. But the Nats still have been incapable of putting together hits with any consistency. This win is an anomaly for the Nats, as they never strung together more than 2 hits in an inning, yet still managed to score 4 runs.

I'm confident that when Zimmerman returns and Werth settles in at the dish, there will be more exciting offensive times ahead, but the Nats must continue to rely on pitching and defense until then.


  1. We scored 4 runs with no rbi's - that's just weird. I guess if you just can't hit you might as well capitalize on the walks and mistakes. I would prefer that they do both. Maybe tomorrow? I really hope Nyger doesn't beat up on us tomorrow. Anybody think the crowd will be rough on him? He kind of deserves it for running his mouth again. The fans pretty much defended him here. -- Not the bloggers, the fans in the stands....

  2. With the double header, he'll definitely be in the lineup tomorrow. And it will be NASTY. No doubt about it.