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Status O' The Nats

Washington Nationals 

Washington Nationals

  by "Senator" Slamm
Union League correspondent
Washington D.C. Professional Base Ball

The Nationals end the 9th simulation two games over .500, tying them for the highest mark they've attained so far this season.  This is a good and bad news story and the next month will have a lot to say about their playoff chances.  The good news is the Nats are playing the best ball of the season, and the bad of course is that they are only 17-15 despite this recent run of good fortune. 

The Nats currently ride a 3 game winning streak and need to continue their momentum as they try to stake a claim to the second best team in the Union Atlantic.  This has been a road traveled before however, as they recently followed up a 4 game winning streak in mid-April with a not so hot streak that left them back at the .500 mark at the end of Sim #8.

The Good

Their offense really, and it is not just a result of the bandbox the Nationals reside in.  As a team, they are batting .277 / .341 / .495, quite impressive numbers no matter the park (and keep in mind singles and doubles are suppressed in American League Park).  Here is where they stack up with the rest of the Union League: 

2nd - AVG 

4th - OBP 

1st - SLG 

1st - RC 

2nd - RUNS 

The team is led by both those who where expected to perform, as well as some mid-level surprises: 

1B (Cash/Hodges):  .260 / .384 / .625, 12 HR, 21 R, 17 RBI, 1.009 OPS 

Charlie Keller:    .305 / .383 / .585,  8 HR, 21 R, 20 RBI,  .968 OPS 

Cal McVey:         .368 / .373 / .596,  4 HR, 17 R, 15 RBI,  .969 OPS 

Charlie Gehringer: .305 / .388 / .492,  5 HR, 25 R, 12 RBI,  .880 OPS 

Some pitchers have held their own in American League Park as well: 

Rick Aguilera:     1-0, 2.01 ERA, 22.1 IP, 15 H,  5 BB, 14 K 

Mike Henneman:     2-0, 3.22 ERA, 22.1 IP, 21 H,  8 BB, 11 K 

Red Lucas:         2-3, 3.47 ERA, 36.1 IP, 31 H, 10 BB, 18 K 

The Bad

The balance of the staff has some issues to say the least.  As a team, the Nats sport a 5.39 ERA (12th), 13.7 R/9 (12th), 4.6 K/9 (10th), 1.5 K/BB (9th).  The major culprits have been the starting staff, and a glimmer of good news is that they are grossly underperforming preseason expectations and it stands to reason their will be at least some improvement by several of the key players.  The flip side of course is that Aguilera and Henneman will regress as well. 

Ellis Kinder:      1-4, 6.35 ERA, 34.0 IP, 43 H, 15 BB, 18 K 

Babe Adams:        2-3, 6.21 ERA, 29.0 IP, 39 H,  5 BB,  9 K 

Jim Whitney:       1-1, 6.00 ERA, 18.0 IP, 30 H,  3 BB, 14 K 

Some batters have left a lot to be desired, especially when considering expectations: 

Lip Pike:          .263 / .333/ .463, 2 HR, 16 R, 10 RBI, .796 OPS 

Ron Santo:         .233 / .298/ .350, 3 HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, .648 OPS 

The Graph - Runs Scored/Runs Against

As you can see here, since the middle of the last week in April or so, the Nationals have finally showed signs of getting their pitching under control.  While this has not resulted in a steady diet of winning, it is a good sign for potential consistency in the future. 

The clear low point was the period of time between April 9th and April 15 where the squad yielded 15 runs against an astounding 3 times.  Of note has been the Nationals schedule, their only away dates have been April 15, 21-23, and May 2-4 (as denoted by the blue gridlines). 
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