The Nats are, as Buster Olney said, limping home for a weekend series against the White Sox. The team is now 5 games below .500. Since starting out 20-15, they have gone 11-21, which is just plain bad. Slight good mixed with quite bad means your leaning on the bad side. They have some issues, and while they’re not a bad team overall, one thing has really lead them into a major slump.
The biggest problem over this stretch has been the starting pitching. At one point we were talking, and this is totally out of memory so I may be wrong, of something like 10 out of 11 games with a quality start. Or something near that. Now it is just the opposite.
In the month of June, the Nats have played 15 games. Stephen Strasburg has started 2 of them. Out of the remaining 12 games, there have been 4 quality starts – 2 by Livan, 1 by Lannan, and 1 by Stammen. That isn’t a formula for success, when just over half your games aren’t even quality starts. The starting pitching had failed this team, meanwhile the bullpen, despite some hiccups, has been among the best in the league. Without better starting pitching, just like we knew back in March, this team can’t win.
Well, Strasburg is going tonight, and he’s pretty much expected to pitch well. If something happens and he doesn’t, then your gonna see how well Riggleman can keep this team together. But don’t get yourself too far down in the depths of despair. The cavalry, it’s coming, although it’s still some time away. Read the rest of this entry »