Last night, the Nats did it again. What a relief it is to say that, and not mean “have the bullpen blow a save.” No, instead, I’m talking about a come back win. They’ve now done it 3 games in a row, and they’ve done it 5 out of their last 6 wins. While not all of these comebacks were late, and it’s not good to HAVE to come back, it does show a certain difference in attitude. They aren’t laying down and dying, they are fighting to score runs. And boy, have they been scoring runs. Check out the National League since the All Star Break:
The Nats are at it again with scoring, just like they were at the beginning of the season. The difference is, while they’re pitching still isn’t great, it’s adequate. They are scoring enough to win games, or at least some of them.
This number is dragged down by their first 5 games after the All Star break, all loses, in which they scored 2.6 runs per game. Since then, they’ve managed 5.67 runs per game, which is pretty impressive. So since that 0-5 stretch, they’ve scored 5.67 runs a game, and have gone 9-6. This team no longer looks like a complete disaster on the field. Of course, you take out those first 5 games, and you only have 15 games we’re talking about. That is just under 10% of the season, not exactly enough to say too much.
As a comparison, in his last 15 games, Albert Pujols has hit .250/.357/.400. Numbers like that would make him one of the least impressive first basemen in the game over the course of the season. But it’s not the whole season, and I’d still take him over just about any player in baseball. So let’s not get carried away, let’s just acknowledge that unlike before, the Nats are scoring runs, and doing enough with the pitching to win the games in which they pound opponents.
As for Ks
Another thing worth noting, for all of the strikeout-hating Adam Dunn critics, check out the team total strikeouts. Those numbers are for the hitters, not the pitching. Three of the top 5 teams are also top 5 in strikeouts (top 4 in Ks, actually). Respectively, Chicago, Philly, and Washington are numbers 1, 4, and 5 in runs scored while being numbers 1, 2, and 4 in Ks. So don’t just assume striking out alot is going to kill your offense, not if you’re doing other things well.