The Washington Nationals are coming off a strong year. They had the best view of the NL East as they finished off the year as the first place team, with a record of 95-67. They even had an eight game lead over the closest team in the division, which was the 87-75 New York Mets.
They were among one of the most winning teams in the league. There were only two other teams that had 95 or more wins. One of them were the Texas Rangers, who clinched the AL West, going 95-67. The other was the Chicago Cubs, who won a league leading 103 games on the year.
Chicago ended up having more than just a 100 win season, they went on to win the World Series, bringing an end to a long lasting trophy drought. In the early stages of their 2017 campaign, the Nationals are looking like a similar team.
They are off to another strong start, as they lead the NL East, with 21 wins to their credit and just 12 losses. With a four and a half game lead over the second-place Mets, the Nationals have the second best record of the National League. The other team with 21 wins is the Colorado Rockies.
Washington’s success this season may only make sense. With Bryce Harper holding down the offense, the Nationals have been a productive team. They added him to their team in 2012 for a reason, he was a skilled fielder, could hit for power, and even for average.
As Harper and the Nationals 2017 season starts, Harper is displaying all of his abilities in baseball. He is off to one of his hottest starts, batting .370, slugging 10 home runs, and driving in 29 RBIs.
All and all the Nationals have had some good games this season, yesterday was not one of them. While providing offense has not been a problem for Washington, pitching has been. The bullpen has not been doing its job good as of late.
When the Washington Nationals gave the ball to Enny Romero Tuesday night, the team would not hold onto their lead. He gave up a pair of ninth inning runs to the Orioles, according to USA Today. Because of that, the game lasted an additional few innings. In the 12th inning is when Washington ended up being defeated 4-5 by Baltimore. It marked the Nationals third loss in a row.
It has been a rough past three games for the Nationals, especially their bullpen. Today Washington will be aiming to cut the Orioles 2-0 lead in part of the four game series in half. While the Nationals have dropped their first two games of the series, they have only left three runs unanswered for.
Can the Washington Nationals recover from their losing skid? Will the Nationals solve their pitching problem? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary By Cody Macleod