There’s a little team in Washington, you may have never heard of them. “The Nationals”. They receive little press coverage, I can’t think of the last time they were mentioned on ESPN. /Sarcasm off
What is known is that before the season most picked them to go to the World Series, and for that matter to run away with it. Bryce Harper, the reigning Rookie of the Year was expected to progress greatly and Strasburg was expected to be a CY Young candidate now that he no longer had an innings limit.
After an early 3-0 start to the season they came into GABP. Promptly The Reds took 2/3 outscoring them in one game 15-0. This was the first mark on an armor that by now looks tattered and worn.
The nationals are on a 4 game skid and 3-7 in their last ten. Is there still reason to worry about this now under .500 team?
Yes and No
Yes, why the Nationals can win this series.
1) Bryce Harper has advanced this season, He’s batting .351 with a high 7 homeruns. While only having struck out 13 times this season. He’s no Joey Votto, but he has a 1.118 OPS in this still young season.
2) Pitching, Pitching, Pitching the Nat’s have a ton of it. Yeah Strasburg is 1-4 but the Reds don’t face Strasburg this series. They have Zimmerman, Detwiler, Gio and Dan Haren. Haren hasn’t looked good, for that matter neither has Gio, but in Gio’s case he is generally much better than this and you have to assume he will right the ship.
3) At some point the team has to win a game. I’m not kidding! Even bad teams win 60+ games a year. The worst teams ever still win ¼ of their games and this is far from the worst team ever.
No, Why the Reds take the series
1) They’re hot right now. Shortly after making us of all panic by falling well under .500 this team has been lit on fire. Winners of 8 of the last 10 and doing so in at times dominating fashion and at times ridiculously come from behind close fashion. This team exemplifies Redlegs Never Say Die!
2) Everyone you’d want to is getting hot right now. Choo’s almost up to a .400 BA, Joeys hitting for power, and Jay seemed to get his stroke back in 1 game hitting his first homer and a game tying double. Not to mention the beast that BP has become. Good lord he’s pitching well.
3) Pitching, pitching, pitching, yeah I reused this one so sew me. Arroyo, Bailey, Leake, Cingrani are the starting 4. None of them are at above a 3.81 ERA and the highest ERA belongs to Leake who is coming off of two 7 inning outings with 2, 0 earned runs allowed.
Overall everything that you’d want should swing in the Reds favor.
Final Prediction Reds take the series overall 3-1.
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