Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What The Nats Need
I picked up the Post this morning, and a headline across the top of Sports said Nats Need a Leader With a Powerful Bat. That was good news to me, as I figured it must signify that they've solved their pitching woes. Not quite the case, as it turned out.

Barry Svrluga admits that, yeah, the pitching sucks, but "Moreover, observers wonder who is the real threat, the man who will make pitchers cower each time up." Uh, Ryan Zimmerman? Maybe Austin Kearns? Who else would it be? If you tell me Kory Casto, I'm going to take a leap right out of this blog.

He says that "the offensive struggles -- and, indeed, the overall performance -- is putting focus on the club's young leadership group of catcher Brian Schneider, Zimmerman, Kearns and infielder Felipe Lopex, the players singled out to help hold things together in the clubhouse. Will that group be able to convey how to handle these struggles?" Dude, they're the ones that are struggling! There's no one else, unless, like Frank Robinson, you're going to blame Ryan Church for this. Soriano is gone, remember? Stan the Plan gave him up, and decided to spend the money on cherry trees, which will result in tens of thousands of previously disinterested Washingtonians becoming avid baseball fans and spending their evenings and their cash in Southeast DC, gazing at cherry trees and a fancy scoreboard.

I think the offense will get better. They've been playing from behind in, literally, every at bat. And it's been like 30 degrees out there most of the time, unfortunately their opponents have the huge advantage of getting to hit against Nationals' pitchers. Mark Zuckerman, in the Washington Times, points out that the Nats "became the first team in the modern era to trail at least 4-0 in each of its first six games." That's a problem.

Here's what I'd like to see this week: Cory Kasto hitting a cut-off man, Jason Bergmann walking fewer than one batter per inning, something positive for us to cling to from Matt Chico, and a quality start by Jerome Williams. And I'd like to see Dmitri Young go another week without the inevitable injury that will result in Robert Fick ending up playing first base. While all that may seem wildly optimistic, I think it's a little more realistic that waiting for the second coming of Cal Ripken to suddenly appear in a Nationals' uniform.

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