This might hurt for a few Washington Nationals fans to see but I have to write it. The Nationals are an average team at best right now. No, it might not be popular to say but it is the truth. They were slightly above the .500 mark as a team in May but have slowly dipped to where they are right at the .500 winning percentage. Many things have caused the slow decline.
The number one cause of Nationals struggles would definitely be injuries. Not just any injuries either, we are talking big time player injuries. Stephen Strasburg for instance is a fairly big name that has gone down with what the Nats hope is a onetime DL stay type injury. Yes, that is kind of a big deal to lose your best pitcher.
Why is it a big deal for the game’s best pitching staff to lose one pitcher? That is really easy to answer. They are not the best pitching staff in the game. See, they had two pitchers that were among the best and now they only have one. That makes it hard to win.
Scoring few runs also harms a team’s ability to win of course. Losing one’s best offensive player tends to hamper that as well which is what happened when Bryce Harper went down with persistent knee-bursitis. So you can see why the Nats have struggled. Honestly they have done fairly well considering all factors.
Can they get healthy and contend? That is hard to answer because what matters is when they get healthy and how far back they are at that time. I think the best they can hope for is a fight for the wildcard but even that might be hard. At this time they are actually about at as far behind that race as the NL East race. Their only hope is to pull together and fight to stay as close to contenders as they can.
In case you think I’m the only one that thinks the Nats will struggle for the rest of the season, or you just need a great read, check out this great slideshow: Top 25 Bold Predictions for the 2013 MLB Season. Pay special attention to number 13 on that list. It will be a struggle for the Nats indeed.