They say that offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. If that’s the case, then the Washington Nationals won’t be winning any championships any time soon.
Throughout the offseason and Spring Training, manager Matt Williams stressed defense and how it needs to be crisp. To make sure his point of quality defense went through, he went out and hired a coach to specifically work on defense. As we’ve seen in the early going, it looks like all that effort may have been for naught.
After their embarrassing 8-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, they Nationals now have sole possession of first place for most errors in MLB. On Thursday night, the Nationals committed four (!!!) errors and collected just two hits. Following the poor showing, Washington now leads the league with 20 errors.
Their defensive struggles are highlighted by All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond. While he has three homers and 11 RBIs, he’s committed seven errors, the most of any shortstop in baseball. It doesn’t just stop with him, either. Ryan Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Nate McLouth, Jayson Werth and Danny Espinosa have all committed at least two errors and another three Nationals have at least one credited to them.
Across the board, we’re seeing poor play in the field.
While it’s understandable that it may take a week or so to get into the swing of things on the field, the Nationals are far beyond that point of excuse. An error or two in the first week is forgivable, but 20 in the first two weeks is absolutely not. The Nationals have a chronic problem that needs to be addressed and right now, not later on.
Offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. This is the right state of mind to be in, but actions speak louder than words. They can preach defense all they want, but it simply is not showing up on the field. Unless the Nationals can improve their play defensively and soon, they won’t be winning any championships this year.