By Pete Schwichtenberg @schwick26_pete on August 26, 2014
The Washington Nationals have been one of the best teams in the National League during the second half of the season. They currently have the biggest divisional lead in the NL, but although they have that large lead, they are not going to finish their season on a high note. Here are five reasons why they will not win the World Series.
While it is impressive that Bryce Harper is just 21 years old and in the midst of his third season in the major leagues, he will forever be linked with Mike Trout. Trout has had three MVP type seasons, but Harper has struggled to become elite. He has plenty of time to grow, but this season Harper is batting just .261 with seven home runs and not yet a top-flight major leaguer.
In the past, Ryan Zimmerman was the National's future, but as he has aged he has been riddled with injuries. He has not played since July 22 due to a hamstring injury, and would be a major loss if he is unable to go in October.
During the second half the the season, the Nationals have been among the hottest teams in baseball. They have taken over the East and trampled over anyone in their path. But the question is, did they start their run too soon? Usually the champion is not who has been the best, but who is playing the best at the moment. It is going to be awfully tough to keep it going all the way through to October.
When Gio Gonzalez is on his game, he is nearly unhittable. But because he nibbles the strike-zone, he has difficulties pitching deep into games. If a team is patient, Gonzalez is very beatable. This season, he has a walk rate of almost four walks per nine innings.
The first time the Nationals made the playoffs, the young Stephen Strasburg was shut down due to an innings limit. This year, he has become an innings eater who not only leads baseball in starts, but also strikeouts. The problem, however, is that the Nationals never know which Strasburg will show up. This season, he has nine starts where he has allowed one run or less, but he has also had eight starts where he has allowed four or more.
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