Nationals

Quick Links

Nats injuries reaching absurdity

732946.png

Nats injuries reaching absurdity

Before the 2012 season began, if someone told you the Nationals would be in first place on May 7 with an 18-10 record, all done without their cleanup hitter and fifth starter, would you have believed them? What if they lost their closer - a guy who saved 43 games the season before - their center fielder for nine games, and their franchise player for two weeks?Fresh off a series win against the Phillies, the Nationals are continuing strong after an unbelievable run of bad luck with injures. In last nights loss they saw Jayson Werth break his wrist on a play in right field, just another blow to a team dealing with a wide range of ailments. It looks like he will be out at least a few months.Even Adam LaRoche and Mark DeRosa, their best position player so far this season and their top bench player, watched from the dugout with oblique issues. Oh, and dont forget Brad Lidge who is out with an abdominal strain. Even the guys backing up those with injuries have gotten injured.Recapping all of the Nationals health problems makes you wonder who is left. Here is a look at the teams projected lineup, as Mike Rizzo envisioned it during the winter, and who has been or is now hurt this season.SS - Ian Desmond
2B - Danny Espinosa
3B - Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder)
LF - Michael Morse (lat muscle)
1B - Adam LaRoche (oblique)
RF - Jayson Werth (wrist)
CF - Rick Ankiel (quad)
C - Wilson Ramos
SP - Stephen StrasburgOn the pitching side, Wang, Lidge, and Storen were all expected to play major roles with the Nats this year and only Lidge has seen the field. The Nationals are winning games with what is essentially a lineup half-comprised of Triple-A players and bench guys. Just look at who batted for the team last night against the Phillies.SS - Ian Desmond
3B - Steve Lombardozzi
LF - Bryce Harper
RF - Jayson Werth
RF - Xavier Nady
1B - Chad Tracy
2B- Danny Espinosa
CF - Rick Ankiel
C - Wilson Ramos
P - Jordan Zimmerman
PH - Tyler Moore
PH - Roger BernadinaPlayers in italics were replacing injured players.If the Nationals had even half the injuries they have seen this year, Moore and Harper would likely still be in Triple-A. Tracy was never supposed to start in big games against the Phillies and Nady played half the game after replacing Werth.The Nationals' injuries are getting out of hand and it their success has probably been one of the most unlikely developments thus far in all of baseball. Can they keep it up? It seems more unlikely the more you consider their plight overall, but having guys out hasnt exactly stopped them yet. It will be amazing to see how long they can sustain winning games and, on the other hand, how good they could potentially be when they get everyone back.

Quick Links

Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

usatsi_10342243.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

On Thursday night, a Washington, D.C. pro sports team did something Washington, D.C. pro sports teams are very good at doing: fall short of making a league or championship game.

The Nationals' disastrous fifth inning against the Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series was the beginning of the end, not to mention yet another in a long line of disappointing playoff results for Washington, D.C. sports teams.

You see, Washington, D.C. is the only city with at least three major pro sports teams to not have a single one make a conference or league championship game since 2000.

To make matters worse, Washington, D.C. sports teams have now lost 16 consecutive playoff games in which a win would've advanced the team to the conference or league championship. 

Think about that for a second. Four teams. Zero conference championship appearances since 1998. 

Here's the list.

Washington, D.C. sports fans are not greedy. We can't be. We've had some very good teams recently, with the type of talent, coaching and intangibles needed to win a championship. 

TRY THIS: 20 THINGS DC SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT. YES, HAPPY.

The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team won a world championship was in 1992 when the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI.  The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team even made a conference championship game was in 1998, when the Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, defeating the Sabres to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Washington, D.C. isn't allowed to have nice sports things.

Sure, we have great players and great teams, but when the playoffs roll around, all the nice things go away. We aren't privy to plucky upstarts who run the table and we aren't privy to dominant teams that make long postseason runs.

Washington, D.C. will have its day, eventually. Sure it may only be a conference championship appearance, but for us, that's fine. We don't expect world championships. We just want something to get invested in.

Early playoff exits are rarely worth the investment.

Quick Links

With contractual decisions looming, Nats missed chance at stress-free World Series run

With contractual decisions looming, Nats missed chance at stress-free World Series run

"This is the year."

That's the motto for almost every D.C. sports fan when their team is headed for the postseason.

The Nats led a weak NL East the entire season and clinched a spot to play October baseball early into September.

RELATED: COUNTLESS ERRORS DOOM NATIONALS IN SEASON-ENDING LOSS

The team overcame the obstacle of being plagued with injuries and with pitchers like Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer having a strong bullpen to back them up, the stars were aligning for the team to go all the way.

But now with players like Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy having contracts up for grabs in 2019, Nationals reporter Chelsea Janes says 2017 was really the last chance for the team to win a stress-free title.

"I think those questions you've raised like Bryce [Harper's] contract, [Daniel} Murphy may be leaving, you know Rizzo's contract's up after next year, I think those are the things they didn't have to deal with this year that made this such a free chance," Janes said on the Sports Junkies Friday.

"It was a free chance to just feel good and do it now and not have everyone say this is your absolute last chance, and next year it's their absolute last chance for a little while, I think."

"I mean they're not going to be awful in '19, but they're going to be different and I think they've sort of wasted their free pass here and there's legitimate and kind of unrelenting pressure on them next year to make it happen."

It's hard to make sense of what a team will look like one day after a devastating series loss. One thing that is fairly certain is that time is ticking for the Nats to make it happen with arguably the most talented group of players they've ever had.