Lot of buzz the past month about the disappointing, mediocre, ready to check out, depressing season the Reds have been having.
In the grass is greener category (or not) we have what is truly a disappointing and mediocre season occurring from a NL division winner with 98 wins over in D.C.
What went wrong?
Boswell weighs in, and Boswell nails it in many ways.
The Nats have had many problems this year. Their bench, strong last season, has been horrible, with six key players combining for an abysmal .521 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through Tuesday night in more than 1,000 trips to the plate. Their fifth starter was a disaster for 100 games. Their second baseman’s career imploded. General Manager Mike Rizzo’s biggest team-tweaking decision, trading for Denard Span, proved misconceived, subtracting offense from a team that has plummeted in scoring. Manager Davey Johnson, who spiked the team’s confidence a year ago, has looked as at a loss as Joe Gibbs II. His lame-duck status was underlined when Rizzo fired his hitting coach against his wishes.
But another huge Nats problem, and the one that absolutely must be solved before anything really good can happen, is that they play the game badly at the fundamental level night after infuriating night. The Nats think, correctly, that they are talented. But bad baseball always beats talent. The Nats aren’t winning because the way they’ve played, they don’t merit it.
And nobody calls them out, instance by instance, game by game. Certainly not Johnson, a “players’ manager” whose trust has been abused by his veterans, nor his coaches nor even Rizzo. Because the Nats usually played crisply last season, the franchise finds it unfathomable that they’ve regressed so far so fast. When will the “switch flip” or the “light go on” and the poise, presence of mind and pleasure reappear? Surely this is a bad dream.