Washington Nationals News: Long odds mean Nats have to get hot to reach October


Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Before tonight’s series opener against the San Diego Padres, get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell discusses the long odds the Nationals have of making the playoffs and how the team needs to get on an extended hot streak if it wants to be playing baseball in October.

As Boswell notes in his article, the Nationals’ chances of making the postseason have diminished significantly in recent weeks. As of right now, the team has a 15 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Baseball Prospectus.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the Nationals have struggled mightily in August while the first-place Mets have flourished. Couple New York’s success with the Nationals’ failures—which hit rock bottom during a six-game losing streak on the West Coast last week—and the Nationals have tailspun their way from NL East favorites to October long shots.

So, what do the Nationals need to do to stage a September comeback and get their once optimistic season back on track? As Boswell notes, they need to get hot. The team simply can’t win the division if it doesn’t play its best baseball of the year over the season’s final five weeks. They would also need the Mets to cool off, but that’s not something the Nationals can directly control.

Right now, they’re off to a decent start. They’ve won two series in a row, and they have an easier remaining schedule than New York. But it’ll take more than winning series to catch the Mets, and a long winning streak would go a long way in closing the gap in the NL East. Ideally, the Nationals should be able to extend their current two-game winning streak in tonight’s series opener against the Padres and go from there.

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If they can’t get hot and stay hot soon, however, it may very well be too late for the Nationals to make a run at the postseason.

Also in today’s Daily, Federal Baseball’s Jim Meyerriecks writes an interesting article looking into the recent struggles of Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tune to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Looking at long odds, Nats ‘have to get hot’ to reach the postseason

(Thomas Boswell, Washington Post)

Baseball comes at you fast. And a sense of chaos goes along with it. Teams and their fans feel the direction of events but sometimes can’t judge their magnitude in real time. That applies when things are awful but also when the tide turns.

For the Nationals, their last 24 days have been a disaster as their chances of reaching the playoffs plummeted from 81 percent on July 30 to an abysmal 15 percent before their game Sunday. That means their chances of a single playoff game in 2015 are now worse than their preseason odds to win the World Series.

“Whose numbers are those?” Jayson Werth said, asking where 15 percent came from. Baseball Prospectus and others. “We know we have to get hot,” Werth said. Read full article here.

What’s happened to Washington Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann?

(Jim Meyerriecks, Federal Baseball)

Using the archaic pitcher wins model, Jordan Zimmermann improved to 10-8 on the year in Sunday’s 9-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. It was Zimmermann’s second straight victory, evening his record at 2-2 this month. Of course, we know that pitcher wins aren’t exactly the best way to determine how a guy is pitching. At this point in the year, Zimmermann is clearly having his worst season since 2010, when he pitched in just seven games in his return from Tommy John surgery.

While Zimmermann’s recent problems haven’t plagued him for the entire year, let’s take a quick peek at his overall season performance relative to his past…Read full article here.

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