Washington Nationals Offense Needs To Re-Focus In Miami
The Washington Nationals will look to jumpstart their offense again in Miami this week against the Marlins
So far in the month of September, the Washington Nationals have not done much offensively as a team. This month, the Nats are tied for the third fewest runs scored in the National League with 62. Right now, the offense’s two main run producers in September have been Anthony Rendon and Trea Turner.
When you look at the Washington Nationals offense this month, Rendon and Turner are the only two players who have driven in more than ten runs. Rendon is tied with Chris Carter (Brewers) and Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) for the most RBI’s in the NL this month.
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As for Turner, he had an excellent series against the Braves this weekend at Turner Field. The center fielder went 8-for-12 with seven runs scored, three home runs, and four RBI’s. He has 12 RBI’s (tied for 16th in the NL), but he is four off the league lead and three behind his August total. Plus, his six home runs are tied for the NL lead this month.
While Rendon and Turner have driven in 28 runs as a duo, the rest of the offense has managed a mere 34 runs. Plus, the Washington Nationals aren’t showing the same plate discipline when you consider they have seen the third fewest pitches of any NL team this month.
Daniel Murphy still continues to get hits on a daily basis (.415 batting average in September), but the Washington Nationals have five regular starters hitting below .225. This includes catcher Wilson Ramos (.205) and last year’s MVP, Bryce Harper (.184). Harper and Murphy are both out of the starting lineup tonight.
Tonight, the Washington Nationals continue their nine game road trip in Miami. They will take on a Marlins team that needs every last win to even have a shot at the postseason. Heading into tonight, Miami is five games behind the Giants for the second Wild Card spot in the NL.
These two teams are different compared to when they faced each other in May. During those first 13 games, the Washington Nationals went 7-6. The Nats will run into some tough pitching this week when they go up against Wei-Yin Chen (first start since July 20) and Miami’s ace, Jose Fernandez, in the first two games. It may be good timing for the Nats since Miami’s offense has scored the fourth fewest runs in the National League since the All-Star Break.
In addition to trying to clinch the NL East, the Washington Nationals are still looking to wrap up home field advantage in the NLDS. Right now, they lead the Dodgers by four games with 13 to play. Home field is critical when you consider the Nats were swept out in Los Angeles back in June.
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After all the struggles in Atlanta and Harper’s bad fielding in the outfield over the weekend, the Nats need a strong series in Miami to get back on track and push toward the postseason. With a strong week in Miami and Pittsburgh, the Nats can wrap up the NL East and begin to start their preparations for a possible deep run in October.