Washington Nationals: Five Reasons They Will Lose NLDS

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Sep 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts after losing to the New York Mets 8-5 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth (28) reacts after losing to the New York Mets 8-5 at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

RISP, MOVE THAT LINE

This one is a common reason why teams lose in the postseason. When there are runners on second and third, they are stranded too often.

With the better starting pitching and exceptional bullpens, the opportunity to produce runs shrinks this time of year. Smart teams can try to manufacture runs by stealing or taking an extra base, but after a bad game where a team may go 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position, it will get in your head.

This season, the Nationals slash line in RISP situations was .259/.350/.414. With a gross OPS of .764, that adjusts to an OPS+ of 103 or three percent above average. If there are two outs, the slash line is .225/.339/.379. The OPS is .718 and adjusts to an OPS+ of 103. Again, right around average.

The good news is the Nationals are a solid offensive unit. The bad news is with Harper in a funk, there is no one hitter who will cause a lack of sleep at the Dodgers’ hotel. Trea Turner can set the table but, at least once a game, he will bat behind the pitcher.

You will hear RISP mentioned on television. If the Nats cannot take advantage of their chances, the season ends next week.

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