Washington Nationals: Five storylines to watch as Marlins make their final trip to DC

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Giancarlo Stanton
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Giancarlo Stanton /
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Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals /

Daniel Murphy’s mini-slump

Daniel Murphy has established himself as one of the best hitters in the league, but not even he is immune to an occasional slump. Over the last week or so, he has looked sluggish at times and has appeared to be in need of a day off. However, the Nats are currently suffering from a plethora of injuries so Murphy has been needed in the lineup.

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Over the last week, Murphy has hit a mere .182, which is the worst on the team. There is no need to worry, as he is still hitting .318 throughout the season, but he has not been himself as of late.

The Marlins coming to DC could be just what the doctor ordered for Murphy to bust out of this mini-slump. In ten games against Miami this year, he has a slash line of .286/.324/.429 with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI’s.

Unfortunately, the Nats played a double-header on Sunday and Murphy appeared in both games. If his recent struggles are due to fatigue, this would do nothing but hurt him. The good thing is he entered as a late-inning replacement in the first game, so he didn’t play two complete games.

Murphy has been one of the Nats’ best players this year, but is currently struggling a bit. These struggles are irrelevant, other than they may hurt his MVP case a bit, but the Nats need him to perform like he is capable in the postseason, which is quickly approaching.

Next: The Shawn Kelley conundrum

The Nationals have built a huge lead in the NL East, while the Marlins are heating up and hanging around in the NL Wild Card race. Max Scherzer’s return, Giancarlo Stanton’s incredible home run tear, Jayson Werth and Trea Turner’s imminent returns, Vance Worley’s success against the Nats, and Daniel Murphy’s mini-slump should all be storylines to watch during what looks to be a competitive intra-division matchup.