Washington Nationals: Three takeaways during slump

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 08: Pedro Severino
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 08: Pedro Severino /
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The Washington Nationals have dropped five straight, falling to 4-5. What have we learned and where do the Nats go from here?

This is not the start the Washington Nationals, or you, wanted to start the 2018 season.

The regular season is supposed to be the easy part. A six-month coronation of the best team in the National League East. The New York Mets? Well…

Washington remains the most talented team in the division. But, they are not playing like it. When they win, the Nats steamroll. However, losses are harsh. From leaving the bases loaded with nobody out to rare balks leading to crushing home runs, the first 10 days of the season are forgettable.

Is it a trend? Will Washington struggle all year?

No. The talent is too deep not to shine. But, this might be the season where they have grind through to the bitter end before clinching a playoff spot. Maybe, that helps come the fall. Even with the cold weather, October feels years away.

Although it is early, it is time to take stock of where the Nats are. There is an old saying in sports that says, “You are what your record says you are.” Nine games out of 162 is too early, but Washington is playing like a team struggling to reach .500.

Daniel Murphy’s return to the lineup and warming weather will help. But, there are concerns. Hey, at least the cherry blossoms are blooming. Keep the jacket handy.

While you celebrate the beauty of DC, here are three things to file away on the season so far. All stats are before Sunday’s game.