Washington Nationals: Offense continues to be consistently inconsistent

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WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals can't reach a ball hit by Christian Villanueva #22 of the San Diego Padres (not pictured) for a two RBI double in the sixth inning at Nationals Park on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals can't reach a ball hit by Christian Villanueva #22 of the San Diego Padres (not pictured) for a two RBI double in the sixth inning at Nationals Park on May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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With their injuries, the Washington Nationals haven’t found consistency with the bats in 2018. It showed again in the finale against the San Diego Padres.

It was deja vu all over again as the Washington Nationals dropped a series finale to the San Diego Padres. They did exactly the same just a few short weeks ago at Petco Park, losing 3-1 in this game, compared to 2-1 before.

And much like the previous series, the offense was inconsistent throughout the three-game set. After 8 and 10 run performances to open each series, the team could only muster up a single run in both finales.

Obviously, the injuries to the team haven’t helped, as when you lose multiple potential All-Stars it’s difficult to recover. Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy are still missing, but could both return within 2-3 weeks and give this offense a boost.

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They have also struggled with runners in scoring position compared to last year. In 2017 they posted a .290 figure which was good for best in the National League.

But this year it’s down to .245 and they’ll need to improve this to support their excellent starting rotation.

Erick Fedde impresses in 2018 debut

Despite the absence of offense in the game, Erick Fedde was mightily impressive during his 2018 debut for the Nationals. The top pitching prospect went 5.2 innings allowing five hits, three runs and striking out six.

His velocity was sitting at around 95mph throughout the start, as he looks like he’s back to his old-self. Last season Nats fans saw him start promisingly, but by his third start the velocity was at 89/90mph. This was likely as a result of the bullpen experiment at the start of last season, but that’s firmly in the rear-view mirror.

Although this start was likely a one-off for Fedde, he’s firmly placed himself at the front of the queue should the Nationals need another starter. In the meantime he’ll look to continue his impressive form with the Syracuse Chiefs.

Matt Adams provides all the offense

After sitting out against the two left-handers to start the series, Matt Adams provided almost half of the Nats hits, and the only run for the hosts. Unfortunately it was in vein due to the lack of other offensive performances.

Coming into the game Adams was mired in a 3 for 29 slump, after busting out to start the season. But now with the emergence of Mark Reynolds, he’s been restricted to being in the left-side of a platoon. Juan Soto‘s promotion and seemingly starting in left-field against righties for the foreseeable future will reduce those outfield opportunities for him too.

His first-base role is unlikely to change, even when Ryan Zimmerman returns which could be any day.  The slugger has been raking against right-handers so far with a .989 OPS and nine of his ten home runs against them. As the larger half of the platoon, we’ll see him a lot and will be a useful bat off the bench for Davey Martinez when he doesn’t start.

Next: Eaton return edging closer

Now the Washington Nationals get an off-day before beginning a 10 game road-trip on Friday. They head to Florida to take on Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins, and will look for another series win, at least.

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