Washington Nationals: Starting pitching woes a worrying theme
By Blake Finney
The Washington Nationals fell to the Boston Red Sox again on Tuesday. This time by a heavy margin of 11-4 and the Nats starters continue to struggle lately.
It’s a troubling time for the Washington Nationals this July. Another defeat to the Boston Red Sox has the team sitting at 42-42 on the season. The first time they’ve not been above .500 since May 5th.
Once again, the starting pitching was brutal, with Tanner Roark, giving up nine runs over seven innings. Since June 1st, the Nationals have an MLB worst 5.49 ERA among starting pitchers.
For an area of the team that was a strength, a lot of things have gone wrong. Stephen Strasburg went down injured, while Gio Gonzalez and Roark have regressed significantly.
More from District on Deck
- Washington Nationals Minor League Spotlight: Robert Hassell III
- Washington Nationals Tuesday Q&A
- 3 Free Agents the Nationals Should Gamble On
- A Washington Nationals Christmas Wishlist
- Washington Nationals: Is Seth Lugo Still an Option?
It’s a position that the Nationals could easily look to improve at the trade deadline. Roark has experience in the bullpen, and Jeremy Hellickson could easily be bumped to the bullpen too given his success in shorter appearances.
Mercifully, Strasburg is likely to be back around the All-Star break, after he threw a 60 pitch bullpen Tuesday. That will be a huge boost, but there’s a long way to go to get back to its May standard once again.
More solo home runs
The Nationals continue to rectify their lack of home runs in July, however, they’ve all been solo shots so far. On Tuesday night, it was Pedro Severino and Brian Goodwin who hit the long balls.
For Severino, it was his first blast of the season, and just the third in his young career. He’s been in a miserable stretch since his nice start to the year. Hitting .085 with an OPS of .257 since May 19th, which is practically an automatic out.
Goodwin is also hitting poorly, hitting only .185 on the season with just three homers. But this is likely because of the inconsistent playing time he’s received.
He started off as the fourth outfielder and is now fifth in the pecking order. If the Nats have any hope of clawing their way back, they need these types of contributions from their lesser players
Salvage job for Nats on Wednesday
Remember, Wednesday’s game is an 11:05 am first pitch, yes it’s the traditional 4th July morning game. The Nats will be hoping that they don’t fall below .500 and dig an even deeper hole.
Erick Fedde gets the ball on Independence Day, who’s coming off of his first career MLB win. But, his only win, was in arguably the worst start of his career.
Against the Philadelphia Phillies, Fedde went five innings, giving up eight hits, and five runs. Thanks to ludicrous run support, he picked up the W, but with more starts like this, and Strasburg’s return losing, Fedde’s time in the rotation may be ending.
Next: Letting Dusty Baker go a mistake?
We wish every one of our readers a happy July 4th, and hopefully the Washington Nationals can give us something to celebrate about on Wednesday.