As the Washington Nationals offense once again failed to show in a 6-2 loss to the New York Mets, it is clear the Nationals desperately need Trea Turner back in their lineup.
On a cold Tuesday night in our Nation’s Capital, the Washington Nationals offense seemed to repeat the same story we have seen all season long. Washington once again was unable to get anything going offensively, and it took the team until the sixth inning to finally register their first base hit.
Washington’s offense has been in one of it’s worst lulls since 2012, and the Nationals have scored just 10 runs in their last 81 innings. On the Nationals ten-game road trip that wrapped up Sunday, Washington scored 30 runs in 10 games, but 10 of those runs came against Philidelphia in their wild come back win.
If you take away the outlier of the Phillies game, the Nationals scored 20 runs in the other nine games. That is an average of 2.2 runs per game. In other words, not close to good enough to be a playoff contending team in Major League Baseball.
One of the biggest holes in the Washington lineup has been the shortstop position. When Trea Turner went down with a broken finger in the second week of the season, many believed the Nats had a deep enough lineup to weather the storm and continue to produce until he returned.
To this point, this has clearly not been the place, and the man who was tasked with replacing him in the lineup, Wilmer Difo, has been about as bad as you could have imagined. Difo has hit for a slash line of .239/.301/.310 to go with just two home runs and seven runs batted in.
To make matters worse, Washington has been just as bad in the field at the shortstop position in Turner’s absence. Entering tonight Washington has a -8 Defensive Runs Saved Rating at the shortstop position, third worst in all of Major League Baseball. Tweet via Mark Zuckerman of MASN.
If you have watched the Nationals in the past few seasons, it is clear to see how much of a difference Turner makes when he is in the lineup. His ability to get on base at the top of the order makes the offense as a whole so much better, not to mention his ability to steal a base at any time when he gets on.
As a team, the Washington Nationals are hitting .236. This number is not close to what it needs to be if they want to turn this thing around and make a miracle postseason run. Trea Turner is what this offense is missing, and it is becoming clearer by the day this lineup desperately needs him back if they want to succeed.