Swagger gone…no longer money in the bank.
The Nationals took the field two weeks ago for the start of the most-anticipated season in club history brimming with confidence. They had a potent and balanced lineup, they had one of baseball’s most-dominant rotations, they had a ridiculously deep bullpen and they had a talented bench more than capable of plugging any holes that developed along the way.
They also had a swagger, starting with their manager, that suggested a ballclub with no fear and every reason to believe it could live up to the lofty expectations placed upon it.
That may still all prove true in the end, and the Nationals are by no means in shambles at the moment, still sitting two games above .500 with as talented a roster as there is in the sport. But there’s no question that swagger has diminished some during the season’s first two weeks, especially in the case of a couple of veteran players with strong track records who suddenly find themselves struggling unlike either ever has before.
The Nationals’ 8-2 loss to the Marlins on Tuesday night—their fourth loss in five days—became reality after a mid-game meltdown precipitated by mistakes made by Ryan Zimmerman and Dan Haren.
...Thus concluded Haren’s latest laborious start as a member of the Nationals. He has now made three starts, and he’s yet to reach the sixth inning. He’s allowed 23 hits (five of them homers) in only 13 1/3 innings, and he’s taking full responsibility for all of it.
“Something’s got to change on my part,” the 32-year-old right-hander said. “I’ve got to start getting guys out. It’s not this hard. I’ve done it for 10, 11 years. You know, I feel good enough to get guys out. I just made a few mistakes. I’m just giving up way too many hits and letting way too many runners on base.”
Posted: April 17, 2013 at 04:32 AM | 29 comment(s)
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