It's funny - the Nats win on Tuesday and I can't find anything good to say. The Nats lose yesterday and I see nothing but blue skies for the club.
They scored a bunch of runs again. A 6-run outburst against Kawakami is one thing. Back to back 6-run games, including one against Tommie Hanson, is another. The offense may in fact be turning around from that two-week slump. All it needs to be like last year (in other words - completely competent) is to have RF and 2nd Base not both be wretched. Last year, respectively they had OPSs of 95 and 75. This year? 53 and 71. It's not a coincidence that those positions have gone 7 for 16 the past two games.
The relief pitching sans a fun nickname pitched well. In 2 and 2/3 innings Burnett, Walker, and Bruney gave up one weak hit and one intentional walk (I know! Bruney!). They did exactly what I said a couple times the Nats couldn't do. Hold a lead in a higher scoring game so the Nats could come back. In my face! This was their game to lose and they came through.
Atilano wasn't horrible. Oh he wasn't good, but for someone that clearly didn't have much in the way of control he didn't blow up. 6 runs is a lot, but not a game killer. 5 1/3 is too few innings, but only by a few outs. If we see Luis for what he is right now, a rookie 5th starter, this was exactly the type of "bad start" you want. One that is not game ending or bullpen killing.
So there you go. All I need is the Nats to lose to feel positive about the team. I should be predicting World Series if they Nats lose 20-2 tonight.
actually no - Scott Olsen needs to be good for the Nats to ride out the "Before Christ" time period with a winning record. He looked real good two starts ago and almost as good last start. But the Dodgers and Marlins are two of the least patient teams in the NL. Can he fare as well against the super patient Braves? It's going to be important because the next two pitchers for the Nats are Stammen and the strugglin Lannan. The pen needs a break and both Capps and the improving Burnett are out tonight. If Olsen doesn't go at least 6 we're guaranteed a non-Clippard arm, and potentially a bullpen that could be on the ropes until the next time Livan heads out.