It seems like every 4 days is just a training and warming up until the next important day. Strasburg. On my continuted quest to prove that I'm right about practically everything, Strasburg's 32 Ks currently has him tied with Scott Olsen for 2nd among Nats starters, a mere 8 flailing Royals away from Livan. Then it's just a dead sprint to see if he can catch Clippard (53) by the All-Star break as I said he would.
Should be a fun game with Strasburg against another B-level major league team. The Royals are like the Pirates, a non-threatening contact hitting team. Didn't work out so well for Pittsburgh so I wouldn't feel enthused if I was a Royals fan. (Unless Rizzo starts demanding ground balls or else it's AA for Strasburg!) If you are somewhere you can watch the game (in other words - not where I am) skip out of work early - get some dogs and a beer and enjoy the show.
The team as a whole has slid its way out of contention of anything interesting while I was battling poison ivy (the plant, not the Batman villan). It's a bit early to write off .500, true, but I'll wait till after the All-Star break to see how that's coming along. Everything that is going on are things we touched upon before. The three player led offense has been terrible. They've hit an abysmal .227 / .276 / .378 in the past two weeks and somehow an even worse .201 / .243 / .320 in the past 7 days. But that will happen when your three players are struggling. The only thing I find interesting is the hard and fast fall of Ian Desmond.
April: .201 / .243 /.320
May: .272 /.296/ .402
June: .239 /.301 / .343
When Desmond was struggling in April the thought was basically he had to get his "sea legs" under him. Get used to the speed of the game at the major league level. His acceptable May was supposedly a sign that he had it together to some degree. Now he's tumbling dangerously low again and that's with a quick decent run real early in the month. He's hitting .162 /.205 / .270 in the past 2 weeks, .105 /.105 / .158 the past 7 days. A slump? Possibly. Scouting catching up to him? Possibly. He's not getting unlucky (BABip .298, LD% 17.9% seem to be in line) I'll tell you that.
The good thing from Desmond (keeping certain jerkfaces from sending him down to AA - because he is certainly not giving the team the best chance to win everyday I don't care if he's Ozzie Smith out there) is that Guzman stinks and Kennedy stinks and the Nats AA/AAA middle infield stinks. It's Ian's slump to work out of. If he does, great. If this continues through to the All-Star break... well then the Nats are stuck, but I'd rather be stuck starting a 24 year old and hoping he catches on than stuck starting a 30 year old and hoping for a miracle. Like in center. (Hey Milledge is hot! He's almost back to average! Did I ever mention that he's only 6 months older than Desmond? I did? Over and over? Hmm. I know you guys don't like him. Don't care. Milledge 4 eva. )