I can't help but be reminded of that commercial from years past for a device you can wear around your neck and call for help; do they offer team discounts?
This recent stumble by the Nationals is also reminiscent of last year's horrendous first half. They get a solid start and no offense to back it up. They score some runs, take a lead, and the bullpen implodes. They find it difficult to pick the ball up and/or throw it accurately.
No single player is responsible for the morass that has enveloped this team as of late. It's been a true team effort. Don't blame the manager; he can't know who's going to hang a breaking ball, flub a groundball or swing at one in the dirt. I have nothing but empathy for Jim Riggleman. In last night's 7th inning he had the facial expression of the guy who just had Maury Povich tell him, "Jim, you ARE the father!"
The move that injected a spark into the ballcub a year ago was the June 30 trade with Pittsburgh for Nyjer Morgan. He batted .351 with an .831 OPS over 49 games, with 24 steals and 34 runs scored, while making several breathtaking catches in center. This year he's shown that, while possessing some impressive tools, he seems to lack the real intuitive instincts for the game.
This year's spark was expected to be the arrival of Stephen Strasburg. Stephen's own performance has been nothing short of phenomenal, but since he's arrived the ballclub is 6-13.
Some fans are already calling for massive changes to "salvage" the season. Salvage it into what? In March I thought this team would have a win total somewhere in the mid-70's. That's still in play, and would represent a marked improvement over the past two seasons. Going from 103 losses to post-season contention overnight was never a realistic scenario.
I expect the Nationals to do something at or near the trading deadline. Exactly what, I'm not sure, but I know that Mike Rizzo won't stand by watching.