Nationals manager Jim Riggleman may say he doesn’t care about them, and players may profess to put the goals of the team ahead of their personal statistics; but we care about them, and that’s really all that matters, right? Heading into the season’s final week, here’s a quick look at a few milestones Nationals players could reach in the six remaining games:
Adam Dunn has 37 homers, and needs three for his sixth 40-homer season in seven years. Two would surpass last year’s total, and one would tie it. He also could get to 200 strikeouts with a whiff-heavy week; he’s at 189 now.
Ian Desmond is tied for fifth among major league rookies with 64 RBI, matching the Giants’ Buster Posey. He could conceivably jump as high as third, which is currently occupied by the Mets’ Ike Davis with 69 RBI. And with a really big week, of course, Desmond could hit 80 RBI and spring MLB.com’s Bill Ladson from his otherwise-pending obligation to buy dinner for WTOP radio maven Craig Heist. Ladson bet Heist that Desmond would drive in 80 runs this year. Get ready to pay up, Rocket.
With another RBI, Ivan Rodriguez would drive in 50 runs for the first time since 2007.
Livan Hernandez leads the team with 113 strikeouts, but he’ll only have one more start. Tyler Clippard, who could get multiple appearances this week, trails Hernandez by seven for the team lead. It’s a stretch, but Clippard has a shot to lead the team in Ks.
Nyjer Morgan is in danger of finishing his first full season in the majors without a homer. He hit three last year, but he’s homerless in 130 games this year. And believe me, Morgan has thought about it.
And last, but probably most important, Ryan Zimmerman could finish a season hitting over .300 for the first time. He’s hitting .307 right now, and will likely miss a couple games this week with his strained intercostal muscles. Sitting out isn’t the way to reach .300, but it would take a pretty rough week for Zimmerman not to finish over .300, assuming he gets back in the lineup.
So there you have it. Any other, more obscure milestones you see within reach? Let me know.