Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Much Baseball

A status report for a baseball team on April 12 is going to be pointless no matter what, but for the Nationals it's even more pointless than usual. They really haven't played much baseball, owing to bad weather and bizarre scheduling, but they've won most of it.

The wins are good, but keep in mind that an actual majority of that baseball has come against the Braves. Atlanta wasn't trying to win at the beginning of the season, and they are now down to their third-string centerfielder, with Mallex Smith having bonked himself hard enough with his own helmet that he staggered back to the dugout looking like post-match Ric Flair circa 1984

It's bad enough that the Nats are forced to play their tiny-noggined #2 CF; at least they're not reduced to running Drew Stubbs out there.

Is there anything we're worried about on a 4-1 team? I find myself becoming uneasy about Daniel Murphy. Fretting about a guy who's slugging 1.000 is, I realize, an indication of my morose outlook and bad character, but consider this:

Daniel Murphy is currently hitting like Bryce Harper and fielding like Daniel Murphy. Which of these is likely to continue through the season?
An image search for "Daniel Murphy error Nationals" got me this excellent action shot of Ian Desmond trying to figure out what a baseball is and what he should do with it. I miss him so much.
Murphy's at bats have been the highlight of the season thus far, but his glove really is as bad as advertised. It might be wise to start sending out a defensive replacement after he bats a few times.

Speaking of defensive replacements, Stephen Drew has twice been the first pinch-hitter of the game. Why? He hit .201 last year, and that was a 50 point improvement over his 2014. Meanwhile, sitting in the dugout you've got Matt den Dekker, who already won one for us, and Clint Robinson, one of a precious few Nats who came out of last year looking better than he did going in.

But these are quibbles, the product of a brain so used to disappointments that it never stops looking for them. The wins are what matters, and the Nats have four of them. The Braves don't have any, and the damn Mets only have a couple. I need to remind myself of what it was like last April and try to enjoy this.

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