State of the Nats-4/15

State of the Nats-4/15
April 15, 2013, 8:00 am
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Team Record: 7-5 (3-3)

N.L. East Standings

Offensive Game of the Week: Adam LaRoche 4/9 vs. White Sox – 2-for-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R

Pitching Line of the Week: Ross Detwiler 4/12 vs. Braves – 7.0 IP, ER, 5 SO, 4 H, 2 BB, HR, 90 pitches (58 strikes)

Top Storylines

Wilson Ramos pulls hamstring – In the second game of their series with the Braves, the Nationals suffered their first injury to a major contributor this season. Ramos pulled his left hamstring running out a groundball for the third out of the eighth inning. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list as the Nationals brought up Jhonatan Solano from Triple-A Syracuse. The team is lucky to have Kurt Suzuki in store ready to start in his absence.

Danny Espinosa’s sore hand – X-rays were negative after Espinosa took a pitch off the hand in Sunday’s game, but Davey Johnson said he could miss a few days. At this point it doesn’t seem like a major concern. Espinosa has, however, been struggling so far this season (7-for-40, .175 BA).

Braves sweep Nats – This weekend baseball fans got their first look at the 2013 N.L. East battle between the Braves and Nats. Things went much better for Atlanta, but it proved that both of these teams are good and should be competing all season for the division crown. The teams will meet at least 16 more times this year including later this month with a four-game series in Atlanta starting April 29.

Ryan Zimmerman's throwing errors - Zimmerman committed another throwing error in Sunday's loss to the Braves, his third consecutive game with one. The first two also happened to occur during big game situations. The Nats defense now has 12 errors through their first 12 games. What is considered to be one of baseball's best defenses on paper, all of a sudden has questions in the field.

Nats bullpen off to slow start - The Nats' bullpen in 2012 was one of their biggest strengths, but it has been quite shaky thus far in 2013. We knew they were going untraditional without a lefty specialist, a void that has been showcased in several games. And their only lefty reliever, Zach Duke, has exemplified the rough start with seven earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings of work.

Quote of the Week

Danny Espinosa on the Braves: “They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us. They’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, they only lost one game, but they’re hot. It all evens out.”

Tweet of the Week


Road Ahead

Mon. – 7:10 p.m. at Miami Marlins (Zimmermann)
Tue. - 7:10 p.m. at Miami Marlins (Haren)
Wed. – 7:10 p.m. at Miami Marlins (Detwiler
Thu. – off
Fri. – 7:10 p.m. at New York Mets (Strasburg)
Sat. – 3:05 p.m. at New York Mets (Gonzalez)
Sun. – 1:10 p.m. at New York Mets (Zimmermann)