Beltway Report: Washington Nationals still looking for offense

nationals_logoA two-run 10th lifted Washington Nationals to a 4-3 win in the finale at Philadelphia on Sunday, helping the preseason World Series favorites avoid what would have been an embarrassing 1-5 start.

The reason for the rough start to 2015 is obvious: offense.

The Nationals are 15th in the National League and 28th in MLB in hitting, with a .194 team batting average, a .256 team on-base percentage and a .318 slugging percentage.

The Nats have scored 13 runs in six games, wasting a series of solid efforts from the pitching staff, which ranks second in the NL and fifth in MLB with a 2.32 team ERA.

Washington has hurt itself on defense, ranking 25th in fielding and giving up six unearned runs, but even accounting for the defensive woes, the squad has been outscored 14-13 straight up, and only four of the regulars are hitting above .200.

This after a spring that saw the Nats hit .250/.325/.398 and score 123 runs in 31 games, good for just 27th in MLB.

We’re just 1/27th of the way through the 2015 season, but the early returns, on top of that anemic spring training, may be reason to start thinking panic.

– Column by Chris Graham


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