SNIDER: It's gonna be a long season for Nats

Rick Snider
April 05, 2019 - 2:36 pm
Washington Nationals have had an up-and-down opening week.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

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It was only a week, but the Nationals turned a 3-3 start into a grind that portends what a long season lies ahead.
 
Two walk-off wins. A shutout loss in the opener. Max Scherzer went 0-2 despite only allowing a pair of solo homers and another run charged thanks to bullpen woes. Trea Turner is out for a month or so thanks to a broken finger on a bunt. Matt Adams flipped over a rail. The team gave up multiple outs on the base paths. Bryce Harper returned to haunt them for two games with a big bat flip towards the Nats dugout after a homer that meant just what you think it meant. Naturally, there was a rain delay, too.
 
Whew – that’s quite an opening week.
 
And yet, despite sucking the air out of the stadium for the home opener and Harper’s return when everyone was watching, the Nationals managed to scratch their way back to .500 in an NL East that promises to be competitive all season if the Phillies don’t run away with it early.
 
Some days, this team looked hopeless. Others games showed resilience. There’s just no telling what the next 156 games bring, but probably everything we’ve already seen in one week.

The Nats seem to always suffer bad luck with injuries so why won’t more come? Scherzer rarely gets run support. If baserunning is an art instead of a science, the Nats make it look like a Picasso.
 
The problems of last year’s disappointing 82-80 season are still there. Luckily, so are strengths like Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, and Sean Doolittle. If Washington could cut down on strikeouts with 69, ninth-most overall, and play smarter, it has a chance.
 
But, all we know so far is get ready for a long ride of feast and famine. It’s a long season.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks.

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