Nats must play near 'perfect baseball' to account for injuries

Chris Lingebach
May 01, 2019 - 7:17 pm

The Nationals are beyond the point of treading water at this point with Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman all sidelined with injuries.

The Nats must now play "much closer to perfect baseball," GM Mike Rizzo told The Junkies on In The Clubhouse, presented by Burke & Herbert Bank.

Washington's bullpen is starting to climb out of its funk, no longer owning the worst bullpen ERA in baseball (5.95 ERA, 29th), but now the bats have cooled, shifting from one imbalance to another.

"We're playing better baseball, cleaner baseball," Rizzo said. "Our pitching staff's giving us a chance to win games, bullpen is trending in the right direction. The starters always give us a chance. No matter if you score all your runs in one inning or multiple innings, you still have to outscore the opponents."

"We've got to find ways to maximize our offensive chances," he said. "And our offensive efficiency has to be even sharper now with three of our everyday bats out of the lineup, and really two of the most dynamic players in the National League out with Turner and Rendon. Runs are scarcer. Opportunities have to be embraced and they have to be maximized."

"We have to play much closer to perfect baseball than we have in the past, when you can out-bang the other team and out-thump them and just rely on your big horses," Rizzo continued. "We've got to play better, cleaner games. We have to maximize our chances.

"And when we have runners on base, guys on third, less than two outs, you have to be really efficient and score those runs, because the odds are your chances are lessened because you don't have three of your good bats in the lineup and you're relying on bench players to be everyday guys."

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