Friday, May 11, 2012
OK Nationals... let's see if you are for real or not
Every year there is a team that starts off super hot out of nowhere.
Every year there is a team that makes people say "Wow! Is this team for real?"
A lot of times, the answer turns out to be "Nope." At this point of the season last year, the Indians were the best team in the American League. They finished as a sub .500 squad.
Sometimes the answer is "Holy Cow! Yes!"
Did you pick the Diamondbacks to win the NL West last year? Or the Padres to win 90 games in 2010? Or the '06 Tigers, the '07 Rockies or '08 Rays to make it all the way to the World Series?
Well here we sit with the Washington Nationals.
A team loaded with talent that jumped out to a 14-4 start.
A team with Strasburg and Harper, the potential new faces of the National League.
A team that took advantage of poor Philadelphia and Miami starts to leap from to the top of the standings.
Since that 14-4 start, they are 5-8 and lost some heart breakers to Los Angeles (who swept them) and Pittsburgh.
And Bryce Harper has seen his average dip under .270. Maybe Cole Hamels was onto something.
Miami seems to have righted themselves and the Braves are playing well (so are the Mets). And the Phillies are a modest winning streak away from getting into the thick of it.
As the Nationals enter Cincinnati, they need to start to make a stand. Memorial Day is the first unofficial test of a team. Pretenders tend to fall off around the 1/3 mark.
I'd like to see the Nationals be for real.
Show that you are... or fall by the way of the 2009 Kansas City Royals. They were in first place at this point of the season. They finished with 97 losses.
Did you remember them?
Didn't think so.