The Nationals at the Break

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This toaster is just like our season; We burnt everyone and we too had the option for frozen, as it applied to our offense at times.

Here we stand at the midway point of the baseball season. Or, if you’re someone like Rich Garces, here we sit. It’s much too tiring to stand up with all that weight. Baseball has reached a point when many people take time to rest and many others take time to analyze each team’s performance to this point. Given I am unemployed and thus have been doing nothing but rest for weeks, I’ll give the latter a shot and look at how the Nationals have done to this point in the season.

The Nationals currently sit atop the National League with a 49-34 record, 4 games up on Atlanta in the division. It’s the biggest turnaround for something out of Washington since William Howard Taft struggled to face the other way when somebody called his name. Based on their success to this point, the Nats have currently exceeded an already high level of expectations. Their approval rating is at an all time high and they have accomplished a great deal, which is amazing considering the contrasting viewpoints amongst players on the team. We have liberals like Tom Gorzelanny, who is clearly liberal with his hygiene, and conservatives like Davey Johnson, who only holds those views because Calvin Coolidge was a childhood friend of his.

This team produced four All-Stars, a record high for the franchise. Strasburg, Gonzalez and Harper will be playing while Ian Desmond will do what makes him most valuable to a team, being elsewhere. These nominations are a testament to the great pitching staff the Nationals have, as well as the current overhyping of certain young players attitude that the media has. It’s nice to have multiple All-Stars that have played for this franchise that don’t devolve into embarrassing names rather quickly. Sure Ryan Zimmerman was always a good one to say, but nobody really wants to be blamed for being responsible for having Cristian Guzman making the game just cause each franchise had to be represented.

The team’s batting leaders are the players everybody expected; Tom Gorzelanny is batting .500, Stephen Strasburg is at .360, and Jhonatan Solano sits at .355. Furthermore, the OPS leaders were even more predictable; Stephen Strasburg – 1.047, Jhonatan Solano – 1.020, and Sean Burnett/Tom Gorzelanny – 1.000. Hooray for small sample sizes. Without them this joke wouldn’t be possible, and also going to Costco wouldn’t be as fun. I sure do love their samples.

Many of the Nationals players were plagued by injuries this season. Mike Morse spent a lengthy amount of time on the DL, Ryan Zimmerman was plagued by a weak shoulder, and God made it very clear that he despises Nationals catchers. The curse of the catcher was perhaps the strangest series of injuries, with Wilson Ramos and Sandy Leon going down in horrifying crippling events one after another. Carlos Maldonado too experienced injury, but he was Carlos Maldonado so few took notice. Jesus Flores has been a decent fill-in, and Solano has been a shocking offensive presence in his brief time behind the plate. I guess he must have learned English from George Carlin.

Another huge injury loss was that of Jayson Werth, who went down after triumphantly beating the Phillies. At the time I really appreciated Werth’s effort, but looking at it now, Werth wasn’t that special. Everyone can beat the Phillies.

Xavier Nady and Chien-Ming Wang currently sit out with “injuries.” Remember when it was revealed that North Korean officials staged car accidents to get rid of unwanted people in power? I’m not saying this is the same thing but…

Ian Desmond leads the Nationals with 82 games played, just one under the maximum. He also is in 2nd place on the team  for errors with 12, right behind the guy who decides to start Ian Desmond everyday, Davey Johnson, who has 82.

One of the most exciting stories of the season was the call-up of Bryce Harper just over two months ago. The young 19-year old has made his mark on the league; some of his eye black probably rubbed off on it. He’s put up a .826 OPS with 8 HR and 10 SB. He has delighted fans with his driven attitude, exciting style of play, and impromptu use of the word “clown.” Opposing hitters are afraid to face the kid, maybe because they had a traumatizing experience at the circus as a young child. Harper has made it clear he likes Washington and being a part of this team. This could be the start of our first franchise star, our Mickey Mantle (which would assumably delight local bartenders and anger fellow churchgoers).

The rotation has done what everyone (but John Lannan) had hoped. Sure there was a little curious decision to bump Detwiler for Wang for a bit. But just like Wang’s affair, everyone ultimately found out the truth, and he was shamed for his failures. Strasburg is the ace everyone desires, except when your opponent already has a pair of them. Gio has been a rock in both name and performance. His Giology and Giometry lesson plans are some of the worst in the nation from a grades perspective, since everyone fails when they face him. But from a happiness perspective, well I’m thrilled with them. Although many Asian baseball players’ parents are tremendously disappointed with their inability to pass Gio’s classes.

Jordan Zimmermann is actually arguably the best of the Nationals starters based on some statistics, none of which Murray Chass is willing to mention between the mouthfuls of the shit he probably eats. Edwin Jackson has been a fine signing, building up his value so he may be purchased by the highest bidder next year. Something doesn’t seem right about that. At the backend, Ross Detwiler has been a very nice surprise. I guess finally cutting off his testicles made him a lot calmer and got rid of all those unwanted tendencies.

The bullpen has been a key in both our successes and our failures. The loss of Drew Storen was an emotionally traumatizing experience for his likely lover Tyler Clippard. But like many widows of war, Tyler has overcome such a horrible experience and found a way to move on that nobody could have ever imagined. Tyler has filled in as closer, going 14 for 15 in save opportunities. However, reports are that Storen will be returning soon, and what will happen then? Has a war widow ever found that the country made a mistake and that their spouse survived? If so, did they welcome back the dead with open arms, or did they continue to save baseball games? We will have to see.

There are however some…unwanteds that have been in our bullpen. Brad Lidge, with his many sacrifices, ultimately potentially sacrificed his career by doing terrible. The Nationals released him, which caused us to release our clenched sphincters which had been that way because of stress when he came into pitch. Henry Rodriguez experienced a lot of wildness at one point, leading me to believe he might follow Parise and Suter after this season is over. He might be fixed though, and we saw how fixing helped Detwiler. Tom Gorzelanny is very unattractive. That’s all I really have to say, his performance has been surprisingly decent, but I just can’t get over the fact that we have Sloth in our pen.

Lastly, there is Sean Burnett. Sean Burnett, for the most part, has been good. Yes, that sentence confuses me greatly as well. There have been some occasions though where Sean, as we like to put it, fucked the house. Perhaps he’ll be moved to a 7th inning role when Storen returns, I don’t know. What I do know is that my front door is deathly afraid whenever it hears footsteps. The mail slot is not meant for that.

This has been a recap of the Washington Nationals season to this point. I hope you enjoyed reading it. If you didn’t, then why did you finish it?

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