Monday, August 14, 2017
The story so far: two days ago, Bryce Harper wound up on the 10 day DL.This had made people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move.
The Nationals have had the insane upswing of momentum since the top of the season, and have held onto the NL East with an iron fist, partially due to the return of Bryce Harper to the throne. Thanks to his injury...actually, I was gonna do a 'things have gone downhill', but this isn't a team that completely revolves around one player. Even with Harper gone, Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg are still playing some phenomenal baseball. This is the furthest thing from a one-horse team.
Last season, Max Scherzer won the Cy Young by winning 20 games, getting 285 strikeouts and finishing with a 3.00 ERA. Right now, he's on track to do even better, with a 2.25 ERA, 12 wins, and 220 strikeouts. With a month and a half left in the season, he could definitely top that, but even if he doesn't, there's still an insane Gio Gonzalez performance and a consistently-dominant Strasburg performance that will supplant it. I'm thinking this is another Cy Young year for Scherzer (the injury to Kershaw may have lessened his chances a bit), and he's showing no sign of slowing down.
Even more importantly, with the team's unofficial leader on the DL, Anthony Rendon is taking up the mantle and arguably playing better baseball than Harper did, with a higher WAR, and some better defensive abilities. If (god forbid) Harper doesn't get another MVP this year, Rendon could be a sleeper favorite.
The Nats are going into the last stretch of the season as the heavy favorites in terms of teams not named 'The Dodgers', and I'd love to see them get at least one playoff series win. They've been at this for years, and they deserve something to show for it, especially with the wide range of excellent performances this year.
Coming Tomorrow- That Twins player I thought I was supposed to post tonight.