Good Morning Natstown 5/14/15

Feels like it was just the other week that the Nats season was doomed.

We should all spend more time watching that Michael Taylor grand slam. Here, I even embedded it for you. Don't worry, I'll wait.

I remember back in 2012 when the Nationals were the last team in the majors to hit a grand slam and a large part of me wanted them to not hit one. How fun would it have been to have the Nats finish with the best record in baseball without having hit a grand slam?

The Nationals have been red hot for the past few weeks. They haven't lost a series since their 13-12 comeback victory over the Atlanta Braves. Bryce Harper and the Nats offense has gone nuts and the pitching has been slightly erratic but still among the best in the majors. It is fun to watch a team that can do multiple things well and even the defense has started to come around. The only remaining issue is all non-Drew Storen relievers. A few people like to blame Matt Williams for every failing of the Nationals bullpen but with him ejected from yesterday's game Matt Thornton still walked the left handed hitter he was supposed to get out and Aaron Barrett still allowed the inherited runner to score.

The Nats bullpen right now simply has too many match-up relievers to be managed properly. A team cannot survive needing a different reliever for every batter, and this becomes especially obvious when one of the batters reaches base. Think about it. You bring in Thornton to get a left hander out and he walks him and so on come Barrett to get a right hander and he gets him and then Grace for the next left hander and he gives up a single and now it's Treinen's turn to face a righty and he gets him to pop out and then it's another left and Solis' turn and he walks him and so Matt Williams gets him and brings on Roark to get the last out of the inning with the bases loaded and that would just get the Nationals through one inning.

The problem with Matt Williams isn't that he has a seventh inning guy in June or July. A team won't last long if the manager manages every game like it is an elimination game. The problem with Matt Williams is that when he was in an elimination game he left his best relievers in the bullpen and managed it like it was a random mid-season game and until the Nats are in that position again we won't know if Matt Williams learned from that mistake.

Tyler Clippard doesn't know why you people hate Strasburg.

Stephen Strasburg is struggling because none of his pitches are working.

And some think it's because he's hurt.


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