The Nats are 20-5 since Dan Uggla hit a game winning home run in Atlanta and they haven't lost back to back games over that same time period. This team is crazy hot right now and they've done it all without Rendon and with Strasburg pitching more like Yunesky Maya. The Nationals have won in a variety of ways in that stretch. They've won 2-1 games, 13-12 games, 10-0 games and all types of games between. The Nationals have comeback, they've jumped out to big leads and never let up, they've won squeakers, and they've won games where they've had to answer every half inning. It has been a fun stretch for the Nationals. It will end at some point, but I said this last week and it has lasted this much longer.
Because of the long weekend I didn't write one of these yesterday and because of that the Nationals won three games since you've last read a GMNT. The lone lose was another bad outing by Stephen Strasburg. His ERA is more than double what it was last season and that just isn't normal. This could be just a slump like Matt Williams says it is but it seems like something more. It could just be a slump. A slump is just another word for a mechanical issue whether it is in a swing or pitching mechanics, but it is far more likely that the mechanical issue is being caused by an injury that is clearly not an arm, back, or core issue and it probably isn't a hip issue either. The one injury we know about is Strasburg had an ankle issue in Spring Training and perhaps that has lingered and it isn't bad enough for Strasburg to be shutdown, but it is messing with his mechanics and not allowing him to locate his pitches.
One a positive note Bryce Harper has stayed hot but he hit so well the previous two weeks that even a good day causes his stats to drop. Bryce Harper went 1-3 with a double yesterday and lost .001 points off his SLG. That is how good he's done. 1-3 with a double causes his OPS to drop. There was no way Bryce Harper was going to stay as hot as he was. He wasn't going to hit .500 for the rest of the season, but Bryce Harper's batting eye is going to keep him from prolonged slumps and if he can have a couple more hot streaks even half as good as the last one then he's going to have a historic season and be one of the top candidates for NL MVP.