The discussion of Bryce Harper and hustle has come up once again. John Kruk of ESPN blasted Bryce Harper for not running out a fly out in Tuesday's win over the Braves. I heard the play on the radio and Charlie and Dave were questioning whether Bryce Harper was hurt or if he was simply frustrated at himself. I quickly checked Twitter and no one else was talking about it. Bryce Harper in his next at bat hustled a single into a double and I stopped worrying.
What the real take away from this should be isn't that some ESPN talking head is upset about Bryce Harper's perceived lack of hustle. It's that Bryce Harper wasn't benched and then thrown under the bus by his manager. Matt Williams has developed a lot as a manager in his first season and a half and one of his early listens was not to call out your star player to the media. Since Matt Williams said nothing and did nothing we may get a few whimpers from people like John Kruk but it won't be the explosion of Rosenthal and Boswell columns about rifts in the Nats' clubhouse.
On the field the Nats starting pitching continued its brilliant performance of the last couple weeks. The combined shutout streak of Nats starting pitchers may have come to an end but Jordan Zimmermann has a personal shutout streak going and he has looked dominant in his last two starts. With all the injuries to position players the Nats needed the starting pitching to step up and it has in a big way.
While the pitching has been great the Nats offense hasn't hit any snags. They are still one of the top producing offenses in baseball and the depth of the organization is shining through in 2015. There are still improvements that can be made and now that it is July we are going to hear a lot more about them. Rumors are fun and I'm ready to see the wildest ones and everyone's rapid reaction and panic to any of them.