The Washington Nationals are at the bottom of just about every statistical category in the major leagues. They are hitting .259 which is 16th in the league, but obviously it is not enough. The pitching in general for the Nats is terrible seeing as the staff leads the major leagues with a 5.34 ERA. It's not just the pitching though. As many fans know, the defense of the Washington Nationals has been utterly atrocious. With 60 errors, the Nats lead the next team (Florida) by 6 errors. They average almost an error a game and when the pitching is this bad, the team is not giving itself a chance to win.
The Washington Nationals do not have to go out and buy expensive, amazing fielders. Rather, it is all in the mindset the manager instills in his players. It is clear that the fielders are not focused in on every play. If the opposing team scores a few runs, the mindset is, "hear we go again". The players are not involved in the game and they make the errors. The Nationals must spend more time in practice working on ground balls and making good solid throws. The team gave the Rays three extra outs to deal with which ended up resulting in a loss for the Nationals. If the Nats can focus on tightening up its defense, that will give them more chances to win.
The starting pitching of the Nationals has had its ups and downs throughout the season. The one bright spot might be Shairon Martis' impressive performances. In 12 starts Martis has compiled a 5.04 ERA, but is 5-1. Other than that, the pitching staff is not good at all. The inconsistency in this pitching staff to get guys out and to minimize the damage has been the story of this 2009 season. It might help however, if the pitchers had a solid reliable defense behind them. Turning the double play, making the throw from 3rd to 1st and even getting the ball to the right cut off man will help this struggling staff. Good defense instills confidence, that will help the pitching staff and eventually the hitting will come.