After nineteen games and twelve losses, including three straight to the Miami Marlins this weekend in Florida's Marlins Park, Washington Nationals' skipper Matt Williams was asked if there was a point at which you can no longer say that "it's early" and think things like the botched rundown on Sunday, the errors and the offensive issues will sort themselves out?
"Early, mid, late, if we don't execute then we will get beat," Williams said.
"And if we don't do things right then we will get beat. That's simple baseball.
So, regardless of what month it is -- granted, we do have some guys that are coming back from injury that it takes time to get in the flow -- but we still have to get things done on the baseball field. Nobody cares whether we've got guys coming back off the disabled list who haven't had a whole lot of at bats. The other team certainly doesn't care. So we need to grind and we need to make sure that we're doing it right."
Asked if changes need to be made, in terms of the current roster, Williams said, "No."
"I don't think so," he explained. "I think there [are] certainly some guys that we want to get going.
"But ultimately it comes down to execution whether it's getting a guy in from third, or driving in a run, or the rundown today or not giving the other team extra opportunities. That's essentially our season so far in a nutshell."
"That being said," Williams continued, "personnel changes? No. It's the same guys that we've had and they're good players. And they can do well. Times like this test your mettle. But how do we come out of it is the question? So we'll continue to work very, very hard at it."
Though Williams said he doesn't think personnel changes are needed right now...
One former Nationals' GM was wondering this weekend if bullpen help was needed?:
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal talked to people who suggested the Nationals should make a play for the Phillies' closer:
Oh, and Jon Heyman was all over the place with Nats stuff yesterday, like this first one about Anthony Rendon maybe coming back to play... second?:
• "But word from people close to the situation is that the Nationals may still decide to have Escobar to play mostly or only third even after Rendon returns, and instead move Rendon to second." - "Escobar may stay at 3B after Rendon returns (Nats: no decision yet) - CBSSports.com
icymi: "flat" and "lifeless" nats look like they could use a hug. http://t.co/Pcdsw0numU— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 27, 2015
• "The Washington Nationals, everybody's favorites before the season started, are playing miserably." - "Nats playing miserably; perhaps just as bad, some seem depressed" - Jon HeymanCBSSports.com
And just when I was starting to like Max:
• "And while Scherzer said he enjoys hitting, after seeing the Wainwright accident, Scherzer said it's probably time for both leagues to go to a DH system." - "In Wainwright wake, Nats' Scherzer advocates for DH in both leagues" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
icymi: in waino wake, scherzer, who enjoys the challenge of hitting, says it's time for DH in NL. http://t.co/i7ToCB0BpN— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 27, 2015
• "The Nationals are hitting .218 after mustering only four hits on Sunday and four runs in the three-game series with the Marlins." - "Exploring the Washington Nationals' many flaw" - Mark Simon, Stats & Info - ESPN
NATS BEAT: Scherzer's thumb, Nationals vs Marlins, Rundowngate
• "If the Nationals look to Syracuse instead, they would likely choose between Taylor Jordan or A.J. Cole. Syracuse did not play Thursday, so no starter is directly on turn to pitch Tuesday." - "Max Scherzer, ‘dealing with a little sprain’ in right thumb, ‘not ready to rule out’ Tuesday start (UPDATED)" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "Nationals manager Matt Williams addressed Scherzer's condition after today's loss to the Marlins." - "Nationals Pastime: Williams planning for Scherzer to miss Tuesday's start" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Scherzer hurt the thumb against the Cardinals on Thursday while in the batter's box. The swelling increased the next day..." - "Scherzer could miss start with thumb injury" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Nats swept by Fish:
• "Obviously, given the shutout, it was Washington’s worst offensive performance of the season, too." - "The Nationals on what is going wrong, what must change" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
• "Sunday’s loss was the latest in a string of unsightly ballgames, a game that (like others before it) turned on a ghastly defensive miscue by the Nationals." - "Still searching for answers" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "After starting the season 1-for-22, Hechavarria has been one the Marlins' hottest hitters." - "Harper homers as Nats tripped up in Miami" - Joe Frisaro and Bill Ladson, nationals.com
Jordan Zimmermann’s K% has dropped more than 10% from 2014 (22.8% to 12.2%). Anyone worried?— Beyond the Box Score (@BtBScore) April 26, 2015
• "'I'm not worried,' right fielder Bryce Harper said. 'Do I look worried?'" - "Nationals Pastime: Nats' troubling five-game losing streak is reason for concern" - Chris Johnson, MASNSports.com
• "Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez showed Sunday afternoon that it's not wise to come home all the time." - "Gio's homecoming start derailed in 4th inning" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• "Neither Escobar nor Ramos spoke about the play after the game." - "Nationals botch a rundown, fall 6-2 to Marlins as losing skid hits five" - Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post
Gio: "As a starting pitcher, you have to go out there and minimize the damage and it’s obvious I didn’t do that."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) April 26, 2015
• "Despite the bad luck on the field, Williams does not feel changes should be made to the roster." - "Williams preaches patience on losing streak" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com
• Low-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (8-9) managed to win a pair of one-run games against the Lakewood BlueClaws (8-10) over the weekend, coming away with a split of the four-game series." - "Suns win a pair of one-run games to split series in Lakewood" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News
• High-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals (9-8 Overall, 4-6 Home) dropped both of their doubleheader contests on Sunday at Pfitzner Stadium to the Lynchburg Hillcats..." - "Potomac Nationals Doubleheader Game Recap vs. Lynchburg HillcatsPotomac Nationals News
LHP Matthew Spann pitched 5.0 innings, allowed 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk and he struck out 4. 6-3 Hillcats heading to the top of the 7th— Potomac Nationals (@PNats42) April 26, 2015
• Double-A Harrisburg: "A home run by Reading's Gustavo Pierre in the top of ninth inning proved to be the game-winner in the Fightin' Phils 4-3 victory over the Harrisburg Senators in front a lively crowd of 4,386 Sunday at Metro Bank Park." - "Ninth Inning Homer Dooms Harrisburg" - Perry Mattern, Harrisburg Senators News
• Triple-A Syracuse: "The Chiefs hit the road and open a four-game series with the defending Governor's Cup Champion Pawtucket Red Sox tomorrow. A.J. Cole is scheduled to start for Syracuse." - "Rochester Red Wings beat Syracuse Chiefs , Taylor Jordan, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Aaron Hicks, Cutter Dykstra" - Syracuse Chiefs News
• "Nationals catching coordinator Michael Barrett has seen the acceleration by the 19-year-old Reetz firsthand. Barrett said Reetz looked the part of a catcher, offensively and defensively." - "Reetz making big strides in less than one full year with Nationals" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com
Jakson Reetz making big strides in less than one full year with Nationals http://t.co/UHU4mkXNsF— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) April 27, 2015
• Braves: "In 73 career games against the Nats, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has hit .323 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - April 27, 2015" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com Preview
Jason Grilli (@GrillCheese49) April 26, 2015
• Marlins: "Adeiny Hechavarria, hitting in the No. 8 spot, has emerged as one of the hottest hitters in baseball and he shows no sign of slowing down..." - "Hechavarria extends hit streak to nine games" - Chrisy Cabrera Chirinos, Sun Sentinel
• Mets: "Good teams can play bad games. The key now for the New York Mets is to prove that Sunday night's 6-4 loss to the New York Yankees was just that..." - "Mets show good teams can lose ugly games" - Danny Knobler, Mets Blog - ESPN
• Phillies: "Philadelphia Phillies' ace Cole Hamels has been on the receiving end of some of the hottest takes baseball has to offer, both during the off-season and amid his early season struggles." - "Cole Hamels' consistent April struggles" - Spencer Bingol, Beyond the Box Score