The Nats—seemingly against all odds—crushed the best team in the NL for their second—second! it’s May 10th!—series-opening win of the season.
Quick, bring the optimism back out!
Here’s the low-down from LA:
Nationals bullpen is so bad they should consider using an opener (WaPo)
The Nats' relievers have allowed 29 more runs than expected in any given situation, worse than any bullpen since 1974. It's so underwhelming that Davey Martinez should start the game with a reliever—say Joe Ross or Erick Fedde—for one or two innings and then throw in a starter to make everyone's life a little easier.
Rosenthal: The Nationals once again find themselves a team on the brink (The Athletic)
Other teams have had far more injuries than the Nats and stayed above .500. Ken Rosenthal decided to dive into the case for and against Davey Martinez — how responsible is he actually? And can the Nats ever find managerial continuity, especially given that they're "damned if they do and damned if they don't" with Davey, who can't seem to evolve into a presence, and a team without any more prospects to promote? (Also: Ken Rosenthal hints here for the first time this decade that Mike Rizzo may be on the hot seat and that people within the Nats' organization think he didn't prepare his relievers well enough this spring.)
Gerardo Parra gets fresh start; Juan Soto, Trea Turner on track to return (MASN)
"‘He hits righties really, really well. We’re going to get him in against some right-handed pitching. He’s also another back up first baseman for us if we need him. But I like his style, I like the way he plays. He plays real hard. He knows how to play the game,’ Martinez said.”
How do Nationals flip narrow losses into narrow wins? (MASN)
In the Nats' last ten losses, they've led in the seventh, tied in the tenth, led in the fifth, trailed by one since the fourth, led in the sixth, led in the seventh, tied in the seventh, and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth. These games are winnable — but the defense isn't getting better and the offense still isn't putting the ball in play.
Nationals sign veteran outfielder Gerardo Parra to one-year deal (WaPo)
Andrew Stevenson went to the DL, and Parra, with his paltry .198 year thus far, will take his place — though it's unclear where he fits on the roster in the longer run unless he serves primarily as a backup first baseman.
Nationals’ morale ‘not great’ as losses pile up (WaPo)
There isn't music playing in the Nats' clubhouse these days post-losses. Davey Martinez thinks they've been playing with urgency on a daily basis; Adam Eaton thought the team had been pressing for weeks. No matter what, nobody is too excited in the clubhouse these days.
MLBTR Poll: Is It Time For Nats To Make A Managerial Change? (MLBTR)
Make your voice heard over at MLBTR about why Davey Martinez needs to stay/go/replace Screech.
When you can fire Davey (Sweetspot — Nationals Baseball)
When the Nats don't like the way a player—say, Adrian Sánchez—is performing, they send him down. It's a harder measurement to make on a manager, but what few definitive numbers there are suggest that Davey Martinez doesn't manage the team towards wins. Then again, it may be too dramatic to send Martinez out the door right now as well — don't expect a move until June if things keep going wrong.
What scouts like -- and don't -- in the NL East (MLB.com)
They don't really know what to think about the Nats because they're so injured — but the bullpen, shockingly, doesn't seem all that good.