Five straight losses heading into the series opener with Miami after getting swept in four-straight in New York. Losses in seven of the last ten and 15 of 22 in the month of May. A 19-31 record overall after 50 games in 2019.
To get up to the 90-win threshold, they’d have to go 71-41 (a .634 winning percentage) over the final 112 games (for a team with a .380 PCT through 50 games).
So time to blow it all up and start planning for next year?
Time to move on from manager Davey Martinez, who started the night 101-111 fifty games into the second year of his three-year deal with the Nationals?
Nope. At least according to Washington’s GM Mike Rizzo, who met with reporters in the nation’s capital before the first of four with the Marlins in Nationals Park.
“There are lot of people in this group right here that predicted us to win 90-92 games and win the division and World Series,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo said on field pregame that #Nats current results are unacceptable. When Asked about Davey status talked about the team staying together and that Davey is as upset as anyone on staff and not happy about team play either— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) May 24, 2019
“That was our expectation coming into this and a third into the season I’m certainly not going to pull the pin on that and blow it up.”
While he’s not ready to wave the white flag on the 2019 campaign just yet, Rizzo was willing to acknowledge that things have not gone the way anyone expected them to coming into a season in which, as he mentioned, many expected the Nationals to compete for their fifth division title in the last eight years.
“We’re not making any decisions, like I said, with a third of the season gone and we’ve got a lot of season left. Davey is not happy with what’s going on. Nobody is happy with what’s going on, the fan base, the ownership and myself, and they -- things got to get better, we’ve got to play better baseball.”
The bullpen struggles (which had resulted in a major league-worst 7.02 ERA heading into Friday night’s game), the injuries, the baserunning mistakes, errors, injuries, disappearing offense at times, it’s all combined to put the Nationals in the position they’re in where the talk of blowing it all up had to be addressed.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around,” Rizzo said. “We’re playing poorly. Believe me, I’m just like a lot of the fan base, a lot of the players, and the coaching staff and the manager, it’s hard to watch sometimes, but we’re certainly not going to pull the plug before we’re a third of the way through the season. We’re a big league club, we’ve got a talented big league roster, and we’ve got to play better baseball. That’s it. We’re fairly spoiled in that clubhouse. We’ve won a lot of games for a lot of years, and we’re used to winning.
“It’s not happening right now, but we’re certainly not going to pull the plug on the season less than a third into it.”
Mike Rizzo, asked why he wouldn't point at the manager when many are: "Everyone's got their part in it. Management, general manager, everyone's got their part in how we're playing, just as we have for the past eight years of how well we've played. This is a team process."— Sam Fortier (@Sam4TR) May 24, 2019
Okay, okay we get it. The plug stays in for now. But how do you start to turn things around so that you don’t have to blow it all up eventually, unless, of course, that would be the way to go...
“Everyone’s got their part in it,” Rizzo said, as quoted by MASN’s Byron Kerr.
“Management, general manager - everyone’s got their part in how we’re playing, just as we have for the past eight years of how well we’ve played. This is a team process. There’s a lot of things that have to go right to win and we certainly have to turn around and play better baseball.”
Everyone is involved in the process of trying to get on the right track going forward, and they’re going to do what’s right for this season and the future.
“We’re fairly spoiled here where we’ve had winning records, we’ve been in first place for a lot of this last seven years,” Rizzo said.
“There are only three teams in baseball that have played over .500 baseball over the last seven years, so we’re certainly cognizant of the calendar and where we’re at in the standings, and we always have a one, three, and a five-year plan in our minds and that will continue.”
“We’re trying, together as a team, to put together a plan that helps us get better and get out of this drought that we’re in.”
The Nationals’ 12-10 win over the Marlins last night snapped their five-game losing streak, but it wasn’t pretty, as Martinez told reporters after the game.
“I know it’s a fight,” Martinez said, “and I told the boys, ‘Hey, keep fighting, keep fighting every day, the wins are going to come, the wins will pile up, just keep on fighting, keep playing baseball. Make it fun.’ I always tell them, ‘Don’t permit to pressure to exceed the pleasures of the game.’ It’s fun. Love it. The boys love it.
“I love watching them play, so love the game for what it is, and go out there and play.”