Man — who knew that all the rosy predictions for the Nats following the departure of Bryce Harper might actually have been the high-water mark for the year!
Here’s the scoop from SunTrust:
Memorial Day standings check - Teams to watch, worry about and more (ESPN)
Buster Olney is shocked that the Nats are this bad. Sam Miller thinks the Nationals can get back into it, but Jeff Passan wants the Nats to sell.
Where do the Nationals and Davey Martinez go from here? (ESPN)
In 2015, Nationals fans began booing Matt Williams every night outside his press conference room. Last week, the first boo came — and while everyone is pretending everything is okay, Davey Martinez is pleading with his players to take things a pitch at a time (which doesn't sound urgent?). But his job is indubitably in danger — then again, how can you possibly blame him for this mess?
With season’s first third over, the Nats need a streak — or three — to have a chance (WaPo)
The Nationals had the starting pitching. The offense did what felt like enough. The defense and bullpen imploded. The time for positivity is over: the Nationals, with a bullpen worth throwing in the dumpster, need to somehow knock off a few winning streaks to get back into contention. The only problem: the bullpen and defense are impossible to trust.
Max Scherzer's effort wasted by poor defense (MLB.com)
“Just don’t harp on today. I think we played good baseball the last four days. Today may be a little bit of a step back in that sense,” Trea Turner said. “But I think just keeping doing what we’re doing and continue that confidence.”
The Nationals continue to disappoint (Beyond the Box Score)
The Nationals have a 14.7% chance of sneaking into the Wild Card. Mainly, it's their bullpen that seems to be the problem — somehow, everyone regressed at once, and it hurts even more given how well Blake Treinen and Jesús Luzardo are doing. Also, nobody is really hitting save for Rendon, Kendrick, and Soto. They "should be so much better than they are," in the writer's words.
“It 100 percent puts things in perspective for me.” For Brian Dozier, and other Nationals, the real heroes aren’t hard to find (The Athletic)
Brian Dozier has friends overseas serving in the armed forces, and his grandparents served in WWII, so it always felt natural for him to honor those who serve before games in both Minneapolis and DC. Howie Kendrick and Sean Doolittle—both players from military families—volunteer with TAPS, and Kendrick almost joined the Navy himself.
TA30: In our May staff power rankings, it’s secret Viking magic, A-Rod’s Milwaukee ties and a bold Mets theory (The Athletic)
"You mean after eight years of things being problematic in places but ultimately hopeful and at least not an absolute disaster in Washington D.C., it has all of a sudden exploded into a full-blown crisis that requires immediate attention? Wow, the script-writers really are all out of new ideas."
Two unearned runs late deny Scherzer the win again in 3-2 loss (MASN)
Scherzer kept the Marlins from getting their big inning. Turns out, they didn't need one: two key errors at the end of the afternoon while Tanner Rainey and Kyle Barraclough were in did enough to send the Nats packing.
Updates on Sánchez, Zimmerman, Doolittle and Rosenthal (MASN)
Sánchez could be ready for Wednesday, while Sean Doolittle has made some corrections, and Ryan Zimmerman is still struggling to run for longer durations and is stuck in a rehab rut.
MLB: Twins, Yankees, Bellinger highlight early-season surprises (USA Today)
"Still, the Nationals desperately need to fix the bullpen bridge to Doolittle if they want to climb back into it — nothing demoralizes a team quite like blown late leads. Craig Kimbrel, meanwhile, remains a free agent."