Obvious Answers

During the Nats five game losing streak they averaged 1.2 runs a game. For the season they have averaged 4.33 runs a game compared to an NL average of 4.23 and since the All-Star Break they have scored 4.59. There are very obvious reasons for all of these things. During the losing streak the Nats discovered one of the inevitable truths of baseball. If a team cannot score they cannot win. Here is another truth about the Nats offense that some might not realize. They are not a hit or miss offense.

Go all the way back to the Nats first five game losing streak at the end of April beginning of May and they averaged 1.4 runs a game. The Nats had a four game stretch with three at the Orioles and one at the Rockies in which they went 1-3 and scored 1.6 runs a game, but this is all pointing to a trend that once every two months the Nationals have a very bad stretch of games. If this is the pattern then the Nats next bad stretch of games will come at the end of October. If the Nats are still playing at that time then there is less reason to be upset.

Looking at the breakdown of how the Nats score it is very clear that they are a baseball team. Seriously look at the average scores of all the teams in the NL and they range from the Astros at 3.65 to the Cardinals at 4.86. It would stand to reason then that most baseball teams would play most of their games scoring somewhere between three to five runs and the Nationals have done exactly this in 54 games. In fact the Nationals have scored either three, four, or five runs in 18 games each. Tied for the most. Second is 16 games each for one or two runs. The Nats have only scored more than five runs on 37 different occasions.

The number of runs the Nats score in a game is fairly normal for a baseball team. The 54 games they have scored three, four, or five runs make up 42% of their games. Overall this scoring spread has occurred in the NL in 20% of the games. Meaning that the Nats are scoring within the average range of runs scored far more often than the average NL team. 

Believing that the Nationals exist at the extremes of runs score is ignoring the data that they are much more in the middle of the scatter plot than most NL teams. The Nats are not an all or nothing offense. They are a well balanced offense, and with Michael Morse and Jayson Werth both back in the line-up they are in fact a good offense. If Harper’s two homer game in Miami is any indication that he is about to get hot again and if one of Ryan Zimmerman, Ian Desmond, or Danny Espinosa can get hot then the Nationals offense isn’t just good it is great. 

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