Because of the way the Washington Nationals have played this season many people have compared the 2013 Nats to the 2010 Nats. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There was a point in time when that team was hanging around .500 but they did so because players like Pudge Rodriguez, Cristian Guzman, and Luis Atilano over performed in the early part of the season. If anything 2013 is the opposite of 2010. The Nats have reached basically the same point, hovering around .500, by massive under performance. The last day that team was at .500 was May, 31 after beating Roy Oswalt and the Astros 14-4. It was all downhill from there and on the morning of June 20th that team was seven games under .500. Through May 31 or the time the team was .500 or better they hit .259/.334/.413 with a roster few would describe as better than the 2013 Nationals. After that date they hit .246/.311/.379. If anything the massive turnaround that team suffered should give Nationals fans hopes. If a team hovering around .500 with a terrible roster can finish the season with 93 losses can’t a great roster hovering around .500 finish the season with 93 wins.
The point of bringing up 2010 was only partly to poke holes in everyone’s favorite myth. There is also the Roy Oswalt factor. Oswalt was the pitcher the Nats beat on the last day he was .500 and not only did they beat him they destroyed him. They ended up winning 14-4, but there was an even bigger story from the 2010 season involving Roy Oswalt and the Nats. Heading into the series against the Astros it was very clear that Oswalt was going to be traded, and the Nats were hovering around .500 and needed an Ace. They also happened to have Stephen Strasburg in the minors, and one former GM thought it would be a brilliant idea for the Nats to trade Strasburg for Oswalt, because as Nats fans heard time and time again with the Strasburg shutdown last season, “Winning isn’t guaranteed and teams have to take advantage of the opportunities when they arise.” With the Nats facing Roy Oswalt tonight now is a fun time to relive the exciting memories of Steve Phillips saying it would be a great idea to trade Strasburg for Oswalt.
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