You are your record.
This sports expression means a player or team has to be honest and not make excuses. The wins and losses tell everyone how good (or bad) you are.
So let’s talk about the Washington Nationals. After Tuesday night’s game with the New York Mets, the Nats’ record is 16-25 (16 wins, 25 losses). The only team in the National League with a worse record is the Miami Marlins.
If you include last season’s disappointing record (82-80), the Nats have played more than 200 games and haven’t won even half of them.
So what’s wrong? Most baseball experts thought Washington would have a strong team this season. Let’s take a look:
Infield: I will admit the Nats have had more than their share of injuries. Shortstop Trea Turner played only four games before he broke a finger. Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon have also missed games because of injuries.
Still, even when everyone is healthy, the infield is not great. Turner and Rendon are good hitters and fielders at shortstop and third base, but Zimmerman and Brian Dozier are struggling at the plate. Catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki are steady, but overall the Nats infield is just okay.
Outfield: I know a lot of kids are excited about the Nats’ young outfielders, Juan Soto and Victor Robles, but they are not the kind of players who can carry a team . . . yet. Soto is hitting just .235, and Robles is hitting .250. I love Adam Eaton’s grit and hustle, but he isn’t a superstar either. So the Nats outfield is about average.
Pitching: The Nats top three starting pitchers — Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin — have been very good. They have a combined earned run average (ERA) of about 3.50. That means they give up about 3½ runs every nine innings. That’s good.
But the Nats’ next two starting pitchers — Anibal Sanchez and Jeremy Hellickson — have not been good. They give up five to six runs every nine innings. Sanchez has a record of 0-6.
Throw in a shaky bullpen — except for steady closer Sean Doolittle — and you can see why the Nats have trouble getting on a winning streak.
Can the Nats come back? Sure, they are only eight games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League’s East Division with more than 120 games remaining. There’s plenty of time.
But the Nats have to stop talking about how talented they are and how great they are going to be when they get everyone back from their injuries. They have to start winning more games or admit that they aren’t as good as they thought.
After all, you are your record.