If you were wondering what Manny Acta makes of the Nats’ struggles this season, the former manager was on ESPN 980’s Sports Fix Monday afternoon. (Audio here.)
“I am baffled by it,” said Acta, who’s currently working as an MLB analyst for ESPN. “Only the Florida Marlins have scored fewer runs than the Nationals. And that’s part of this game, where you just can’t predict. You can always project and you can always have expectations, but you can’t predict this game. Coming off last year we were counting on a lot of those guys just continuing to do what they were doing, and the younger kids continuing to get better. No one was expecting a guy like Danny Espinosa to take a step back, and we were hoping that LaRoche would do his thing and a few of the other guys to stay healthy.
“But it’s been a disaster, the offense, so far,” Acta continued. “I know that they have over 70 games to go to try to make it right, but that’s the main problem right now. Because you still have Strasburg, you have Gio and you have Zimmermann go out there to give you an opportunity to win every five days. But if you can’t score runs, things are not going to get any better….
“No one was expecting what’s going on right now,” Acta said. “We’re talking about guys with track records, and every single one of those guys has had success in the past. So what can you do? Start doing ridiculous stuff that’s really not going to help you out? Hopefully they just continue to grind it out, and the second half of the season they put it together and score runs by the bunches.”
Acta did not, however, think the Dodgers series last weekend was a death knell.
“I got news for you: that was just a tough start of the second half playing the Dodgers,” he said. “Those guys are on fire right now, and it was a tough draw for them right off the bat. The Dodgers are not going to be stopped for awhile. They’re too talented, everybody’s on a roll now, they’re adding people from the DL. So I believe that the Nats just got to put this behind them and just bounce back. This was not so much on the Nationals but on the Dodgers. Those guys are very, very talented.”
No word from Jim Riggleman yet.