Oh Nationals, didn’t we almost have it all?
The best record in baseball. The best young pitcher in the league. The best young hitter in the league. A new stadium. Davey Johnson. The 2012 season was a dream.
Which is what makes the nightmare of 2013 — at least so far — so hard to take. Stephen Strasburg, the man with the golden arm, has never looked comfortable on the mound. Now he’s sidelined with something called a lat strain. Bryce Harper, the wooden-batted wunderkind, is on the disabled list because of a knee injury. He’s meeting with renowned orthopedic surgeon (and tremendous winter-hat wearer) James Andrews on Monday.
Then there is the disaster happening on the field. Heading into Friday night, the Nationals were 29-30 and in third place in the National League East behind the Atlanta Braves (tomahawk chop = worst cheer ever) and some team called the Philadelphia Phillies. This for a Nats squad that both ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated picked to win it all this year.
The baseball season is long, and the Nationals still have more than 100 games to play. But at the moment, that shining 2012 season feels so very far away.
The Washington Nationals, for not being able to bring back that winning feeling, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Have a candidate for the Worst Week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.