Nats Need To Take Division On The Highway And Open It Up Wide

The Washington Nationals suffered their first loss of 2012 on Sunday as they dropped a close 4-3 contest to the Chicago Cubs. Adam LaRoche jacked a two-run homer in the game, his second home run in two days. Rumor has it that every time LaRoche takes a big swing with the bat he can be heard mumbling “Prince this!” under his breath.

So it is the first loss of the season. Big deal. The Nats need to scrape it off like the burnt part of their morning toast and move on to the grits and gravy. They took the series and if they at least took every series of the season without a sweep, I’d be okay with that. It is how they rebound from this first loss that will be the interesting thing.

And it is important they rebound. Take one glance at the early 2012 NL East standings and you realize the division is for the taking right now or at least a team can stake an early season claim to the division if they play their cards (and the game) right. Just look at it. The New York Mets lead the division right now, but everyone knows that isn’t going to last. The Braves can’t seem to find their asses, the Phillies are reeling and Chase Utley’s career might as well be over and Ozzie Guillen has already sent Miami into a world of drama over some Fidel Castro comments.

Bah! The division is yours for the taking, Nats, if only you can find your bats. They’ve been lucky so far, but they need to start hitting and start working the opposing starters. It would be great if Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth could get their bats moving. Zimmerman is a slow starter so he will eventually get going, but Werth is another matter.

My apprentice, Dr. W, texted me yesterday with, “Jayson Werth is all beard and no bite.” Hard to deny this has been true thus far in 2012. For a guy talking big about winning, changing the team’s “Natitude” and such it would help if he would actually contribute with the bat. Werth is the only starter not to collect a hit so far this season. He has a couple walks, but he also is tied for the most strike outs on the team with LaRoche (5). The 2011 season might have been a fart in the wind in Werth’s mind, but he has got to be careful because there is an odor in the air in 2012 too and so far it stinks.

Edwin Jackson gets the call Monday night at Citi Field to send the Mets crashing back to earth. Jackson will also be looking to post the first win of the season by a Nationals starter. A lot riding on this game like a fat guy riding a pony.

I hope that made sense.