Drive Around The League: Nats in distress after 4-7 start

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

The Nationals have lost three straight and a half of a fourth game after getting rained out in the sixth inning against Baltimore Sunday night.

Previewing the most pressing Nats topics in a weekly video series, in this Drive Around The League — brought to you by your Greater Washington Area Hyundai Dealers — 106.7 The Fan's Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier discuss:
Pocket Aces

After proving they could lead a team to a World Series title, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg have shown they can just as easily crater the Nats' season with their absence. With Scherzer battling a hamstring injury that limited his last start to one lone inning, and Strasburg fighting threw a nerve issue in his pitching hand and going 4.1 innings in his season debut on Sunday, the dual aces have combined to pitch only 18 innings for Washington this season, a true recipe for disaster if this pace keeps up.

Missing Rendon

It was obvious coming into 2020 that if the Nationals stood any chance at surviving life without Anthony Rendon, they would need to find more offense from a number of guys. The Nats (35) trail only the St. Louis Cardinals (18) in runs scored after 11 games, with the latter having played six fewer games. At 3.18 runs per game, the Nats are averaging 2.2. fewer runs per game than they did across their entire 2019 regular season.

Doubting Doolittle

With an 18.00 ERA after just four outings (2.0 innings pitched), Sean Doolittle is missing some serious life on his fastball as he's clearly shown his arm isn't built up to where it needs to be. The short-term solution, Grant & Danny say, is to not have Doolittle pitch in any competitive games. Longer term, if the Nats can't get Doolittle right, they're in big trouble.