After running up an MLB-high 102 losses in 2008, the Nationals hoped to turn things around in 2009, starting with the signing of OF Adam Dunn. At 0-7, though, they remain the only winless team in Major League Baseball, and unfortunately there does not look to be any light at the end of this tunnel. Their -20 run differential ranks last in the NL, and that is despite a league-high BABIP of .349 to start the season. The highest BABIP for any team in a season since 2002 was last year's Rangers at .329, so as hard as it is to believe, the Nationals' luck is bound to run out in the long run. However, hitting has not been the problem for the Nationals thus far this season, as their 4.9 runs per game through the first 7 games ranks in the middle of the pack of the NL. The real problem for the DC team has been their pitching staff, which has given up the most runs per game in the NL. Fortunately for the Nats, the staff has been pretty unlucky, giving up a .350 BABIP and a 59.2 left on base percent, both last in the majors. Neither one of these statistics is likely to remain so extreme in the long run, so there is some hope for improvement in the pitching staff. However, the other pitching metrics don't indicate a staff that seems ready to turn around the season. They rank 26th in K/BB and 28th in FIP. Finally, the Nats' rank 25th in ultimate zone rating, so their fielding is also pretty poor.
Attendance at the new stadium in 2008 was unsurprisingly low considering the dismal results on the field, and 2009 has somehow started off even worse. I plan to head down to the stadium some time in the near future, and hopefully by then the Nats will have managed to win a game, but either way at least the fans can look forward to the #1 pick in the June draft and the addition of young phenom Stephen Strasburg to the farm system.
Meanwhile, the Twins lost 12-2 to fall to 4-6 on the season. The team is now averaging only 3.7 runs through its first 10 games. If only hitting were as easy as George makes it seem:
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