By Michael Huberman
Runs per game: 3.42
Opponent runs per game: 3.42
Batting average: .207
Batting average against: .258
Team ERA: 4.06
Anthony Rendon, 2B – 10-23/1 HR/2 XBH/3 R/1.176 OPS
Rendon’s reputation as a hitter was no secret, but his excellent numbers at the plate have to be one of the more encouraging developments for the Nationals this season. In addition to hitting his first career home run, a game-winner Saturday night in Cleveland, Rendon is 17-for-43 (.395) with six doubles and has reached base safely in 11 consecutive games since his return to the majors.
Stephen Strasburg, SP – 0-1/5 IP/1 ER/1.80 ERA/4 BB/4 SO
In his first start since being activated off the disabled list, Strasburg showed little rust. In five innings Strasburg gave up only one hit, and though he received the loss, Nationals fans had to breathe a sigh of relief at the sight of their ace dominating, including one stretch when he retired eight straight Indians’ hitters.
Ross Ohlendorf, SP – 1-0/1.50 ERA/6 IP/2 H/2 SO
The former intern at the United States Department of Agriculture endeared himself to Nationals fans by shepherding the team to a win in his emergency start in Colorado. The Princeton grad with the old school windup completely shut down a potent Rockies lineup, allowing only one run in six innings of two-hit ball. Whether Ohlendorf makes another start as a member of the Nationals remains to be seen, but for one night he made an outstanding impression.
Ian Desmond, SS – 8-24/1 HR/6 RBI/2 SB/.887 OPS
With Troy Tulowitzki on the shelf for 4-6 weeks, could Desmond slide in to take his place in the All-Star Game? San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford was second to Tulowitzki in voting, and Milwaukee’s Jean Segura has the best numbers, but Desmond should certainly be in the conversation. Among NL shortstops, he’s first in doubles (12), third in home runs (9), second in RBI (34), fifth in average (.282), and third in slugging (.471).
Ian Krol, RP – 0-0/3.2 IP/0.00 ERA/0 H/5 SO
The 22-year-old, who was the “player to be named later” in the Michael Morse trade, has been sensational during his brief Nationals career. In 6 2/3 innings, Krol has given up just one hit and no runs, while striking out eight, leading to an impressive 11.37 strikeouts per nine innings.
Jordan Zimmermann, SP – 0-0/5 IP/6 ER/10.80 ERA/8 H/2 HR
Zimmermann wasn’t sharp in his outing Saturday against the Indians, as he gave up six earned runs, including two home runs. But in the big picture, Zimmermann has still been terrific for the Nationals, as he’s allowed less than two earned runs in eight of his last ten starts.
Adam LaRoche, 1B – 3-23/1 XBH/0 RBI/7 SO/.374 OPS
After putting up a .330/.416/.608 line in 97 at-bats in May, LaRoche has struggled mightily so far in June, to the tune of .235/.298/.314 in 51 at-bats. LaRoche started the month off hot, going 8-for-24 (.333), but in his last eight games, LaRoche is 4-for-27 (.148) with no extra-base hits and eight strikeouts.
Fernando Abad, RP – 0-2/6.00 ERA/2 IP/2 ER/6 H
Last week in this space we praised Abad for the 8 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings he pitched to start his career as a National. Since then he’s lost twice, including Monday night in Philadelphia, and given up six hits and two earned runs in two innings.
Denard Span, CF – 1-24/0 XBH/0 R/1 SB/.115 OBP
A career .281/.353/.385 hitter, Span’s numbers (.252/.307/.344) are the lowest of his career through 65 games this season. The lack of power isn’t a surprise, but Span’s inability to frequently get on base has to be alarming for the Nationals, especially when you consider he’s seeing the most pitches per plate appearance (4.00) of his