This week didn’t start out very well for the Washington Nationals in one of the most hyped series of the season against the New York Yankees. An uncomfortable sweep got some asking questions about whether the Nats had what it took to be a competitive team.
One thing to draw from the past week: The Yankees are really good, as usual, but the Nats are a force be reckoned with, too. The Nats did a pretty good job handling the Tampa Bay Rays in a weird weekday series win.
It’s hard to give the Nats a score better than average when the go 2-6 over the course of a week, but a few things redeem them. First, the created some controversy and interest by calling out Rays (and former Nats) reliever Joel Peralta for having an illegal “foreign substance” on his glove. He got an eight-game suspension, which he’s appealing, but it still drew a ton of interest. This move brought the grade up from a C- to a C in my book. There’s no room for cheating in baseball.
But ultimately, despite being swept by the Yankees, the Nats got a series win against the Rays and showed some resiliency. They’re 9-6 in interleague play and continue to show they’re here to stay.
Player Of The Week: Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond has had a nice all-around week. He had three errors in three games in the Yankees series, but put together a few web gems in the Rays series to make up for it. He’s hit safely in every game this week and hit two home runs while he was at it. It wasn’t a great offensive week for the Nats in general, but Desmond was certainly the Nats player who strived the most.
The Nationals Weekly Report Card is released at the end of every week (Thursday evening or Friday morning depending on schedule) to give the grade on the Nats prior week's performance.