Nationals are forced to make 2018 their year

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Nationals are forced to make 2018 their year

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Oliver Walke

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Nearly 30 games into the 2018 MLB season, and with still roughly 80 percent of the regular season left to play, the Washington Nationals are off to somewhat of a slow start with a 12-16 record. However, the Nationals’ stars are showing out, with Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer near the top of most major categories, and Trea Turner and Michael A. Taylor showing their aggressiveness on the basepath.

The Nationals’ mediocre record can be attributed to being in the middle of the pack in most pitching categories, and some hopefully minor injuries. Inconsistent starts from the team’s fourth and fifth starters and a shaky bullpen are the source of the team’s mediocre ERA.

Adam Eaton made his return to the Nats this year on Opening Day after suffering a torn ACL just a few games into last years season. He got off to a red-hot start, earning an NL Player of the Week award. Unfortunately, he aggravated his ankle, forcing him to take some time off. Additionally, second baseman Daniel Murphy is recovering from an offseason surgery, but should be back.

With 2018 being the last year in the contracts of many key pieces of the team, including star Bryce Harper, this is the year that the Nationals have to get over the hump of the first round of the playoffs that has plagued them over the past few seasons. Nats fans are very aware of these circumstances, and are very skeptical of the team, especially considering their poor start to the season. Thankfully, barring anything catastrophic, the Nationals should win their division, but due to their recent history, playoff results are in question. Fans can only hope that with their backs against the wall, the Nationals will step up and come through in the playoffs in 2018.