The Underachieving of the Washington Nationals

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The Washington Nationals a team many picked to win the World Series this year have not lived up to those expectations so far this year. At the halfway point the Nationals sat at one game over .500 (41-40) trailing the Atlanta Braves by six games. The offense this year has had to deal with many injuries with regulars such as Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper all spending significant time out of the lineup. However, on July 1st the Nationals welcomed back Harper into the lineup. 15-16 Since May 26th (The day Harper went on the disabled list) the Nats offense has been the primary culprit of their losing ways. The left fielders who replaced Harper combined for the lowest WAR (Wins above Replacement) among left fielders in the National League. Harper returned with a bang as he homered on the second pitch he saw, resulting in a curtain call for him. The Nats offense was sparked by him and went on to score ten runs and defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 10-5. The Nationals hope that Harper can continue to jumpstart this offense and lead them back to the playoffs with a second straight divisional title.