Davey Johnson might want to stay away from sharp objects in the Nationals clubhouse for the immediate future. The Washington manager is certainly feeling the heat following the club’s five straight losses to open the second half, which dropped them to 48-52. Back in March the Nationals were a preseason World Series favorite by pundits across the land, now they’ve slipped into third place in the National League East behind the Phillies and trail the first-place Braves by eight games. They’re even 8.5 back in the Wild Card.
Wednesday morning Johnson made his weekly DC-area radio appearance with the Junkies and was asked if he might follow the path of his predecessor Jim Riggleman who abruptly quit in the middle of the 2011 season. Johnson already announced he’ll be taking a job in the Nationals front office following the season and responded:
“I mean, I may slit my wrists, but I’m not quitting.”
The Nationals’ woeful offense will have that affect on a manager. Washington’s offense is 27th in runs scored and has shown no signs of turning it around. Aside from Jayson Werth, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos, in limited at bats, most Washington hitters are all mostly having subpar seasons at the plate. During the five-game losing streak the Nationals have eked out only 11 runs.
Washington’s consistent lack of offense has offset strong seasons by starting pitchers Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann, who each are pitching to ERAs 3.01 or lower.
As it stands the defining moment of the Nationals season looks like it will be Bryce Harper running full speed into the wall at Dodgers Stadium back in May.