If I told you by averaging 5.44 runs a game the Nationals were third in the NL in that category you would think that is a good thing. You’re wrong. The problem with the Nationals offense is they’ve also hit the second most home runs in the league. That means the Nationals rely on the home run to score runs.
Let’s get one thing straight. Scoring runs is good. What is bad about relying on the home run is it isn’t the most honorable way to score runs. The home run represents all that is wrong with modern America. Think about it for a second. Now that you’re done wearing down your fragile mind let me explain.
By its nature the home run is the most selfish act a baseball player can commit. In one swing they score a run, get as many RBI as base runners (including themselves), add to their batting average, and they increase the SABRnerd stats of OBP and SLG. With all these letters and numbers in one swing you’d think a home run were some algorithm designed to run Obamacare.
It doesn’t end there. Compare a home run to the other and better way to score runs. Baseball is a game that hearkens back to a time when America was strong and not a punchline Russians told each other as they marched into the Ukraine. When America was strong it was a society. People sacrificed for each other and had a work ethic made of true grit, and that is how runs should be scored in baseball.
Get them on, get them over, get them in. It is the oldest of old adages in baseball. As long as there have been blue skies, green grass, and the crack of the bat baseball has been about getting runners on, over, and in. The home run attempts to circumvent the first two steps and skip to the last. That is the type of selfish laziness that is ruining modern America.
The true and graceful way to score a run is to have the lead-off runner reach base via a single or a single that he stretches into a double. None of that hitting for extra bases or stealing around here. This is about earning a run, about working for and deserving the run your team ends up with, and making certain as much of the team as possible is involved in scoring that run.
With a runner now on first or second the next batter must either give himself up if the runner is on second or if the runner is on first try and hit a slow ground ball through a hole so that runner can get to third. The following batter then must hit a sac fly. It is the most noble of all baseball actions. It only gives the batter an RBI (the greatest of all baseball stats) and gives the team a run while the batter never makes it about himself but only about the team.
The Nationals do not know how to manufacture runs. All they can do is wait for the three run homer or in their last two games the four run homer. And keep in mind that after those grand slams not another run was scored in those games. Not only are home runs selfish and individualistic they also kill rallies. If those were simple base hits then the pressure would still have been on those pitchers and the games would still be going on.
Not realizing this the Nationals will continue to march through the season waiting for the big home run to break games open, but in some games that home run will never come and the Nationals will sit around like the common obese modern American confused by the pencil when their computer breaks down.