It was a season like no other in recent memory for the Washington Nationals. With 15 games left in the season, Washington has a modest 51 wins, which is good for worse not only in the National League, but in baseball as well. Just three years into the World Championship title, the Nationals are now behind the likes of perennial bottom dwellers like the Pirates, Rockies, and Athletics. Now, none of these teams have been able to win the world championship in recent years, but it shows how quickly things have changed in the capital. It’s also worth noting that the Nationals are also the 12th worst-matched Chicago Cubs, who were in a very similar position to the Nats after the 2021 trade deadline that saw both franchises sell off iconic pieces to their World Championship winning teams.
Has anyone really seen this coming? I don’t think anyone would have seriously expected the Nationals to be a playoff team or even above 0.500, but it’s a bit surprising to see such a once-great team, even though it’s a shattered team now, it’s easy to incurs more than 100 losses. Even the pre-season predictions he made Mass Sportswhich polled several members of the national media, didn’t have a single expectation with the Nationals losing more than 100 games, and they all had fairly low expectations for the team.
Now we have to talk about the elephant in the room, as I don’t think anyone would have expected the Citizens to trade Juan Soto, at least very soon, so it certainly could have changed people’s mind when making a pre-season prediction. However, even before the trade, citizens only had 0.337 winning percentages. They’ve actually had a higher win percentage since Juan Soto traded oddly enough, going from 16 to 26 in their 42 competitions for a 0.381 win percentage.
I put a Twitter poll To gauge the fans’ expectations and pre-season expectations, for total win in 2022. Assuming the Nationals lose 105 games or more this year, which seems likely, how does that compare to their pre-season predictions?
61% of the vote said that citizens’ performance was worse than expected.
I don’t think that’s necessarily surprising, as the majority of National fans, at least on social media, seem generally optimistic and optimistic about the team, but I think this season in particular has been a wake-up call for many. . I had a good feeling this team was going to suffer really hard, but the worst in the league was a bit surprising.
I would argue that this is the third consecutive season that the national team has performed poorly. In 2020, the follow-up campaign to their World Championship win, the Nationals failed to achieve post-season despite extended playoffs and a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, moving 26-34 and finally in the NL East. In 2021, despite having four stars, the Nationals went 65-97 which was also in the NL East. In fairness, they traded three of those Superstars entirely on the trade deadline, but they were still only 47-54 at trade time. And of course, in 2022 the Nationals were the worst team in baseball and it seemed like a safe bet to finish this way.
I know that flags fly forever, and if you presented me the common hypothetical question prior to 2019, “Would you trade 10 years of bad baseball if it meant you won the world championship?” I would say yes, but this team has generally made its name in poor performance over the past decade. The Nationals were one of the best teams in baseball from 2012-2019, which is not an easy task to accomplish, but had not only one title and one World Championship appearance, but only one season with a playoff series (2019).
I agreed with the decision to trade Max Scherzer and Trea Turner and wasn’t even against trading Juan Soto, but it’s worrying to see the franchise often fall short of where it needs to be, even when expectations are as low as it was coming up in the 2022 season. It is very hard to believe the process when the vast majority of what we know is a disappointment. It will be a long rebuilding process and I just hope we see some positive steps from this team in 2023.