I realize that it's a general manager's job to put a positive spin on things that are happening with his mediocre, struggling, unremarkable baseball team, but does Mike Rizzo actually believe the only thing that is holding the Nationals back is that they are not hitting well with runners in scoring position? Apparently, because that's what he told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
"We're playing terrific baseball except for the fact that we're struggling with runners in scoring position," Rizzo says.
Wait a minute: really?
Rizzo is correct: the Nationals are a terrible hitting team with runners in scoring position. But that's not because of some mental block with a runner beyond second base, or some unlucky bounces in key spots. It's because they are a terrible hitting team, period. As Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes:
Mike Rizzo says Nats' main issue is hitting w/ RISP. Nats totals: .228/.300/.359 w/ RISP: .223/.318/.362.
The problem, Mr. Rizzo, is that your team cannot hit ever. This is what happens when you decide that defense and speed is more important, causing you to dump two of your best three hitters for nothing over the offseason. This is also what happens when your best hitter is injured.
Now, granted, that may be the right tradeoff to make. Defense and speed may be more important. But it was a tradeoff. You can't have your cake and eat it: you have to also have guys on your roster who can hit. At all times.