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Washington acquired the A’s 2016 closer, Ryan Madson, and their 2014 closer, Sean Doolittle. While neither were closing now with the regularity they once did, they’re both still performing at a high level. Madson has pitched in 40 games and produced a 2.06 ERA with 6.5 times as many strikeouts as walks in 2017, while Doolittle missed time due to a shoulder strain but has still managed to strike out 31 of the 79 batters he’s faced while allowing just a pair of free passes on the year.
Compare that to the Nats pen, where the lone bright spot has been Matt Albers keeping up the Cinderella act into the middle of the season but at the cost of the rest of the relievers turning into pumpkins, and you can see why Washington went for the package deal. That’s not hyperbole for a poor performance, either: The Nats have a 5.31 ERA from their bullpen while allowing an 822 OPS, whereas the league-averages are 4.11 and 720. If not for Washington’s rotation and the general fumbling of the rest of the NL East, the Nationals wouldn’t have the lead they do.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo both look like the perennial MVP candidates the Cheap Jerseys And Hats From China Cubs were expecting, and they’re still going to form the core of a team that will contend for at least five or six years. The problems are with almost everyone else. Jason Heyward is hitting like Ben Zobrist this year, which means there’s a finger curled up on a severed monkey’s paw somewhere. Other than Ian Happ, the young Cheap Jerseys Authentic hitters haven’t progressed nearly as well as the Cubs had hope, with Kyle Schwarber going back to the minors to tinker with his swing, even.