Are the Washington Nationals now legit World Series contenders? | The Tylt
Are the Washington Nationals now legit World Series contenders?
The Washington Nationals somehow managed to get the third-best record in the National League with one of the worst bullpens in all of MLB. The addition of Doolittle and Madson may not be sexy, but stability feels like a huge win for the Nationals, who are now in a position to make a legitimate World Series run.
The Nats bullpen's 5.04 ERA was one of the worst in baseball. Adding Madson's 2.06 ERA, and Doolittle's 3.38 ERA will certainly help shore up their late-game pitching. Washington looked like a team that would maybe make it out of the divisional round of the playoffs, only to fall because of their undependable relievers. However, with some new toys to play with, the Nationals have enough firepower to make it to the World Series.
Doolittle and Madson are fine additions for the Nationals, who undoubtedly needed to make changes to their failing bullpen. However, depending on those two aging arms to carry a relief staff is not enough for the Nationals to even sniff a World Series. They need more help to become legit contenders in a difficult National League.
Both relievers have closed before, but neither was closing for the Athletics at the time of the trade. Without a shutdown closer, the Nationals still have a hole that could be exploited during the playoffs, where a steely resolve is needed to shut the door when glory is on the line. Washington is going to need more than two players to really shore up relief staff.