I was listening to WFAN, the local sports radio station here in New York, a couple of nights ago. One of the many brilliant personalities on the station is Lori Rubinson, a former "Dream Job" contestant who used that experience to jump start her career in sports broadcasting.
Anyway, I happen to find her a very good mind on the station and after what I heard the other night may have increased my liking toward her.
Rubinson brought up an extremely valid point the night, before the New York Mets began their series in Washington with the Nationals: Is the current Nationals team better than the Mets? I know it sounds very scary, but let's take a look.
Here was the Nationals' starting lineup last night against the Mets:
1. Nyjer Morgan, CF (Morgan was recently traded to the Nats—just turned 29 this month and is batting .333 in only 17 games this season).
2. Cristian Guzman, SS (Guzman has played most of the season and has been experiencing somewhat of a rebirth—batting .293 in 76 games).
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B (The slugger of the club who always produces—15 HR, 56 RBI).
4. Adam Dunn, 1B (Dunn is having by far one of the best years of his career—on pace for over 30 HR and 100 RBI).
5. Josh Willingham, LF (Willingham is producing this year—12 HR, 27 RBI is solid for a Nats' left fielder).
6. Austin Kearns, RF (He probably shouldn't be playing right now, but this is only for one game's lineup).
7. Alberto Gonzalez, 2B (Hey, Gonzalez is batting .308, but is another fill-in).
8. Will Nieves, C (The switch off catcher with Jesus Flores and Josh Bard—not too much here).
9. John Lannan, P (He has seven wins this season and seven losses, but still is the best story on this team with a 3.38 ERA, as he went on to shutout the Mets).
So that's the lineup we saw last night. Hey, they scored four runs which was enough for the win, especially with Lannan on the bump. However, this was just one night and it definitely wasn't the best group of players on this club.
Here are some others who got the night off:
Nick Johnson, 1B (Johnson has 40 RBI and an average over .300 in 89 games—can you say comeback player of the year?).
Elijah Dukes, CF (Dukes has a .415 slugging PCT).
Jesus Flores, C (Flores has a .311 average in only 26 games, with four HR and 15 RBI).
Okay, now let's take a look at the Mets who put up zeroes last night:
1. Angel Pagan, CF (Pagan has nine hits in his last four games—BA over .316 for the season).
2. Luis Castillo, 2B (Castillo is batting a solid .290, but still has no pop—zero HR and 20 RBI).
3. David Wright, 3B (Wright is the best player on the team, but is truly feeling effects of no one around him).
4. Jeff Francoeur, RF (He shouldn't be batting fourth, but who else is there?).
5. Fernando Tatis, LF (Tatis is batting .240 in 66 games).
6. Daniel Murphy, 1B (He is trying to make it as a rookie, but it's been tough playing on a team like this).
7. Omir Santos, C (Switch off with Schneider—no production).
8. Alex Cora, SS (The biggest lack of production for the amount of time hes played—zero HR and 12 RBI in 66 games).
9. Oliver Perez, P (Perez has given up four, two, three, and four earned runs in each of his last four games, since coming back).
In addition, I tallied the stat totals for the season for both lineups:
Nationals: 59 HR, 248 RBI, .257 AVG, .329 OBP, .388 SLG
Mets: 24 HR, 199 RBI, .277, AVG .341, OBP, .370 SLG
There you have it, the complete comparison of the New York Mets and Washington Nationals lineups from last night's game.
I'd have to say that right now, I'd much rather have the Nats' players because you have those meat players in the middle that really beef up the production: Adam Dunn, Zimmerman, Guzman, and Johnson (when he plays) are very reliable producers who stay healthy.
Now, it's your decision.