Most of our optimism for this season and the future is based on the core of the prospects who dominated the minor leagues in 2005. Some are from the fabled Jacksonville Five, while others like Kemp toiled one league below, and Andre who toiled in someone else system.
Only eight days ago we were basking in the dominance of our outfield and the play of our SS. As BHShortsguy pointed out our offensive core since the beginning of the Washington National Series has been found wanting.
Kemp .200/.200/.233 – 0 runs scored, 0 RBI
Ethier .217/.333/.261 – 1 run scored, 0 RBI
Loney .222/.250/.259 – 2 runs scored, 0 RBI
Martin – .182/.250/.318 – 1 HR, 2 RBI
You can complain about Garrett Anderson playing instead of Reed Johnson but Reed Johnson has been nothing more then a fourth outfielder his whole career so the expectations for him should be muted. The weight of the offense sits squarely on the shoulders of those who are now paid to shoulder that weight.
The plain fact is that if the core does not hit, this team is in trouble, and since Manny went out they have been silenced. These are not young prospects anymore. These players have all been seasoned with two appearances in the NLCS. They are facing the worst pitching in the major leagues, and NONE of them are coming up big for a team who needs at least two of them to step up.
You can blame Ned all you want but these are the guys, they must produce. They have to grow up. The season is getting away and if they can't exploit the soft underbelly of the Pirate awful rotation then only the most optimistic will feel they can salvage this season.