The Nationals have a bad case of the Fridays.
Since Matt Wieters and Ryan Zimmerman homered, and Max Scherzer pitched six shutout innings to usher in the weekend with an 8-2 win over the Marlins at Nationals Park last Aug. 17, Washington has lost 10 consecutive games on Fridays. Entering Thursday’s matinee against the Mets, the Nationals were 37-34 in games played Saturdays through Thursdays since their streak of end-of-week futility began.
Washington has been outscored 48-20 over its last 10 Friday games — five last season and five this year. In their most recent Friday night game, the Nationals fell behind 1-0 after the first inning in an eventual 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The Nats have given new meaning to Rebecca Black’s hit single about gettin’ down on Friday.
If this all sounds familiar, it might be because the Nationals lost eight straight games on Friday from Sept. 7, 2012 through April 19, 2013. (In the team’s first Friday game after that streak was mentioned on the Bog, Jordan Zimmermann threw a one-hit shutout against the Reds and Washington went 14-8 on Fridays over the remainder of the season.)
The Nationals’ Friday funk isn’t the only trend they’ll look to buck when the red-hot Cubs — who are 3-3 on Fridays this season — arrive in D.C. for a three-game weekend set. Washington is also an alarming 2-12 in series openers this year. That mark could just be coincidence, like the Nationals’ fluky Friday record of late, but general manager Mike Rizzo suggested his team was considering altering its normal preparation for the start of its next series.
“I don’t know what to make of it yet,” Rizzo said Wednesday during an interview with the Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan. “We’re doing some analysis of it right now. First days of series are often the busiest day of the preparation for that series. We do all of our advanced reporting and we have all of our pitching and hitting meetings, and that type of thing. We’re looking to streamline some of those processes and those meeting times, and do something a little different. I just think it could be coincidental on who you’re facing that day, but we’re looking into it and seeing if there’s any tweaks that we can make in our preparation that allow us to win that first game of the series.”
Perhaps once the Nationals figure out their Friday problem, they can worry about the start of the week. Washington is 0-4 on Mondays this year.
Thanks to @DCBarno for declaring the Nationals’ streak of losses on Friday.
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