Well, the Nats won 2 of 3 against the Philthies, but have dug such a hole for themselves that they really needed to win 3. Even still, the Reds were kind enough to drop 2 of 3 from the Brewers and the Nats are once again just 4.5 games back, but 4 back in the all important loss column.
According to coolstandings.com, the Nats odds of making the playoffs has now risen to 3.3%. Yes, I’m writing a blog to update you all on something that has 3.3% of a chance of happening….You’re welcome America.
Tonight the Nats will begin a 3 game series against the Barves who they have lost to an unprecedented eleventy-seventy times this year. Whatever hex Freddie Gonzalez put on the Nationals this year was a good one. The Nationals are 0-6 against the Barves this year in Nationals park and just 4-12 against them overall. So yeah, they’re totally due.
Meanwhile, the Reds will begin a 3 game series against the AAA Astros. Hopefully, Bo Porter has a trick or two up his sleeve. Also, the Pirates and Cardinals played well enough over the weekend that they’ve just about killed any chance the Nationals had of catching them. Although, in St. Louis’ case that might not be a bad thing.
The Nationals will visit the Cardinals next week and the best thing that could happen to the Nationals is to run into a Cardinals team that is resting its starters and setting its playoff rotation. Or in other words, a team that is more interested in the postseason than beating the Nats. Given the new Wildcard format, this seems unlikely though, as St. Louis and Pittsburgh are tied for the lead in the NL Central and neither team wants to run the risk of winding up in a one game playoff.
There may be some hope for the Nats in the Reds lackluster schedule down the stretch. As Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci points out. with expanded rosters, sometimes playing a bad team is worse than playing a good team or mediocre team down the stretch. The 2007 Mets, along with the 2011 Red Sox and Braves all struggled against losing teams down the stretch and missed the playoffs.
The Nationals best hope of making the playoffs is still for the Pirates to beat up on the Reds in their 6 remaining games together. The Nationals are currently on pace for 86 wins, not what anyone expected coming into the season, but at least they’re making it interesting down the stretch and showing a lot of heart, just need more Rally Mullet. With 13 games to go, the Nationals chances are improving.
(Photo courtesy of www.thenationalsarchive.com)