Washington Nationals: 5 story lines for Marlins tilt

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 01: Max Scherzer
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 01: Max Scherzer /
2 of 6


With Washington taking two of three at Wrigley Field, the Marlins lost precious ground in the NL East. The lead sits at 13 games.

Yes, with a sweep the Fish can be within nine of the Nats. If the reverse happens, the lead is 17. Any Washington win makes a difficult road nearly impossible.

There are times this year where the Nats struggle. Mental mistakes, a lack of fundamentals and fatigue set in right before the All-Star Break. When you add the endless line of injuries, Washington played like a tired team.

As the Nats led 6-0 early with Max Scherzer on the hill who would have thought he would leave with a bad neck and the team would lose 7-6. A loss Wednesday had some of you in a panic. Yet, those telltale signs of a team in trouble were not there. They did not beat themselves.

When you consider that 10 players are on the disabled list and Syracuse filled nearly half the active roster, it is amazing Washington has not struggled more.

Two bad games at the old Orange Bowl does not a collapse make. There has to be a chaser to match the team in trouble. Miami is sitting at 52-55. Not a record of a team about to chase down a division title. This ceased being a cat-and-mouse game in May. Washington’s biggest lead of the year was 14 and that followed Gonzalez’s near no-hitter last Monday.

Of the 52 games left for the Nats, only 10 come against teams with winning records. When they play a winning team, they are 18-11.