OKAY, THIS IS A MEANINGLESS SERIES
Unless the Dodgers fall apart and the Nats catch fire, everything record wise is set. Once the playoffs start, Washington will host the NL Central champion in their NL Divisional Series.
Last week’s poor performance came as a result of accomplishing Washington’s own title with relief thrown in the hard work was done. Throw in good pitching on the Braves part and Atlanta pounds Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer.
With the Nats hangover gone, there are things to focus on over the final 13 games. Final standings, however, is not on that list.
Following Sunday’s dramatic thrashing of the Dodgers, the hope is the Nats play crisper baseball as they prepare for October. You will see a balance of veterans resting mixed with the youth movement all teams use this time of year.
As with Spring Training, there are roster battles for postseason spots. Expect to see all starting pitchers throw normal length games. It is important to keep the arm in shape. Although we are not eager to watch Scherzer throw 110 pitches, he will likely do so.
Whatever the results are, do not make the mistake of confusing these games with October. Instead, think of these as the last two weeks of West Palm Beach again with brighter and better days to come. Any hard pushing will come over the next two series, not this.