A MASSIVE CHIP ON THE SHOULDER
Think back to the biggest games of the year.
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Rendon ending the Mets season in a 23-5 rout. Werth homering his first game back after breaking his foot. Zimmerman’s homers stunning the Dodgers on Sunday Night Baseball. Gonzalez flirting with a no-hitter in Miami as the Marlins surged. Even Strasburg pumping his fist after a late-season eighth-inning double play to secure a win for him qualifies.
What should strike you is each of those moments came from different players. Washington has a team that can pick themselves up and carry forward no matter the stature of the player. Whether it is a crucial pinch-hit from Lind or a well-timed bat flip from Harper. Any man on the 25-player roster can win a game. In a short series that can be enough.
Although the pressure of Washington sports failures is overblown, it is real. Trea Turner cannot score a power-play goal for the Capitals, but he can steal a base and manufacture a run at Wrigley.
It is the depth of the Nats when added to the ingredients of veteran presence and playoff experience that gives Washington an edge. They can beat you in a variety of ways. This is a whole team.
If they need inspiration how to put it together, the opposite dugout is the place to start. The Cubs recently ended their angst.