With a win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night, the Washington Nationals could finally get back to the .500 mark for the first time since April.
When the Washington Nationals’ 2019 season started if someone told you the team would be reaching the .500 mark on June 27, you probably would have thought the season would be a total failure. While the season has not gone as many planned, there is still hope for a playoff appearance in D.C.
On Thursday night the Nationals do have a chance to reach the .500 mark for the first time since April, and it is pretty impressive how far they have come. In May Washington was 12 games under the .500 mark and many, including myself, felt it was extremely unlikely they would ever breakeven again this season.
Since the fateful four-game sweep by the New York Mets in late May, the Nationals team we have seen has looked nothing like the one we saw in the first two months of the season.
Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto have gotten healthy and produced All-Star caliber seasons. Max Scherzer has regained his spot as the best pitcher in baseball, on his way to possibly winning his fourth Cy-Young, and role players like Howie Kendrick and Matt Adams have contributed to much higher levels than expected at the beginning of the year.
The bullpen is still a big question mark, and if the Nationals are to make a serious run at the postseason they will need to address that spot, but it should be noted how impressive it is Washington has made this long climb back.
At 12 games under plenty of teams would have turned in the towel and accepted a losing season. The Nationals did the exact opposite of that, and have been one of the best teams in all of baseball since the start of June. As much as some people may not want to hear it, some of that credit belongs to manager Dave Martinez.
The Nationals’ skipper never gave up on his team, and they never quit on him. They always say you have to get back to .500 before being seriously considered for a postseason spot, and Washington has a chance to hit that mark and never look back starting Thursday night.