For the first half of the season there was a bit of an undisclosed issue with the Nats. They were losing a lot of close games that they should be winning. They had a huge gap in one-run games losing far more than they should have. This was helping to keep them a few games under on their pythagorean projection for wins losses. That's an imperfect system to be sure, but it gives you a good idea of about how good your team is.
Well now they've won their last 7 one-run games (and their last 2 2-run games, and their last 2 extra-inning games) Their record stands at about where it should. They are a .500 team with around a .500 record and a .500 record in 1-run games. What now?
You might think that they are actually better than that. Now that Zimm is back they aren't just a .500 team. Kilgore does point out that they've been a much better team in the past month. But it's not the offense that's making them better. They've been pretty average in that department, if that. Desmond still can't hit. Werth is still trying to outdo Vernon Wells for worst contract ever. Everyone not named Danny Espinosa or Jerry Hairston? really? Ok or Jerry Hairston is cooling down fast. How they are winning is by dominating on the pitching end, and there is nothing different about those guys then there was a month ago.
Not to say this can't be a very good staff (I suppose it can, if everything goes perfectly) but what do you think is more representative of their real talent level: an overall ERA of 3.46 or the ERA of 2.59 they put up in June? Do you think Marquis can keep up his 1.82 ERA for the month? Lannan his 1.44? ZNN his 1.05?
The pitching will shift back to a normal level. The hitting will remain about where it is, slightly below average (at least until you prove to me Werth wasn't a mole sent by the Phillies to destroy this team). The team will flirt with .500 all year, but anything beyond that... it's tough for me to see it play out.
But .500. That's good, right? You're not getting greedy for more right now are you? Damn it, you are aren't you?