Well actually it's time #3. The Nats have played the Yankees in the past (winning both series 2 games to 1) but this time it's different. Sure, that could be said about most every series the Nats play this year, seeing as they are finally a good team, but there is something more special about climbing up the ladder and taking on the teams that have been the measuring stick for recent success. Unfortunately, some of those teams (see: Sox, Red; or Lies, Phil) are flailing making us look for secondary stories focusing on the ballpark, or the fans in the stands, or the opposite trajectories of the teams. But this isn't one of those series. The Nats are among the best teams in the majors. The Yankees are among the best teams in the majors. The Nats are red hot, sweeping their last two series and winning 9 of their last 11. The Yankees are red hot, sweeping their last two series and winning 15 of their last 19. This is the series of the weekend for everyone who follows baseball*
Can the Nats take the series, or even sweep the Yankees? Sure. Anything can happen. I don't mean that in the a derogatory sense. I mean that in the - Hey the Cubs could roll into DC and sweep the Nats - kind of way. It's just 3 games. Just look at one of those previous Yanks/Nats series. In 2009 the two teams couldn't have been any more different. The Nats would go 59-103 and have the worst record in baseball. The Yanks would go 103-59 and win the World Series. The Yankees played the Nationals in the Bronx. Who there is thinking the Nats take 2 of 3? It could have been a Nats sweep too. Shairon Martis had held the Yankees down for 6 innings, but the bullpen blew it. Then John Lannan beat Wang, and the Yanks were shut out by the deadly combination of SP Stammen, Villone, Tavarez, Beimel, and MacDougal. Anything can happen.
Who do I pick? Well I'm gonna stick to my guns and say 2-1 Yanks. Honestly if you look at the pitching match-ups 2-1 Nats makes more sense (2012 Gio is better than the enigma of Hughes - in fact 2012 Gio is better than almost everyone and Jackson is better than Nova. Pettitte and ZNN are close to a toss-up but ZNN's problems lately have to do with the long ball and the Yanks are best in the majors at hitting those), but 2-1 is just a couple bounces from 1-2 and since I picked that to start, why change? If you don't like that just remember I had it 2-1 Blue Jays and you saw how that turned out.
I'll be assuming the role of hated enemy on Twitter and possibly doing some live blogging- not sure yet, depends on how I'm watching the game at the time.
*(though there are a lot of good series going on White Sox v Dodgers, Orioles v Braves, Reds v Mets, hell I'm interested in Pirates v Indians)