That's what I'm looking for over the next 8 games. If I don't see both I'll be disappointed in the team.
The 6 wins is easy to understand. Four game set at home versus a middling Marlins team given up for dead. You can't split that. Three wins at least. Four game set at Houston versus the worst team in the National League. If you haven't noticed the Astros are 2 and 18 in their last 20 games. 3 and 27 in their last 30. 3 and 27! Because it's away I won't give the Nats a sweep but again - a split is unacceptable. So 6 wins. 5 would be disappointing but you'd get over it. 4-4 seems ok but it's kind of a disaster.
The "lot of runs" thing is not blatantly obvious but it's just as understandable. Since the break the Marlins have had the 14th worst ERA in the NL from their starters and they traded away one of their better ones in Anibal Sanchez. The Astros have had the 15th worst starter ERA and they traded away their best one, Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros have also had the worst relief ERA. (The Marlins have actually done ok with this). These are two staffs pitching horribly.
On the flip side the Nats have cooled off a bit after a super hot July. They were 2nd in runs in the NL for the month, 4th in OPS. Some people have taken that to be the new normal as the Nats finally start getting all their pieces back healthy. And yet they've scored 4 runs or less 5 times in the last 6 games, scored 5 runs total in the Phillies series, and after only being shut out once in the first 91 games they've been shutout 3 times in their last 13.
The truth is July was almost certainly "that month" - meaning the best month the offense is going to have all year where as much is going right as you could possibly hope for. Ryan Zimmerman, Danny Espinosa, Roger Bernadina, and Ian Desmond (who played almost half of July) had probably their best lines of the year. Adam LaRoche probably isn't going to hit .300 for a month again this year. Mike Morse didn't have a special month but it was a very good one, in line with how'd you like him to hit all year long. Catcher hit poorly but that's to be expected. The only one that hit worse that you would have thought is Bryce Harper. It was great month, but it was likely unrepeatable.
But as I've said before the Nats offense doesn't have to be great. It can be average and with their pitching the Nats can still win enough games (see last night). With Werth back, the lineup is one Desmond away from the optimal one it can have this season. It should be about average right now. An average offense against the Marlins and Astros should be scoring above average runs. 5+ a game. That's what I'd like to see. 40+ runs for these 8 games. Show me that in a normal period, when half the offense isn't at their best, that you are good enough.
I think they'll do it. I think the pieces are there and the competition is that weak. But I'm watching nonetheless.