This weekend should kind of wrap things up for the Nats (although leaving HFA wide open and thus making getting the rotation ready a mess). I see the Braves winning 2 of 3 over the Mets, the Nats winning 1 of 3 from the Cardinals, and the lead shrinking to 3 games. That doom scenario where the Nats don't win the NL East outright in the regular season would then be up to two sweeps to end the season (Philly over Nats, Braves over Pirates) which isn't going to happen. You can basically start struggling with the champagne corks at that point.
However with the season so close to being over, one game in a different direction and everything changes dramatically. The Nats getting swept or Braves sweeping, and it's a two game lead and uh oh. The Nats winning two of three or the Braves only winning 1 and the Nats are popping the bubbly on the side bar of the Post sports section, right next to whatever huge pic of RGIII they are showing.
The less likely scenarios still aren't crazy. The Nats hoisting a pennant on Saturday? All it would take is a couple Nats wins and Braves to lose 1of 2 to start, or a couple Braves losses and the Nats to win one of the first couple in St. Louis. Perfectly reasonable scenarios. A sweep by the Braves is not insane. Neither is the Nats getting swept. Both at the same time would mean PANIC.
It's set up to be a weekend of wild emotional swings for Nats fans. Grab some brews and hunker down.
Bryce Harper and the teenage HR record.
Bryce Harper has a lot of records for a 19 year old. A lot of that is because he's had more plate appearances than any other 19 year old. Don't get me wrong. That's a very good thing. It means he's that good at 19 to deserve to get those appearances. But it also means some of the usual conclusions you might draw aren't correct. Like thinking if he hits the most HRs as a 19 year old he's the best power hitting 19 year old ever. That's not true. Tony Conigliaro was a much better power hitter at 19 than is Bryce.
Tony : 18.5
Bryce : 27.5
isoSLG (league isoSLG)
Tony : .240 (.135)
Bryce : .201 (.147)
He hit HRs more often and hit for more power in a harder time to hit for power. It's not even a question here. Bryce may very well be the best all around 19yr old (not sure about Conigliaro's fielding but he didn't run the bases like Bryce) but just having the HR title doesn't mean he was the best power hitter. (I'm still saying Bryce had one of the best power season at 19. That's still awesome.)
Some Tony C things to shoot for. He led the league in homers at 20. He reached 100 homers in his 22 yr old season. I like Bryce to match both.