Anyway the Nats are where they have been for a month now, around .500 and about 5 games out. The Braves and the Nats have both played mediocre baseball, but thanks to a terrible division there have been no reprecussions. The Braves can't give up their healthy lead, and the Nats can't shake 2nd place even if they tried.
A few weeks ago Boz was declaring that after that last Braves series the Nats would enter
Four months of potential bliss against the dregs of the National League East and almost every other lousy club in the majors.How that worked out for them? 11-10 so far. That's not playoff baseball.
Of course that was always a bit of fudging. Boz relying a lot on last year's results to make this year's schedule look easier. But the truth is the Nats do have two extended sets of games vs teams that don't figure to be any good this year. One is in stretch run from Aug 19th-Sep15th. The other starts right now where they play the Mets, Brewers, Padres, Phillies, Marlins (break) then Dodgers. Out of those only the Padres are within 4 games of .500.
Here I'll admit I was wrong. I thought the Nats would have to start winning at the same time Boz did. The Braves had up their lead to 7 games and looked like they would be running away with the East. But they've won 1 of their last 6 series and gone 8-12 in the last 3 weeks. The Braves' middling play has saved the Nats season. But the Nats can't keep on counting on that. Nor can they count on catching the Braves at season's end with that other easy stretch. It could be argued the Braves don't play a good team after the Cardinals on August 25th. No the Nats need to make up ground now when the Braves do have a couple of tougher series (albiet at home) vs the D-backs and the Reds.
There are 17 games before the All-Star break. Let's break it down. They need to win 2 @ the Mets, 5 of the 7 at home vs MIL and SD, then at least 4 of the 7 away at PHI and MIA. That's 11-6.
It's tempting to say the Nats are actually lucky to be where they are given their circumstances. Pythag has them at 36-42, they are 15-10 in 1 run games, but they are within the realm of where they should be. The Pythag estimation is not meant to be exact, and the Nats are 5-13 in 2 run games. That kind of washes out the 1-run luck.