Is the offense back? No, not yet.
Since the start of the Twins series the Nats have scored 69 runs in 17 games or just over 4 runs a game. It's still below league (4.06 to the average of 4.07) but it's right there. Even better in the past week they've scored 27 runs in 6 games or 4.5 runs per game. That's pretty damn good. But before you get excited let's look at the lines :
.252 / .312 / .392 since Minnesota
.263 / .316 / .400 in the past week
Those aren't good lines. They aren't terrible mind you but they are more in line with the average 4 runs a game Nats, as opposed to the 4.5 runs a game Nats we've seen recently. What's the difference then? My guess is some better luck with RISP. Just last night if I counted right they were 5-13 (or .385) in those situations. Also maybe better timing with the home runs? Desmond did have a grandslam and LaRoche had a 3-run job recently. Anyway, it's luck, but it's about time luck it turning the Nats way as far as the offense in concerned.
Better news is that Bryce is coming back. No, he isn't a savior but he does (or at least should) immediately make the offense better. Get lucky with 4.5 runs a game for a few more days then actually earn it. That would work just fine.
As for catching the Braves. I know you look up and see 6 games and think "oh that's not that much" and Boz can regail you with stories of teams that have made up that ground in just a month. That's fine but here's the reality. Usually a team is 6 games ahead of you half-way through the season because they are demonstrably better than you are. When that isn't the case (and I'm not convinced it is) 6 games is still a lot of ground to make up. While a few teams have done it, most teams throughout history have not.
At the end of April the Nats were only behind 4.5 games. That wasn't a lot. At the end of May the Nats were only down 5.5 games. That wasn't a lot. Now it's 6. Do you see what's happening here? Since that opening stretch Atlanta hasn't played any better than the Nats but that doesn't matter because they don't have to. They can simply match the Nats and run away with the division.
The Nats have 86 games left in the year. Their best 86 game stretch last year was 55-31. So if they play that well for the remainder of the year they'll be 93-69. Possible? Sure. A bit of a stretch given what we've seen this year but it could happen. The Braves would have to go 48-36 to match that. That's not easy but you have to see it's easier than going 55-31. The worse the Nats do, the easier the job is for the Braves to maintain that lead.
The Braves have two things on their side. A big lead and a diminishing number of games to make up that lead. Luckily for the Nats the Braves haven't made it tougher on them, but time has. The Nats are still in an window where they can simply outplay a good Braves team and end up on top, but the window is closing fairly quickly. Soon they'll need both to play well and the Braves to collapse to make it work. That's asking a lot. The Nats need to start making up ground now, make up a game or two before the All-Star break to make this a possibility heading into the last part of the year.
If I sound like a broken record so be it. I like hope just fine but I want it to be realistic. Heading into late July 8 games behind and hoping that the Nats could comeback because you can cherry pick a half-dozen teams from the multi-decade history of baseball that have done it is not realistic. Let's not end up there.