Good News: The Nats have passed the Diamondbacks and now only have to worry about what's in front of them if they keep winning.
Bad News: What's in front of them is still 7.5 games away, thanks to the Cardinals choking against the Reds. It's almost to the point where you'd root for the Reds to sweep the Cardinals because the Nats have their own last shot at St. Louis coming up. But at this point the difference between 9 games and 7.5 games is meaningful so still root for the Cards to win. We'll think about it again tomorrow.
Good News: ZNN's July is in the rearview. It looked for a while like Jordan was losing it posting a 7.18 ERA in July with a WHIP just under 1.60. When you thought he might be back in form he gives up an 8-spot to the Cubs. The Cubs! But it turns out that was the exception. August ends with a 3.86 ERA overall, and that's with the Cubs debacle. In his last 3 non-Cubs starts his WHIP is back down to 1.07.
Bad News: Dan Haren is back to his old tricks. For a month he tried to tell you that things were back to normal and he put up a string of 6 good appearances over 7 games. The last two have been poor though. He tried to play off the Royals game as one bad inning (Why "My shirt was uncomfortable!" didn't get more play as a whiny excuse I do not know), but you know what? Those innings count, too. Last game was just terrible. You probably give him the next start to see if he's truly lost it, but another bad start and its back to "pull him from the rotation" time. You can't afford a loss and Haren looks to be reverting back to the Haren that already cost the Nats too many games.
Good News: It's call-up time! Extra arms and extra bats never hurt.
Bad News: Slim Pickens' ghost came by yesterday thinking the Nats were summoning him by how people were talking about these call-ups.
Erik Davis : A fair relief arm but older, gets hit and walks too many. A mop-up guy right now.
Ian Krol : You've seen him. Got sent down and got hit in AAA as well. There might be something there especially as a lefty specialist but probably a year or two away from dependability.
Sandy Leon : Good glove who broke out in 2012 and broke back in this year. Emergency3rd catcher.
Zach Walters : Early fan fav because of the home runs. Strikes out WAY too much, never walks, can't hit for average. Makes Tyler Moore look like Bryce Harper. Don't expect much and if you do get much, think Kevin Maas. (kids, look up the Baby Bomber.)
Corey Brown : Not quite able to get over the last hump in the minors, because of his contact issues (Ks too much) could be Bernadina II for a couple years. Also, probably a terrible person
Jeff Kobernus : Kind of an outfield Lombardozzi. So sneakily useless.
Eury Perez : He's... actually a pretty interesting prospect. Still kind of young, adapted well to AAA. Ks reasonable which hint at being able to keep up with major league pitching. Let's see this guy play! (which of course means Corey Bown will play more)
Xavier Cedeno : Converted starters with a live arm but no control. H-Rod re-visited. Still useful if used correctly (spots where you need a K but a walk doesn't kill you).