Haren won! Granted have you looked at the Mets lineup? It's Danny Murphy and I can't believe the other guys are so bad that I've had to single out Danny Murphy. But still, these are major league (organizational) ballplayers. You have to go out there and throw the ball over the plate in a way that isn't extremely easy to hit and Haren did that. I couldn't.
The Nats should certainly finish off the Mets and Aaron "playing out my career" Harang today. A sweep was a lot to ask when it meant 4 wins in a row. Now it means win today, so no excuses. These next 5-10 games are a critical time when it comes to making up ground. Remember those teams we talked about earlier, the '07 Phillies and the '11 Cardinals? After 145 games they were in similar situations as the Nats are now. The Phillies were 7 games behind the Mets, the Cardinals 5.5 out of the Wild Card. They both used the next week and a half to make up the majority of the ground they would need to. By game 150 The Cardinals would be 3.5 games out and by game 155 only a game and a half out. The Phillies would do even better pulling to that game and a half mark by game 151. This made the end of the season catch-up possible.
And for me they better make the playoffs, or else this season is a lost one. I have a fear that a nice finish, regardless of whether the Nats make the playoffs or not, will provide the season with a good feeling that it doesn't deserve. That would harken back to the earlier days of the team. In 2006, when a 15-13 finish made some believe the Nats were a .500 team in disguise, rather than a team in decline. The mind-numbing "since May 9th" comments that permeated the 2007 season, as if the first 35 games of a season could be dismissed. The 27-32 finish to 2009 supposedly showing that the Nats were better than the 59 win season would have you believe and that Jim Riggleman was the right manager to lead them forward.
Even if this wasn't a 98 win team it was a 95 win team and some foresight or simple mid course corrections could have kept the team closer to that path. The fact that they are sprinting toward the finish is great. The fact that they have to be sprinting toward the finish to be even relevant to the playoff discussion is a joke.
The easiest thing would be for the Nats to just win and make the anger moot. So let's move forward with that plan.