At least we can class this ending up a bit.
It's done. Over. Finit.
After a minor stumble, the Reds didn't fold. (In fact they played really, really well) And with their back against the wall, against subpar competition, the Nats are playing very well, but not the best any team has played this year.
Eight games out. 20 to play. You not only need an epic historic surge or meltdown but you need a bit of unexpectedly good or poor play as well. At the same time as the Nats schedule advantage ends? Sorry, no dice.
Catch the Reds? Nope - easy schedule from here on out. Catch the Cardinals? 9.5 games out? Are you serious? Catch the Pirates? First off, SHAME ON YOU. No one wants to do that. It'd be like getting the promotion you wanted because the good samaritan father of five in line for it was diagnosed ALS. But no, they have 10 games up vs Cubs and Padres. Also - Haren vs Wheeler is something that will happen for a team supposedly fighting for a playoff spot so no. It's over. It's over when we say it's over and dammit I hope to god you join me in saying it's over.
What happens now? A slow death march as the team realizes what we know. Then comes the excuses (we were hurt!) and blaming of easy targets (it was Espy! it was Davey! it was Storen!) and empty responsibility taking which never exceeds saying "I'm the boss so I have to do a better job" whilst lighting a cigar with a $100 bill and booking a flight to see if Mark Grace can possibly be wooed over.
Tomorrow we come to bury the Nats, not to praise them. Really, really, not to praise them.