What was the game if not a statement? It was a culmination. The 2nd half of the Nats season was a starting pitching masterpiece. Fister 1.98 ERA, ZNN 2.18. Roark 2.65, Stras 2.70. September was even better. Stras 1.13, ZNN 1.32, Fister 1.87, Roark 2.45, Gio 2.48. The no-hitter was the exclamation point on that finish. You didn't notice what we were doing over here because the Braves have been dead for 10 years? NOW YOU NOTICE.
Going into the playoffs the Nats have 5 guys pitching like #1s, 3 pitching like dominant #1s. It's a whole new seasons, but I expect the Nats to be favored like crazy at this point. I might even have to take back my "Kershaw 2-3x" caveat. (though the Dodgers have been pretty good themselves)
I'm also extremely glad the Nats now have a truly great OF catch to talk about. It was big time caused by the positioning of Souza. He was shaded down the line because you don't expect a lefty to drive it in the LF gap at this point. If it's a normal game the catch is probably nothing more than a nice running grab. But he was there and that forces the full sprint and the over the shoulder aspect that took the catch to a special level. No more Bernie's "unecessary jump because as usual I don't know where I am and probably took a bad track" (a top notch CF sprints, slows and catches that at the weird corner with a hand out to feel the wall). No more Werth's "robbing of a double off the top of the wall, maybe" from the playoffs. I'm all behind seeing this one for the next 20 years.
Playoff preview etc. coming this week. (Let's wait to see who the Nats face)
Will rest be an issue? If you go Stras, Fister,
Span hit .300, Rendon led the league in R, Stras led the league (tied) in Ks, Desmond did not lead the league in Ks (3rd, Howard was 1st)