A win! Everything is better now. Until they lose again. But then they can win again!
Escobar had a hit. Ramos had a hit. Storen looked good. Treinen looked... well he did his job. Nothing going.
The most interesting thing going on right now is the fact that the supposed best challenger to the Nats, the Marlins, got swept by the supposed door mat to the Nats, the dismantled Braves. It's just 3 games but every game does matter and if you liked the Nats to be say... 8 games better than the Marlins over 162, with a win today they'd only have to be 6 games better over 159 to do it.
Of course you're saying "that's a real long time" and you're right. That's part of the fun of baseball, this double hope thing it has every season. In the beginning of the year you have an idea of where these teams will end up and a long season should help smooth out any luck that might arise. But the long season introduces other things, mostly injuries but also surprise crashes, surprise falls, trades and call-ups, that can change the make-up of the team with 40+% of the season to go. Every team in every sport starts with hope but in baseball it lingers longer for more teams because of the number of games in front of you where things can change.
And just when the hope of "something may change" dies out because the number of games becomes too small to matter (sometime in the dog days of August) and a few non-contenders wave goodbye a new hope arises for the rest. The "maybe we just get hot" hope. At this part of the season you have a much better feel for the teams. You know how good they are, where their faults lie. You should be able to predict the finish. But now the season is short enough for luck to play a role and in no sport is the line between winners and losers as thin as it is in baseball. This hope can linger for most teams all the way to the last week. "If we can just go 7-2 and they go 2-7" That's sort of crazy but it can happen and probably did at some point in the year.
The whole thing adds up to a lot of fun for the teams doing the catching and a lot of worrying for the teams they are trying to catch. The Nats are definitely the latter so just be ready for worry all year barring a dominant wire to wire season.
Are the Braves any good? Offensively no. They scored 2 runs twice so far and are barely above average in their stats. There is no revelation here. They just had one shot versus a pitcher totally off his game. The pitching though - it could be this good (1, 2, 0 runs allowed). The Marlins were an average hitting team last year and should be better. That's a nice start for those arms. The back end of Stults and Cahill is weak, but Minor returning from the DL should knock whichever of these guys stinks worse off the mound.
Should the Marlins worry? Offensively I wouldn't. Slow start - but three games and Stanton, who's the key, was off. But again 3 games. I'd be very interested in Latos' next start as the Marlins are fielding a rotation that's in holding pattern for the return of Jose Fernandez. It can't really afford a crash out. The pen was also not impressive and might be an issue. Too early to be concerned but a things to keep an eye on.