How do we feel now? Better? 4-6 isn't good, but 2-8 would have been... well don't sound the alarm, but good teams have like one run like that a season. (Neither the 2012 or 2014 teams ever went 2-8, though last years team had a run in mid to late May that flirted with 2-8 several times) Put your hand on the alarm and watch the next two-three games.
As much as I'd like to say the Nats are turning the corner, I don't have any faith that the Phillies are a good team. Losing two games to them previously was terrible. Ruiz and Howard are over the hill. They are starting Ruf, Francoeur, and Sizemore at times. While you could expect Utley and Revere to hit a lot better, you have to expect Galvis and Asche to hit a lot worse. This team won't score. David Buchanan, is a bad team's 5th and he's their 4th. Jerome Williams is done. Once Harang's arm tires out this team won't pitch. If the Nats are going to be any good they have to fatten up on the
weaklings they play. The Braves may or may not be weak (I'll go with
"may") but the Phillies definitely are. You play this team 19 times, you better get 12+ wins. One loss this series is the limit.
It's also important because what follows. After the Phillies come the Cardinals at home, then the Marlins, Braves, and Mets away, then the Marlins and Braves at home. That's a lot of games, 22 more to be precise, that will set up the rest of the Nats 1st half. If they do well during this stretch, even after this slow start, it's likely that they'll have put separation between them and the other NL East teams, with the possible exception of the Mets (since the Mets have the best record right now and play the Nats the fewest times in this stretch). The first half will be about either keeping the Mets at bay, or widening the gap between the Nats and their closest competitor. If the Nats do poorly they'll likely have allowed a couple NL East teams to be right there with them (if not have a slight lead). The first half will be about keeping pace with whoever is in front, and fixing whatever is "wrong". Taking at least 3 from the Phillies will keep the first couple series from feeling apocalyptic if they go badly.
I told you a couple days ago you should let worry sit until they played another 8 games or so. Get 10% into the season, then see what you think. If you aren't seeing horrendous or amazing baseball it's what you have to do (Nats were close but not quite at horrendous). That's especially true with a team that has injury returns in it's pocket. But really it's about how good the teams are you think the Nats are competing against.
If you think the Nats are 10 games or so better than the Mets over the course of the season, then falling a game or two behind early is no big deal. It'll work itself out over the next 154. Worrying is kind of silly because your most likely scenario still has the Nats winning the division, but by around 8 games instead of 10. Falling 9 games behind in the first 16 though (tough to do) and you've set up a situation where the most likely situation to play out from this point, based on preseason expectations, is a neck and neck finish. Worry is valid. (plus your preseason expectations were probably off) Of course the season is too long and variable to take that in anything but the broadest sense but the take away is worry is not only based on how a team is doing, but how you expect them to do going forward and how you expect everyone else to do. 2-6? There just isn't enough separation there to really matter unless a team you think will be as good or better than yours has gone 7-1 or 8-0.*
Since the Nats were such big favorites and have guys returning there's a nice big cushion to work with. Watch the Nats, watch the Mets, watch the Braves & Marlins a little. Enjoy (as much as the Nats play allows you to). Try not to worry needlessly.
*Does that mean Minnesota can consider it's season lost already? I won't go that far but I'd probably already write them off for an AL Central title. Harsh but true. You'd expect they were the worst and they are. Anyone want to be that they play at least a half-game better than CLE and CHW AND at least 4 games better than the Royals AND at least 5 games better than the Tigers?