1 0 2 1 1 0 2 2
Those were the runs given up by the Nats during their 8 game win streak.
1 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
Those were the runs given up by the Nats' starters during the same stretch
Gonna win a lot of games when you pitch like that.
The only real complaint I have about the weekend was the use of Roark as the spot starter. Roark started the year and the "emergency - break glass" guy who could take over if a starter went down for a few weeks. Right now though that spot has to go to Joe Ross. Not because Ross is guaranteed that much better a pitcher, but because Roark is being used and is needed elsewhere. What if you need an arm just for one day and you don't want to through Ross off kilter? Use whoever. Just don't start Roark and effectively make him unusable for 3-4 games.
I can see stretching him out again if, god forbid, two starters are out again for extended periods of time. He's better than the AAAA Jordan or the not quite ready Cole. But otherwise? Roll the dice with anyone else.
Meanwhile the Mets are hanging around, taking four in a row. It doesn't concern me in a "Look out! Here comes the Mets!" way. It's more of a way to keep the Nats on their toes and a reminder that this year's Mets are better than last year's Braves. A healthy Nats team should still win the division easily, but a banged up Nats team with the healthy guys playing below expectations? That team at least has to worry about luck and timing working against them - as you saw over the first 60 games or so. If the Mets make a move and the Nats take another big injury? Things change. But just as easily it could work in reverse and the Nats would be on cruise control.
Starting tomorrow the Nats can pretty much end Atlanta's division hopes before they hita series of tougher games heading into and then out of the All-Star break. San Fran, Cincy (not a good team but did sweep the Nats earlier), Baltimore, BREAK, Dodgers, Mets, Pittsburgh, Miami, Mets. I don't get the sense that this team will put the pedal down, but I expect this week as they play Atlanta, SF, and Cincy that they'll put more room between them and the Mets (Cubs, Dodgers, Giants) and then it'll just be a matter of slowly pulling away from the Mets. We'll see how large those two Mets series loom when we get closer to them, tiny chance they are huge, better chance the first one is the Mets last gasp, small chance they barely matter at all.