Nats lost. Remember - series at a time. Win tonight.
On August 16th the Nats fell to 4.5 games back. Since then they won a series in Colorado and they won a series at home versus the Brewers. They are 5-3 in their last eight and if they win tonight against the Padres they'll take their 3rd straight series, going 6 of 9. That would be great.
On August 16th the Mets lost their 3rd in a row keeping the Nats at 4.5 games out. Since then they split a 2 game set at Baltimore, swept the Rockies, and won the first three in Philadelphia. They are 7-1 and if they win tonight that'll be seven straight wins and a 2nd straight series sweep. That would be near perfect.
Hence the problem with playing catch-up. You can only catch-up if the thing you are chasing goes slower than you. Right now the Mets might be the hottest team in baseball.There's a reason why you have to pick and choose great comebacks through history, not just say "Oh yeah, last year 3 teams came back late from big holes to win their division"
Look on August 16th the Nats were 58-59. If they were to win every series they had left which is the goal I set, let's estimate that by saying they play .667 ball, they go 30-15 to end the year. That's a great finish. They are probably playing the last month and a half better than anyone. 88 wins? I'd take it right now. You can't really ask for more from that point on.
But it's still just 88 wins. An unimpressive total for a year where 98 was thought as a possibility. You can complain why you didn't get more before now (a reminder that games in other months count too!).
Other things - Storen was used to keep the game close! Papelbon was used to keep the game close! Great! Werth batted 2nd... not so much. I won't comment on Werth in the regular lineup too much until the next series is done with because it's hard to judge anything on a couple of games. Maybe he did really get his swing back in Colorado. The Brewers series was fine. However I will say since I never would have had him leadoff he'd still be a question mark batting at the bottom of the line-up, not the top. That's a better place for question marks.