Disappointing till the end, huh?
The Nats are in theory playing for something (we shouldn't believe that but the players should) and yet here's another half-hearted effort and another loss. Welcome to 2015.
Should Max have been pulled? Probably. Again you see the wheels turning. Max was due up first the next inning, so let's see if he can quickly get through the 7th, even though he's at 104 pitches. Fine. He's Max Scherzer. The bullpen is terrible. But then there's a lead-off double and the memories of recent Max Scherzer. Time to go to whoever. But MW was committed and Scherzer almost escaped. Almost.
Again even if I'm sure the Nats are out (and I am) the team shouldn't be and MW should be managing every game as if it were a playoff game. Sadly though, I think he IS doing that, which is why I say if you expect to fight for a playoff spot next year you have to fire him. There can be no trust that he knows what he's doing in close and late situations.
On the offense - some people will look at the Nats rank (currently #1 by the width of a hair) and say "The offense is great! The pitching sucks!" (rank #7) Here's the thing though. The Nats offense is 0.35 runs better than average, the Nats pitching is 0.24 runs better than average. That is not a big difference. You have to go back 17 years (if I'm right) to find the last time a NL leader (not couting Colorado - though that makes a difference only like twice) was within 0.35 runs of the league average. The Nats offense isn't great. It's as we hoped good to very good. It's just that no one has a very good to great offense this year. So good to very good can be on top. It's pretty amazing that the Nats hit expectations with all the injuries and soul crushing disappointments (thank BRYCE mainly, but also Yuney, Clint, and Espy) but don't let that convince you that this offense couldn't have been improved.
Right now Werth, Rendon, Desmond and Ramos are all slumping terribly and Michael Taylor a bit. Can't have much of an offense with 5/8ths not doing anything. The pitching has been steady but mediocre as defines this season. How about you guys wake up and don't get swept. Is that too much to ask?