Why can't we be more like the Mets? The Nats took on The Cardinals in Saint Louis. The Mets took on the Phillies at home. The Nats went 1-2. The Mets went 2-1. Those would probably be the most likely scenarios coming into these series. The Mets though, had the courtesy to do it with little drama. 8 innings of shutout ball from Colon, then two games that were pretty much blowouts. Isn't that nicer than three straight games of 7th-8th-9th madness?
It's now fairly clear that the Nats bats are healthy and hitting. Since the Colorado series here are some of the lines the Nats have got going
Ryan Zimmerman : .318 / .347 / .864
Wilson Ramos : .368 / .400 / .632
Bryce Harper : .342 / .490 / .526
Jayson Werth : .313 / .411 / .583
Anthony Rendon : .340 / .426 / .532
Yunel Escobar : .381 / .480 / .429
Ian Desmond : .302 / . 362 / .465
Ian's line would have been praised for most of the year, given how anemic the offense could be, yet in the last two weeks that ranks as the 7th best hitting for the team. Even Taylor isn't doing too bad. Only Espy is struggling. Now before you say "See! This is what the Nats can do when healthy!" understand there is another qualifier there. This is what the Nats can do when healthy... and hot. You don't usually have 7 guys hitting well at the same time. Enjoy it. It won't last.
Of course there are only 4 weeks left in the season, so it doesn't have to last that much longer. A couple more weeks with the starting pitching backing it up and the Nats could get a run going that's impressive, not merely good as this 9-6 run has been. A run like May's 17-4. Play like that and you force the Mets to keep their game up. They can do it (they had a 19-6 run that ended a week ago) but that's tough for any team.
Any optimism has to be tempered with the bullpen issues though. Here there are no injuries or surprise disappointments to call out and expect improvement on. The talent is mediocre and the usage is terrible. Last night we got a glimpse of fair usage, what Williams can do with a few more arms. Really it's just play the matchups to an insane degree, but given what he was doing - hanging pitchers out to dry - it's a vast improvement. Could the pen get hot? Sure, they probably only have 30-40 innings in them for the rest of the season. But I'm thinking if you want the Nats to get on a run the SP/Offense way is a better bet.
Next up for the Nats is the Braves at home. It's a four game set so you want the Nats to go at least 3-1. The pretty much have to considering how bad the Braves have been. An insane 12-37 since July 7th and 3-19 more recently. The Mets are at the Marlins and even though it's away you have to figure the Mets win the series. Yeah the Marlins have won 3 in a row but were 2- 8 in the 10 before that. They aren't good. Let's say Mets take the series 2-1. So the Nats come into the Labor Day series 6 games out? I'll take that right now. Of course, I bet the Mets would take that too.