When I first noticed the "Road Trip of Dooooooom" coming I noted that I wanted the Nats to be at least 13-9 when they started it. That's a 96 win pace - a pretty good place to be against the dregs of the league if you want to make the playoffs. After the burning down of Atlanta I amended it to 15-6 (there was a rain-out if you are wondering what happened to that other game). That's a 116 game pace against the worst. That's the sign of a dominant team if kept up for the season.
The Nats could still be at 15-6 with a win today.
There are a couple things going on at the same time that make things feel worse than they probably are. They are 5-5 in their last 10. They are losing at home going into the road trip. It's apparent that the offense has some issues. The Mets are streaking and now sit only a game behind. But 15-6 (or 14-7) after 21 games is still a great place to be.
Could the Nats be in trouble? Could they match up poorly against the better teams in the league? Sure. But we can't tell that today. We'll get a good feel of where the Nats sit in the MLB pecking order from this road trip. Could the Mets be better than them? Perhaps. But two back to back losses at home to the Phillies isn't a big clue. A week after the "RTOD" they'll play 6 games against the Mets in 9 days. We'll get a better feel about that then.
All we know right now is that the Nats are a much better team that the likes of the Braves (6-0), Twins (3-0), Marlins (3-2) and yes Phillies (2-3). Did you know two years ago when the Nats won 96 games they had a losing record vs the 73 win Phillies? Yep. Killed the Marlins. Killed the Mets. But the Phillies won 10 of the 19 H2H games against them. It happens. Doesn't mean the Phillies were better. and 2-3 doesn't mean the Phillies are better.
This is all we know and it's a good thing to know.
Now, still you don't want to go into a road trip reeling. Win today. Ok?