I'm on the road so posts will be pretty brief for a couple days.
A couple weeks out I thought, wouldn't it be nice if when the Nats got to the White Sox series if they didn't have to face Sale or Quintana? Lo and behold here we are and the Nats don't have to face Sale or Quintana. They don't even get Rodon. Instead they get the quickly turning back into a pumpkin Latos, journeyman Gonzalez, and "Competant Game" James.
The Nats season is almost a microcosm of how I believe sports events are generally decided. I don't feel like teams win. I don't think teams rise to the occasion often, playing better than normal. Instead I feel like teams lose. One team does what they are supposed to with minimal effort, what by all rights they should be able to do. The other fails to do these expected tasks. They can't move runners over. They can't get a 2-out hit in say, 5 chances. They make an error. The Nats in 2016 are the team doing what is expected. Around them the teams and league falls leaving them on top.
I know some will take that to be dismissive of the Nats, but it's not meant to be. It's how I think nearly every season plays out. A couple talented teams manage to stay healthy and play as they should. The rest of the league either gets injured or can't hit their potential or both. The Nats are no different than the Royals from last year or the Giants the year before that, etc. etc. There is skill in not playing bad, in not messing things up. The best teams show this skill.
The Nats merely need to win one of the next two to make that the story once again. The Nats went on the road against inferior teams and came out winners, like they should. They didn't run roughshod. They simply did what they needed to. Keep it up and as we've seen from the Mets, other teams won't and the Nats will end up where they want to be.