Friday, September 09, 2005

Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine

Fish 8, Nats 4

I think it would be accurate to call myself one of the more "optomistic/realistic" Nationals fans, at least among the jock-jaws over at Yuda's. I've resisted pronouncing the Nats completely dead, at least so far. But after the latest three-game losing streak, only the most blindly optomistic can hold out realistic hope.

Granted, the Wild Card is still possible. But let's think clearly here. At four games behind the lead with only 21 games to play, Washington would need a winning streak of at least four games to climb back in the race.

Can they do that? Sure, anything's possible. No one would have predicted 50-31 at the halfway point. But with only three starters you can count on to even give the team a chance to win, how likely is even a two game winning streak? I mean, we don't even know who the fourth starter is right now.

But let's assume the Nats can sweep the Braves and take the first game of the Mets series. That wouldn't even get you in first place in the Wild Card. Three teams are ahead of us. Milwaukee would need to sweep Houston this weekend.

But that leaves the Phillies and the Marlins. They play each other this weekend! Assuming the Nationals sweep Atlanta and Milwaukee sweeps Houston, whoever wins that series would move into first place in the Wild Card.

Therein lies the problem. All the teams competing with the Nationals for the Wild Card (save for Houston) primarily play each other the rest of the way. It helps the Nats in the sense that they play the teams they're chasing. But when those teams also play each other, it makes it very difficult to gain ground on all of them. Philly, Florida, New York and Atlanta's games against each other will likely cancel each other out, leaving the status quo in place. If one team gets hot -- let's say Florida -- that makes them the favorite, forcing the Nats the sweep the Marlins in the last series in order to even have a prayer.

It hurts to have the team fall so hard and so fast. But having a team to be emotional over, even if it hurts, is something joyous in itself.


Anonymous Scott M. Collins said...

One ray of hope - after this weekend with ATL, we play NYM, SD, SF, and NYM. 12 games against teams that are approximately 0.500 or worse. That could put us in a competitive (but not commanding) position with 6 games to go against wild card leaders (FL, PHI).

9:44 AM  
Blogger Jon Wadsworth said...

We're hanging by a thread, but we're at the Bobby for most of the final stretch.

I refuse to let Cinderella leave the ball yet!

SCREW HOUSTON!!!!!!!!!!!


7:24 PM  

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