Welcome to the first of a two-part series titled “Nationals History Lessons,” where we look at history as it relates to current events and allow readers to utilize the post hoc fallacy to jump to conclusions! First up, we look at how the three Nationals playoff teams and their playoff opponents fared in the month of September. We will then look at the 2017 Nationals and their NLDS opponent, the Cubs (no one really thinks it’s going to be anyone else, right?). This is meant to be a fun exercise, not an assumption of future events based upon three five-game series from the past nor a rehashing of painful memories from October. With that said, let’s get started!
Three months ago, to think that the answer to this question could be anyone but Max Scherzer was silly. But of late, things have changed. The Nationals have three starting pitchers with the potential to win the Cy Young award. Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez, and Stephen Strasburg have all been pitching Cy Young-caliber ball, especially of late. They’re starting to be referred to as the “Three-Headed Monster.” If I had my way, I’d break the award into three pieces and give it to all of them to share.
But alas, the world doesn’t work that way. Only one can win the Cy Young, and here I discuss who of the three Nats starters has the best chance to beat out Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and each other for the award.
I have tried to ignore it for days but it is time the address the elephant in the room — or in this case, the dumpster fire in the room. I am, of course, referring to the Los Angeles Dodgers and their increasingly slim lead for the best record in baseball. An 11-game losing streak and only twos win in September through 13 days of the month have created a gaping opportunity for the Washington Nationals to overtake them for home field advantage. This, along with very little else exciting happening for Nats fans, has created a storm of hot takes surrounding the merits of earning the top overall seed. I have considered all sides of this and have finally come to a definitive conclusion: being the top seed is good.
Congrats, Nationals! You’ve clinched the NL East. Hope you had fun pouring champagne on each other and getting blasted with the off day on Monday.
The Nats just swept the Miami Marlins, their closest division rival, and outscored them eleventy billion to 4*. (*It really isn’t important). The Nats are also about 8ish games either side of the “very mediocre” Chicago Cubs, and the “peaking too quickly” Los Angeles Dodgers. The magic number is 4, and it is barely the first week of September. This season has been over and locked in since roughly May of 1932.
So what does a Nats fan do for the rest of the month? Maybe we could all play outside…for a good cause!
Back by popular demand, the September Awareness Guide is here! In the month since we last did this, the Washington Nationals still have an enormous division lead and thus are still not exactly appointment television. With that in mind, there are a few things to follow the last four weeks around baseball besides updates on Bryce Harper’s physical, and mental, health.
Over the bases and through the steps, to the clubhouse Zimmy goes.
The Ryan Zimmerman Renaissance is the gift that keeps on giving. Homers, extra base hits, infield singles, a renewed spring in his step–all products of this great age in Zim-history. Zimmerman scoring from first on a Howie Kendrick double is another product. The beeline he made for the clubhouse after touching home might be better though.
Bryce Harper got his hair done in Miami, posted a picture of it on his Instagram story, and the entire internet has decided this means another year without a Nats NLCS appearance. And I mean, maybe they’re not wrong.