Court Swift has already written about the importance of the head-to-head matchup against the Mets this year. I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment, considering all the facts before us. I want to go further, however, and contend that all things being equal, the single biggest factor in determining the division race this year will be Daniel Murphy.
162-0 is an impossible dream, and more recently an annoying twitter campaign for every fan after Opening Day. It was, however, nice to keep the dream alive for an extra game this year. The Nationals will have to settle for 161-1 after dropping the final game of their opening series to the Marlins 4-3 in extra innings on Thursday night.
September baseball can be agonizing for many reasons, but mainly because it’s not October. It could be agonizing because your team is waiting on a mercy killing or (as is the case with the Nationals) because they are involved in the world’s slowest countdown – the countdown of the magic number.
Wednesday night’s walk off win against the Atlanta Braves doesn’t feel like the headline after Stephen Strasburg left the game in obvious discomfort in the third inning.
Life is full of surprises. It’s also full of things that aren’t surprising. One of the things that has recently moved into the latter category is the Nationals crushing the collective soul of the Atlanta Braves. Friday night’s 7-6 win – keyed off by a two-out Clint Robinson RBI single in the ninth inning – is only the latest in what has become a pattern of dominance exerted by the Nats over their division rivals.
If you managed to stay awake for the ending of the Nationals game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, then you got to see a little piece of Major League Baseball history, and a fairly large piece of Washington Nationals history.
Despite Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth both hitting home runs and Tanner Roark going on the mound, the Nationals fell to the San Diego Padres on Friday night. Roark had not given up a home run in 32 consecutive innings but chose Friday to make up some ground on his total for the season. Matt Kemp hammered two home runs off of the Nats’ starter, who lasted only five innings. In contrast, his counterpart Luis Perdomo lasted a career-high seven innings.
It was revealed Friday afternoon that San Diego’s native son Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the All-Star Game in his hometown as a cautionary step after coming off the disabled list earlier in July. Given that fact, Strasburg simply decided to put on his All-Star show a few days early in a 3-1 win over the New York Mets.