- 3 games under .500, a half game out of last place.
- 7th in the Wild Card standings, closer to 2nd to last than first. (thanks Astros for being you!)
- 2-4 against the not-so-soft underbelly of the NL.
- A tearful Tom Boswell staring wistfully at his "Washington Nationals 2011 Wild Card Champions" macaroni poster. (unconfirmed)
I suppose there is still technically a chance. If the Nats were to go something like 39-20 (107 win pace) to end the season that could do it. That's not going to happen though. The best Nats fans can hope for right now is a solid couple weeks of play before the killer part of the 2nd half schedule kicks in. Maybe they can set themselves up still for a .500 season. It'll take some work though.
From August 12th through September 1st the Nats play PHI(a) - CIN - PHI - ARI - CIN(a) - ATL (a). While I've said a few times the good of the NL isn't that good (just like the bad isn't that bad... except for the Astros... who beat the Nats 2 out of 3) it's hard to see the Nats getting through that stretch at .500 or better.
Given that, it would be good if the Nats could get to the 12th with their heads above water. That means 10-6 in their next 16 games. Can they do it? Sure. Will they do it? You know what? I'll say yes. What the hell. It's a different team right? I'm sure it'll all collapse come late August but for now, let's say they can do it. They do have John Lannan right? The guy can win at least 3 of those all by himself.
Not to harp on a subject but Ian Desmond is officially the worst (qualified) hitter in the NL this year. (Alex Rios is worst in the majors, Ian 2nd, Dunn 3rd worst.)
Tom Gorzelanny has the exact same WHIP as John Lannan. He strikes out a bunch more. Why is he struggling and John Lannan dancing on a printout of his Fangraphs page? Slugging. Gorzo has given up 5 more homers and only one less XBH in 40 less innings pitched.
Since leaving Baltimore in 2004 here are JHJ's OPS+ : 82 - 36 -41 - 125 -85 -83 -104. I still think he'll crash a bit in the 2nd half, but looking at his career stats, what exactly happened in 2006 and 2007?
For all those thinking Danny can win the ROY - Freddie Freeman didn't get early mention because of a terrible April but he has put up a .303 / .362 / .506 line since May 4th. For a team that's going to make the playoffs. All the slick fielding in the world (and it is slick... and Freddie's is pretty terrible) isn't going to put Danny over that. Sorry. The new world we live in isn't THAT new.