The Washington Nationals finished their regular season with a 8-11 loss against the Pittsburg Pirates yesterday, also losing the series. The team’s performance wasn’t bad per se, however it did rise some concerns about certain newly returned players and their performance in the upcoming series against the Cubs.
Bryce Harper’s finally back, but his timing on the plate is still off even after being up to bat for 5 games since his return. Also, Max Scherzer walked off the field during the 4th inning on Saturday with calve pain. This can most likely be attributed to the sudden drop in temperature that day causing his [already problematic] muscle to tighten up. Let’s hope it’s sorted out in time for October 6th.
I, and I’m assuming many more nationals fans, are holding our breath until October 6th when the Nationals face the Cubs in the first game of the post-season. The Cubs began the regular season with a rocky start but have resurfaced with the highest ERA of NL in the second half of the season. Regardless, the Nationals have reversed the attitude towards their usual laughable bullpen by adding Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to make their bullpen one of the very best in the NL. So, if the series comes down to bullpen vs bullpen, the odds are in the Nats favor. Cubs do have the advantage that they have not suffered the same bad luck as our Washington team and dominated in their last few games of the regular season.
At the moment, many predictions for the National League Championship are against the Nationals due to Scherzer’s undeclared condition and the rust on Harper’s knee, but the 5 day break the team gets before October 6th may be exactly what they need in order to bring our bullpen and starters back to their full potential in time to give the Chicago Cubs a run for their money.