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How important is this homestand?

Jul 19, 2013, 4:12 PM EDT

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If the Nationals are going to make a serious run at their second straight postseason appearance, that run is going to have to start tonight and pick up some serious steam over the next 10 days.

Why? Well, for one thing, there are only 67 games remaining on the schedule. As detailed yesterday, in order to get to 90 wins, the Nationals need to go 42-25 the rest of the way. That's a .627 winning percentage, the equivalent of a 101-win pace.

If they only go, say, 5-6 during their upcoming homestand, they'll leave themselves in a position where they have to go 37-19 to get to 90 wins. That's a .661 winning percentage, the equivalent of a 107-win pace.

Point is, each week that passes without the Nationals making up some ground is a week lost at this stage of the process. Yes, there's still time for them to get back in this thing, but there's no moreRead more ยป

  1. nats guy - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Nats need to learn to stop being nice guys and step on some necks when the other guys are down.They have let so many teams back up when they were ahead early. Mostly they have won but have expended a lot of resources on games that should have been laughers. Jordan has a limited time left before he expends his innings limit. Detwiler needs to find a breaking pitch. Teams have been timing him and are killing him on the second time through because he has fallen in love with his fastball.This is a very important game for Strasburg. Last game was pretty brutal. Was that just a bad game, which everybody has eventually. or is something wrong.Nats need to win or sweep every series for the rest of season to have even a miniscule hope of a prayer.

  2. Laddie Blah Blah - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    "They have to begin an uphill climb and sustain it… The time has come to make a move. Now we find out if the Nationals can actually do it."That's it, in a nutshell.

  3. SonnyG10 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    If they're world series material, it doesn't matter whether we have tough opponents or not. We have to be able to beat everyone. With tough opponents, we'll find out right away whether we have a chance or not.

  4. mick - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Mark stole my thunder from 2 days ago

  5. mick - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    the Pirates and Dodgers series will tell us where the Nats are

  6. mick - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    unrelated to the topic, the one thing that makes baseball the most aesthetic game over all over sports live, are the uniforms from the long time teams…Cards, Dodgers, Yanks, these uni's are beautiful!

  7. mick - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    i love the nats home white uni's…Cards may have the best overall

  8. Rabbit34 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    As much as I'd like to, I just can't see the Nationals having enough to do it. Wait 'till next year.

  9. hiramhover - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Any update on Det?Last word was, he was going to throw a BP session on Thursday, which would help them decide whether he can start as scheduled next Tuesday.

  10. JamesFan - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    When they are 6 games back and playing .500 baseball, every homestand, every game is critical. All hands on deck.

  11. Section 222 - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    It's only July 19, but there's some serious realism being doled out in this and the last thread. Clearly, everyone has taken stock of the schedule and realized that Nats need to start seriously stepping it up right away. I'd say we need to go at least 7-4 in this homestand and although it would be nice to win all three series, we can even go 1-2, 2-2, and 4-0 and come out ok. Basically we have to dominate one of the three series and survive the others. I'm going to remain hopeful we can do that even if we only win one game against the Dodgers. Greinke and Kershaw are awfully tough (we know we can beat Nolasco) and the Dodgers have been off the charts recently.My quartet is singing the anthem on Saturday night, so we'll be doing our part to support the team. I'd remind everyone who's going to get there early, but you'll be doing that anyway to get the DJ bobblehead.

  12. Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    They can't make up six games tonight. Just beat L.A.

  13. Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    And Deuces, break a leg!

  14. Tcostant - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I think is more than this homestand, they play 19 of their next 24 at home. At the end of that you need to be no less than three games out of a playoff spot. You need a 15-9 in the games, at least.

  15. Section 222 - Jul 19, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    The time has come to make a move. Now we find out if the Nationals can actually do it.This same thing could have, and probably was, written when the Nats were about to start a seven game homestand against the the weak sister Brewers and Padres. And we proceeded to start making a move, winning 5 of 7 games. But then we turned around and lost 5 of the next 7 against the Phils and Marlins. That stretch against two division rivals we should have been able to beat could prove very costly and has put our back against the wall starting tonight.

  16. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    The thing is– the Dodgers feel the same way about having to make a run that we do.

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    nats guy said… Nats need to learn to stop being nice guys and step on some necks when the other guys are down.I have said it similar but I think I added "snap their necks". The killer instinct doesn't end with scoring 2 in the 1st and going with zero's the rest of the way.

  18. bowdenball - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    nats guy said…"Nats need to win or sweep every series for the rest of season to have even a miniscule hope of a prayer."Really? If they win every series and don't sweep any of them, that's a .667 winning percentage (ignoring the 2 and 4 game series). A .667 win percentage of 67 games equates to a 45-22 record. That would give them 93 wins.So even if we remove the "or sweep" part of your post, which is a generous interpretation of what you said, you are saying that the Nats need to win 93 games to "have even a miniscule hope of a prayer." Sorry, but you are just plain wrong about that.

  19. Section 222 - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Sure, the best way to assure a very strong second half is to win every series. But as noted above, we could lose the series to the Dodgers, split with the Pirates, and sweep the Mets, and we'd be 7-4 (.636). So it would be silly to say we have to win 2 of 3 from the Dodgers or we're done. But you've got to make up ground somehow. No more treading water like we've been doing for the last 3 and a half months. There are many ways to get there from here, but they all involve better hitting.

  20. Kevin X - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Thank you bowdenball for bringing reasonability into the discussion.

  21. Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    I would argue they don't "need" to crank it up now, although I won't object if they do. The Braves are ahead because they got hot for a couple of weeks, early. If the Nats can get hot for two weeks, preferably in-division with the Braves included, they're right in the mix. The first two weeks of August, for instance, would do nicely.

  22. Ron In Reston - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I know it's going to sound horribly cliche, but One Game at A Time. We don't need to go on "several 6-game winning streaks" as someone posted a couple of days ago, nor do we need to "win or sweep every series". We also don't need to watch what the Braves or Cards or Reds or anyone else is doing. We need to maintain some semblance of consistency and so far this season we;ve been consistent in one thing: being inconsistent. Deuces brings up a good point, that we could lose the series to the Bums, split with the Bucs and sweep the Mets and have had a 7-4 home stand. The only issue there is sweeping a team in a four-game series is very difficult. But there's also no reason we couldn't go 2-1, 2-2 and 3-1 and come out the same. And if the games go: W-L-W-W-L-W-L-W-W-L-W, that's 7-4 with no more than two wins in a row. Keep up that same kind of pattern five more times and that's 42-24….but there's that consistency thing again.

  23. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Process- play good baseball, pay attention to the small things, play the game the right way, hustle. Let the wins take care of themselves.

  24. Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    But when they play them one game at a time in August, this is who they're playing: exactly the teams they need to beat, and exactly the teams they should beat:AUGUST1 OFF 2 @ Brewers3 @ Brewers4 @ Brewers 5 vs Braves6 vs Braves7 vs Braves 8 OFF9 vs Phillies10 vs Phillies11 vs Phillies 12 OFF 13 vs Giants14 vs Giants15 vs Giants 16 @ Braves17 @ Braves18 @ Braves19 @ Cubs20 @ Cubs21 @ Cubs22 @ Cubs23 @ Royals24 @ Royals25 @ Royals26 OFF

  25. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    No reason at all not to do well in August.

  26. nats guy - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Bowdenball,My opinion is as good as yours. The "rose colored glasses" group has been just plain wrong so far. Maybe they should try playing with some serious urgency. 67 games is a very short peiod of time. Play like there is no tomorrow because if you don't there won't.

  27. nats guy - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    Every time you guys say there is plenty of time and they'll start playing better soon they haven't. Maybe if someone lights a fire under them (Davey are u listening) to play with some urgency they will. I don't truly believe they have a snowballs chance in Hell of getting to the playoffs because they they take things too easily and roll over way too much to be a team that can play with fire in ther bellies.

  28. hiramhover - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    nats guySo if I can follow that fiery post–what you're saying is, that snowball would stand a better chance in their stomachs?Day like today, I'm not so sure.

  29. baseballswami - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    They will play however they will play. Health will be an issue. The play and health of other teams will be an issue. Rose colored glasses/ gloom and doom– whatever. Do yourself a favor – watch your team , enjoy the game tonight.

  30. Sec. 1 D, seat 10 T, My Sofa - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Hear hear, swami

  31. sjm308 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I will enjoy baseball tonight! I will enjoy it more if we score more runs than the Dodgers!I will enjoy it if we play solid defense and run the bases with intelligence!I will enjoy it even more when I am there on Saturday!Go Nats!!

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
ATLANTA 76 77 13.0
MIAMI 74 79 15.0
NEW YORK 74 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 84 19.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Friday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON 89 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 88 66 1.5
ST. LOUIS 86 68 3.5
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 69 5.0 +1.0
PITTSBURGH 83 70 6.0 --
MILWAUKEE 79 75 10.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Friday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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