Any chance at NL Wild Card? - Losing two of three against the Braves this weekend didn't do any favors for the Nationals' disappearing hopes of a playoff spot this October. They had chances in each game they lost, but saw the Braves capitalize on mistakes and prevail with the series win. Now the Nats enter a brief road trip with a 9.5 game deficit separating them and the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds aren't offering much help for the Nationals as they've won nine of their last 12 games, but they did lose two in four-game series against the Brewers this past weekend. They now return to Cincinnati to play the Arizona Diamondbacks who have won five of their last six. The Diamondbacks, as you see above, are the other team separating the Nats and the final Wild Card spot. The Nats have 39 games left on their schedule, the Reds 38 and the Diamondbacks 40. The Reds obviously have the edge right now, but stranger things have happened.
Bad baseball coming up - With the exception of their series against the 64-59 Royals this upcoming weekend, 23 of the Nationals' next 26 games are against losing teams. That stretch includes seven games against the Mets, and six each against the Marlins and Phillies. Over the next few weeks, get ready to watch series after series of what is likely meaningless NL East baseball. If you thought the Nats up until this point have been hard to watch, wait until they're playing in front of 10,000 people in Miami in early September. With these teams up ahead, however, there does present an opportunity for the Nats to gain some ground in the Wild Card race. That said, this isn't the first time a 'soft spot' in the Nats' schedule has been pointed out, they just haven't been able to take advantage.