July 29, 2005
In each of the five previous series, against the Mets, Phillies, Brewers, Rockies, and Astros, the Nationals have won exactly one game. In this week's series against the Braves, however, they failed to win any. This marked the first time the Nats have been swept since the May 23-25 series with Cincinnati. All of a sudden they are three games back, with the Phillies hot on their tails for the number two spot. Well, let's look on the bright side: the Nats lost each of the three games by only one run, and they increased their score in each game. On a serious note, I do have to give the Nats players credit for hanging in there and playing hard, even though that magic-charm teamwork that propelled them to the top in May seems to have vanished for the moment. Over the course of a season, things do tend to even out, and they couldn't expect to maintain such a high percentage of one-run wins for ever. With one notable exception (!), all of the Nats position players are showing flashes of brilliance, but just not often enough. I think as long as Livan Hernandez, Esteban Loaiza, and Chad Cordero can maintain that rock-hard determination to do their best no matter what, the rest of the team will eventually bounce back and get in the groove again. If the past is prologue, it will be hard to beat the Braves in the divisional race, but it may not be so hard to reach the postseason via the wild card route, and maybe even get to the World Series.
For the fourth time this season today, TBS broadcast a game between the Braves and the Nationals, and for the fourth time, it was blacked out in our area, even though none of the games are shown on the stations carried by Adelphia. Booo! Well, I suppose I didn't miss much in today's game. A Circuit Court judge from Montgomery County, Maryland threw out the lawsuit filed by Comcast against Major League Baseball and the Orioles-controlled Mid-America Sports Network; see Washington Post. I really don't care who wins, as long as the issue is resolved and the games are made available to the general public on a reasonable basis.