With their 2-0 loss to the Rockies yesterday, the Nationals continue to hold onto a .500 record halfway through the third week of the season. Across Nats Nation, fans have been thrilled to be out of the cellar for the first time in a couple years. Last night I realized another effect this has on my baseball watching.
For the first time since 2005 I have a reason to pay attention to the standings. A real reason. My team is actually performing decently in comparison to other teams. The Mets have stayed in last place in the NL East for about a week and a half, and the Nats are a full game ahead of them with the Dodgers coming to DC. And I’m also enjoying the thrill of the Nats’ being only 1 game back in the NL wildcard, tied with Colorado.
So I now look to see what the other teams are doing. I’m sorry to see the Astros break their four-game winning streak and lose to the Marlins 5-1, since this means that the Fish maintain a tie with Philadelphia for first place in the NL East.
The Nats play the Dodgers for a three-game series starting tonight, and I have hopes that Luis Atilano, who takes Jason Marquis’s place in the rotation after a miserable start to the season by Marquis, the 15-million-dollar man, will succeed in his major league debut.
But I’m also concerned about the Mets-Braves series. The Nats need for the Braves to succeed to keep the Mets in the basement; but Braves success will also strengthen their hold on 2nd place in the division. The Nats can’t gain on the Braves without the Mets gaining on the Nats.
So this is what it feels like to have a real team, eh?