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Nationals complete sweep of Marlins, continue to creep up in Wild Card race

Aug 29, 2013, 10:31 PM EDT

Harper Werth Getty Getty Images

Don’t sleep on the Nationals. Aided by seven scoreless innings from Gio Gonzalez and home runs from Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Ian Desmond, the Nationals wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Marlins tonight with a 9-0 victory at Nationals Park.

Gonzalez gave up just three hits (all of them singles) and three walks while striking out eight. The victory was his first since way back on July 10. Werth’s homer was his fourth in his past seven games and 13th since the beginning of July. His OPS is up to .947 for the season.

The Nationals have won eight out of their last nine games to improve to 68-65 for the year and will go into Friday’s action 6 1/2 games behind the Reds for the second Wild Card spot. As Craig mentioned this morning, they have a pretty soft schedule the rest of the way, so stranger things have happened.

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Aug 29, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    so wait Craig’s not just trolling the Nats fans? they actually have a shot? Wow I wrote out the Nats just BECAUSE Craig kept talking about their chances. Craig Rick rolled me bad man…so so bad

  2. misterj167 - Aug 30, 2013 at 3:00 AM

    The only reason they even have a chance is because of the easy schedule they have left: nothing but Phillies, Mets and Marlins mostly the rest of the way. One more series with the Braves in Washington, one series with the D’Backs. How hard the Braves decide to play them in that last series will be determined by injuries and whether they have the division wrapped up and whether they feel like stepping on a few throats.

    They still won’t take the division of course mainly because the Braves have just as easy a schedule, in fact the only team left on the schedule that’s currently above .500 is the Nats. The Nats may stay hot but so will the Braves.

    The only way the Nats can make the playoffs is if either the Reds, Pirates or Cards collapse, and then only if the D’Backs collapse too. It’s certainly possible, but they’ll need a lot of help.

    Frankly they don’t deserve to get in, not the way they’ve played for most of the year. But hey that’s what happens.

    • NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 6:45 AM

      Well, and one series with the Cards (9/23, 24,25), who could be fighting hard at that point–or resting regulars and setting their rotation.

      The soft schedule is key but so is HEALTH. Nats are finally healthy, with Ryan Zimmerman not throwing balls away (shoulder) and Harper back to form (various). Denard Span has figured things out and Desi, of course, is Desi. Wilson Ramos is healthy enough so that we could trade Suzuki.

      The 4-5 of the rotation are made out of string and glue, but the glue is holding. Dan Haren fixed his brain, Detwiler is gone but Ross Ohlendorf is okay if you don’t expect more than 5-6 innings. Tanner Roark was a discovery, man, where did this guy come from–and he fields his position. Davey is managing the bullpen tough, tough, tough. You walk guys, you are OUT OF THE GAME.

      • misterj167 - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Oh yeah I missed the Cards series.

        I just have this funny thing about teams playing like crap for 3/4 of the year and then getting hot and squeaking in due to being in a crappy division or too many playoff spots. Baseball, to me, is about consistency, and teams that don’t play consistent most of the year don’t deserve a chance to win the WS. And considering a lot of so-called professional journalists felt, and they agreed, that the Nats had the trophy handed to them before the season even began, means to me they don’t deserve to get in based on how they’ve performed.

        And if the obnoxious Nats fans who were ragging on the Braves when the year began, even after that first sweep, feel they’re being treated rudely, they brought it on themselves. Yeah I know, Braves will choke in the postseason, blah blah blah…well at least they got there, and they stomped on your asses all year to do it.

        Oh, and I don’t want to hear it from Nats fans about injuries, the Braves have dealt with far worse than they have, their projected starting lineup has been there for only about 30 games this year. And that’s not even counting under-performing players like BJ Upton.

    • voteforno6 - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      If they actually do make it, it will be because they deserve it, just as it will be for every other team that makes it.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:46 AM

      Yes, as Nat Lady pointed out – 6 games are against AZ and St. Louis, 20% of the remainig games. Nats are just 7-6 against the Phillies (aided by a sweep that occured during the Phillies 4-19 free fall that appears over), and just 7-5 against the Mets. Add in the Braves, and the Nats really do not have that a favorable schedule at all.

      They are going to have to pick it up a good bit if they want to overtake the Reds

  3. jonrox - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    The Reds also have an easy schedule to close out, being mostly home games. On the other hand, they have Dusty Baker, so anything’s possible.

  4. twilson962 - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    Whoa. Let’s all take a deep breath. The Nats are in this position b/c they have been wildly inconsistent this season.

    Fingers-crossed. But….I’m not expecting anything

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