We realize that some might consider this nit-picking, and it probably is, but we still can't be past the losses over the last two days in games the Nats should have won. Yes, we know that a lot of game are "winnable," but these games were more than that. The Nats were leading by 2 in the 8th yesterday and were playing behind a totally dominating performance by John Patterson on Saturday.
Anyway, we got to thinking about the second half the Nats would be facing if they had won these last two games. Instead of being 52-36 at the All-Star break, the Nats would be 54-34, and instead of being 2 1/2 games ahead of the Braves, they'd be 4 1/2 games in front. Would this matter given that there are 162 games in a season and 74 games left?
Yes. If the Nats had won the last two games, they could have gone .500 for the rest of the season and still tied for the Division title, assuming the Braves continue to win at their current rate. If the Nats won those games and played .500 from here on out, they would finish 91-71. If the Braves continue to win at a .562 clip, they too would finish 91-71. As it stands now, the Nats would finish two games behind the Braves if they play at a .500 clip for the remainder of the season.
Yes, it's only two games, but in a close race two games mean a lot.