The Washington Nationals are now an unthinkable 5.5 games back of Cincinnati in the chase for the second NL Wild card spot. That is a large margin but still possible to meet in the 16 games that remain.
The Reds’ magic number is 11. They need a combination of Reds wins or Nats losses equal to 11 to clinch. If the Nats keep winning, the Reds will have to too in order to make the playoffs. They still have 6 games against Division rivals Pittsburgh Pirates that will go a long way in deciding whether they play in October.
Also, the Nats play a series against NL Central’s St. Louis Cardinals, who are fighting for the NL Central Division and a wild card spot. Imagine if the Nats sweep the Cards, the Pirates take the Division and the Reds take the first Wild Card. We can get the second WC spot as long as the NL Central teams keep losing. The magic formula is Nats winning and the NL Central teams losing.
The Nationals are carrying a six game winning streak, the longest they’ve had all season. The teams is also more games over .500 than they have ever been all season. That’s because the team is finally playing up to their expectations. The dude above, #2 Denard Span, is carrying a 23-game hitting streak, the longest active hitting streak in the majors, the longest ever by a Nats CF, and, if he keeps it up for 8 more games he’ll jump over the Rockies Michael Cuddyer for the longest this season in MLB and Ryan Zimmerman and Vladimir Guerrero for the longest hitting streak in Nationals history.
And what the heck is the power outburst going on with Ryan Zimmerman? He’s homered so many times this road trip. 8 home runs in September, which almost as many as he’s hit all season.
Jayson Werth is coming up with some clutch hits. And if he plays a few more games, Wilson Ramos is about to have the longest catching streak in the MLB. Yadier Molina would be 2nd, with 22. Ramos is on his way to 23.
So that brings me to the next poll:
By the way, after Gio Gonzalez almost pitched a no-no earlier this week I asked readers “Who Would Be the First National to Pitch a No-Hitter?” Here are the results so far. You can click here to keep voting.
Jordan Zimmermann is winning in the poll. The next closest person was Stephen Strasburg. That’s a little surprising, but Zimmermann has been probably the best pitcher this season with his league-leading 17 wins.
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