While the Nats were in Houston, big things happened in Miami. Across the Gulf of Mexico and Alligator Alley, the Miami Marlins, who held 5th place in the Division, swept the 1st place holders, the Atlanta Braves. This was a joyous time this season for Nats fans.
The Nats went to Philadelphia with a chance to take first place in the Division. The Braves hosted the San Francisco Giants this weekend and got swept AGAIN. This puts Atlanta on a 6 game losing streak, only to play the Cardinals starting today. If the Nationals would have won yesterday, they would have tied for 1st. Now, they are 0.5 games back.
After defeating the Braves, the Miami Marlins took on the grand Los Angeles Dodgers. How did the Dodgers, who the Nats face this week, do? Well, they lost 2 out of 3 to Miami.
The Dodgers are a tough team, and we get it. This week the Nats are facing Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Dan Haren, in his first return to Nats Park in a Dodgers uniform. But this series, where both the Nationals and Braves are playing 3 games against tough teams, is a chance for one team to gain distance on the other.
My Prediction for Los Angeles vs. Washington: I’m sorry to say this (for the first time this season), but the Nats will probably lose this series. This is an important series for them, but they face some of MLB’s toughest pitching. Yes, they are sending up Zimmermann and Strasburg, their 2 best, against the Dodgers’ 2 best. It’ll be interesting to see Roark against Haren, but I am most interested in Strasburg vs. Kershaw. This is an important series for the Nats to gain on the Braves and touch 1st place for the first time in May. I would like to see more production from Ian Desmond, and it looks like Adam LaRoche may be slowing down from a leg injury. We need to keep Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth playing like they have. And how about Danny Espinosa! He is having a good rebound year. If the Nats can get everyone going, they will have a good shot at a pretty similar team. But still, the first 2 games are probably property of Los Angeles.