The more I watch this game over the years, the more I realize that if you try to figure baseball out, you might as well forget it, relax and enjoy the games. Unpredictability is what this new season has been all about so far, and with the ballclub not quite playing great in the first 15 games, I'll take a 9-6 start any time.
It all started with great pitching and enough timely hitting against Miami at home and continued on the road with three gut-check games at Cincinnati. The Nats came home and outslugged the White Sox for three games, then let one slip away to the Braves along, with the rest of the weekend.
The series in Miami saw two good bookend wins around a game that was up for grabs until the Ryan Zimmerman error and Dan Haren's mid-game problem turned the second game into a lopsided Marlins win.
Hey, they are, after all, a major league team and they were due to score some runs against somebody. What I take out of the Marlins series is that Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler are throwing as well as anyone in the National League right now, and coupled with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez - wow, what a big four.
Now it's on to New York and a marquee match-up Friday night with Strasburg and Mets' phenom Matt Harvey, (3-0, 0.82 ERA.) That one will get baseball's attention in Game 1, then Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann go in Games 2 and 3 to give the Nats a chance for a big weekend.
This has to be a good series for Washington because the Cardinals and Reds are up next, before a trip to Atlanta (enough said) and Pittsburgh, where the Pirates have given the team headaches in recent years.
So who is this Nationals team? Great pitching and defense? Productive offense?
I happen to think all three, though they haven't worked together consistently yet. But they will. These guys learned how to win last year. Now they have to learn how to live with that target on their backs.
So don't read too much into 15 games. May brings a west coast trip that includes Dodgers and Giants, but by the end of the month, they'll figure out how good they are, and so will we.