Don't ever tell Manny Acta his ball club can play the role of spoilers for the remainder of the season! Don't even think of going there.
Forgetting June and July is the best avenue to take and focusing on the great start the Nationals have had to begin August. As most Nats fans are saying, "now this is more like it."
We've still got big series upcoming against the Mets, Phillies, Marlins and Braves, all division opponents. Toss in the Dodgers, Rockies, Cubs and Padres, and this ball club can still make things miserable for a lot of teams that have their sights trained on a division championship and post season play.
Spoilers? Perhaps a better goal is for the Nationals is to just keep on playing their best baseball of the season. And I think it can only continue to get better.
No question, the additions of 22-year-old Emilio Bonifacio and 25-year-old Alberto Gonzalez have been such a terrific shot in the arm. But lets not forget the play of Willie Harris, Lastings Milledge, Austin Kearns and company.
The pitching staff rotation of Redding, Bergman, Perez, Lannan and Balester is giving Randy St Claire and Manny Acta the sort of outings they had come to expect.
The Nats bullpen has been lights out of late. Steven Schell and Joel Hanrahan both have been tough for batters to handle coming out of the pen.
Overall, I believe Manny is looking for consistency from every player on this ball club. That especially holds true when there will be no trip to post season this year; but it is just a matter of time until that will change.
There are just too many good young players on this team and still a little more than a month and a half for everyone to prove just how bright the future is!
If they continue to get better, improve at the plate and in the field, that's good enough for any manager.
I know Manny and his coaches can't wait for next season. But for now, there is still work to be done in this year's campaign.