The past week has been as good a time as ever to reflect on the 2012 baseball season. The kids are back in school, Labor Day's next week, the dog days of summer are behind us, and we've got just over one month of baseball left. That's where everything stands.
To break it down, the Nationals are four games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East standings and are still the best team in all of baseball record-wise despite their five consecutive losses. Might I also add that three of those losses were against the Philadelphia Phillies.
While that series is just a blip on the Nats' season overall, it's interesting to see the transition from years past to the present. Remember the days when Nats fans were outnumbered by other teams' fans at their own ballpark (Citizens Bank Park South, anybody)? Remember the days when loss after loss after loss was just an occurrence in NatsTown? In fact, those losses were essentially expected.
Now when the Nats lose, it appears to be more of a "Really? That happened? I thought the Nats were over the whole losing thing." Fact of the matter is that this season, if it ended today and had no bearing on the playoffs whatsoever, is already a victory for this franchise.
Going back to what Nationals Buzz guest blogger Ted Leavengood said earlier this week, the Nats have a winning record for every month of this season. August and July are also the two best months in the history of the franchise ... even after the weekend disaster in Philadelphia.
I know the optimists are saying the Nats will make the playoffs, and then those on the other side of the spectrum are likely envisioning an epic end-of-season collapse. But no matter which end of the spectrum you happen to be on, just remember that this season is a step up from every year the team has been in existence.
Plus, if it weren't for all those years of losing baseball in Washington since 2005, this team wouldn't be as exciting to watch. I mean really, this team would not have been assembled as such if the team wasn't miserable to watch those first few years.
Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC, and will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation's capital as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.