After being swept by their most formidable division rival in Atlanta over the weekend and an 11-2 loss to Miami, the Nationals are struggling to establish a steady, winning momentum. It's only April, so the standings aren't an accurate representation of where all teams will end up at the end of the season. But that doesn't mean this isn't the perfect time for a little wake-up call.
When I posted up shop at a local D.C. bar for happy hour waiting for a friend, the fellow sitting next to me started to watch the Nats on TV and chat about the team. We went on for a few minutes about how we both thought the team would do this year compared to the past couple of seasons, and that's when he made it quite clear that he had high expectations for the team. He then proceeded to admit that he wasn't that big a baseball fan and was just going off of what he'd heard in the media. All that aside, expectations seem to be creeping up on the Nats again this year.
That conversation got me thinking, though. What expectations are being cast upon the 2014 Nationals?
With Wilson Ramos and Ryan Zimmerman down, Anthony Rendon, Danny Espinosa and others have to step up. With the Braves as good as they are, will Washington ever manage to scrounge out a win versus that tough of a squad? With the Marlins stepping up their play, will they be a serious contender fighting the Nats for a playoff spot at the end of the season? These are all things to think about.
Expectations aside, it feels pertinent to say that the Nationals' current obstacles still remain at the forefront of the conversation. This isn't going to be a quick and easy winning season, but that's the baseball grind at its most entertaining. How will the Nats' season progress and just how are they going to manage to oversee this early adversity?
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.