After this past weekend's series loss to one of the worst teams in baseball and a pair of losses in Los Angeles this week, the Nationals continue to battle in their pursuit of meeting the expectations imposed upon them. But here's the thing: For all the hiccups this team has encountered, they're still just one game behind the first-place Atlanta Braves in the National League East.
To me, this season is all about perspective for the Nationals and their fans. Who could have ever predicted the 2012 season? I doubt even the Wizard of Oz himself could have seen that one coming. But here we are in 2013. Stephen Strasburg has been a bit erratic as far as performance is concerned, Jordan Zimmermann is proving to be the ace in the hole while starting in the three-spot, Jayson Werth is on the disabled list, leaving a hole in the line-p (though he'll be back soon) and the Goon Squad is being asked to step up early with Werth out and Bryce Harper having a few necessary days off due to various injuries.
So the Nats lost a series to the Cubs. So what? It's really not the end of the world. Granted, it'll start to look like the end of times if the Nats keep losing series and series after series - not only to weak teams like the Cubs. but well-ranked teams around baseball. But as we saw last year, it's impossible to predict the future.
At this rate, the Nats are in a good position. They're in second place and in a fight for first against a team that seems to keep on losing right when Washington does. Those two teams are pretty well-matched, too.
But again, it's all about perspective. Would you rather watch a team that had no hope for successful season - like the 2011 Nats or the 2013 Cubs - or would you rather watch a team that's scrappy and fighting to hold onto something?
Personally, I'd pick the latter.
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.