Quick, give me your gut reaction: Is this the worst the Nationals have looked this year?
Consider the facts: They lost 8-2 to the Astros tonight, giving up seven runs and making three errors in the fifth inning. They played before 10,999 - the smallest crowd since they've been in Washington - and fell to 62-88.
Since their 20-15 start, the Nationals are 42-73. Extrapolated over 162 games, that's good for a 59-win pace. In other words, the Nationals have played three-quarters of the season like it's 2008 or 2009, and stuck a good start on the front of it.
And between the fifth-inning errors, which sent Livan Hernandez's night into a guardrail, and the Nationals' two-run performance against Bud Norris, they looked as far from respectability as they have this year.
I'll have more in a little bit. But I'd love to hear some thoughts on the performance and where the Nationals sit on Sept. 20. Is this the low point?