DENVER – What was the secret to the Nationals’ series win over the weekend in San Francisco? A reinvigorated lineup? Effective starting pitching? Lockdown relief work?
Or was it the turning of the calendar hanging in the manager’s office?
“April, the pressure’s always to start off really good,” Davey Martinez explained Sunday. “Everybody wants to start off good, right? Sometimes it doesn’t happen and you put added pressure (on yourself). Now it’s: Hey, May 1! May 1! Go have some fun! Go play baseball!”
Maybe that had nothing to do with it. Nevertheless, the season’s first month is no over, and we have indeed shifted to May baseball, which does feel different than April baseball. We’re starting to get a better sense of the team, who’s having a good season, who isn’t and who still has time either to turn it around or fall apart.
So let’s take this opportunity, before the Nationals’ road trip continues tonight against the Rockies, to consider what we’ve seen so far, and what it might mean for the rest of the season …