David Huzzard: Nats will be ready come October

The Nationals' current four-game losing streak feels like the longest losing streak of the season. It isn't. That happened back in June when they lost seven in a row. This probably feels like a longer losing streak because the Nationals played so poorly against the Braves in order to test just how bad they were. The Nats found out that the Braves are very bad. The Orioles aren't a bad team, and so playing poorly against them has had much more disastrous results.

Each loss by the Nationals has felt worse because the Nationals don't get blown out often. The Nationals have only lost eight games by five or more runs all season. The Nationals are in almost every game they play and that creates more heartbreaking close loses. Those are the types of loses that you remember afterwards because a lead was blown or a comeback fell short, and the end result was such a loss that if the ball bounces more the Nationals' way, it could have been a win. To add to this, the Nats expected win total is four games better than their actual win total.

Making a habit of losing games by a small margin is not a bad thing. The Nationals are a good team and good teams when they lose, barely lose. That is what the Nationals have done. On the flip side of the blowout losses are the blowout wins, and the Nats have 26 of those. Twenty-six of the Nats' 73 wins have come by five or more runs. That means that the Nationals are beating a lot of teams by wide margins. Big wins and close losses are the mark of a good team, and the Nats are a team that can show well in the playoffs. All that has to happen is that we get there first.

The current situation for the Nats is one of waiting. The Marlins and Mets are so far behind that the Nats would have to just stop winning completely for either team to catch up, and as we all know, losing streaks don't last forever. That is what the Marlins or Mets need, for the Nationals' current losing streak to last until the end of September, and that is simply unlikely to happen. The Nats will turn this around and start winning games again. The bullpen will pull itself together and start pitching better, starters will go deeper in games and the offense will have explosive nights.

None of that is happening right now or for the immediate past, but it will happen again and the Nats will win the division for the third time in five years and play the winner of the National League West in the first round of the playoffs. That is when the real fun will begin, but for now, it is a waiting game. And while the Nationals look bad now, they will look good again before the season is over. The Nationals do get to play the Braves and Phillies again after all and that can only help in their quest to not look bad too close to October.

This current four-game losing streak is only temporary. The Nats will get hot again and will have at least one more winning streak before the playoffs begin. That is the rhythm of baseball and even though the season is drawing to a close, there is plenty of time for them to pull off a hot stretch or two before October.

David Huzzard blogs about the Nationals at Citizens of Natstown. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHuzzard. His views appear here as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our pages. 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 regular roster of writers.

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