I have read in several places, that this team has a chance to finish .500 this season. 500? Don’t believe the hype. Yes, they are playing better than expected at the beginning of the year. The days when everyone predicted a historically bad season seems like a long time ago. Even predicting the Nationals would lose less than 100 games seemed like a longshot. But here we are, only 31 games to go, and the Nats are sitting on a record of 58-72. Not too shabby, 14 games under .500 projects out to a final record of 72-90. But what would they have to do in order to get to 81-81? Basically, with only 31 games left, they would have to win 23 and lose only 8, which translate to a winning percentage of .742 over the final month and a week of the season. Not impossible, but with this team, yeah it’s pretty much impossible. On the bright side, in order to lose 100 (which would be bad, but not historically bad like sportswriters predicted) they would have to go 4-27 for the remainder, which is not impossible, but it is highly unlikely. And they have moved well beyond any sort of record breaking number of losses this season. So the best money is on somewhere in between. Considering their best pitcher (John Patterson) and their best hitter (Nick Johnson) have combined for a total of 7 games, all of them horrible starts by Patterson, this finish is all the more impressive. But what would be most impressive is if they could rattle off one more win than their current percentage shows, go 15-16 over the next 31 games, and finish 73-89, just where I predicted them at the beginning of the season. Of course, I also predicted that Nick Johnson would be back full time by the beginning of June and that Patterson would lead the team in starts, so what the hell do I know?

Chad Cordero is going to explode! Ruuuuuuuun!

Chad Cordero seems to be the big topic of the week. The Washington Post sportswriters are apparently running around the office headless and aflame because they said that Cordero has been “slipping into a funk that threatens to ruin his season.” The tamer Washington Times said he has had a “recent string of poor outings” which is still a bit of an exagerration. He gave up an earned run, 3 games ago. Then he had two terrible outings. But since 3 games ago, he gave up one run (pretty normal for a closer, even the best ones do it every 9 appearances), they’ll throw it in with the other 2 and say its a string or a funk. Well 2 games is not stringy, and other than those 2 games, there is nothing funky about Cordero (although I’ve never seen him dance). TWO GAMES people, I know we’re looking for stuff to write about, but let it be. I won’t even get into the business of defending him, Capital Punishment did a great job of that this weekend. But “threatens to ruin his season”? COME ON… Ohmygod, Luis Ayala gave up a run last night! It’s his 4th this month! His ERA has ballooned to 2.86! I’m going to make sure I have enough bottled water in my emergency kit…Cordero Riot!

By Charlie