September 29, 2005

Sure, now you can hit . . .

While I'm happy to see the guys get some BP practice from the Marlins our little offensive burst might be a sign of why we're not going to be playing in October. When this team was predicted to finish in the basement at the beginning of the season there was zero pressure. Everyone was rightly saying that this year was a wash because we were just happy to have a team. Then the team started winning. There was still zero pressure because everyone said "the team is just playing over their head" and that "things will even out". Then came the All-Star break. The team had a five game lead in the division and an eleven game win streak under their belt. That's when the pressure started. If you're a contender at the All-Star break you really are a contender, not a pretender as they say.

At least that's what we were hoping for until they went into a tailspin. Once again the pressure was off. The team had returned to earth and they were no longer the wunderkind they were in the first half. With that expectation gone the Nats were free to get their act together and climb back into it. Another trip into the pressure cooker of being a contender. Two and a half games back of the wildcard with two weeks to play and six games against the teams they were fighting with. Once again the team crumbled, a victim of their inability to win games they should have.

Now with the elimination from the wildcard, they reel off back to back eleven run games. This team is obviously capable of producing, they smacked around Dontrelle Willis and he's a contender for the Cy Young and he has owned the Nats all year.

The baseball season is a long grueling march and it's a rare team that can go through the grind intact. This year the Nationals couldn't stand up to the challenge. Don't get me wrong, this is a successful season by any criteria but if this team wants to see the post season they're going to have to learn to thrive under the weight of being a contender. That's the really great thing about baseball, we get to start all over again in seven months to see if this team has learned anything, like maybe how to live up to great expectations.


Nate said...

Hi, thought you were dead too.

Watson said...

No, I'm still here. The real issue is you put together great posts so there's not much else to say. I'm pretty sure this is my longest of the year.