Baseball is not a sport for those that hang importance on every victory.What is ultimately important in baseball is winning series and having winning streaks that last longer than losing streaks. The 2013 Nationals are off to the same 4-2 start as the 2012 Nationals even though those records were achieved in very different manners. The 2012 Nationals won series 2-1 against the Cubs (61-101) and Mets (74-88) to open up the season. The 2013 Nationals swept the understaffed Marlins and lost a series on the road 1-2 to the projected NL Central champion Reds. When the Nats play that Reds, Cardinals, Giants, Dodgers, and Braves on the road the result of the series should be 1-2. Those are the coin-flip games the Nationals are going to play and when those games are on the road the advantage turns ever so slightly in the favor of the home team.
Last season the Nationals had an April showdown series against the Dodgers. Bryce Harper made his debut, the Nats pitching was brilliant, Henry Rodriguez blew a save, and the Nats got swept. This past series against the Reds was very different. The Nats had their big free agent starting pitcher give up six runs in four innings of work, Ross Detwiler pitch brilliant and club five homers on offense to take the middle game, and then had their Ace, Stephen Strasburg, attempt to emulate Dan Haren's performance by giving up six runs in six innings of work. The argument can be made that Strasburg was finished after five innings, but if he truly is the Ace of this staff then he is the pitcher the team wants on the mound in the sixth no matter how he has looked. Read More