The Nationals just completed a four game sweep of the Braves, capping it with a game in which they ran Matt den Dekker and some guy named Heisey out there (I have no idea who this is. Did he win a contest or something?) and still took the Walgreens W.
Combine that with the a gritty 1-1 draw with the Marlins and a previous sweep of the hapless-but-only-because-they-keep-playing-us Braves, and the Nats are at 7-1 and in a dominant position in the division.
The National League East in 2016 has turned out to be surprisingly similar to the Franco-Prussian War. Everyone was expecting a real fight, but it was over instantly. We're sitting here in mid-April listening to a captive Napoleon III explain himself as we prepare to besiege Paris and inspire a musical.
|Terry Collins (left) tries to figure out where it all went wrong as Dusty Baker (right, kickass helmet) looks on.|
Since those two can't make this sure thing any less than sure, we're set. Is there anyone to worry about? This division includes three teams that aren't even trying. I don't need to tell you about Atlanta. The Phillies have been tanking for a while now, and the Nats get to enjoy that starting tomorrow. The Marlins play uncharacteristically tough against the Nats, but that's not enough to stop this from happening.
The Mets? Yeah, they won last year. Won the division, went all the way to the World's Series of Base Ball, and forced me to root for the AL team for first time ever.
It was a fluke. They're a one-year wonder. The Mets are not the protagonist of this story; they were there in 2015 only to show how far the Nats had sunk. "Look what the Matt Williams did to you," said Baseball. "You have been bested by the Mets." Just as it took an FBI investigation to get Jim Bowden fired, so it took allowing the damn Mets into the penthouse to get Matt Williams out of here.
2016 has arrived, and they're already panicking. Their manager proclaimed an April 13 game against the Marlins to be a must-win, and that's as stupid as it is untrue. They did win that game, but it doesn't matter, because the Mets are only even going to finish second because they're the only one of the Nats' competitors deluded enough to think that they have a chance.
Good game. Easy.