But in a battle of first-place teams, the Nats’ bats fell silent and the red-hot Yankees earned a three-game sweep.
So is this the beginning of the end of Washington’s tremendous start to the season? Absolutely not, says Post columnist Thomas Boswell. In fact, quite the contrary.
In his Monday morning chat, Boswell took the glass-half-full approach:
Nats fans should come in off the ledge. The Yanks were hot. It happens. Gio, Z’mann and Jackson all had quality starts. The bullpen pitched seven no-hit innings on Saturday after Z'mann left. Lot of good things — ex-Lidge — in that series.
More important, the Nats are now 15-11 in that 32-game streak of contests against teams from the AL and NL East. That's excellent. They have six more. If they bounce back solidly vs. Rays and O's, they may look back on this stretch of the season — including the Yankee sweep — when they actually set the groundwork for their first playoff appearance.
Also, the N.L. East got so crushed by the A.L. East that it looks like it will take less wins this year to grab the NL East crown or make the wildcard spots.
I'd say the Nats are in much better shape — especially to win the NL East — than they were one week ago when we last chatted. They've gone 3-3. But the division looks so weak. The Marlins are getting exposed. Good to see that temper-case Zambrano getting knocked around in Miami. The Braves sending their best pitcher — Brandon Beachy who's leading MLB in ERA — on the 15-DL may have been big news. They hope for bone spurs. Even that's not good. They're hoping no TJ surgery.
Braves are Nats main issue in East. Phils are about as close to dead as you can get and still fog a mirror. Mets are better but won't last. Dickey won't go 25-3. It's mostly Nats and Braves in the long view. If Nats pitching stays healthy, they look really strong to win the division — Yankee sweep or not.
And that’s only half of his answer. Read the rest, and join Boz’s chat here.