As part of the episode, MLB Network’s experts predict how the Nationals’ season will go. Larry Bowa sees “growing pains” and a third-place finish. Mitch Williams, the former Phillies closer, is far more optimistic.

“They’re gonna take second in the East and they’re gonna be one of the wild-card teams this year,” Williams said, per a press release previewing the show.

As national predictions start coming out, it will be interesting to see how many follow Williams’s lead and jump on the Nationals’ bandwagon. Given the Nationals’ history, it’s surreal to see a few already predicting a playoff run. They have never had a winning record, but a team leaping from mediocrity to the postseason is actually more common than a gradual climb to October.

The Nationals themselves can see it happening. A few players, and Manager Davey Johnson, have foreseen a late fall that includes baseball in Washington. Yesterday, newcomer Mark DeRosa, who played for the 2010 World Series champion Giants, became the latest, with a different spin.


Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals can see themselves in the postseason. (Paul Sancya/Associated Press)

So we have not only analysts predicting playoffs for the Nationals, but players mapping out the path to the World Series trophy. If you haven’t noticed, it is a different baseball world in Washington.

FROM THE POST

Davey Johnson made John Lannan the fifth starter, an issue Lannan never worried about, while Ross Detwiler heads to the bullpen.

FROM YESTERDAY’S JOURNAL

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Nats-Astros play-by-play

Boz investigates Werth’s homer

LaRoche close to return, not feeling a platoon

Nats enter the stretch run of spring