May 9, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) and right fielder Bryce Harper (34) celebrate after Zimmerman
The Washington Nationals have been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this season. While they enter today with a record that is six games over .500, they entered the season as a team that was supposed to be a shoe-in for the National League East and a World Series favorite.
Instead, they are looking up to the New York Mets in the division and are 7.5 behind the Chicago Cubs for the NL’s second Wild Card. The Nationals have been playing better as of late as they are winners of their last five games and seven of their last nine.
On August 31st, they trailed the Mets by 6.5 games in the NL East. Now both teams enter a three-game series in Washington with the Nationals just four games back.
The Nats’ offense has been paced by the return to prominence of Ryan Zimmerman and the recovery of Bryce Harper from a second half slump. Zimmerman is hitting .330/.385/.713 with nine home runs and 33 RBIs over his last 27 games. Harper over the same stretch is hitting .356/.496/.611 with 26 walks and 27 runs scored.
The pitching staff hasn’t quite rounded back to form but both Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman combined are 7-1 in their last 10 starts. Max Scherzer however, who was arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the first half, hasn’t won a start since July 30th.
The Mets and Nationals close out the regular season with three games in New York. If the Nats can take care of business this week, that series could end up deciding who wins the NL East.
Here are the power rankings for the week.
Next: Top five remain the same