The Washington Nationals will not make the MLB playoffs.
Well, it’s official. After Friday night’s loss to the New York Mets, the Washington Nationals are mathematically out of the playoffs. So, what does that mean for the rest of the season?
In the past six years, we’ve made the playoffs four times, and last year, we clinched our playoff berth on September 10.
Technically, none of the remaining games matter. Or do they?
In September, teams are allowed to expand their rosters from 25 up to 40, bringing up players from the minor leagues to show off what they’ve got -- like Victor Robles, Andrew Stephenson, and Adrian Sanchez.
How Will Free Agency Affect the Nationals?
There are players who will be free agents next year who are auditioning the rest of the season as well -- if not for our team, then for another. We’re not going to talk about Bryce Harper here. Yes, I’m in denial.
I think over the next six games left in our season, we’re going to see a lot of movement in the lineup. Will Michael A. Taylor get more play in the outfield? He’s one of the best center fielders in the game. Or will we see more of the rookies?
Max Scherzer is scheduled to get two more games so he can make a grand-exit statement for the Cy Young award. It’s something he deserves and if he breaks his season record and gets 300 strikeouts, that will go a long way in the running for the prestigious award, of which he’s won the last two years as a National.
There are nine players who will be free agents after September 30, and six of them are relief pitchers. A couple of players have very high market value price tags. It will be interesting to see who stays and who goes during the offseason. Mark Reynolds came to Washington for a one-year contract when no one else would take him and then had a record year. Will we give him a big contract to stay?
What about Matt Wieters, the Nats' catcher? He homered yesterday, but did he do enough to be rewarded another contract, or will another team sign him during the offseason?
Our of the free agent pitchers, only one, Jeremy Hellickson, is a starter. Will Jeremy get a last shot this year to audition for his future?
The Game Goes On
Yesterday's game against the Mets, which was the first one since we were officially knocked out of a playoff berth, revealed a near-sellout crowd supporting the home team. And the Nats didn’t play like they’d given up on the season or their fans, coming up with a solid victory thanks to Austin Voth, who was called up from Syracuse AAA to pitch a shut-out for five solid innings. Will that showing be enough for Voth?
Of the six games that remain in the season, only three will be played at home (Monday through Wednesday). These will be the last home games or possibly several of our players -- and the last chance for the awesome Nationals fans to pay them respect and cheer them on.
Hopefully, we’ll see some great moments in the last few games. Personally, I think Ryan Zimmerman is due one more.
We may not be playing in October, but for the fans and the players, the season isn’t quite over yet.
Do you plan on going to one of the last home games this season, or will you be watching on TV? Share your thoughts on the Nationals season in the comments below.