Final Score: Nationals 2, Cubs 1
Dame of the Game:
Ross Detwiler: 7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K. Just in case there’s any correlation between the size of the actual national debt and the size of the National Det’s goodness, I say we start a few more wars, give universal health care and college education to everyone, and build a government-funded tower to the sun.
Shame of the Game:
The Cubs. They’re just an embarrassment to humanity.
82 isn’t a very exciting number in most contexts. It’s a B- on a test, a mildly warm day in degrees Fahrenheit, a normal weight for an anorexic person, and a terrible speed for a major league fastball. But it does have a significance when applied to the number of wins a baseball team gets in a season. 82 is the number that differentiates the teams that succeeded more often than they failed from the teams that failed more often than they succeeded, or worse yet, the teams that succeeded and failed the same amount and thus had zero effect on the universe (lookin’ at you, ’05 Nats. Why’d you even bother?). The Nationals are now guaranteed to finish the season “at least a little bit good,” even if Stephen Strasburg decides to lock the rest of the team in a closet for the remainder of September because he can’t stand to see them playing without him.
This also means that since no Nationals team has ever been even the teensiest bit better than average before, this current Nationals team is officially the Best Nationals Team Ever. You may have already realized that this was probably true before I just told you, due to this team looking like it’s good at baseball and previous Nats teams looking like the first 25 guys Ted Lerner saw riding on the green line one morning. But now your preconceptions are backed up by hard science.
This game was a perfect encapsulation of just how these Nats managed to become so 82-win-y: the pitching was better than the offense was bad. While the offense has shown occasional flashes of actually being a decent offense in recent games, at its core it mostly sucks. It can pretend all it wants, go to masquerade balls with the mask of an offense that’s good at hitting, but I know this offense too well. I’ve seen it score between one and two runs too many times for it to fool me. Fortunately, I also know Ross Detwiler very well, and let me tell you, he says weird shit in his sleep. And he pitches really well.
The only caveat to this most wonderful 82nd win was that it came against the Cubs, so I assume it doesn’t actually count. Oh well. There’s always next series to get #82 for real, against…the Marlins? No, they’re not a real team either. Guess we’ll have to wait to feel like a real 82 win team until…the Mets. Well that’s obviously not gonna work. Ah, screw it.