The Nats enter the month of September sitting atop the NL East with a 9.5 game lead over the Mets. This is a role reversal from 2015, when the Mets came to Washington with a 6.5 game lead over the Nats. That series ended in a sweep of the Nats and the elimination of any and all hopes the Nats had for post season. This season is totally different. For one thing Dusty Baker is in charge of the team now, and his leadership style is a far cry from the tightly wound “it’s our plan” Matt Williams. Another change is the the bullpen. When Mike Rizzo, the Nats’ general manager, realized that Papelbon’s fastball wasn’t what it used to be, he went out and made a trade to get Mark Melancon from the Pirates. Melancon has been lights out since we acquired him, and with Koda Glover as a set up man, the Nats have achieved the same combination of winning talent that the British General Staff achieved when it put General Alexander and General Montgomery in charge of the British 8th Army after the fall of Tobruk in June of 1942. By October the British were able to mount a major offensive at El Alamein, and by November a combined Anglo-American offensive was launched in Morocco. The rest, as they say, is history.

My hope is that the Nats don’t get overconfident and cocky. Granted we are dominating the NL East right now, and the playoffs are in sight. That being said, sloppy play can destroy a commanding lead. We have three games against the Mets in New York beginning tonight. Let’s play well, win the series (sweeps are Fascist, although there’s nothing wrong with Fascism, but we’ll discuss that later), and get past the NLDS this year.