Hope and the Nationals

I will remain calm. I will. I will. I will.

But the Nats have their Best Team Ever, one that is full of tested veterans now, one that easily would have won 100+ games this season if the first-half-of-the-season bullpen hadn’t been so unspeakably awful (but that’s fixed now), one that cruised all year despite a genuine crush of injuries, one that is as healthy as a team is likely to be after a long season.

In short, This. Is. It. We’re unlikely to get a better Nats team here…well, ever. This team has World Series-level talent, including a batting order that is genuinely frightening all the way until you get to the catcher in the eight-hole. It has three aces on the pitching staff. It now has a stud bullpen.

But first they must beat the Cubs…the defending world champs, the best team in the National League by record over the second half of the season, a team that played under tremendous pressure in last year’s World Series and won the greatest Game 7 (and maybe the best baseball game, period) I’ve ever seen.

Of course. It can’t come easy for these Nationals, losers of all three playoff series they’ve been in, breakers of my heart in 2012, keepers of that great Washington sports tradition: Hope-building, followed by choking.

Screw it. I just bought a ticket to Game 5 of the Cubs-Nats series. GO NATS.

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