If you're a Phillie's fan, you may as well accept it: the NL East is no longer yours.
If you're a Mets, Marlins, or Braves fan, you should probably be a little bit worried as well.
The Washington Nationals (48-33) are the best team in the National League. And with the way they've been playing along with the second largest division lead in baseball, it's hard to imagine these Nats being irrelevant in October any longer.
But why exactly is this National team not just a fun team to root for, but a serious threat to dominate their way to a World Series win? Season's Over looks at three key factors:
The Bright Future
Here's the obvious one that has everyone talking. With the young and budding talent highlighted by All-Star Stephen Strasburg and almost-All-Star Bryce Harper (who is batting .381 so far this month), the Nationals are looking to be the new Texas Rangers.
The Under the Radar
If you haven't yet heard of Gio Gonzalez, don't worry, he's just one of the countless Nationals that could grace the covers of Sports Illustrated any day now. Gonzalez in particular (11-3 on the season an en route to his first All-Star Game) is having a Cy Young-contending season, and could be the difference between a deep run or an early exit by the time the playoffs roll around.
Davey Johnson told reporters after Thursday's walk-off win that," There's a lot of character in this ballclub. Now that everybody's kind of doing their thing, it's easy to get a little momentum going." It's been a coon's age since this franchise has had a whiff of October baseball, but with the resiliency they have showed so far this season, it's starting to look like they'll be able to exorcise some bad luck demons real soon.