Nats Insider

The Nationals have thrust themselves back into the pennant race thanks to a torrid month-plus of baseball in which they’ve won 25 of 35 games, leaving themselves 4 1/2 games behind the Reds for the NL’s final Wild Card berth with 13 games to go.

But it’s been no secret all along that the Nationals have pulled this off in large part because of an incredibly advantageous schedule that has seen them play all but six of those 35 games against sub-.500 opponents. That includes a just-completed, 19-game stretch exclusively against the Phillies, Mets and Marlins. The Nationals’ record in those 19 games: 14-5.

So, if nothing else, they’ve proven they can beat up on bad teams. The question now becomes whether they can beat up on good teams, their only hope of finishing off this remarkable late surge and actually making it to October.

The schedule-makers have thrown the…

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