This was a pretty hotly anticipated series. Nats fans wanted to see how this team stacked up against the cream of the baseball crop, hoping that recent success would carry them through another series against a top team.
That didn’t happen.
Although the Nats have done very well against the Yankees in recent years when the team wasn’t doing so great overall, this year was different. The Nats have developed their talent, but there is a difference between having talent and knowing how to win, and that is what this weekend came down to.
The Nats can take away a few lessons from this series:
1) Talent isn’t always enough
Leaving men on base, misjudging how to play a certain ball at a certain time, deciding when to use which pitchers…all of these little things add up to runs. The Nats lost this series on the little things, and looked out of their league doing it.
However, they are all problems that can be fixed. Now that the talent is developed, there is time to mold it into what will become a winner. The Nats are new to winning, and once they get a handle on it, they won’t have performances like this.
2) Bryce Harper is 19 and human
Harper had been looking untouchable. He has been on fire since he was called up to the majors, but this weekend he took a step back. That’s okay.
He had been showing great maturity and patience at the plate, so much so that it made us forget he was still a teenager. He reminded us this weekend that he still has a lot to work on, even if he is performing very well so far in his young career.
This doesn’t mean that he isn’t going to be a star.
3) One weekend is one weekend
It doesn’t mean that the Nats are going to spiral into oblivion. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to make the playoffs. It doesn’t mean that they can’t accomplish all of the things we’ve been hoping for them all season.
It was a weekend. There will be another. And now the Nats focus has to be on re-grouping for Tampa on Tuesday.