Associated Press photo
Adam LaRoche is tagged out by Jimmy Rollins after mistakenly thinking he homered.
The Nationals, though, haven't actually accomplished any of that yet, lest anyone forget. There are still 35 games to be played, and nothing has been assured other than the fact they're in a better position than any other club to accomplish their goal.
If they needed a reminder of that, perhaps this weekend's series did the trick. Facing a Phillies club that has little left to play for except for pride, the Nationals came out flat and got swept, dropping Sunday's series finale 4-1 to extend their losing streak to four games.
Time to panic? Well, no. This team still boasts baseball's best record at 77-50 and still holds either a 4 1/2- or 5 1/2-game lead over the Braves (pending the outcome of Atlanta's late contest in San Francisco).