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Nationals' Playoff Hopes Dire As Losses Pile Up

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Things continue to go from worse to worser -- I know "worser" is not a word, but "from bad to worse" would be an understatement -- for the Nationals.

After a 5-1 loss to the Pirates Tuesday, the Nationals have lost five straight since returning from the All-Star break, eight of nine and 10 of 12 to drop a season-low four games under .500 at the 100-game mark of the season.

“They’ve been a huge disappointment,” a National League scout told ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. “They haven’t handled the success of 2012, and now being the hunted, they haven’t responded to that challenge.”

Baseball Prospectus has Washington's chances of making the postseason at a paltry 7.3%, and that is the most generous. CoolStandings.com has them at 6.2%, while Sports Club Stats has them at 0.8%, also known as "no chance." 

History is also certainly not on the Nationals' side.

Since the advent of the wild card in 1995, only three teams have qualified for the postseason after being under .500 through 100 games, but only one of them was at least four games under .500 like the Nationals currently are at 48-52.

The team in question was the 2006 Los Angeles Dodgers, who were 47-53 through 100 games. The Dodgers lost 13 of their first 14 games after the All-Star break, but immediately followed that by winning 17 of 18 to claim first place in the NL West. They were ultimately swept by the Mets in the NL Division Series.

The Nationals have plenty of talent to turn things around with 62 games left (not to mention an extra wild card spot), but they better get started real quick.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.

Related Topics Washington Nationals
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