WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals begin their final homestand of the season Thursday night when they host the New York Mets.
They'll play seven games over seven days against the Mets and Marlins, but the stakes are much lower than in previous years. They won't be clinching a playoff berth or setting a rotation or auditioning players for a post-season roster spot.
Washington (77-75) sits seven games behind the Braves in the National League East and 6 1/2 behind the Cardinals for the second wild card. A best-case scenario would seem to be staving off mathematical elimination until they end the season with three road games in Colorado.