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Use of a term such as "dynasty" is premature when applied to the Washington Nationals, who haven't won anything except respect from opponents and applause from long-suffering Washington baseball fans. But the potential definitely is there for the Nats to rule the National League East, as the Braves and Phillies used to.
Twenty minutes after the last pitch of their 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, no one but team personnel was let in or out as the Washington Nationals' first four-game losing streak since June set in.
Six innings had passed the Washington Nationals by Saturday night when Ryan Zimmerman looked up at the scoreboard to see Roy Halladay's pitch count. What he saw was confirmation of what he and the rest of the Nationals had felt in the batter's box all night. Halladay was throwing nothing but strikes.
Davey Johnson watched as a double-play ball ended the threat of his Washington Nationals tying the game in the eighth inning Wednesday night and his eyes focused on Ian Desmond, who was trying to beat out the throw to first.
Ross Detwiler lost command of his fastball, sending the Washington Nationals down the path toward a 5-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night at Nationals Park and reducing the Nats' lead in the National League East to six games.
The ball sat on the infield grass, to the left of first base, and did not move. To the right, the Washington Nationals celebrated their 76th victory of the season. To the left, the Atlanta Braves walked quietly off the field.
Washington Nationals' left-hander Gio Gonzalez dodged and ducked danger over 5.2 innings, earning his 16th victory of the season in the Nats' 5-2 win over the New York Mets on Sunday.
There came a point Monday night, as the chill began to nip at them and they pulled on their hooded sweatshirts for the first time in what seemed like a year, that one was left to wonder what other shows of dominance the Washington Nationals could pull off in this deliriously charmed season.
If there's one thing we're reminded of in sports, over and over again, it's that the direction of franchises can change in an eye blink. It happened fast for the Nats and Caps; will the same be true for the Redskins?