In honor of this six-day waiting period, we have provided six other reasons why victory Monday will = victory Sunday:
1. Jason Bergmann's return from injury to be the guy we all thought he was looks eerily similar to the way Clinton Portis is returning from injury to be the guy we all know he should have been last season. 5-11 had it's fair share of bruises, tears and breaks of the bodily variety, and we know the team-carrying that Clinton showed in '05 was not fluke, just like we know the potential no-no Bergmann was hurling earlier this year was no fluke either. Bergmann's return to form speaks volumes to us about Clinton's eventual load carrying.
2. Similar to the Redskins' defensive line, Chad Cordero has faced much malign-ment from Nationals faithful. But in reality, he hasn't been that bad, and hasn't been really awful since he returned from bereavement leave according to B. Svrluga, who culls some very 'tism-riffic statistics in the Post's game piece.
"Cordero, too, could concentrate on his eight blown saves, the most in baseball.See? ONE bad game, and the rest = domination. Could we say the same thing about the Redskins defensive line, still the subject of much soreness? Well yes, if we count 5-11 as a much longer, more torturous ninth inning in Colorado. The Redskins defense has been #5 in the league and #9 in the league in '04 and '05 respectively. Wipe away 5-11 and this remains the #7 defense in the league.
But he has saves in almost half the Nationals' wins, and since returning from
bereavement leave in May to deal with the death of his grandmother, he has 26
saves in 30 opportunities with a 2.66 ERA -- even with a five-run debacle Aug.
24 against Colorado. Take that away, and his ERA over that time drops to
3. The Marlins suck and the Dolphins will suck. Seriously, Trent Green? This dude is more washed up than VH1's Sunday night lineup. And his upcoming gig with the fish, where quarterbacks go to die (Culpepper, AJ Feely, Jay Fiedler), is looking similar to the third season of Flavor of Love in its predictible trashiness and ultimately unsatisfying conclusion (Debillitating injury to Green = New York, Kurt Warner = I Love New York). The Marlins also have a hurler veering towards washed-uppedness. Remember Dontrelle Willis? He sure would like to forget the Nats, who own him.
4. Untested rookie talent on display at RFK mirrors untested rookie talent to be put on display at FedEx Field. Talk about diamonds culled from the rough of undrafted free agency! Lorenzo Alexander! Marcus Mason! These are the guys making the team and causing the jettisonning of storied veterans like Big Joe Salave'a and Reynaldo Wynn (I guess that leaves more time for message boards though). Could the arrival of super-studded prospects Justin Maxwell and Ross Detwiler have a similar effect on Nationals stalwarts? We aren't sure, but we are sure that due to the dilligence of both the skins' talent evaluation and brilliance of Kasten et. al's Plan, we see the importance of infusing rosters with youngsters. It is turning the season(s) around in DC, just wait.
5. Both the Nats and the Skins are locking in their largely haired, glittering statistical outputors. Who doesn't love the skins' new "pay those guys who are already on our team more money" philosophy? Sometimes chemistry counts for something, and when guys hang around, they tend to play better and stuff. Like Dmitri Young, with the batting title in sight, he gets new contract and continues to cut baseballs like they're Jeremiah Trotter from NFL rosters. The skins, seeing how awesomely awesome Chris Cooley is, thought they too should rightfully reward him for his efforts, and we expect nothing but awesome this season. It was Cooley who snagged Jason Campbell's knee-saving heave against the Steelers, and he was also on the end of another perfect Campbell pass during the five-for-five-my-knee-is-fine Jags tune-up. Campbell hasn't thrown an incomplete pass in almost two games!
6. Personal player comebacks galore! Even while ignoring the obvious Nationals comeback player of the year, there are other guys already bouncing back from hard times. What about Matt Chico's return? Doesn't that parallel the return of enjoyable, now-again-ready-to-contribute cornerback Fred Smoot? Ryan Langerhans's season has been historically bad, so has Brandon Lloyds. Both are returning after some rehabilitation, and both look to be great(er).
So with this six-pack of definite parallels, isn't it obvious who comes out on top this Sunday?