Monday's loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks was not only an unfortunate way for the Nats to kick off a homestand, it pushed them to second place in the NL East for the first time since June 19.
They were wholeheartedly anointed the team to beat in what looked like a weak NL East, and for most of the summer to date, the Nationals were living up to the billing.
There were any number of moments Friday night at Citi Field that could have stood on their own merits as epic examples of what pennant race baseball is all about.
GAME IN A NUTSHELL: You want pennant race baseball? Here you go, folks.