Three cities and nine games in nine days with one interleague series and one division foe at the tail end of it.
Washington needs this road trip to go well, and boy do they need it badly.
Washington’s last road trip, in fairness, was a West Coast trip, where they played all three National League California teams in one trip, playing three in Los Angeles, four in San Diego and three in San Francisco. The Nationals did not win a series and were outscored 42 to 28, losing two games by more than eight runs, though Washington did allow four runs or less in eight of those ten games so they were competitive.
Tonight, Washington is in Colorado, with Dan Haren kicking off the series. Haren is 2-1 with a 6.41 ERA in his career vs Colorado with a .313 batting average against and has allowed nine home runs in 19.2 innings pitched against the Rockies. Haren did, however, seem incredibly contrite after his start against New York, where he was simply abysmal. However, with the good feelings of a come-from-behind win against Minnesota Sunday and being in Colorado, Washington may bring their bats.
That aside, what Washington needs more than anything else is to have a solid road trip. The Nationals are 13-18 on the road in 2013 and simply have not looked like the same team compared to being home. They could be receiving a boost with Ross Detwiler possibly returning on this road trip, and Stephen Strasburg and even Bryce Harper may not be too far behind.
Facing a Rockies team that has tailed off significantly and now sits two games back of Arizona in the NL West at 34-30 should help their cause. They are coming off a walk-off win themselves, and have a healthy combo of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.
The bottom line is this: Washington was 48-33 on the road in 2012, and have not been above .500 since May 31st. Good teams win on the road.
Washington is a good team; they just need the road trip to prove it.