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The Nationals' Problem? Interleague Play

When Interleague Play started several years ago in baseball, it was nice because it allowed for teams within the same regions to play each other when they normally wouldn't. It's cool for the Mets to play the Yankees, the Orioles to play the Nationals, and the like. Unfortunately, now it's turned into a bit of a sham because you have odd matchups like the Nationals and the Indians, who aren't regional rivals and really have no reason to play each other.

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Okay, I'll admit it: I'm just listing a bunch of cliche arguments against Interleague Play that I don't necessarily advocate. Why? Because as Ben Goessling notes, it was interleague play that really hurt the Nationals season.

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Their June swan dive was (mostly) perfectly timed with the interleague schedule, against which the Nationals went 5-13. Granted, they had a soft interleague slate, with the Indians, Royals and Orioles accounting for 12 of those 18 games, but they were 5-7 against those teams. Against the White Sox and Tigers, they got swept twice.

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But against the National League? It's a different story. The Nationals are 15-15 against the East, 9-9 against the Central and 7-10 against the West, for a total record of 31-34. And since they've gotten back into NL games this week, they're 3-4 against the Braves and Mets, who would both be in the playoffs if they started today.

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It's all your fault, terrible American League teams! You, and you alone, killed the Nationals' buzz!