MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Nationals not about to push the panic button

Nationals not about to push the panic button

NEW YORK -- After getting swept this weekend at Citi Field, the Nationals are now in a virtual tie for first place with the Mets in the National League East.

But after watching his team lose, 5-2, to New York on Sunday night, manager Matt Williams refused to push the panic button. He reminded the local reporters that there are two months left in the season, and the Nationals will start thinking about putting a victory together starting Monday against the D-backs.

"We are in a position to move forward for the last 60-ish games. Let's see what we can do," Williams said.

For starters, the Nationals have to score runs. In the three-game series against the Mets, the Nationals went 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

"What's got to be different is, we get a guy on second base, you get that base hit," Williams said. "The first couple of games [against the Mets], that was the difference. It's important to create those opportunities and come through with those opportunities. That's the plan moving forward."

Bryce Harper said the Mets haven't faced right-handers Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in the last two series. It could be a different story with those guys on the mound.

"We still have Stras coming back and Scherzer. We are going to have some fun and enjoy it," Harper said. "I think the Mets are a great team. It's going to be a lot of fun down the stretch. Hopefully, we can do what we do, and that's play our game and not worry about what they are doing. We have to stay within ourselves ... not worry about the Mets, the Dodgers or anybody else that is in the league."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.