Here’s a fancy fact: After yesterday’s 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals are guaranteed a curly “W” for the entire month of April. The Nats are two games over .500 and are 1.0 game behind the division leading New York Mets (who are hot on a seven game win streak at the moment, knocking the Phillies out of first).
The last time the Nats had a winning record in a season was September 2007. So this whole “being two games over .500” thing is quite a turn-around for a team that’s been plagued by poor ball playing since their inaugural season.
More good news: at least they’re putting it into perspective. Now that the Nats know they can play decent ball and have the man-power to do so, they want more.
“It’s so early,” Adam Dunn told the Nats Insider. “But the positive thing is, we still don’t have our ‘A’ lineup out there. We’ve got some guys banged up. If we continue to get the pitching that we’re getting and playing defense, we’re going to be fine.”
What makes this team watch-worthy this season is that they’ve managed to win 12 of 22 after the loss of two Opening Day rotation members (Jason Marquis and Garrett Mock) to the Disabled List – a move that has proven quite beneficial for the Nats the past few games.
Run production without Zimmerman? Winning games with an ever-changing starting rotation? Washington appears to getting it done for themselves, having whoever’s willing to pitch into the effort take that chance when offered. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a team – a cohesive unit of individuals all chasing after the same goal of victory.
“Every year, I always say: ‘It’s the first month. We’re losing. We’re going to get better,’” catcher Wil Nieves told Nats Insider. “It’s fun to see it from the beginning, what we can do if we keep playing baseball like we’re capable.”
The bullpen is a big part of why the Washington keeps finding their game decision in the win column. Over the course of the last eight games, the Nats bullpen has held their opposition to a 0.77 ERA.
Friday night, Craig Stammen (1-0, 6.75) goes up against the Marlins’ Rocky Nolasco (2-0, 3.03) whose team is coming off two straight loses against the Padres.
Game starts at 7:10.