Resilient Nats keep fans interested


If social media is any indication, Nationals fans love watching their team.

From reading Twitter and various Nats blogs, there have been people chiming in about the team’s performance every game. There has been criticism on Jayson Werth, Jim Riggleman, Sean Burnett, and several underachieving Nationals, but most of the commentary has been in favor of the team.

This is a great thing. The Nationals are making progress with the amount of interest that is going on with the team.

For people to get upset after a loss, that’s healthy.  They care about what’s going on with the team. That wasn’t the case few years ago with apathy going on with all the losses.

The Nationals have the talent to be around .500 this year. This is what the fans want to see as indication things are going to get better in the next few years.

The Nationals have been exciting to watch in the first three months of the season. That’s what happens when a team features couple of aces in John Lannan and Jordan Zimmermann that can win every fifth day.

Lannan and Zimmermann continue to get better as starters. They are going deep in games now, and they know how to pitch through jams.  They make it look easy out there when they are throwing strikes.

That’s going to get fans tune in when they watch this type of performance. Best part of all this is those two starters are young and durable, so they could pitch for the next six or seven years. Add those two with Stephen Strasburg, and this trio will lead the team to multiple division titles and some championships.

Winning in style is another example of attraction for fans. Just when the Nationals have folks thinking it’s a lost cause, the team finds a way to come back to win.

After Yunesky Maya put the Nationals in a 6-1 bind with his awful command, the team rallied to an 8-6 victory by scoring six runs in the seventh inning against the ineffective Cardinals bullpen.

The Nationals have found ways to come back several times this year, and they manage to go on a nice winning streak after going on a long losing streak.

This West Coast road trip keeps the buzz going. The team went 6-5, which is impressive when one looks at the fact the team did not have a day off in that trip, and it’s hard to be above .500 on an 11 game trip. This accomplishment put the Nationals to 30-36 prior to last night’s game against the Cardinals.

Now, the folks feel the Nationals can get to .500 with a good homestand against the Cardinals, Orioles and the Mariners. They are already five games under .500 with last night’s victory.

Get to .500, and maybe this team can go on a nice run this summer.

There is a good chance the Nationals could be ahead of the Marlins and the Mets soon enough.

The Marlins struggled ever since Josh Johnson was on the disabled list. They went 1-10 in their last homestand, and they won one game in June so far. They are not hitting and pitching. It doesn’t look like it will get better for them anytime soon.

The Mets overachieved, but they don’t have the talent to keep up with the Nationals. That team feature obscure players that toiled in the minors in Justin Turner, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda and Jason Pridie. Now, they have a MVP candidate in Jose Reyes, but he can’t win games by himself.

The starting rotation keeps the Mets going, but there’s no way Dillon Gee, R.A Dickey and Jon Niese are going to keep pitching this well.

Plus, the Mets bullpen stinks. Jason Isringhausen, Francisco Rodriguez, Tim Byrdak, Pedro Beato and other castoffs don’t have opposing hitters shivering with fear at the plate. They blew several leads already this year, and they will continue to do it again.

If the Nationals can get to third place and get over the .500 mark once in for all, that can catapult them to bigger and better things.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if the Nationals compete for the wild-card? Don’t laugh at that concept. Most NL teams are mediocre are best, so the Nationals have a shot at it with their starting pitching.

The offense is a question mark, but not many teams have great offense in the Senior Circuit.

If the Nationals can provide fans to watch them in September for meaningful games, that means they had a great year no matter if they make the playoffs.

Either way, the fans are paying attention now. They know what’s going on, and it’s on the Nationals to keep it that way by winning.