I have one word to describe the game I just witnessed: unfair.
The Washington Nationals opened their seven game road trip by absolutely dismantling the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-1. The Nats continue their winning ways as they have now won five straight and they are 2.5 games behind the New York Mets for first place in the NL East. The Nats are winners of 11 out of their last 13 since the fateful come from behind victory April 28th against the Braves in Atlanta and put on a baseball clinic in Arizona last night.
The Nats played small ball, they played long ball, they had great defense, and they had lights-out pitching all night. This is the team we all expected to start the season and a team that is capable of winning the NL East as well as making a deep run in the playoffs.The scary part; they can still be better.
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The Nationals are still missing their starting third baseman Anthony Rendon. He is currently shut down with an oblique strain and the team does not have a timeline for his return.
Jayson Werth still hasn’t quite found his stroke yet after sitting out the early part of the season recovering from shoulder surgery. Werth is still batting bellow .200 and did not notch a hit for the night, but did contribute to the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Ian Desmond still continues to struggle a bit and was 1-for-5 on the night. He was somewhat unlucky as he tattooed the ball twice, but both right to the shortstop for easy outs. However, his high strikeout rate and confounding approach to the plate continues to be an issue.
But, what can I say? The Nats played a great all-around game and looked amazing. It was fun to watch.
First, Yunel Escobar is now officially my favorite National. Another 5-for-5 night brings his average up well past .300 and he is playing outstanding third base. Escobar just does whatever this team needs him to do and I love the attitude and hustle he brings every night.
The Buffalo is also on fire. Wilson Ramos is now nursing a 14-game hitting streak and is batting .320. Ramos is in a key spot down in the order to drive in runs and turn over the order. So far, Ramos has delivered in a big way this year.
I continue to be impressed by how quickly Denard Span has come back from injury and has been a spark leading off for the Nats. He took the second pitch of the game from Josh Collmenter and deposited it into the right field seats for the first run of the game. He ended the night with another hit to drive in Escobar for a solid 2-for-5.
Even with Bryce Harper having an off night – and by off I mean 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI – and the team still not a full strength, the Nationals lineup looks scary good and this team looks unbeatable. Oh, and I didn’t even mention the outstanding night Max Scherzer had going seven innings and only giving up one run or Ryan Zimmerman‘s 1-for-2 night with a three-run homer. This team is that good and this is a lot of fun.