Nationals Reaction: Nats Take Momentum Into Huge Series
The Washington Nationals defeated the Philidelphia Phillies Sunday afternoon 5-4, giving them a series sweep and huge momentum going into a series against the Chicago Cubs.
A little over a month ago the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs met for a four-game set at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Both teams had the two best records in the National League at the time, and it looked like it was primed to be a great series. The Cubs dominated the four game set sweeping the Nats, and outplaying them at every facet of the game. Today, the Nationals start another series with the Cubs, going into it with huge momentum, and they have a chance to make a statement about who is the best team in the National League.
Dusty Baker has said numerous times this season that the Nationals are a “warm weather team”. He sure has been right because just as the weather has heated up, so has the Nats offense. After switching their spots in the lineup a few weeks ago, Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon are really starting to hit their stride, which has been very vital to the Nationals recent success.
Werth is showing impressive power considering his age, and is tied for second on the team with 11 home runs. Rendon is getting on base much more of late, and has raised his average to a respectable .259 and has driven in 22 runs.
Danny Espinosa has also been been very key to the Nats recent offensive success. The Nats shortstop has hit eight homers in his last 15 games, and is now tied for second on the team with 11 home runs. Espinosa, who when the season began many thought may have already lost his job to Trea Turner by now, is showing his is not going anywhere. If he plays this well, he is going to be the staring shortstop for most likely the whole year.
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The Nats offense could not be getting hot at a better time, and they are most likely going to need it this week against the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are third in the league in runs scored, and have a dangerous lineup top to bottom. Keeping Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant in check, as well as keeping Dexter Fowler off base at the top of the order, will be key to the Nats success in this series.
Although it is still only June, this series is going to be one of the bigger ones in the Nationals season for a few reasons. One, after this three game set versus Chicago, the Nats head on a ten game road trip. Long road trips are never easy, especially when you have to go to the west coast. So, keeping momentum up on offense going into that trip would be very beneficial for the Nats.
Another reason is to prove that they really can beat, and be better than the Cubs. Although it may not sound important, I believe this will be a huge series for the Nationals confidence. If they are going to meet up with this team again potentially in the playoffs, they need to prove to themselves that they can match up with them and beat them at their own ballpark.
Next: What To Watch For In Nats-Cubs Series
With a red hot offense like the Nats have right now, they are every bit as good of a team as the Cubs. This is a great time to show the rest of the league who really is the best team in the N.L.
All in all this looks to be a great series, and it may end up being very important in the long run of this season. The Nats are firing on all cylinders right now, and if they are going to accomplish great things this season, they need to keep it going against the Cubs at Nationals Park this week.