Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wachet Auf

Nats 6, Phils 3

The new shipment of bats must be working or something like that. The Nats extended their winning streak (gasp!) to four games behind four Washington homers, a pair of which were two run dingers from the much maligned Preston Wilson. (Hey, I'm more than happy to be wrong from time to time if it means we win!)

Preston said it well after the game: "It feels good to contribute to a win. I think that's going to be the thing about us down the stretch -- a different night it's going to be a different guy -- and everybody is going to do their part and chip in."

His point is worth taking. There's enough good, decent players on this team that it can be someone different every night who sparks a win. Just about everyone was contributing in June. Problem was, nobody stepped up in July. Last night, Preston was the latest to step up in this nice little August four game winning streak.

Now that the offense is awake, I think it's safe to start feeling mildly good about the Nationals. If my math is correct, the Nats have hit more homers on this road trip (14) than in the entire freaking month of July (13). The most significant thing is the fact they hadn't been winning games due to offensive power. If the long ball bats are finally awake, then this could be a dangerous, dangerous team down the stretch.

I don't usually listen to Michael Wilbon for opinions about baseball, much less anything else. But he had a decent (although obvious) point on PTI yesterday evening. The Nats lost something like 13 straight one-run games during their horrendous July slide. But the fact they've only been one-run losses is encouraging. If the Nats can get that little bit extra -- that extra hit, that extra good pitch, that extra play in the field -- then they can keep themselves in the playoff race through September.

They have the talent. They just have to do it.


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