2009: Desperately seeking success
The Nats played most of their April games on the road, going 5-16 for the month. New arrival Adam Dunn provided lots of slugging firepower, and Ryan Zimmerman had a 30-game hitting streak that ended on May 13. The weak spot throughout 2009 was the pitching staff, especially the bullpen. At the All-Star break, the Nats were only 26-61 (.299), and manager Manny Acta was replaced by Jim Riggleman. The team had an eight-game winning streak as well as an eight-game losing streak in August and September. Boosted by rookies Ian Desmond and Justin Maxwell, the Nats swept both the Mets and the Braves to end the season, becoming the first MLB team ever to lose their first seven games and then win the final seven games in a season.
| CF: Willie Harris .235
Nyjer Morgan *
|LF: Josh Willingham * .260
Adam Dunn *
|RF: Elijah Dukes .250
|SS: Cristian Guzman .284||2B: Anderson Hernandez * .251
Alberto Gonzalez *
|3B: Ryan Zimmerman .292||1B: Adam Dunn * .267
|Batting average for position players, ERA for pitchers.
Manager: Manny Acta / Jim Riggleman
|C: Josh Bard * .230
|* (asterisk): new player;|
- Apr. 17-19 -- Marlins come back in the 9th inn. and win in 3 games straight.
- May 13 -- R. Zimmerman's 30-game hitting streak ends in SF; Nats win 6-3.
- May 24 -- Adam Dunn hits two HRs, incl. a grand slam; WSH 8, BAL 5.
- June 4 -- Randy Johnson wins his 300th game in D.C.; SF 5, WSH 1.
- June 20 -- Willie Harris HR in 12th inn.; WSH 5, TOR 3. @
- June 25 -- Record attendance at Nationals Park: 41,985; WSH 9, BOS 3.
- July 9 -- Nats win rain-susp. May 5 "home" game in 11th-inn., 11-10. @
- July 11 -- N. Johnson, Willingham, Dunn consecutive HRs; WSH 13, HOU 2. @
- July 27 -- Josh Willingham hits two grand slams; WSH 14, MIL 6. @
- July 28 -- Adam Dunn hits HR out of Miller Park; WSH 8, MIL 3. @
- Aug. 2 -- Nats end 8-game losing streak; WSH 5, PIT 3. (I was there!) @
- Sept. 6 -- Ryan Zimmerman 2-run 9th-inn. HR; WSH 5, FLA 4. (I was there!)
- Sept. 30 -- Justin Maxwell GW 9th-inn. grand slam; WSH 7, NYM 4.
- Oct. 3 -- Justin Maxwell HR in 11th inn.; WSH 6, ATL 4. @
- Oct. 4 -- Alberto Gonzalez RBI single in 15th inn.; WSH 2, ATL 1. @ Nats win their last 7 games!
2009 memorable moments
"@" = away game
|Month||Wins||Losses||NL East place
|# May 2009||9||20||5th||15||324,970||21,665|
SOURCE: My unofficial daily tabulations from MLB Gameday stats, Washington Post, and other newspapers.