August 30, 2013
All of a sudden, the Washington Nationals are looking pretty hot, as they just completed a sweep of the Miami Marlins to rise three games above .500 for the first time in six weeks. The first two games of the series were close calls, winning by scores of 2-1 and 4-3. On Wednesday, closing pitcher Rafael Soriano completed his task while only giving up one base hit in the top of the ninth inning. That was less angst and drama than usual. But the game last night was a sign that perhaps the Nats really have gotten over their past frustrations and lived up to their potential. Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond each hit three-run homers later in the game to seal the deal. Final score: 9-0. Gio Gonzalez struggled in the first inning or two, but then gained command and went a full seven innings to get the win.
Ever since I declared the Nationals' chances for making the postseason were over and done with (in the wake of being swept by the Braves, August 5-7), the Nationals have staged a remarkable comeback, winning 14 of their last 19 games.
How's this for a startling factoid: The period August 19-29 is the first time this year that the Nationals have won eight games during a ten-game stretch. Tomorrow they'll go for nine out of ten, and with any luck, I'll be there!
I've edited several more photos of Washington Nationals players, including almost all of the current starting lineup. All of them were taken at the August 15 game, when the Nats lost a heartbreaker, 4-3. One player that day has since been traded away: catcher Kurt Suzuki.