Back-to-back wins in April are rarely cause for much fanfare in a 162-game season, but considering the circumstances the past two nights have been particularly encouraging for the Nationals. I am about to head out of town for the weekend, but I wanted to express a few quick thoughts on why these two victories (4-3 over the Mets, 3-0 over the Giants) were so positive for the Nats.
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Positive Vibes: Coming into Thursday’s tilt with the Mets, the Nationals were not exactly riding an emotional high. Their starting pitcher on the night was in the news for all the wrong reasons, and they found out their best player would be out at least another week, and the team dropped five of six against some pretty weak opponents. Compounding the issue, the Nats faced an 18-game stretch starting Friday of games against the defending World Series Champs and the three best teams in their division (Phillies, Braves, Marlins). All the ingredients for a nice, long losing streak were out on the counter. By winning two in a row (and getting a win against a former Cy Young winner, Tim Lincecum, in the process), the Nats do not have to worry about that for a few more days.
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Also, first-time father Ian Desmond has settled in where he belongs. Batting fifth, sixth, or seventh allows him to focus on driving the ball, which he does well. MASN’s Bob Carpenter picked up on that last night, saying he was “driving the ball like his old self.” Shocker. His eye-popping numbers the last two days back that up. Consider this – as a leadoff guy, Desmond hit just .180 (9-50) and slugged just .300. Batting sixth or seventh, Desmond is hitting .417 (10-24) and slugging .708. Desmond has gap-to-gap power, and batting down in the order taps into that potential.
Next time I ruin dinner because my mind is on other things I will suggest take out. If take out is not an option I will make sure I let my husband know before I start dinner about my day so we can work together on dinner (avoiding the ruined meal).
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