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June 21, 2007

Nationals Look Like Contenders In Struggling Division

by @ 6:13 pm. Filed under 2007 Nationals

Even after losing three straight to the Tigers (in a bad way), the Nationals sit just nine games back of the first place Mets.  Are the Nationals all of a sudden contendors?  It’s hard to tell because the top teams in the NL East are playing so bad, it’s hard to say how long it’s going to last.  Still, at one point the Nats were just nine games below .500, and if you would have asked me if I’d take back at the beginning of the season at this point, I would have been all over it.

Ryan Zimmerman is establishing himself as the corner (no pun) of the franchise.  He leads the team in homeruns (12), runs (41) and RBIs (42).  On top of that, he already has nine fielding runs above average after having just eight last year so he’s getting it done in the field as well.  His OBP needs some work (just .304) but that’s more a reflection of his mediocre batting average (.250) then anything else.

Dmitri Young has also been a pleasant surprise.  He’s hitting .336/.394/.513 and while his defense is something to be desired, he been a run producer on a team that lacks them.  Not too shabby for a non-roster invitee.  You wonder what we’d get for him in a trade.

The pitching is downright horrible though.  The team’s 4.79 ERA is one of the worse in baseball and the lack of experience showed in this last series against the Tigers where it was one beating after another.  Still, these guys like Matt Chico might play a role on the team if we’re ever good so this experience is nice to have now when it doesn’t matter.

Things don’t get any easier because the Nationals now play three against a tough Indians team.  Micah Bowie, who’s been a nice surprise, will throw against Fausto Carmonaa.  I like our chances in this one and it’d be nice to end this skid.

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