Jun 18, 2011, 10:25 PM EDT
Associated Press photo
Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse each homered in the Nationals’ 4-2 victory.
Ryan Zimmerman has been a part of winning streaks with the Nationals before. He’s even experienced an eighth-game surge in the big leagues, back in August 2009.
That streak, though, merely brought the Nats to within 32 games of the .500 mark. Not exactly a meaningful stretch, in the grand scheme of things.
This, though, is different. In toppling the Orioles 4-2 on Saturday, the Nationals not only earned their eighth consecutive victory. They put themselves on the precipice of a .500 record, with the promise of even better things still to come.
“It kind of shows how much we’ve grown up as a team,” Zimmerman said. “The last two years we’ve been really young. Playing in these games in the middle of the season — when it means something — takes a little bit more concentration, maybe a little more mental toughness.”
Yes, it takes the right mental approach. But it also helps to have talent, something the Nationals possess more of now than at any previous time during their tenure in this town.
Look at the key contributors to Saturday’s win, starting with the pitching staff. Jordan Zimmermann (who earned the victory with 6 1/3
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