Jun 18, 2011, 5:12 AM EDT
US Presswire photo
Ian Desmond eludes Matt Wieters’ tag to score in the fifth inning.
For weeks, Jim Riggleman would praise his Nationals for the manner in which they were playing clean baseball. Pitching well. Playing sparkling defense.
The only problem: They weren’t actually winning those games, making the manager’s sentiments feel a bit hollow at times.
“Guys are tired of hearing about how good they’re playing, but we’re not winning games,” Riggleman said. “It’s just the nature of the game. If you play good, eventually you’re going to win games, and we’ve done that here lately.”
Have they ever. The Nationals not only are playing their best baseball in a long time, they finally have the results to match. With an 8-4 thumping of the Orioles Friday night, they extended their longest winning streak in two years to seven games, moved to within two games of the .500 mark and moved into a tie for third place in the NL East.
Having withstood some rocky times during the season’s first two months, times in which the clubhouse could have become fractured,
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