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,
NL EAST STANDINGS
WED: Nats at Phillies, 7:35 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Mariners, 10:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Mariners, 9:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Dodgers, 8:10 p.m.
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
Follow us on Twitter
- Nationals lament close call in loss to Phillies
- Nats struggle early, lose in controversial fashion to Phillies
- LaRoche gets rare night off with tight back
- Gonzalez faces Hamels in showdown of southpaws
- Nats' Triple-A affiliate Syracuse raking in postseason awards
- A primer on postseason roster eligibility rules
- Around the NL East: Stanton making strong push for NL MVP
- Nationals can't pull off dramatic rally this time
- Nats' momentum stalls vs. Phillies in first game of long road trip
- Cabrera out of lineup, but not seriously injured