May 5, 2012, 10:11 PM EDT
Associated Press photo
Jayson Werth is congratulated after hitting a three-run homer.
It seems like an odd notion, given the manner in which they've stormed out to the top of the NL East through the season's first month, but the Nationals really needed to do today exactly what they did.
Seven innings of one-run ball from Gio Gonzalez? Check.
A rare offensive explosion, ignited by Jayson Werth's first home run and RBI in nine days? Double-check.
And a blowout victory over the Phillies, dealing yet another blow to the five-time kings of the division and their legion of fans who attempted to invade South Capitol Street yet again? Triple-check.
Perhaps one word best describes today's 7-1 thumping at Nationals Park: Catharsis.
After battling their way through nothing but tense nailbiters on a nightly basis, after failing to capitalize on countless scoring opportunities, after playing pinata to the Phillies' 34-ounce Louisville Slugger and watching their ballpark overtaken by fans from the north, it felt like the Nationals exorcised all their demons over the course of 2 hours and 27 minutes ofRead more »
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 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.
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