May 29, 2012, 2:17 PM EST
US Presswire photo
Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each have been swinging a hot bat.
MIAMI — Don't look now, but the Nationals are actually scoring runs in bunches. A lineup that not long ago featured more black holes than a Carl Sagan novel is starting to produce in a manner more befitting a first-place club.
Over the season's first 40 games, the Nationals averaged a scant 3.6 runs. Over their last eight games, they've raised that average to 5.2 runs.
So, what's been the biggest difference? It's not necessarily what you might expect. The Nationals aren't producing that many more hits (8.6 per game during this stretch vs. 8.2 during the season's first quarter). And they're actually reaching base with less frequency (posting a .314 on-base percentage during this stretch vs. a .315 mark prior to it).
No, the reason the Nationals are scoring more runs these days is that they're hitting for more power.
Through games 1-40, they averaged only 2.8 extra-base hits, a pretty paltry total. Since then, they're averaging 3.9 extra-base hits. ThatRead more »
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
- Jimmy Rollins: Phillies have missed Werth since he signed with Nats
- Significant moment No. 7: Williams benches Harper
- Significant moment No. 8: Span breaks hit record
- Nats sign veteran infielder Stewart to minor deal
- Ex-Nats pitcher Haren really doesn't want to pitch for the Marlins
- Significant moment No. 9: Soriano out, Storen in
- Nats sign veteran Heath Bell to minor-league deal
- Report: Phillies may target Cabrera to replace Rollins
- Significant moment No. 10: Roark makes rotation
- USO tour was "life-changing" for Nats' Fister