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A breakthrough or a blip?

Jun 27, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

US Presswire photo
Michael Morse collected four of the Nationals' 21 hits last night.

As the hits kept piling up and the balls kept soaring out of Coors Field, the smiles inside the Nationals' dugout kept getting bigger and bigger.

If ever a team needed a 12-run, 21-hit performance, this was it. For the first time in a long time, the Nationals were able to rest easy knowing they had a comfortable lead in hand. Not since a 7-2 victory in Atlanta on May 27 had they won a game by more than four runs.

And they hadn't hit like this since … well, they hadn't hit like this any previous game this season. You have to go back to May 20, 2011 to find the last time the Nationals scored at least 12 runs (they racked up 17 that night in Baltimore). And you have to go way back to July 11, 2009 in Houston to find the last time they compiled 21 hits (the club record since the franchise arrived in Washington). And you can go back as far as you want but you won't find any previous game in which the Nationals pounded out 11 extra-base hits as they did last night.

Yes, in one fell swoop, this team managed to take the heat off its hitting coach, raise its season batting average four points (from .238 to .242) and slugging percentage eight points (from .387 to .395) and perhapsRead more ยป

228 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. peric - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    The Braves and Nationals were recently scouting at a Twins game, tweets Phil Mackey of ESPN's 1500 Twin Cities radio. Atlanta was there to see Francisco Liriano, while Washington was likely keeping tabs on center fielder Denard Span.As Boz said in his last chat. Never happen.

  2. Gonat - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Span happens before CarGo, but I don't see either one happening.

  3. MicheleS - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:45 PM

    It's Official.. PIT DFA'd Slaten…knew that they would add the DFA back to his name

  4. baseballjones - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:46 PM

    Havent seen anything on the conversation Laroche apparently had with Harper after the errant throw. I wonder if Harper took it well.

  5. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    It is interesting that Strasburg got all kinds of negatives after his performance, while there is little about Gio on here today. Gio fell many places among the top pitchers in the league in terms of ERA and Fielding Independent Pitching after last night, while Strasburg fell hardly at all after his outing on Monday.At the same time Johnson could have taken him out in the sixth and his figures would have stayed higher. You have to take a lot of the pitcher stats with a grain of salt. The more innings you get through, the more leeway you get, sort of like that old Cuban guy who pitched for us a couple of times and who probably will again.Good on Davey for defending his pitching coach. He was exactly right. If these guys are not disciplined, that is there is their issue. Nevertheless, this was one game. The Nats hitting issues are no more resolved than they were after that game in Toronto where Tyler Moore hit the two homers and we won in a laugher.One game in MLB means ZERO.

  6. baseballjones - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Havent seen anything about the conversation Laroche apparently had with Harper after the errant throw. I wonder if Harper took it well.

  7. Gonat - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Michele, no kidding. It showed how pathetic it was for the Nats to keep him as long as they did last year. He is beyond bad. His new job should be as a BP pitcher.I feel almost as strongly about Henry Rodriguez. Just not guys you can rely on if you really want to be a playoff contender and Pittsburgh thinks they can be a contender this year.

  8. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    batting coach….

  9. MicheleS - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    WODL…Don't worry about Gio not getting called out here.. It will happen soon enough. This crowd can turn on a dime.Plus I think everyone was sooo stunned byt 21 hits/12 runs that everything else got put aside (example – Harper – is it his back?)

  10. baseballswami - Jun 27, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Amazing how a dozen runs will make you forget pitching mistakes. Amazing how no runs or one run will call attention to just one pitching mistake. I am not looking for perfect, healthy would please me just fine, thanks.The offense giveth and the offense taketh away. You know, it really bothers me how quick some people are to just write off young players. Thanks to the Yankees, the Mets and Seattle, we have Clip, Flo and Mikey, who were written off. So Lombo isn't hitting every ball that comes near him right now on the occasions when he is in the game – last I heard the entire TEAM was in a slump. When a rookie first comes up he often goes crazy – then the other teams start to get a book on him, make adjustments and he comes back to earth. Doesn't mean he will "never" amount to anything. Espi was ridiculous when he first came up. Major league pitching is humbling for even the veterans. Bryce, Lombo and Moore — patience – they are going to have hitting woes, fielding mistakes, base-running gaffes and a lot more. They are learning in a grueling major league season. There is not one of us who " knows" that someone will or will not make it.Can we just cheer them all on and let them play and learn? I think they are all pretty amazing kids. They seem to be talented, great people and work very hard. My bet is on every one of them succeeding. By the way, have the Yankees called about John Lannan yet?

  11. Section 222 - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    I don't know but I'm guessing the recordholder could be a LOOGYRay King? Mike (not Giancarlo) Stanton?

  12. natsfan1a - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    Mike Stanton came to mind for me, too. Ray King would also be a possibility. Another former Nat, Ron Villone, came up while I was searching. But he was mentioned in the context of most teams played for overall, as opposed to in one season.

  13. natsfan1a - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    Huh, turns out that a lot of former Nats turn up on the (Warning: the contents of this link may cause flashbacks, palpitations, spikes in blood pressure, and other undesirable symptoms.) most-teams-played-for list (which makes sense, I suppose).

  14. Feel Wood - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Another record to look up would be most teams played for in a season without being traded. Might be a different guy…

  15. baseballjones - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    testing. i keep getting my posts deleted. did i offend management?

  16. baseballjones - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    I haven't seen anything on the conversation Laroche apparently had with Harper after Harper's errant throw. I wonder if Harper took it well.

  17. #4 - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    If the Nats are talking to the Rox about an OF, I hope it's Dexter Fowler. I've been hoping for him instead of Span, Bourn, etc. since the off-season. He can run, has some pop, and can get on base.

  18. baseballswami - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Harper is a passionate kid – I am sure that he doesn't always react well in the moment. He does seem to enter everything into his baseball computer head for later, though. Do you always react well when things are going badly and someone wants you to calm down and then they tell you what you did wrong and give you advice? At the time it's annoying – later on it's valuable.

  19. NatsLady - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Speaking of patience, Lincecum has a shutout after six and just struck out the side. Do you suppose Timmy has his mojo back?

  20. natsfan1a - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Yes, and both categories can be yielded from one search, depending on the search strategy. Mine was on the fly, as it were. So far, I've only turned up a Wiki answer. Couldn't find anything on baseballreference, but maybe I was looking in the wrong places.Another record to look up would be most teams played for in a season without being traded. Might be a different guy…

  21. Gonat - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    NatsLady, it took Lincecum's Dad getting ticked off to get Timmy Jim rattled. Its not the first time.I was hoping Timmy would right himself after the Nats were finished playing him.

  22. William O. Douglas Loeffler - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    Amazing that Lannan is making $5 million. How did that happen? His stats have always been pedestrian….

  23. Frediemac - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Are you kidding me? 17-1 Mets over Cubs

  24. Frediemac - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Wow! 17-1 Mets over Cubbies

  25. MicheleS - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:41 PM

    WODL. It's the process call abritration…

  26. NatsLady - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    Nyjer not having a good day. First he misplays a ball into a double. Then he can't get a bunt down and the lead runner is out. And then, more seriously, there is this:mlb-should-send-message-suspend-nyjer-morgan-for-contact-with-fanhttp://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/19432456/mlb-should-send-message-suspend-nyjer-morgan-for-contact-with-fanI can't believe I liked this guy and bought his jersey. If Jayson Werth did nothing else for this team, he's worth his salary for getting Nyjer off it.

  27. Ron In Reston - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    White Sox duplicated our 12/21 from last night in pounding the Twins today. Boston scored 10 (6 in the first inning) and the Mets a staggering 17, driven by only four guys.What have we started? ;)

  28. Ron In Reston - Jun 27, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    So the White Sox duplicated our 12/21 from last night….Boston scored 10 (6 in the first inning) and the Mutts scored 17(!!) all driven by only four guys (Wright 5, Davis, Hairston and Murphy 4 each)What have we started? ;)

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