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Something special brewing

Jul 30, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Associated Press photo
Michael Morse is congratulated after hitting his game-tying homer in the ninth.

The images from the defining moment of Sunday's dramatic, 11-10 victory in Milwaukee were striking and memorable.

Michael Morse with left arm raised as he watched his game-tying home run in the ninth inning sneak over the right-field wall at Miller Park. Davey Johnson doing a little jig from the top dugout step as he watched the ball sail out. Ryan Mattheus, who had put the Nationals in that hole by serving up three homers in two innings of relief making sure he was the very first one to greet Morse and offer his teammate a bear hug.

That moment, perhaps as much as any other this season, revealed why the Nationals aren't just a good team in 2012 but why they may just be something special.

Sure, there's a boatload of talent on the roster, and of course that's the No. 1 reason this club now shares the best record in baseball with theRead more ยป

211 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    Bonifacio lost his leadoff spot to Reyes. I love leadoff havoc makers who get on base like Soriano in 2006 or Nyjer for a few months in 2009.Would be a good addition and trade chip if he doesn't fit here next year.

  2. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    It's puzzling to me why the Pirates went after Wandy in the first place. Wasn't pitching their strength and offense their weakness? I mean, other than McCutch and Neil Walker, who do they have. (Or did I miss an injury on their rotation?) BTW, for July, as a team, .284/.339/.452. Second in MLB to, believe it or not, the Twins.(Pre-All-Star .251/.314/.414.) That is some hitting, people.

  3. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    Sincerely hope we win the division, but—Going to take the minority position here, and say Gio for the one-gamer. When he is "on," he's on. Just look at him in the All-Star game. We haven't seen JZ (yet) in the real spotlight-type games. Put JZ in the bullpen in case Gio's not on his game, and let Davey have the world's quickest hook. If Gio wins, you are set with JZ for the first game of the playoffs.OTOH, if we don't have to do the one-gamer, I would go with the current setup: JZ, Gio, EJax, Det/CMW/Lannan so you can go RHP/LHP etc. A lot depends on the team you are matched against, in either case, and who is "hot" and healthy at the time.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    Twins are in first, thanks to one guy and you know who that is. 11 HR and 26 RBIs with over 1 OPS to go along with it.

  5. Gonat - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    6 weeks ago I would say Gio. He has been a model of inconsistency.JZim is now moving up to elite status and the interesting part is that Stephen Strasburg as we know will be even better.Great to be debating who is the Nats best pitcher but its the old "what have you done for me lately".JZim leading the Majors with 19 Quality Starts. That's a model of consistency.

  6. Section 222 - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    I'm glad my comment on JZnn started a very interesting discussion about our two incredible young starters. It even led me to temporarily suspend my peric moratorium as it was clear from the responses that he was making an interesting argument with a minimum of name calling (for him). One of the reasons I decided to talk about JZnn was the point highlighted later by SCNatsFan — he's the template for Stras. Many commenters have noted that they expect Stras to be both dominant and more consistent next year. I definitely agree. When you add Znn's consistency, unflappability and durability to Stras's raw talent and pure stuff, you have a pitcher for the ages. That's going to be very fun to watch. And I completely agree with Ghost that Gio needs to up his game to keep up. He seems very competitive. I bet he does it.This year, if I had to pick our starter for that one must win game, and as we all know we won't have to because Stras will be shut down, I'm with what seems to be a slight majority of commenters who would go with JZnn. Take a look at Stras's 20 starts this year. He's been tremendous in the majority. But he's pitched less than 6 innings in 25% of them. He gets overly emotional and lets the elements and the umpires affect him too much. In contrast, as SteadyEddie points out, Znn doesn't let anything get under his skin. That's who I want on the mound in a game we absolutely have to win.On a less serious note, wouldn't it be perfect symmetry if we could trade H-Rod for Bonifacio since we traded Bonifacio for Willingham and Willingham for H-Rod?

  7. JD - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Bowden is suggesting Cliff Lee as a sleeper for the Nationals. Where does he come up with this stuff?

  8. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    JD, he makes it up. Needs page reads and people to pay for being "insiders."

  9. Steady Eddie - Jul 30, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    JD — what NatsLady said. Or to put it another way, "That's Entertainment!"

  10. peric - Jul 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    Anyone remember Wily Mo Pena?JMax but every once-in-a-while he would hit a grand slam.

  11. peric - Jul 30, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    Bowden is suggesting Cliff Lee as a sleeper for the Nationals. Where does he come up with this stuff?I used to have fun with him telling him he all he was good for was wearing leather pants and Joy-riding his Segway. He really freaked out … but yes Natslady is right JimBo is looking for hits / page reads … he wants to be considered "in-the-know" by ESPN and continue to get paid. That's for sure. Nothing at all like Keith Law who could really care less he puts his stuff out there and if you like it fine if you don't he tells you what you can do.JimBo has a bit of a problem with self-esteem.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 57 46 --
ATLANTA 58 48 0.5
MIAMI 52 53 6.0
NEW YORK 51 55 7.5
PHILADELPHIA 46 60 12.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Marlins, 12:40 p.m.
THU: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Orioles at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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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.

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