Jun 30, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT
NEW YORK — There have been plenty of days over the last three months when the Nationals don’t look anything like a World Series contender, an offensively challenged, defensively sloppy bunch that has put forth way more lifeless performances this season than anybody expected.
But there have also been a handful of days — though admittedly only a few, and usually scattered about — when these Nationals do put it all together and walk away from the ballpark having every reason to believe they can go on the kind of sustained tear that defined their breakthrough 2012 season.
Today was one of those days. Whether it’s a positive omen of more good things to come or just another blip in a mediocre season remains to be seen. But as they showed during a 13-2 demolition of the Mets, the Nationals do have the ability to overwhelm any opponent they face.
“We know we’ve got the lineup that can go out any given day and put up 15 hits and 10 runs, and it just hasn’t happened,” said Adam LaRoche, who ignited this offensive explosion with a second-inning homer off Zack Wheeler. “This isn’t going to happen every day, obviously, but I think it should a lot more often than it has.”
The season is now officially halfway complete, and the Nationals sit one game over the .500 mark at 41-40. They’ve hovered right at, right above or right below sea level for the last six weeks, never getting real hot, never getting real cold. But they’ve now won seven of their last 11 games, and tomorrow they’ll get their most-important player back after a lengthy absence.
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Saturday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Saturday's games
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.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 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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