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Remembering the Nats’ last 10-game winning streak

Aug 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

2005 AP file photo 2005 AP file photo

After watching his team get swept by a Nationals club riding a 10-game winning streak, the opposing manager complimented D.C.’s red-hot baseball team.

“Everything that goes in a game is bouncing their way,” he said. “And to their credit, they are taking advantage of it.”

Sounds about right. Except the opposing manager wasn’t Arizona’s Kirk Gibson, it was Seattle’s Mike Hargrove. And it wasn’t said Thursday after the Nats won their 10th straight game, it was said on June 12, 2005 after the inaugural Nats won their 10th straight game.

There are some legitimate similarities between the only two 10-game winning streaks in Nationals history. The 2005 team won five of its 10 straight games by only 1 run, riding a dominant pitching staff and a few timely hits. This 2014 squad has won seven of its 10 straight games by only 1 run, also riding a dominant pitching staff and some timely hits.

There are also some distinct differences between the two, such as the comparative talent disparity from one club to the other. With due respect to that ’05 roster, it couldn’t come close to matching its current counterpart.

The Nationals’ starting lineup on June 12, 2005 that produced a 3-2 victory at RFK Stadium:

CF Brad Wilkerson
LF Ryan Church
RF Jose Guillen
1B Nick Johnson
3B Vinny Castilla
2B Junior Spivey
C Brian Schneider
SS Jamey Carroll
P Tony Armas Jr.

Talk about some blasts from the past. Armas wound up the winning pitcher that Sunday afternoon, but only after needing 107 pitches to complete five scoreless innings. Spivey, acquired earlier that week from the Brewers for pitcher Tomo Ohka, launched his sixth homer of the season (his first with the Nationals) to give them an early 2-0 lead. Gary Majewski and Luis Ayala pitched the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to set things up for Chad Cordero, who retired the side on seven pitches to earn his 19th save.

Oh, and do you know who was the Mariners’ starting shortstop that day? A young slugger by the name of Mike Morse. Yes, that Mike Morse, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and was not serenaded by fans singing “Take on Me” at any point in the game.

All of Washington was abuzz over this long-awaited ballclub not only playing in the District, but winning at an astonishing rate. The Nationals were 24-9 at RFK Stadium to that point, capping their longest homestand of the season with 12 wins in 13 games while taking over first place in the NL East to a joyous crowd of 37,170.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Wilkerson, one of the holdovers from the Expos’ roster during their final, nomadic days. “We feel energized by our situation now. To walk off and know they recognize what we do is just a great feeling.”

The Nationals left town after that 2005 and headed west for the start of a 9-game, 3-city road trip. The winning streak ended the following night with an 11-1 thumping in Anaheim, but they were right back at it the next night, beating the Angels 6-3 in a game better remembered for Frank Robinson asking umpires to check reliever Brendan Donnelly’s glove for pine tar, inciting a bench-clearing brawl and a war of words between Robinson, Angels manager Mike Scioscia and the emotional Guillen.

The Nationals were the talk of baseball back then, a surprise contender in mid-June that ultimately would fade during the second half and finish in last place despite an 81-81 record.

These Nationals are again the talk of baseball, but the tone is different this time. This isn’t so much surprising as it is confirmation of this team’s immense talent and ability to win a lot of games.

But it’s fun to think back and recall what this all felt like the last time it happened.

  1. knoxvillenat - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I remember Robinson and Scioscia getting into the arguement over the pine tar but what was the “bench-clearing brawl” all about? Was there a hit batter or something? Maybe a hard take out slide on a double play in the middle infield?

    • faridrushdi - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Wasn’t that the game when Chad Cordero loaded the bases with nobody out in the 9th and then went to 3-0 on the next batter before getting a pop out, strikeout and closing things out in typical “Chief” fashion?

      That first season in DC was every bit as special to me as the 1969 Senators. I lived both years through the team wearing the “Curly W.” I mean, I can still tell you Brant Alyea’s scouting report. Don’t remember much of the 70’s, though. That have been my fault …..

  2. Joe Seamhead - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Are Ladsen and Boz wrong about the longest Washington baseball winning streak at 13?

    Mark Hornbaker‎Washington D.C. Baseball History
    41 mins · Edited ·
    Nats tied the franchise record with their 10th consecutive win yesterday. The All Time Washington longest win streak was 17 games in 1912.
    The Senators were in 6th place 8.5 games behind the White Sox on May 30, 1912. The Senators were in 2nd place with a 34-21 record and only 1.5 games behind the Red Sox after they won their 17th straight game on June 18, 1912.
    What made the Senators 17 game winning streak really amazing is that 16 of the 17 victories took place on the road. The Senators only walk-off victory during the 17 game streak took place on June 18th when the team played their only home game.

    • natsbro - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      Different franchise..right?

      • natsbro - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        Or are you just saying for Washington DC in general?

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        Yes, natsbro, it’s a different franchise. That version of the Senators became the Minnesota Twins.

    • micksback1 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Joe
      that is great stuf!

      you know, you may be able to go back to the 1880’s and I believe DC may have had a 22 game streak then?

      I could be wrong, but back in 2012 there was a web site about DC baseball history as far back as 1879

  3. natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    But we loved them just the same.

    “With due respect to that ’05 roster, it couldn’t come close to matching its current counterpart.”

    And yeah, it was the pine tar, although I believe there was also a back story with Guillen and the Angels.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/15/AR2005061500211.html

    • knoxvillenat - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      1a,

      Thanks for the link. Reading the story from WaPo brought back some old memories of that first season.

  4. Eugene in Oregon - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    I can picture all of those guys on the 2005 squad except Junior Spivey. I remember the name, but not the player. Was he a short-termer?

    Separate subject: Off this morning on a last summer trip (to the Olympic Peninsula), which will conclude with the Mariners series. I don’t expect the streak to still be going when they (and we) arrive in Seattle, but I’m hopeful the Nats will still be solidly in 1st place. That’s all that really matters (baseball-wise).

    • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      Spivey was picked up I think from the Brewers after an injury to someone. He was a utility infielder kind of guy and played pretty well.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        The regular 2nd baseman, Jose Vidro, was injured. Spivey would follow him to the DL fairly shortly thereafter. The Spivey-for-Ohka trade served two purposes, though: Ohka was dead meat on the roster after pointedly dissing Frank on the mound in getting pulled from his last start.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        Jimbo also picked up Ryan Drese about that time, who was on the scrap heap for a reason, but did provide a couple of very nice starts.

      • Scooter - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        Was Spivey the one who hurt himself taking batting practice?

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        “Was Spivey the one who hurt himself taking batting practice?

        A ball that ricocheted off the pitching cage broke his arm at the wrist.

    • faridrushdi - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:32 AM

      He was a very good 2nd baseman for the Milwaukee Brewers. Similar to Asdrubal Cabrera, he was a 2nd baseman with power for Arizona and Milwaukee. Like Cabrera, he was having a down year when he was traded to Washington for starter Tomo Ohka. He got traded before the All-Star break and Preston Wilson came just after the break from Colorado for Zach Day. That version of Preston Wilson, once speedy and graceful, had two bad knees.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        Ah, P-Dub. I liked him. Couldn’t play much anymore by that time, but I liked the guy.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Wilson preceded Bryce as leading the team in the helmet-flying-off-while-running (HFOWR) stat. In Wilson’s case, his do-rag may have been a factor, though…

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        Must have been what I first saw in him. That, or the fact that he is Mookie Wilson’s (nephew??) … relative.

  5. Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    If the Nats owners at the time (MLB Baseball 29 owners) had allowed the Nats to make some BIG deadline trades and upgrades, that team could have been post-season competitive.

    In June they were rolling but they lacked the depth in starting pitching and on the bench. Spivey was a small move. There were others they could have made.

    • micksback1 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Ghost, the demise of 2005 team was John Patterson’s injury.

      He was rolling

      • karlkolchak - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        Patterson pitched the whole year in 2005. He didn’t get injured until May of 2006, after the team had already been forced to let Loaiza go due to financial constraints. Combined with Livo crashing that year it completely destroyed what had been a halfway decent rotation.

      • veejh - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Ahhhhh…my shelved Patterson jersey. It’s just too small now.

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Right kk. And after two years of trying to recover, he was finally “Pattersoned” in spring training of 2008. See line 16 of the NIDO Glossary for background on this important term.

        http://prettyfrickenbueno.wordpress.com/nido-glossary/

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      Big moves? Hell, the MLB overseers wouldn’t even let them have Sept. roster callups, IIRC.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Not that there was much to call up. The entire farm system had been looted, pillaged, sacked, and burned by that time. There were a few hidden zircons in there.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM

        I think you’re right. Maybe it was for the best so they didn’t trade away someone like Desmond who was stashed away in the Minors.

      • adcwonk - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        These comments remind me all over again how far the Nats have come in such a short time.

        Not only were they a terrible team, but (as you note) had a farm system that “had been looted, pillaged, sacked, and burned”. Which, in turn, led to 100+ loss seasons, etc.

        And now, just a short time later, we’re not only contenders, but perennial contenders, with a fairly youthful team, possibly the best pitching staff in MLB, a good farm system, and (imho) awesome GM managing for the future.

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        Wonk, you’re definitely right about the progress of the team by then. But I wouldn’t call 10 years a fairly short period of time. We squandered the first several years with Bowden at the helm and Stan Kasten’s “Plan”. Rizzo’s ascension to the GM spot in 2009 was one of the most important events in Nats history. He began actually planning for the team’s future, rather than just talking about it.

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        Wonk, you’re definitely right about the progress of the team by then. But I wouldn’t call 10 years a fairly short period of time. We squandered the first several years with Bowden at the helm and Stan Kasten’s “Plan”. Rizzo’s ascension to the GM spot in 2009 was one of the most important events in Nats history. He began actually planning for the team’s future, rather than just talking about it.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        Ian “Diamond” Desmond was the zircon I had in mind, in fact, and he wasn’t rated all that highly at the time. If he had been, he’d have been gone by then.

        You want to have a fun stroll down that particular memory lane, go look at the blogs around spring 2008 (either Mark’s Nationals Insider posts on the Washington Times, or the Nationals Journal from Chico Harlan and intern Adam Kilgore. Many of the commentariat here were on the comments section on the WaPo site.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Except Zimmerman, thank goodness.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Zim, of course, was drafted in 2005, and thus not eligible to be traded yet. He was already on the roster by September. They traded Vinny instead, that winter, for Brian Lawrence, in a classic bad-for-both-teams transaction.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        OK, wth, why not:
        as of Nov 2004, from Baseball America.

        2005 Washington Nationals Top Prospects
        
        1. Mike Hinckley, lhp
        2. Larry Broadway, 1b
        3. Ryan Church, of
        4. Clint Everts, rhp
        5. Brendan Harris, inf
        6. Bill Bray, lhp
        7. Daryl Thompson, rhp
        8. Darrell Rasner, rhp
        9. Kory Casto, 3b
        10. Collin Balester, rhp 
      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        By the following winter, it was looking a little better. A little. Zim, remember, was effectively no longer a prospect by 2006, but the starting 3b.

        As of Nov 2005

        TOP TEN PROSPECTS
        
        1. Ryan Zimmerman, 3b
        2. Collin Balester, rhp
        3. Clint Everts, rhp
        4. Ian Desmond, ss
        5. Armando Galarraga, rhp
        6. Kory Casto, 3b
        7. Mike Hinckley, lhp
        8. Bill Bray, lhp
        9. Larry Broadway, 1b
        10. Daryl Thompson, rhp 
        
      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        And then it kinda stalled out:

        2007

        TOP TEN PROSPECTS
        1.	Collin Balester, rhp
        2.	Chris Marrero, of
        3.	Colton Willems, rhp
        4.	Kory Casto, 3b/of
        5.	Esmailyn Gonzalez, ss
        6.	Zech Zinicola, rhp
        7.	Glenn Gibson, lhp
        8.	Matt Chico, lhp
        9.	Stephen King, ss
        10.	Ian Desmond, ss

        2008

        TOP TEN PROSPECTS
        1. 	Chris Marrero, of/1b
        2. 	Ross Detwiler, lhp
        3. 	Collin Balester, rhp
        4. 	Michael Burgess, of
        5. 	Jack McGeary, lhp
        6. 	Josh Smoker, lhp
        7. 	Jordan Zimmerman, rhp
        8. 	Glenn Gibson, lhp
        9. 	Justin Maxwell, of
        10. 	Colton Willems, rhp

        2009

        TOP TEN PROSPECTS
        1. 	Jordan Zimmermann, rhp
        2. 	Ross Detwiler, lhp
        3. 	Chris Marrero, 1b
        4. 	Michael Burgess, of
        5. 	Jack McGeary, lhp
        6. 	Derek Norris, c
        7. 	Destin Hood, of
        8. 	Adrian Nieto, c
        9. 	J.P. Ramirez, of
        10. 	Esmailyn Gonzalez, ss

        OK, 2009 starts to come back, with some guys that did eventually make the show, and a couple of genuine MLB players, but if AKA Smiley is still top 10? Yeah. That was about to change, though.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      If the Nats owners at the time (MLB Baseball 29 owners) had allowed the Nats to make some BIG deadline trades and upgrades, that team could have been post-season competitive.

      Although … if they could have pulled off the Alphonso Soriano for Brad Wilkerson, Terrmel Sledge, and Armando Galarraga trade at the deadline, instead of during the winter …

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Yeah, wow! Phonsi was amazing with Frank Robinson guiding him.

  6. micksback1 - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    rolling before injury, that doomed the nats

    • sjm308 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Mick – I think its already been noted but that injury was not until 2006

  7. Joe Seamhead - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    I just read a rumor that Brian Goodwin has a separated shoulder. Has anybody heard anything about it?

    • karlkolchak - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      That would explain why he hasn’t played in two months. Hopefully, when it heals he’ll regain his game, because he absolutely cratered this year.

    • Candide - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      I suppose there are degrees of shoulder separation, but when I did it while skiing some years back, the pain was incapacitating. Trying to stand up again while on a ski slope, with your skis on, and having only one arm to push yourself up with…

      And as I got up, some asshat on a snowboard comes cruising down the trail looking everywhere except straight ahead of him. I was screaming at him “LOOKOUTLOOKOUTLOOKOUT!!!” just before he crashed into me and knocked me down again.

      Asshat got up, didn’t apologize, didn’t say a word, didn’t even look back to see if I was okay (I wasn’t), and off he went. If I’d been carrying my revolver with me, he would have been one of the deadest men who ever lived.

      /rant

      Anyway, I very carefully picked my way down the rest of the trail, cradling my poles in my arms, because there was no way I was going to be able to put the slightest pressure on the injured arm. Left the ski resort’s clinic a few hours later with my arm in a sling, which I wore for a couple of weeks after, and months later, it was still tender. And to this day, when I look in the mirror, I can see that shoulder is now slightly lower than the other one.

      All by way of saying if Goodwin separated his shoulder like I did, the whole world would know – he wouldn’t have been able to keep it secret.

  8. adcwonk - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    A co-worker, this morning, was telling me about an MLB article that was about a long winning streak that the Expos had — and that FP was a major factor (batting way over .400 during the streak).

    Has anybody seen that article?

    • erocks33 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Haven’t see the article, but did see that from June 6-16, 1997 the Expos won 10 straight games. During those 10 games, F.P.’s slash line was:

      .447/.500/.789!

      He went 17-38, scored 11 runs, hit 7 doubles, 2 home runs and knocked in 8 RBI’s.

      Unfortunately that year, the Expos finished with a 78-84 record.

    • Candide - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:37 AM

  9. karlkolchak - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I was there for win No. 10 in 2005 and again this year. While the ’05 game was more fun (especially the standing O the crowd gave the Nats as they left the field), this year feels a lot more sustainable. :)

    • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:08 PM

      I was looking at my game records, and I was at game before the streak started (a loss), and the two games before that loss, but I digress. Hey, it’s a dirty job, but someone had to do it. You’re welcome.

  10. Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    Looking back on a winning streak is fun, no doubt about it. And oh, how I’ve looked forward to this, the latest, and so far greatest, 18-game post. (Yes, I am the master of the off-topic segue.)

    When last we looked at the (2014) Nats through this prism after the 108th game, they had just completed a respectable 10-8 stint, breaking even against the Phillies, winning series against the Brewers, Rockies, and Reds, and losing a series to the Marlins. This was the 18-game set that included and followed Zim’s hamstring injury. It seemed like we were holding steady, but there was still a lot of apprehension about how the team would handle Zim’s absence. Two thirds of the way through the season, with just 54 games remaining, the Nats were 10 games over .500 at 59-49, and led the NL East by 3.5 games.

    In my wrap up post on Aug. 4, I said: “The real key to the season is shaping up to be the next 18-game set, highlighted by the 3-game showdown in Atlanta from Aug. 8-10.”

    Boy, that turned out to be an understatement. The showdown in Atlanta was inconclusive, but then the Nats caught fire, winning the next 10 games (I can’t believe I’m writing this) and finishing with a 14-4 record for the 18-game stretch. That’s the best such stretch since the first 18 games of the 2012 season. We’re now 73-53 and have a seven game lead on the Braves. Ten straight wins showed the team at its best – clutch hitting, great starting pitching, solid defense and some good relief outings (some bad ones too). New arrivals Cabrera and Thornton have played really well. Span and LaRoche have been on fire. And what can you say about five walkoff wins in six games other than “wow!”?

    For comparison, after 126 games in 2013, the Nats were 62-64, 10 games worse than this year. And they trailed the Braves by 15 games. The season was long since over. Yes, the Braves were better last year, but the Nats were a lot worse. And even though their record in 2012, was 77-49 at this point, they were only 5.5 games ahead of the Braves, compared to 7.0 now.

    This season is illustrating the perfect scenario for a 90+ win season — play consistent more or less 10-8 baseball and get hot for a few stretches. So far we are 10-8, 9-9, 8-10, 10-8, 12-6, 10-8, and 14-4. Nice and steady and peaking at just the right time.

    In 2012, our NL East crown was built on that great 14-4 opening set and three 12-6 stretches in a row from July 20 to September 14, One more good stretch like that and we can coast home like we did in 2012. Or we can just do 10-8 and 10-8 in the last 36 games, and finish with 93 wins and another NL East title.

    It all starts– right now!

    • adcwonk - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Similar to Davey’s theory: winning the division requires 3 or so hot streaks and playing .500 the rest of the time

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

        Exactly. What I especially like about this year is that our worst stretch is 8-10. One of the most interesting things about analyzing the season this way is that the difference between 10-8 and 8-10 is 90 wins (playoffs) and 72 wins (also-ran). And that’s just two winnable games in every 18 played that you win instead of lose. That’s where the Nats great late inning run scoring ability has really come in handy. We’ve won a total of 22 games when we trailed after the 6th inning or later. And when we’ve been tied in the 7th, 8th, or 9th inning, our record is 28-14. (There may be some double counting in this stat if the game has see-sawed back and forth.)

        Our late inning capability bodes really well for the playoffs too.

  11. Candide - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Ha! Very funny. The gnome is redeeming himself by becoming the rally gnome.

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Hilarious!
      Or, as Gertie Stein might have said, “Loud Out Laughing Out Laughing Out Loud”

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      OK, but the gnome thing is getting kind of passé; everybody’s got a garden gnome. What we need is a RALLY FLAMINGO!

      Not to be confused with a flamingo rally.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Oh, and mind the bagpipes on that link there.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Or is that more ®Miami?

      • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

        Yah, that’s more Miami. That, or maybe Rally Pinocchio Dolphins.

        I like the gnome, especially at home.

      • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        Still, the dancing dervish flamingo is pretty cool, huh?

      • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

        It’s teh awesomez.

        “Still, the dancing dervish flamingo is pretty cool, huh?”

    • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM

      Another good one, Candide.

  12. jd - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    During the 1st half of the year we lost tons of extra inning and 1 run games which explains why our run difference indicated that our record should have been much better than it was. Now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and we are winning all the walk off and 1 run games and all of the sudden our record and run differential are pretty much aligned properly.

    You can analyze this to death but the reality is that there is a strong element of luck involved and in the end your record is pretty much what it should be (not always but normally).

    • adcwonk - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      Luck is the residue of design. If you prepare and have a plan, things will fall into place

      MASN Dan asked Span something like: is this streak luck or skill, and Span answered wisely: some of both.

      A good team, with good fundamentals, etc., will tend to catch breaks. Compare, for example, that key single (two games ago) that went up the middle, and missed Aaron Hill’s glove by inches. Many here were thinking that Cabrera or Espi would have gotten to it, or at least stopped it, which would have prevented the runner on first from going to third, etc.

      OTOH, although I’m loathe to bring this up — remember Boswell’s dictum:

      A team is never as good as it appears to be during a winning streak, and not as bad as it seems to be during a losing streak.

      OTOOH: there are some darn good fundamentals that the Nats have, winning streak or not — starting with the best team ERA and WHIP in the NL, which, in turn, yields, the best record in the NL.

      • Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        Not to mention the 3rd best FIP. Ever.

    • masterfishkeeper - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:20 AM

      +1

    • Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      Now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and we are winning all the walk off and 1 run games and all of the sudden our record and run differential are pretty much aligned properly.

      Which is exactly the opposite of what happened in 2005. They won a ton of 1-run games, everybody went on and on about how unsustainable it was, and sure enough, it pretty much flipped right over in the second half.

      • natsfan1a - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        Yes, this. I want this. The opposite of 2005. (Although I wouldn’t trade 2005 for the world, because that’s when I fell in love with my Nats, and it was magical.)

  13. joemktg - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    I recall from that 2005 season that the Nats went on a tear, so I went back to baseballreference.com, and sure enough that was the beginning of a stretch where they went 25-6 and took over 1st place in the East.

    • TimDz - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      THAT would be a nice streak to replicate now….

  14. Section 222 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Just an interesting comparison, here’s the 2005 season divided into 18-game chunks: 9-9, 10-8, 9-9, 14-4 (includes “the streak”), 10-8, 6-12, 8-10 (66-60 at a comparable point this this year), 7-11, and 8-10. One great stretch and two bad ones. But it was pretty much all downhill after that streak.

  15. NatsLady - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    I won’t be able to go tonight, so I have a ticket to give away, free to anyone who will give me the T-Shirt. DM me on Twitter if interested and send me your email.

  16. Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Which reminds me, since Mark has been doing this all this time: was Chase still in high school then? Just wondering.

  17. Soul Possession, Sec 3, My Sofa - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    And then there were the DEEZ NATS tee shirts. Maybe time to bring that one back out?

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
x-WASHINGTON 87 63 -- 0
ATLANTA 75 76 12.5
MIAMI 73 77 14.0
NEW YORK 73 79 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 69 82 18.5
Through Tuesday's games
x-Clinched division title

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
WED: Nats at Braves, 7:10 p.m.
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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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