The Washington Nationals’ season is over and the team improved its record by 11 wins since 2010. The 80 wins is also 21 victories better than 2009’s low water mark.
Manager Davey Johnson was asked what 80 wins meant in Wednesday’s postgame interview on MASN, and he certainly was not jumping for joy. That showed to me how determined he is to get this team to the next level.
“Not a whole lot,” Johnson said. “We are not playing in postseason. But it shows how far these guys have come. I have been really impressed. I had a wonderful day with all of them, talking to them. All of them have their sights set higher. And that is as it should be. We want to go through the winter thinking we can do better than this.”
But the numbers are impressive, and is the case with baseball, tell part of the story of where the franchise is and where they want to go.
Here is a list of some interesting numbers off the top:
8-2: Only the Texas Rangers (9-1) finished hotter than the Nats in the final 10 games.
15-5: record in last 20 games (Only St. Louis matched that record in National League).
10-1: record last 11 games on the road.
Allowed more than four runs: only twice out of final 18 games.
80: Only seven teams had more wins in the National League than the Nats.
624: The total number of runs the Nats offense produced. Only Pittsburgh (610), Houston (615), San Francisco (570) and San Diego (593) scored less on offense than the Nats in the N.L.
17-10: record in September and June, only two months this season in which they had winning records. But it was the first time since 2007 and 2006 they had a winning record in the season’s final month.
7-11: season series record vs. Marlins. Most wins against Florida in a season since 10 in 2007. Most wins (4) at SunLife Stadium since 2005 (5).
36-36: Record in NL East. (30-42 in 2010) (25-47 in 2009).
4.0: runs allowed, lowest in three seasons. In 2009, it was 5.4, and in 2010 they gave up 4.6 runs.
It is obvious from this small sample that the pitching and defense has made great strides each of the last two seasons. The offense showed some flashes as well. But with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo talking during the last homestand about how important it is to add some more power to the outfield, you can see the franchise knows they need to score more runs to get to the level of the Phillies, Braves and Cardinals.