Nationals' schedule turns in their favor after San Francisco (with notes)

After the Nationals finish this 10-game, three-city tour, they will have 27 regular season home games left and 17 on the road. Put another way, the Nationals will have 27 of their final 44 regular season games at Nationals Park.

That will be big as they drive to control the NL East. The home schedule includes visits from the Dodgers, Cardinals and Phillies to end the regular season.

With 37 road wins, the Nationals have the most road victories of any major league team. Next closest? Try Baltimore and Atlanta, with 32 each. Only six other teams have 30 wins or more away from home.

And, of course, 69-43 (.616) is the best record in baseball. No other team is playing .600 baseball right now.

Shortstop Cesar Izturis' pinch-hit single in the ninth was his first base hit in a Nationals uniform. Izturis has now recorded at least one hit with eight different big league teams.

The high Single-A Potomac Nationals lost 11-2 on the road. Their 17-42 road record is the worst in all of the minors, with the Houston Astros (11-46) as the only team in affiliated baseball with a worse record away from home.

Myrtle Beach scored 10 runs in four innings off of P-Nats starter Robert Gilliam.

Anthony Rendon was the designated hitter for the P-Nats, going 2-for-4 with a triple, his second of the season, and one strikeout. Ummm, he is batting .429 in the minors this season.

Single-A Hagerstown third baseman Matt Skole recorded his 91st RBI of the season in a 4-3 loss Thursday.

With Roger Bernadina sporting a .429 on-base percentage since the All-Star break and coming off a 3-for-4, two-steal game Thursday, any thought to giving him the starting job over Bryce Harper?

No way, of course, would the Nationals test the psyche of Harper that way in his rookie season. They will need him to regain his confidence because he is critical to this pennant race, as are all of the 25 men on the roster.

But Bernadina sure brings a compelling case to the floor, doesn't he? Or should I say field because the pair of web gems he displayed at Minute Maid Park, especially the game-saving catch Tuesday, are locked in the memory banks as some of the best this season or any season.

And as for pitchers, is there anyone out there more consistent than Jordan Zimmermann? He has allowed one earned run or less in nine of his 12 road starts this season. Twenty of his 23 starts have been quality starts this season. He deserves to be 15-1 instead of 9-6. The guy has been dealing.

As manager Davey Johnson said on "Nats Xtra" postgame about Zimmermann: "Dominant, overpowering."

Pretty much says it all.

Michael Morse's connecting on two homers and timing out the fastball is a big-time, good sign he could be locked in for the season. With his 10th homer, that puts five Nationals into the double-digit category in homers this season.

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