During the Nationals’ five-game losing streak, the Nationals managed six runs.
Since that spiral, the Nationals have won three in a row, and have scored at least eight runs in each of the wins, outscoring opponents 26-5 in that span.
Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-5 with two-run home run in the eighth off of the Cardinals’ Jason Motte as the Nationals went on to shutout the Cardinals 10-0 on Friday night.
Zimmerman said every losing streak has a message. The Nationals did not ignore it. And they aren’t the only team that has been down this road.
“It happened and we learned from it,” Zimmerman said. “There aren’t many teams, if any, that haven’t gone through a whole season stretch of losing four or five in a row. But a complete game shutout is about as good as it can get.”
Zimmerman said the two five-game skids the Nationals went through this season are going to occur. It is just getting out of them and staying out of them for a while is what matters if you are going to build a special season. Just look at Friday’s opponent, the defending world champion Cardinals, with six hitters in the lineup hitting .298.
“It is going to happen,” Zimmerman said. “This team over here (the Cardinals) is one of the best hitting teams in the league and they are going through the same thing that we just went through. It happens to everyone, no matter how good you are or how bad you are. It is a long season. There is no way everyone can be consistent throughout the whole thing.”
With Friday’s win, the Nationals matched the 80 wins they had all of last year, and they still have 31 regular season games on the schedule.
“We went through a lot of bad times, obviously,” Zimmerman said. “It shows how well they have drafted and how well they have developed the picks they got because we were so bad for those years. You have to give credit to the organization and all the coaches that taught the guys that are up here. It is a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Zimmerman said teammate Chad Tracy was on a Diamondbacks team that had a five- or six-game lead one September and watched “the Dodgers sprint on by.” So the Nationals are not going to sit back and coast with a 6 1/2-game lead.
“It is a long way to go,” Zimmerman said. “There will be a long way to go until ... until there is not any way to go. That is the way we are looking at it. We are not taking anything for granted. We are not satisfied with what we have done.
“We have put ourselves in a good position. If we can take anything out of what we have done, that is all we can take. We just got to keep working and keep going.”