Split in the desert a good start to long trip

Taking two out of three from Philadelphia, followed by a split in the desert against the Arizona Diamondbacks, showed me that the Nationals have what it takes to knock off the big boys and cause havoc in the standings.

Last time I checked, the Phillies were head and shoulders above everyone else in the National League East with a pitching staff as good as any in baseball. The D-backs are in a fight with the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants out west and should be looking at postseason play when all is said and done.

Have you ever witnessed such a wild game as the Sunday afternoon affair on Phoneix? Jason Marquis was ejected after drilling Justin Upton, and no way was it intentional. Not when you’re working on a three-hit shutout and you’ve got a one-run lead. Instead of getting his seventh win of the season, Marquis got a no-decision alongside his name after the D-backs tied it in the ninth with three runs.

But the Nats were not about to lose this one and a five-run 11th, highlighted by Michael Morse’s second grand slam of the season, lifted Washington to a 9-4 win and a split of the four-game series.

So now it’s on to the city by the bay, San Francisco, and a three-game series with the Giants. The Nats have already taken three of four from San Francisco back in early May.

Consistency is the one thing everyone can put their finger on that is lacking - not only for the Nationals but so many other ball clubs in Major League Baseball. If anyone has a solution, that person could make millions because so far, no one can solve this mystery.

When Ryan Zimmerman returns to the lineup, which may be within the next couple of weeks, that will be a big step forward. Once Jason Werth gets in a groove and takes his game to the next level, the ballclub could easily do the same.

It sure is fun to watch the guys battling and hustling with that never-say-die attitude. Let’s hope they keep it up against the Giants and Padres and return home to D.C. with a better than .500 record on this three-city, 11-game trip to the West Coast.