Judging by the performance of the Nationals' bullpen in game one of their three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the ballclub's future looks bright for next season.
With Joe Torre's club trying to overtake the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West, Washington slowed down the LA express with a 2-1 victory.
Collin Ballester gave Manny Acta five solid innings before turning things over to Marco Estrada, Steven Shell, Saul Rivera and finally Joel Hanrahan who posted his 5th save of the season to nail down the win for Ballester.
The bullpen tossed 4 strong shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits while striking out four Dodgers.
This is the time of the season to evaluate players who have been called up from Triple A Columbus to gauge the improvements they've made at the Minor League level and whether or not those improvements can carry over to the big leagues.
Washington has the youngest ballclub in the Major Leagues. They can only get better with time.
It is hard to imagine any team this season that has gone through as many injuries as the Nationals have.
Injuries are part of the game, but this year has been just short of ridiculous. And still Manager Manny Acta has kept his emotions on an even keel. How is beyond me!
So lets enjoy these final weeks of the season. And there is nothing wrong in wondering...what if this had happened or if this guy could have stayed healthy? It can only get better, and I've got a feeling the Nats will have a lot to say about who winds up as division champions.