The view from the top

Nationals fans have a lot to smile about this morning.

For the first time since baseball returned to D.C., the Nationals are 20 games over .500. Actually, this is the first time a D.C.-based baseball team has been 20 games above .500 since all the way back in 1945.

The Nationals currently are tied with the Yankees for the best record in baseball.

They have a five-game lead over the Braves in the National League East.

Even if the Nats only win half their remaining games, they’ll finish with a 90-win season. If they keep winning at their current pace, they’ll look up at the standings at the end of the regular season and see a whopping 98 wins next to their team name.

Of course, none of the projected win totals or the current place in the standings means much of anything on July 27. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, and the Nats haven’t guaranteed themselves anything yet.

But this is certainly a good start.

johnson happy sidebar.jpgDavey Johnson talks often about how he likes counting in fives. When the Nationals got to 15 games above .500 a couple weeks ago, their skipper, who wears No. 5, said he already had his eyes on 20 games over .500.

This morning, he’ll almost certainly be looking toward number 25.

But the Nationals should take a second - just a second - and appreciate where they are at this point. Not many players on the current roster were a part of this organization four or five years ago, but oh so much has changed since then.

The 59-win mark that the Nationals have already reached this season is the same win total the franchise put up during the entire 2008 and 2009 seasons.

To put that in a more dramatic perspective, the Nats could lose all 64 games remaining on their schedule and still tie the ‘08 and ‘09 teams in the win column.

After finishing in the cellar of the NL East five times in a six-season span from 2005-2010, the Nats find themselves 15 games clear of the last-place Phillies in late July.

They haven’t accomplished anything yet, and the guys in the Nationals’ clubhouse are well aware of that fact.

But those of us who saw this team in its lowest days can enjoy where it sits today.

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