The Nationals have 12 home runs in their last 16 innings. They’ve scored 20 runs in that same span. Dating back to the win in Miami which snapped their five-game losing streak, the Nats have averaged 7.6 runs per game.
Even the guys doing all the offensive damage can’t explain what the heck is happening.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” LaRoche said with a smile. “Whatever we’re doing we need to continue to do it every day. Whether it’s the meals we’re eating, the cage work, you name it. Just one of those stretches that you can’t really explain. They don’t happen too often but for some reason the last week we’ve just been scoring a ton of runs.”
The home runs seem to be coming rapid fire, as well. Last night it was two homers in a three-hitter span which plated three runs in the fourth inning. Tonight, Bernadina and Harper went back-to-back in the third inning, and after a Zimmerman single, LaRoche went yard himself, giving the Nationals a four-run inning in a four-hitter span.
“After about the third or fourth (homer) tonight we were like, ‘What is going on around here?’ ” LaRoche said. “I don’t know. You ride it out. Great timing for us to keep pushing hard and gain some distance.”
For the longest time, the Nationals were putting out a lineup which lacked at least one, if not more, of their heavy hitters. Injuries to Jayson Werth, Michael Morse, Zimmerman and Desmond left manger Davey Johnson with some holes to fill.
Recently, Johnson’s finally been able to send out the batting order which he thought he’d have back in spring. And it’s paying dividends.
“I think everything’s really seeing now what we can do,” Espinosa said. “The home runs aren’t going to happen like that all the time. But the constant hard contact, that can stay around. We’re just having good at-bats. I’m pretty sure everyone’s feeling comfortable and they’re going up there and getting good pitches to hit.”
The Nats have five guys with 16 or more home runs this season. They have five guys with 20 or more doubles. The power is there, from the top of the order all the way to the No. 7 or No. 8 spot, leaving opposing pitchers with few, if any, weak links.
“I think every guy on our team can go long and hit the ball out of the yard any time they want,” Harper said. “I think it’s just a matter of getting a pitch to drive. Everybody’s having good ABs right now, everybody’s swinging it well.”
“We’re having a lot of fun,” Espinosa added. “It’s always fun to go out there when everyone’s hitting like that.”