Digesting some early afternoon stats

PHILADELPHIA - Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos are raking lately, but they're not alone.

There's also Jayson Werth, whose recent hot streak is worth taking note of.

Since June 15, a span of 24 games, Werth has posted a .373/.454/.614 slash line with five homers, five doubles and 17 RBIs.

He has at least one hit in 19 of those 24 games, and is 8-for-21 with three homers and seven RBIs in six games against the Phillies over the last month - all at Citizens Bank Park in front of fans who shower him with boos every time he steps to the plate.

Think Werth gets a kick out of turning those boos into silence? Maybe just a little bit.

"He's been great. He's been outstanding," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He's been 100 (percent) in, as he usually is, but he's been really focused. He loves to play here. This gears him up."

Another middle-of-the-order hitter with a robust on-base percentage in recent weeks is Adam LaRoche, who is getting on at a .393 clip over the Nats' last 20 games.

LaRoche has three homers and 11 RBIs in that span, but he's also drawn 11 walks to 11 strikeouts.

When you've got LaRoche and Werth getting on base at that frequency and Rendon and Ramos proving capable of driving in runs at the bottom of the order, you've got a dangerous lineup.

Add that all up and it explains the improved offensive numbers recently. Yes, the Nats have been inconsistent as all get-out, but the numbers show that things could be starting to turn in a positive direction.

Since opening a series with the Diamondbacks on June 25, the Nats have a .275/.338/.448 slash line as a team, compared to a .233/.291/.376 slash line over the first 75 games of the season.

They're now a ridiculous 36-2 when scoring five or more runs.

Yes, 36-2.

Meanwhile, down on the farm, Danny Espinosa has continued his mini hot streak.

Over Espinosa's last eight games at Triple-A Syracuse, he's 13-for-27 (.481) with a homer, three doubles, a triple, four RBIs, four walks and six strikeouts.

Last night, Espinosa hit his first homer since being optioned to Syracuse and also doubled. The increased power numbers are a good sign, but so is the strikeout-to-walk ratio lately. Espinosa will always strike out more than your average second baseman, but you like to see the walk numbers balance that out a bit, as they have lately.

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