Notes on Span’s streak, plus series finale lineups

Denard Span’s hitting streak has reached 28 games, and is now the longest streak in the big leagues since Dan Uggla had a hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011.

Over this stretch, Span is hitting a ridiculous .378/.414/.504. He’s continued his strong defensive play and even seen his production improve on the basepaths, where he’s 7-for-8 in stolen base attempts.

Since the start of his hitting streak, Span’s season average has improved 25 points. His on-base percentage has jumped 23 points. His slugging percentage has improved 22 points.

He’s now just two games short of Ryan Zimmerman’s 30-game hitting streak, the longest one in Nationals team history. And Zimmerman was made aware of that fact last night.

“Oh, man, I hope he doesn’t (break it),” Zimmerman deadpanned, before cracking a smile.

“I hope he breaks the big record. Nobody will root for him more than the guys in here. Anything over 20 games is impressive and the way he’s done it, he’s been a really, really good player for the last month, month and a half.”

The big record, of course, is Joe DiMaggio’s 56 games, which Span is now halfway to.

“Unbelievable,” Span said. “That just shows what type of player he is. Twenty-eight days getting a hit feels like an eternity, but to do it pretty much for two months straight is unbelievable. That just shows why he is one of the greatest players ever to play this game.”

Span continues to say that he’s not really thinking about the streak on a day-to-day basis, but it’s definitely something that’s being monitored within the Nats’ clubhouse. When Span has waited a couple at-bats before notching a hit in recent games, the dugout has exploded when he finally has cashed in, and Span has admitted to feeling the pressure when entering a late-inning at-bat during a hitless night.

For now he’ll continue to take things a day at a time, but he knows he’s closing in on Zimmerman’s 30-game mark.

“I’ve heard, I’ve heard,” Span said. “I try not to think about that either. Just one day at a time. I’m at 28, let’s just see what happens tomorrow.”

Span will again lead off for the Nats tonight in the series finale against the Braves. Anthony Rendon will play second and hit eighth, and Wilson Ramos is back behind the plate.

Ross Ohlendorf will oppose Braves left-hander Alex Wood.

For the Nats
CF Denard Span
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Jayson Werth
LF Bryce Harper
SS Ian Desmond
1B Adam LaRoche
C Wilson Ramos
2B Anthony Rendon
RHP Ross Ohlendorf

For the Braves
SS Elliot Johnson
RF Justin Upton
1B Freddie Freeman
LF Evan Gattis
C Brian McCann
3B Chris Johnson
2B Dan Uggla
CF Jordan Schafer
LHP Alex Wood

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