It has been a good week in NatsTown.
The Nationals pulled off an eight-game win streak, have pulled themselves into third place in the National League East, put themselves within striking distance of .500 and somehow got their name in talks for the Wild Card. They also put the hurting on an NL Central powerhouse in the Cardinals and won Round 2 of the Battle of the Beltways against the Baltimore Orioles. Going 8-1 in the past nine games - not too shabby.
If your senses are up to par, take a deep breath. Inhale. Do you smell it? That is the sweet smell of sweet victory. If you are unable to smell it or don't have proper ventilation, I can tell you one thing: Victory smells like waffles.
Yep, waffles. Thick, hot, homemade, yellow brown waffles lathered in country butter and Grade-A maple syrup from the great state of Vermont. Maybe add a fruit topping like fresh cherries from Traverse City, Mich., and a sprinkle of powdered sugar - sorry, this is a whole bunch of delicious fluff.
Winning streaks are not too much different than waffles. To make the perfect waffle, you need the proper ingredients. You can say the same about the Nationals' winning streak. The Nationals seem to always have had the ingredients on the table, but never put them together in the right increments to make the perfect waffle. Some believed thatsomehow, someway some secret ingredient tied it all together. As towhat it is it has been anyone's guess.
I've heard numerous stories - from the magic of certain player's beards to massive dives into alcoholic rituals of madness that would shrink livers and keep Otis out of Andy Taylor's drunk tank - as to why the Nationals suddenly went on a tear. Superstitions abound, but cooking waffles and winning streaks isn't mysticism and alchemy. All the Nationals needed were a few basic ingredients to work together and react together in a certain way. If I had to write the recipe for theNationals winning ways the past two weeks, it would be something like this:
Nationals Victory Waffles
â€¢ 1 return of All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman
â€¢ 1 emergence of second baseman Danny Espinosa with added Rookie of the Year talks.
â€¢ 1 hot Michael Morse moved to a simmer at first base. Hold the LaRoche.
â€¢ 1 Jordan Zimmermann, left to rise with pinches of Hernandez, Marquis
and Lannan for rotational flavor.
â€¢ Substitute Roger Bernandina for Rick Ankiel.
â€¢ A pinch of Jerry Hairston Jr. here and there.
â€¢ A little Laynce Nix for punch.
â€¢ Chopped Cora.
Directions: Combine together and use a Jim Riggleman to mix lineup. Pour in some sweet defense, chunks of clutch, a little luck and serve with some Tyler Clippard, Henry Rodriguez and Drew Storen. Coffey time afterward is optional. For decoration, place a Jayson Werth on top.
It sounds absolutely delicious and it was absolutely fun to make. What is so great about the recipe is that it can be built upon. Can you imagine the taste of sweet Nationals Victory Waffles with premium homegrown, organic ingredients like Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper? Who knows what exotic fixings will be brought in over the offseason too to spice things up?
The Nationals have the recipe, they just need to master it - and hopefully soon. Washington is ready for another batch.
Drew Kinback blogs about the Nats at Nationals Inquisition, and has given his take this week as part of MASNsports.com's season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.