Will this mad whirl ever cease?
Sure, the Giants are struggling, but taking three-of-four from the reigning World Champs feels pretty good, no? The seemingly never-ending stretch of five-plus-inning starts by members of the Nationals’ rotation is worthy of a lot more attention than it’s actually getting. This is 2011 for cryin’ out loud! Things like this aren’t supposed to happen anymore!
The cynics out there are already saying, “Oh, well, it’s a fluke, they’re not that good ...” Well, let’s just see what happens. They’re in Philadelphia for the next three days, and then go to Florida for three, two road stops that rarely end up with many smiles in the clubhouse. That was then, of course, and this is now. If they can break even - or better - in those six games, and the starters continue their consistency, May could turn out to be very interesting.
I can’t help but think they’d be a few games above .500 if Ryan Zimmerman had stayed healthy, but that’s a moot point. They’re hitting, what, .227 as a team? That’s next-to-last in the National League, and 29th of 30 overall. If you didn’t know their won-lost record, you’d assume they were still in single digit territory victory wise. The team ERA, though, is 3.40, which brings back memories of team ERAs of 40-50 years ago. That figure puts them sixth in the NL, but within striking distance of the top three.
Please don’t think I’m touting this team as a potential postseason participant. I’m not. They’re overachieving to a large extent based on their pitching success. Unless they start hitting, they’re going to have some valleys along the way. But face it, this team has been extremely entertaining thus far in 2011.
Until they reach the rarefied air of the first division - hopefully by late summer next year - entertainment is what it’s all about. If, on the other hand, you’re waiting for them to actually win six out of every 10 games before you cross the threshold of Nationals Park, you’re probably not reading this anyway.