After waiting nearly three hours to start their game with the Florida Marlins on Monday night, the Nationals made it worth their while, winning 9-3 over the Marlins and running their win streak to three. Jason Marquis got his first win of the year, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings, the Nationals’ bullpen recorded nine of its 10 outs by strikeouts and once again, Washington’s offense looked resurgent.
It wasn’t just Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn hitting homers - though both have been emerging from slumps. Roger Bernadina had two more hits, and so did Michael Morse. The oddly configured lineup that Jim Riggleman has been putting on the field the last few days, with Adam Kennedy leading off, Bernadina hitting third and Dunn batting fifth, has actually worked; the Nationals have scored 40 runs in their last five games, winning four of those, and are 3-0 with 27 runs since Riggleman rearranged the lineup.
You’d still like to see a more consistent on-base presence from the top of the lineup; Kennedy and Alberto Gonzalez combined for a .200 OBP in the top two spots, and Ian Desmond has cooled off over the last couple days after tearing through opposing pitching most of the month in the No. 2 spot. But as much as Riggleman’s new-look lineup felt like a desperation play on Saturday, it might be something the Nationals can stick with, at least for a while.