We're going to keep this short today, with yesterday being a day game, but I had a few points I wanted to bring you about the Nationals' 13-3 win over the Mets, so here we go:
Danny Espinosa: This was an easy one; 4-for-5 with two homers (including a grand slam), and six RBI. Espinosa is slugging 1.312 in five games. He won't keep that up, but his start couldn't be any better. Two links to stories I wrote on Espinosa.
Scott Olsen: Four shutout innings of relief, even though he didn't want to do it, was a big key to the win yesterday, and Olsen threw all of his pitches effectively.
Roger Bernadina: We could've gone a number of directions with this last one - Pudge Rodriguez (1-for-2, 3 RBI, threw out a runner stealing) and Michael Morse (1-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI) were also deserving. But Bernadina went 1-for-3, walked twice, stole a base and scored three runs. Batting fifth, he almost functioned as a secondary table-setter.
Jordan Zimmermann: He gets one because of how he struggled to recover after Espinosa's first-inning error; three walks led to a run, and ran up Zimmermann's pitch count to 37 in the first inning. He cruised from there, but could have put himself in line for the win if he'd gotten through the first quicker.
Don't have any more of those to give -- almost everyone else did something well. For the nit-pickers, Wil Nieves did ground out on the first pitch he saw in the eighth inning, but the game was well in hand by that point.
In Case You Missed It:
--A heads-up piece of baserunning by Adam Kennedy in the sixth inning, taking third on a wild pitch though Adam Dunn initially put up a stop sign from the plate. Kennedy then scored on Rodriguez's sacrifice fly, which would have been a harmless flyout if he hadn't moved to third.
--Kennedy also had an 11-pitch at-bat against Mike Pelfrey in the third. Pelfrey threw 24 pitches in that inning, despite only giving up one run on Espinosa's homer. He walked four batters in the next inning, and the Nationals racked up five runs on him. Hard to say if that Kennedy at-bat pushed Pelfrey near the edge, but it certainly made him throw extra pitches when he'd mostly cruised to that point.
1. We've covered quite a bit of Olsen and Espinosa stuff already, so I'll ask a more general question: How much enthusiasm can you draw from good September performances? We've seen the Nationals play well in September before (2007 comes to mind) before regressing the next spring. Does the presence of young talent make this year different?
2. The Nationals got their 60th win yesterday, officially surpassing their total from each of the last two seasons. Significant, or not?
Leave your answers in the comments section.