Before they get to Miami and open this weekend's series with the Marlins (and before my colleague Byron Kerr takes the reins of the blog for the second leg of the road trip), here are some more things worth mentioning from last night...
* Daniel Murphy completed his Citi Field homecoming in style. First, the ex-Met homered off Harvey in the top of the first, launching an 0-2 curveball to center field to put the Nationals on top early. Then he doubled to left-center later in the game to raise his batting average back over the .400 mark.
A couple of outs in garbage time brought that average back down to .395, but Murphy continues to display a remarkable consistency in his approach at the plate, making him perhaps baseball's toughest out right now.
"It's a lot of fun to have a guy on your team who's doing what he's doing," Bryce Harper said. "I was talking to one of the guys out there before BP on the Mets, and I was telling him it's truly incredible how he sticks with his routine every single day. The greatest thing I see is, he sticks to what he knows. And that's working for it. It always has. He's a great player."
Among the most impressive things about Murphy's torrid start to this season: He's just as effective, if not more so, when seemingly in a hole. He's batting .420 (21-for-50) when behind in the count, more than twice the league average in those situations.
"Just executing a plan. That's all you can control," he said. "I'm just trying to execute a plan. Each hitter's trying to do that, execute a plan. And for the most part, I feel like I've been able to do that."
Dusty Baker was asked if he can remember ever having a player hitting this well this deep into a season.
"I don't know, Barry Bonds maybe," the manager said. "And maybe Joey Votto at some point in time. I don't know, it's been awhile. That's hitting .400 for a long time. It's just hard to imagine Rod Carew and George Brett and Ted Williams hitting .400 for almost the whole season. That's quite a feat."
* Everybody in the Nationals lineup contributed, but they were especially pleased to see some guys who had been struggling join the party. That included Anthony Rendon, who went 3-for-4, and Ben Revere, who went 2-for-5 with a two-run triple and a couple other well-struck outs.
It's been a long time coming for Revere, who entered the game hitting .096 but saw that average rise to .123 by night's end.
After missing a month with a strained oblique muscle, Revere finally feels like he's rounding into midseason form.
"First swing of the season (got hurt), can't do nothing for a month," he said. "Then go to the minor leagues and play for a week, and then come back and face big league pitching. They're pretty much in midseason form, and I'm just getting started. I lost my rhythm. I took a month off. Just keep battling and you get your rhythm back. Today it felt really good."
The Nationals have understood all along Revere's significance to their lineup's overall production.
"Well, his walk-up song is (R. Kelly's) 'Ignition,'" Baker said. "That's what he is: He's our igniter. That's what we tell Ben: As he goes, we go. It's great to see him getting on. You knew he was going to get on sooner or later. I told you guys he was operating from behind. He got hurt in his very first at-bat of the season, and then he missed a month. So he's still operating from behind. But it's good to see him get some hits and feel good about himself. Because this guy, he's been hitting his whole life."
* He contributed only one of his team's 11 hits, but Harper really wanted that one hit. That's because it came off Harvey, whom he had never been able to hit before.
Harper's third-inning single - a scorched line drive to right field that left his bat at 110 mph - was his first in 22 career at-bats against Harvey. That matched the largest 0-fer of any active hitter vs. any active pitcher.
"I was 0-for-21, I think I got the record," Harper said. "I'll take every record I can in the book."