The Nats busted out the brooms in Toronto this afternoon, sweeping the Blue Jays and continuing their dominance in interleague play against the AL East. They are now 15 games over .500 and have a 4 game lead in the NL East.
There are many reasons the Nats are clicking right now. Starting pitching continues to be superb of course, but what has made the difference is the offense.
Remember how everyone hated Bryce Harper because he ran his mouth without backing it up? Well he has spent the last few weeks backing it up. His average is over .300 and while he isn’t hitting home runs every day, he has been more consistent than many of the veterans at the plate.
While the return of Michael Morse helped, what made the difference in Toronto was rookie play. Between Harper, Steve Lombardozzi, and Tyler Moore, the newest Nats went 13-30 with a walk, 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 7 runs scored and 7 RBI.
The injection of youth might have been just what the doctor ordered for the previously anemic offense as the bats have found a rhythm to build off of heading into a weekend series against the Yankees.
The success that we were all weary of early in the season hasn’t gone away. It is midway through June now and the team is still performing like a playoff team, and continuing to separate itself from the rest of the division.
While the kids kick-start the offense, decisions will have to be made when some players begin returning. In an ideal world, they will be able to stay will the big club and fill in a deep bench, but they are also still developing. If their playing time goes down when the veterans return, they may be heading back to Syracuse.
For now, however, the Nats are enjoying reaping the benefits of fresh blood, and will look to continue to draw some from their AL East opponents.