On a hot, humid summer night (there’s no other type of summer night in DC), most fans were lulled to sleep, a languid relaxation or sheer boredom. There really wasn’t that much to cheer and celebrate, for Nats fans. ‘Turn Back the Clock’ night had been a fun promotion, but apart from that, the game had mostly been written off as a missed chance to sweep.
Of course, with this team, nothing is over until the last out is recorded and everyone has packed up and gone home. Last night in the ninth inning, as the Nationals mounted their comeback, in the middle of it all were Tyler Moore, Steve Lombardozzi and Bryce Harper–all direct rewards from the Nationals farm system. Also involved were Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Adam LaRoche. The first three embody draft picks across the board. Moore was drafted in the 16th round of 2008, Lombardozzi was drafted in the 19th round of 2008 and Harper was drafted first overall in 2010. The later three encompass a mix of veteran experience and utility playing time.
Now, as the Nationals sit atop of the National League East and almost atop baseball in general (the only teams with better records are the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers), it’s even more increasingly obvious that the winning isn’t a fluke. Apart some sheer luck from the baseball gods (such as other teams in the NL East losing when the Nationals lost), this team is finally coming into what they were envisioned to be.
Every night, a different player provides some type of spark that ultimately helps propel the team to a win. Only July 4th, it was The Onion, Jhonatan Solano that provided the go-ahead home run against the San Francisco Giants. Yesterday, it was Tyler Moore who started the comeback ninth and eventually scored the tying run. With him and guys like Harper, we’re getting a sense that this team is going to accomplish even more than we imagined and in the end, these kids aren’t all that bad.
They’re pretty good, actually.
This team is built Nationals tough through their own players drafted and developed.
- Ian Desmond (’04)
- Ross Detwiler (’07)
- Danny Espinosa (’08)
- Bryce Harper (’10)
- Steve Lombardozzi (’08)
- Tyler Moore (’08)
- Craig Stammen (’05)
- Drew Storen (’09)
- Stephen Strasburg (’09)
- Ryan Zimmerman (’05)
- Jordan Zimmermann (’07)
Other good stuff:
- The Nationals lead the majors in team ERA at 3.21. (The Dodgers are a close second at 3.32 ERA.)
- This season the Nats have outscored the opposition 340-280.
- Clipp and Save–roommates, competitors, wingmen.
- Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler, the dynamic duo that do the Nationals radio broadcast.
- Meanwhile, Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo are dynamic as well. In a different way…
- Efforts to get Bryce Harper to the All-Star Game fell short, but that’s okay since he’ll be there one day. For now he can rest up.
- Drew Storen is rehabbing. So is Chad Tracy. They should be back sooner than later.
- And in the latest installment of Bryce Harper’s clown question saga…