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.