Look at them like a new bully on the block, they're young, they're cocky, and yes they are beating the snot out of teams. The Washington Nationals weren't everyone's choice to do well this year, but out of the gate into the first 5 weeks of the MLB season, they are on top of the NL East and pounded the Phillies yesterday on Fox Saturday baseball by a score of 7-1.
The Nationals acquired some top round draft picks in the past few years after turning in dismal seasons that caused their hometown fans much angst. The fruit of those bad seasons though are now starting to blossom as the top round picks are producing well, sprinkling in some very good additions to this team along the way.
|Jayson Werth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Werth turned in a sub-par year last season in comparison with the final two years he spent with the Phillies. Jayson's batting average was only .232 on the season last year, and finished with 20 HR and 58 RBI. This is a new season though, and Werth sunk the Phillies yesterday with a long 3 run HR, and it was his 3rd HR of the year.
The Phillies lost a heart breaker on Friday night in the 11th inning, by a score of 4-3. The Nationals now calling themselves having a 'Natitude'. The Nationals have been in first place for a lot of April, yet the home town fans haven't been supporting them like you would think they would. The attendance on Friday night was over 34,000 or 82.1 percent full, and on Saturday afternoon, the attendance was nearly a sellout at 39,496 or 95 percent full.
The Phils and Nats take the national stage again tonight with an appearance on Sunday Night Baseball, and the Phillies need to go all out to prove they can beat the Nats, and avoid getting swept by them as well.
Are we seeing a 'changing of the guard' in the NL East, do the Phillies still have what it takes to lead this division or are we really seeing this team degrade right in front of our eyes? Or did Davey Johnson find a way to spark his Nationals to believe in themselves and have them on the right track?