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D.C. Basks In Glow Of Patterson's Performance

[July 19th] - As John Patterson warmed up before Tuesday night's game against the Colorado Rockies, he was very aware that the Nationals 5.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves on July 4th has dwindled to a mere half game just two weeks later. A Nationals loss combined with a Braves win against San Francisco and Washington would find themselves out of first place for the first time since June 4th. John Patterson stepped up to make sure that wouldn't happen.

If anyone doubted that John Patterson is fast becoming an elite pitcher in the National League, Tuesday should end those doubts. Pitching into the 9th inning, the 27 year old right hander gave up only 3 hits while striking out 8. His ERA is 2.69, best among the Nationals starters. A team is lucky to have one stopper on their pitching staff. It's beginning to look like Washington has two.

Kudos to Frank Robinson for refusing to allow his starting position players to continue to embarrass both himself and the city they represent. Cristian Guzman and Vinny Castilla sat down. I don't know if Vinny's date with the bench was injury related, but he needed to sit. Finally, Brad Wilkerson hit in a power position in the lineup. Jamie Carroll did well in his lead-off roll, getting 2 hits and raising his average to .251. Preston Wilson got another hit and now is batting .265. And what's the deal with Brian Schneider? With another hit tonight, his average is now up to .283, one of the top numbers on the team.

As badly as the team played Monday night, they played that well on Tuesday. Quality pitching. Sound fundamentals. Timely hitting. Now, let's be careful, though,because they played the Rockies. More to come.

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