Nationals Beat Up On Rockies 9-2, Sweep Series
John Patterson told reporters after the game that he didn't have his good stuff, that this might have been as "off" as he's been all year. Who cares. Patterson pitched 8 innings, giving up 9 hits but yielding only one run as he won his 7th game of the year and lowered his ERA to 2.44. Offensively, the Nats scored 9 runs on "only" 10 hits. Jose Vidro led the way with 3 hits, raising his average to .284. Jose Guillen and Preston Wilson chipped in with 2 hits a piece. Nick Johnson and Jose Guillen hit back-to-back mammoth home runs to give the Nats a commanding lead.
OK, back to this whole "It happened in Denver" thing. The 19 offensive runs put up on the board were partly due to the mile-high air. I live in Idaho, about the same elevation as Denver. I grew up in D.C., and today, at age 49, I can turn on a fastball and hit it about as far as I could when I was 19, thanks for the thin air. So I understand that some will discount the offensive production the past few days. But I don't buy it. The Nationals weren't as good as they showed the first third of the season, and they weren't as bad as they seemed the past month. That pendulum that pushed Washington out of first place may be finally swinging our way again. No, it's not going to swing far enough to get us back into first place, but the Nationals may end up the season with a very productive first year after all. They're on pace to win 86 games, a good enough number to keep hope alive over the winter for 2006.
If they can continue to play this way against the Phillies, they'll be back in 2nd place and on the Astro's heels for the wild-card lead. Six games into a 13 game road trip, the Nats are 4-2. A very good start, indeed.