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AMID THE GLOOM, HOPE SHINES THROUGH

[May 15th] -- Because the Nationals are winning a game a week right now, we can't look at single win in a positive way ... after all, even the worst teams in the major leagues win every once in awhile. No, we have to look within the win in the hopes of finding some good news among the endless stream of bad.

The starting rotation, threadbare as it is, is beginning to show some signs of maturation. This assumes, by the way, that Livan Hernandez is traded at some point for prospects. John Patterson has proven that he is a top-of-the-rotation stud. Tony Armas Jr. has always said that if healthy, he deserves to be part of the team's rotation. He's right. Jon Rauch has been lights-out in the bullpen, and he has the "stuff" that allows him to translate that success to the rotation. Mike O'Connor certainly deserves the chance to stay in the rotation for the rest of the year. The fifth spot could be nabbed by one of the members of the revolving-door group of Ryan Drese, Pedro Astacio and Ramon Ortiz. That has the potential to be a pretty solid rotation.

The Nats' 8-1 win over the Braves on Sunday was fun. It didn't mean a thing, but it was fun. Hopefully, we'll have some more fun at some point this week.

We'll see.


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