The Secret to the Nats' Success (Rhymes with Anger Mans)
[Actually, we're not 100 percent sure on the pronunciation here, so possibly "Anger Mans" is incorrect.]
Anyhow, another day, another win for the Nats. That's six out of seven, as the long climb back to a division title continues. I attempted to be a real reporter and figure out what the difference has been, but I failed.
Dmitri Young, I can report, has worn the same pair of flip-flops for much of this current win streak, but did not wear the lucky flip-flops during the one loss. The flip-flops were back on today. Brian Schneider attributed the hot streak to "playing good ball and good pitching, that's it," which might be technically true, but is incredibly boring.
Levale Speigner said "there's a different atmosphere in the clubhouse when you start getting on a little streak; it's just more up-tempo. You expect to go out and win, instead of kind of a 'what's-going-to-happen-tonight' kind of deal." I suppose this might be true, too, but until I see a pregame swagfest I'm not sold. Ryan Zimmerman said he has no lucky talisman of any sort; "I don't do anything," he said. "I'm boring. I've got nothing for you. I'm sorry."
Apology not accepted. Young also said the team has to be steadier; "we've got to stay consistent and not hang our heads too low, or hang 'em too high," he argued, which is as good advice as you'll ever receive.
But none of the players really gave the definitive explanation, which I'm proud to pass on: Ryan Langerhans. Since the outfielder joined the Nats in Chicago, the record is 6-7. If you need reminding, they were 9-19 without him. That's a dramatic difference.
But it's more than just that. The record of the three teams Langerhans has been on, when he's been with them, is 22-17. As of this writing, only seven MLB teams have better winning percentages. And further: in games in which Langerhans plays, his various teams this season have a record of 22-12. That's a winning percentage of .647. That'd be third-best in the majors.
Naturally, he was bashful about all this.
"No, I haven't done enough here yet to take credit for it," he said of the hot streak. "I don't know if I have anything to do with that, but it's been nice coming over here and winning. Obviously I saw the record when I came over here. I knew there were talented ballplayers here. The pieces are here to be able to compete and win ballgames, it's just a matter of getting it done."
He also talked about the team's timely hitting, and Manny Acta's positive attitude, and the faith that the guy behind you in the order would get things done. Whatever. We all know the truth.
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