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Saluting the Nats

As of this writing, I think I could safely say the Nats have the happiest fanbase in D.C. pro sports. That's kind of weird.

I think I could also say that the Nats might have the second-best prospects for upcoming on-field success, or at worst the third. D.C. United is in tatters. You couldn't name half of next season's Wizards roster. Everything about the Redskins seems promising, but that's on paper -- on the field, their most recent results were a .250 winning percentage and massive angst.

And so, long as it lasts, might as well enjoy the good times. The Nats' star pitcher is unhittable, and also is batting .333. Their new closer has nine saves; no one reached that number in last year's pen until August 4. They haven't lost more than two consecutive games all season; at this point a year ago, they already had two three-game losing streaks and a seven-gamer. In an especial brand of insanity, Kevin Millar has even compared them to the 2008 Rays.

Also, they happen to be a game out of first place. Last year on this date, they were 7-and-a-half back. Two years ago it was 6-and-a-half. This is the whole point to April; to keep us excited for May. Cross that off the list.

"Talk of contending is still fiction, but I don't care. It's time to pretend," writes one Nats fan.

Plus, they have goofy routines and nicknames. Nyjer Morgan has dubbed his lineup "the S.W.A.T. team." Fans are calling the 8th and 9th innings "Clip and Save." And maybe I missed the explanation on this, but Morgan seems to salute everyone within 500 yards after wins. So someone give me directions to the bandwagon; I'm gonna need 'em.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 28, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Next: Game 7 and Alex Ovechkin's reputation


Don't forget the silver Elvis wig ... if this keeps up expect to see them on sale at NatsPark by mid-June.

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | April 28, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice the Nats' ERAs in today's boxscore?
Hernandez: 0.87
Clippard: 0.57
Capps: 0.73
It's only April but those are some pretty amazing numbers.

Posted by: theblitz | April 28, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"They haven't lost more than two consecutive games all season"

Didn't we lose 4 in a row to open up 1-4? That said, go Nats! I was in the front row on the 3rd baseline for the 13 inning loss last week...the guys are putting in all the effort, hopefully the wins can start piling up.

Posted by: Tom_624 | April 28, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse


The Nats won their third game of the year, the final game in their first series against Philadelphia, so only two losses to start the season.

Posted by: cassander | April 28, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Didn't we lose 4 in a row to open up 1-4?

Posted by: Tom_624 | April 28, 2010 11:30 AM

Nope, season started L-L-W-L-W. Then won again after that to take the Mets series.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 28, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

No, we lost the first two, took the third game against Philly, and the lost the opener to New York. We started 1-3, before winning games 5 and 6 to get back to 3-3.

What I think is incredible is eleven straight games of alternating wins and losses.

Posted by: Tank2 | April 28, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, my mistake! A quick check of the schedule would have probably been better than my slipping memory. Go Nats!

Posted by: Tom_624 | April 28, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Holy Sh*t Batman, a 100% positive article on the Nats. That hasn't happened [pause for effect] EVER!!!!!!!!!

These guys deserve it. They are doing it without their All Star Ryan Zimmerman and without Strasburg, and without a true Rightfielder.

As of today, all of the rightfielders (Justin Maxwell, Willie Harris, and Willy Taveres) are all batting in the .100's.

In between the end of hockey season and the beginning of the real NFL season, there may be sports to see this summer in Washington down on South Capital street.

Dan, where is my seat on the bandwagon?

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 28, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The elements are in place for a quirky, make
America love the Natinals type of run...It would be nice.

I cannot give Rizzo enough props for stealing Nyjer Morgan!

Posted by: DocHolliday1906 | April 28, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

If we can just hold on for another month. S.Strausberg and C.Wang in the rotation. People will stop making fun of me for loving the Nationals.
p.s. O's fans, I feel(felt) your pain

Posted by: epostell | April 28, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Pudge takes historically bad teams to the world series, it was a good pick up. 2003 marlins and 2006 tigers, 2010 nats?

Posted by: JohnnyIdaho1978 | April 28, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Livan's had the best 4 game start of any pitcher in DC, and possible the best 4 game run since the franchise has come to the city.

Posted by: CharlieF | April 28, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Nyjer tosses a salute up to the Red Porch, and we salute him right back.
Come on and join us, but if you've been watchng the Red Porch, it's not exactly 'full' of band wagon fans.

Go Nats!

Posted by: rvrtis | April 28, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

You must be this tall ^ to get on this ride.

Okay, you can hop on, but you have to stay on the whole way. That's what fans do. :-D

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 28, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

If I'm not mistaken, I believe Nyjer Morgan is a John Cena fan and that inspired the salute. You should ask him about that, Dan.

BTW, I walked into Opening Day behind Nyjer's dad -- or at least someone who said he was. He was talking about how he liked the country Niger and wanted to name his son after it, "But I spelled it differently so he wouldn't get into a bunch of fights growing up."

Posted by: Hokienautic | April 29, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I thought that the rumor about his Dad picking the name because he was a big fan of NY and Jersey sounded wrong.

Posted by: mwbowers | April 29, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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