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For starters, the Nationals are on the right track

The Nationals' bullpen, led by Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps, has in many ways become the thrilling, dominant face of the Nationals' winning April and rapid team turnaround. Their 0.77 ERA over the past eight games has helped the Nationals polish off games and win two series, against the Dodgers and the Cubs.

There is no question, though, that the Nationals' starters have helped the bullpen in an important way. At the start of the season, Nationals starters consistently could not last into the fifth inning, at best. With Jason Marquis on the shelf and Luis Atilano's unveiling, the starting rotation has been responsible for setting up the Nationals bullpen, not wearing it out and leaning on it.

Over those last eight games, Nationals starters have pitched at least six innings and allowed four runs or less; only once did a pitcher allow four, and that was John Lannan at the start of the stretch. The Nationals have had quality starts for a week straight. Nats starters have a 2.72 ERA over that span, which also showed what kind of staff it is -- they've only struck out 3.7 batters per nine innings.

FROM THE POST

The Nationals are guaranteed to have a winning April after their 3-2, series-clinching victory over the Chicago Cubs. The last time the Nationals were two games over .500 this late in the season? Sept. 30, 2005. They were 81-79.

NATS MINOR LEAGUES

Syracuse 5, Toldedo 3: Chuck James allowed three runs on five hits and no walks in five innings. James, coming off of surgery, has won his first two starts and has allowed three runs in 10 innings. Chase Lambin went 3 for 4 with a double and a home run and now has a 1.080 OPS.

Harrisburg 5, Reading 2: Leonard Davis went 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBI. Matt Chico allowed one earned run in five innings on one hit and three walks. Erik Arnesen pitched a perfect ninth for the save.

Myrtle Beach 10, Potomac 5: Edgardo Baez went 2 for 4 with a walk. Cory VanAllen allowed one hit and one run while striking out four in two innings of relief.

Hagerstown 7, Augusta 2: Francisco Soriano went 3 for 5 with two doubles. Marcus Jones went 2 for 4. Mitchell Clegg pitched 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, walking one, allowing two hits and striking out five.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Even though the Nationals are winning, they still think there's room to improve, says Nats Insider.

Pitching and defense are the reason for the Nats' starts, says Goessling Game.

Ryan Howard's extension brings to mind a comparison to Adam Dunn, says FJB.

By Adam Kilgore  |  April 29, 2010; 9:03 AM ET
 
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Next: Video: Strasburg's fourth start

Comments

I started this morning with Mark Viera's gamer, then happened to scroll down to the link for Nats Journal... and what does it say?

"Nationals Journal - Chico Harlan keeps you up-to-date with every swing the Nationals make."

Sigh.

Maybe this is nitpicking... or, more likely, it's yet another example of the lack of attention to detail (not to mention respect) the Post pays to our ballclub.

Where have you gone, Shirley Povich? A scorned fanbase turns its lonely eyes to you.

Posted by: MikeH0714 | April 29, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Povich would have never allowed it that's for sure.

Posted by: periculum | April 29, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Team had a winning month. Who cares about typos in the paper?

Posted by: markfromark | April 29, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Florida is looking good and there's Atlanta for the next 10 days.

Posted by: periculum | April 29, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

From a purely strategic standpoint waiting at least until June 11th to bring up Strasburg/pitching reinforcements may make sense? Given that the current situation remains status quo with the team. Then he and any other new pitcher will face AL teams almost exclusively. Saving that first trip through the NL lineups until July.

Posted by: periculum | April 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Team had a winning month. Who cares about typos in the paper?

Posted by: markfromark

Amen to that!

Posted by: fpcsteve | April 29, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Have you noticed our old buddy Poopy McPoop has been kind of silent lately? Let's hope he's quiet all season long. Go Nats! And Chiefs. And Senators.

Posted by: COL_DFox | April 29, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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