With 30 games down in the 2017 season, the Nationals sport a Major League best 21-9 record. The Nats’ 6.5 game lead in the NL East is the biggest spread in any division and the 2017 Nationals may be the best squad we’ve seen in DC in a long time. Here’s a look at a few notes coming out of the past week.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman came into the 2016 season with a .698 career OPS at Philadelphia’ Citizens Bank Park. While his trips to to City of Brotherly Love largely frustrating in past years, that has changed for the player who has arguably been baseball’s best player in 2017. In 18 at bats in Philadelphia this year, Zim has three homers, has driven in eight runs and has put up a Bonds-like 1.389 OPS.
The face of the Nats’ franchise is not the only Washington player enjoying his time at the Bank this year. Red-hot Anthony Rendon has a .389 average, two homers and five RBI at Philadelphia this clear, and Jayson Werth has matched Rendon’s bating average and RBI totals while hitting one fewer home run. Daniel Murphy has also been a force at the plate, hitting .476 in 21 at bats.
Washington’s 48 home runs on the season trails only the 50 hit by Milwaukee among National League teams. Being among the league’s top long ball hitting teams has been a common occurrence for the Nats in recent years. Since 2012, Washington has placed no lower than fourth in the league in home runs in any season.
On Thursday, Nats ace Max Scherzer allowed only two hits and one run to lead the Nats to a 4-2 win over Arizona. The strong start coming on the heals of Scherzer’s giving up five runs against the Mets in his previous outing was nothing new. In the 11 starts Scherzer has made for Washington following a game where he has given up five or more runs, Scherzer has posted a 1.74 ERA and has struck out 98 batters in 82.2 innings pitched.
This week has not been all about the stars for the Nats. Washington also got wins from pitchers Jacob Turner and A.J. Cole, and saves from fireballing Enny Romero and strike-throwing Matt Albers to keep things going in the right direction.