Washington Nationals: Why Davey's Squad Won't Collapse Before the Postseason

Stephanie De LanceyContributor IAugust 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 30:  Bryce Harper #34 celebrates with Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals after hitting a two run home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on August 30, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

As of 24 hours ago, everyone was talking about a collapse by the Washington Nationals. However, the Washington Nationals have looked dominant in the past two games, reminding everyone why they have enough talent to win the world series.

Here's what everyone temporarily forgot.

The Nationals have the second-best winning percentage at .605. They have had a .630 winning percentage from the All-Star break. With consistent winning like that, fans shouldn't have panicked as quickly as they did; it was only a matter of time before they would stop losing.

Everyone knows that the Nationals pitching is dominant. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com summed up their dominance in one tweet tonight:

At this moment, there isn't a member of the  pitching staff with an ERA higher than 3.60. That's fairly impressive.

But here are some interesting facts about the team you might not know that will help them win down the stretch.

Bryce Harper was in a slump, and now, he's found his power again.

Last night, he hit two home runs, becoming just the third teenager to have a multi-home run game. Bryce Harper hit another home run tonight and now trails Barry Bonds by a home run for the third most home runs by a 19-year-old. Harper has also hit a home run in three consecutive games. 

Bryce Harper isn't the only one who can provide offense.

Tonight there were 13 hits by seven different players. Five different players had multi-hit games  (Werth, Harper, Morse, Desmond, and Flores). The Nationals are third in MLB in run differential with +103. 

Washington has played winning baseball every month this year, and they are the only ones to do so. Their winning streak even goes back to last September for six straight winning months. 

The other day, I argued that the Nationals have enough talent to win the world series. I didn't even highlight the depth on the bench this year compared to last year.

In 2012, pinch hitters are batting .318 (47-for-148) with 15 extra-base hits and 21 RBI.  The depth on the bench will make a difference down the stretch and in the postseason.

Something to keep an eye on in the postseason: If the Nats score three or more runs in a game, there is a good chance they will win the game. Since the All-Star break, the Nats are 30-4 when they score more than 3 runs. The Nats are winless in the 13 games they failed to score three runs. 

The Nationals have led the NL East for 132 of the season’s 142 days. Everyone has spent the season chasing the Nats waiting for them to collapse.

By the looks of it, they will have to keep waiting and continue to be envious of the depth and ability to perform day-in and day-out by Davey Johnson's squad.

Note: All stats were collected from the Nationals Pregame notes and from the ESPN boxscore for the first game against the St. Louis Cardinals.