Ryan Zimmerman Cools off While Nationals Heat up

Jarrett CarterAnalyst IMay 14, 2009

Last week, I wrote that the Nationals had an opportunity to reverse their fortunes thanks to the misfortune of Manny Ramirez’ steroid suspension. I didn’t even mention the Ryan Zimmerman hit streak, because the team was still mired in the muck of mediocrity with too many losses, and no answers on the horizon.

Unfortunately, Zim’s hit streak came to an end last night, but the prophesy of the Nats going west and finding a groove held true. They are 6-4, and the offense has overcome the pitching woes just enough to eke out quality wins against decent opposition in the N.L. West.

Sure, the only series win of the trip was against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks, but the victories were sandwiched between a stunning defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a series-ending win against the San Francisco Giants—first and second in the division, respectively.

So, now, Zimmerman and the Nats return home to face the world-champion Philadelphia Phillies with the pressure of the hitting streak dissolved, and the swag of competitive confidence in their back pockets.

This team can hit, and they are starting to believe it. Should they ever find one or two arms that can throw for strikes and ground balls, the Nationals may be a dark horse for the N.L. East at only six games back in May.

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