Take that Nyjer Morgan! Who I actually like and I think the Morgan hate is ridiculous. What happened last year was a guy who couldn't handle having the worst year of his career having the worst year of his career. He didn't "not try hard" for the Nats. He didn't always suck. He is a talented player with a 100 MPH personality who just happened to have everything go wrong for him at the same time. It was a shame that things didn't work out here because I truly believe he's got a couple good years left and he could have given the Nats organization a respite in their eternal search for a CF. On the other hand, at least since it didn't work out I don't have to worry about the Nats giving Nyjer a 4 year deal after this season when he's going to age out of that skill set sooner rather than later.
ANYWAY, the Nats are on a roll and it reminds me a lot of the 2005 Nats. No not because this team is super scrappy winners. Get out of here whoever said that! I mean it! And no, not because Ryan Zimmerman is some sort of angel of death who causes the team to lose with anti-clutchness powers. You go watch "The Program" and get some ideas on how to do night reading. It reminds me of that inaugural seaseon because in 2005 a consistently average pitching staff carried a terrible offense to a .500 record.
If you don't remember the offense in 2005 was terrible. Of course there was Cristian "Am I supposed to see out of my eyes?" Guzman, but as a team they had a line of .252 / .322 / .386. That ends up being Worst / 12th / Worst in the National League. And that's with Nick Johnson finishing 6th in the league in OBP. Without him it basically works out to be a lineup of 7 2010 Ian Desmonds. They hit 117 homers as a team.
But pitching wise they were good - 4th in the league in ERA (7th as starters and 3rd as relievers), and it seemed like everytime Livan, John "My Boy" Patterson, or Loaiza took the mound they gave the team a quality start.
So far this year seems awfully similar to what I just described. The offense currently has a line of .226 / .316 / .351 or 15th / 11th / 15th, but they are 5th in the league in ERA (5th starter, 9th reliever) and they are among the league leaders in quality starts. Only Gorzelanny so far has had a start where he both pitched badly and gave up a bunch of runs. Everyone else either has pitched well, or gotten lucky when pitching poorly.
Of course this doesn't mean the team is going to take first place for the majority of the season. That crazy run had everything to do with a ridiculous, unsustainable record in close games. It was an average team that everything broke right for, for the first 3+ months. In 2011 the Nats have more normal luck so far (2-3 in 1 or 2 run games). If this is a .500 team it'll more likely be a boring .500 team all year long. Anyone want to complain about that?