Oh I know Zimm is back and the offense has exploded the last two nights. The offense though, isn't the reason the Nats are winners of their last 5 games, 7 of 10, 10 of their last 15 and 11-8 in their last 19. It's the pitching. The Nats have allowed the following run totals in their last 11 wins.
and in their last 8 losses
The short of it is when the Nats pitching is average the Nats tend to lose. That may be different now with the Return of Zimm, but it's not that different. They need great pitching to be a good team. They've been getting it.
In the past two weeks tonight's pitcher, John Lannan, has allowed opponents to hit with an OPS of .625. That's good. It's like the opposing team has been a bunch of 2010 Pudges in his last 2 games. During that same span John Lannan is the 4th WORST pitcher on the Nats by that stat. Only Slaten, Maya, and Burnett have let opponents do better. ZNN and Marquis have been great. The bullpen has been a little wild but unhittable. Clippard has been brilliant (and really should be the Nats All-Star. If you are going to have a league where set-up men and middle relievers are important than guys like Clip have to be acknowledged.)
The pitching staff isn't this good. The average BABIP in the NL is going to be around .300. You got 5 key guys with BABIPs under .220 in the past 2 weeks. Clippard's is .000 (the only hit he's allowed was a HR). The team number is .246, in the .220s in the past 7 days. These numbers will come back to earth. How far back they fall will determine if this team can make a run at .500, or start slowly fading once again.