Hot potato goes over to Scherzer again who has allowed 1 hit in 18 innings.
There isn't a good reason why this pitching dominance can't keep going on a little longer. The Nats are on a streak where they haven't faced a decent offense in a while. Milwaukee is bad, Tampa is bad, Pittsburgh is below average, Atlanta without Freeman is not good, and now Philadelphia, worst in either league.
Did I hear "Johnny VanderMeer"? (hopefully not because even no-hitting a bad team is extremely hard)
Six win in 7 days, it can't all be the starting pitching though, can it? Well, yeah it sort of can. The relief pitching has merely been ok, preserving Ross' game and a couple of blowouts, but giving up runs in three straight games including the two close ones with Atlanta. The offense managed some runs during this time but that included some error filled rallies. You may be surprised there are as many Nats struggling at the plate over the last week (Desmond, Escobar, Espinosa, Span) and doing well (Rendon, Bryce, Taylor, Ramos).
The Rendon thing is the most exciting on the surface and the least believable when you dig in. Rendon has the ability to help Bryce put the team on their shoulders and carry the offense through dry spells. So seeing Rendon hit .583 in the past week is exciting. But he has only 1 XBH and is carrying a .700 BABIP, meaning this is more a function of balls finding holes than Rendon turning things on. In fact Rendon has been back 3 weeks now and has only 5 XBH all doubles. Bryce is Bryce - it curious that he hasn't walked in the past week (even forcibly) but let's give that more time before reading into it. Ramos is having some luck as well but really why I'm not getting excited over Wilson is that I want to see power from him and that switch hasn't been flipped yet.
So who am I excited by? Taylor. The kid is hitting but more importantly, the kid isn't striking out. Only twice in the past week, none in the past 4 games. Michael Taylor may or may not be a good player. I can't tell you that. But what could keep him from being a useful player are the Ks. Strikeout too often and the average drops too low and it doesn't matter how decent his pop is or his speed on the basepaths. If he can keep putting the ball in play, I like his chances to be at the very least a useful replacement, if not probably more.
So I looked at the good hitters and tore them apart, can I build up the bad ones? Yeah sure. Ian, Yuney and Span are all suffering from various BABIP luck issues. In a week a single game can change a view (Ian went from terrible to just bad after yesterday's HR) but Span is working some walks which is good in his position ahead of the big hitters. Only Danny is truly doing badly and completely earning it but right before that - like really just the game before this past 7 day period, he was doing quite well, so worrying about him suddenly reverting to old Danny is an overreaction.
Hmm talked alot about that offense didn't I? With the pitching this good the offense just has to be ok and I don't have any fears that it can jump that modest hurdle, either instinctively or looking at how these guys are performing. So sweep the Phillies and let's get on with it.