Originally written on The Nats Blog  |  Last updated 4/19/12

With their victory over the Houston Astros last night, the Washington Nationals became the first team in the National League to reach 10 wins on the season. That's quite an accomplishment for a club that just a few years ago was literally the laughing stock of baseball. At 10-3 they now have the best winning percentage in the N.L., and are just half a game behind the Texas Rangers for the best record in baseball.

Finally, it's a good time to be a baseball fan in Washington. Nats fans take a moment to let it sink in, at least for the moment, the one time floor mat that was Nationals Park has become the home of one of the best teams in the game. Wear your Curly W with pride on the way to school this morning, fly that flag in your front yard that you haven't dusted off since 2005, and for the first time feel good when talking about baseball to your not-from-in-town coworkers.

Got it out of your system? Now let's get real, and let's talk baseball. As unbelievably fun as it has been to watch Washington win one-run game after another, winning consistently with the type of offense the Nats have been producing is just not sustainable. I hate to say that, and I really want it to not be the case, but it's quite clear that just about every Washington player needs to pick it up in the offensive category. The team currently ranks 19th overall in the league in runs scored, second to last in home runs, and 25th in slugging percentage. They say that good teams are able to win one-run games, and that's true, but the best teams consistently have two and three run wins.

The Nats are currently 5-2 in one-run games, which has made this April one of the most exciting opening months I've ever been a part of. Washington traditionally had been a team that would just fold when it got close. They'd make a comeback only to give up yet another big inning, they'd boot ground balls, they'd flat out find a way to lose. Now, they have the confidence that they can win, and that makes a huge difference. The pitching staff steps up in ways it never has before, and the lineup seems to find a way every single time to at least scrape one or two more runs on the board. But what happens when pop-ups to the Houston Astros outfield are caught, what happens when seeing eye singles get knocked down, or when Washington actually has to face a top-shelf offensive club?

The good news is Washington does have the tools to get it done now, and they have several major pieces coming back later this summer. Danny Espinosa is currently hitting .214, that number will have to come up. Ryan Zimmerman, despite mashing the ball all season, is only hitting .240 with no home runs on the year, that will even itself out soon. Nationals outfielders not named Jayson Werth are hitting below .200. Not even Roger Bernadina, Xavier Nady, and Rick Ankiel are THAT bad.

The point is that the Nationals need to figure out the bats sooner than later. The team's pitching staff, no matter how good it is, will eventually start allowing more runs each game. Even if it ended up being the best rotation in history, this would be so. The club will also start playing better ball clubs than the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros. They will surely need better run support then.

I have faith in this team and I can't wait to see how the season goes. But I want this good start to help jolt Washington into their best campaign since moving from Montreal, I don't want it to serve as a guise for the many issues that lay beneath the surface.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Alabama vs. Wisconsin showdown not selling many tickets

Report: Last-minute Deflategate settlement deal very unlikely

Aaron Rodgers doesn't want to play in 2016 Hall of Fame Game

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: Manny Pacquiao a 'liar with no skills'

Reports: LeSean McCoy's Week 1 status still uncertain

Jay Feely told Deflategate judge about 2009 kicking incident

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jon Gruden calls Marcus Mariota a ‘double-edged sword’

Report: Bills expected to cut Matt Cassel

Garcon: RG3 can be ‘great player on any team that he goes to’

Report: Cavs ‘convinced’ LeBron would not leave Cleveland again

Fred Jackson is upset Bills GM Doug Whaley wasn’t honest

Report: Jaguars won’t let Justin Blackmon leave for CFL

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker