Originally posted on The Nats Blog old  |  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

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

Iowa researchers say they can optimize Monday Night Football ratings with scheduling

Terrelle Pryor can visit Ohio State as five-year ban comes to a close

Rudy Gay admits to having ‘no idea’ about what the Kings are doing

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

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

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