The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in baseball. Let that resonate in your mind a bit and then repeat it yourself:
The Washington Nationals are the hottest team in baseball.
The Nationals earned an astounding eighth straight win against the Baltimore Orioles 4-2 on Saturday afternoon. The Nationals sealed up this round of the "Battle of the Beltways" and will go for the series sweep on Sunday. The win also puts the Nationals one game back from .500 and if the Nationals win Sunday, they will be at .500 the latest in a season since 2005.
The win comes off the pitching arm of Jordan Zimmermann and his band of merry Nationals relievers as well as the bats of Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse and Ivan Rodriguez. Zimmerman hit his first home run since April in the bottom of the first, Morse continued an exceptional power surge by clobbering a two-run shot in the sixth and Rodriguez rocked a RBI double in the sixth as well.
Zimmermann was not as spot on as in past starts, but it was still a strong outing. He gave up two earned runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out two. He gave up a first-inning home run to Adam Jones. Relievers Henry Rodriguez and Drew Storen came in to shutdown the O's and they did so with authority. Storen earned his 17th save of the season.
The Nationals are now 35-36 and hold on to third place in the NL East over the New York Mets and Florida Marlins.