Fun Fact Friday- Five in a Row, Leading by Six

Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy

Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper (34) celebrates with Daniel Murphy (20) after Murphy’s two-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park, Wednesday, June 29, 2016, in Washington. The Nationals won 4-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

 

What a difference a week makes!  This time last week, the Nationals were still trying to battle out of a five game losing streak that would soon balloon to seven with consecutive losses at Milwaukee.  This week, the suddenly red-hot Nationals have won five in a row and stand comfortably atop of the National League East by six games over the New York Mets.  Here’s a look at some fun facts (I guess they’re not too fun if you’re a fan of the Metropolitans or the Reds!) coming out of this week.

RARE HEIGHTS

The Nationals stand at 48-32 on the year heading into July, and the team’s .600 winning percentage stands second in Nats’ history for a winning percentage as of the end of play on June 30th of a season.  In 2005, the surprising Nationals were 47-31 (.602 percentage) as they entered play in July.   That team would slump over the second half of the year and finish with an 81-81 record, a fate that certainly doesn’t seem likely for this year’s squad. Assuming the Nats win game 81 of the season tonight against the Reds, they will be on pace to match the 2012 squad that won 98 games en route to a National League East title.

A SPECIAL MONTH 

Nats’ shortstop ended the month of June with a bang, hitting two home runs and driving in seven in last evening’s 13-4 rout of Cincinnati.  But Espinosa’s great game wasn’t a flash in the pan, the hard-working infielder had an entire month to remember.  Espinosa’s 1.122 OPS in the month was the ninth highest in the Major Leagues, as he hit nine homers and drove in 21 on the month.  Last evening’s multi-home run game was the fourth of Espinosa’s career, with the most recent one prior to last evening coming on May 8th of last season when Espinosa homered twice in the Nats’ 9-2 win over Atlanta.

FIRST IN A LONG TIME

In Washington’s 11-4 win over Noah Syndergaard this past Monday, lead off man Ben Revere had four hits, scored three runs and stole three bases.  The Nats’ centerfielder became the first Major Leaguer with at least a 4/3/3 breakdown in the hits/runs/steals categories in a game since former National Emilio Bonafacio had four hits, four runs and three steals in a 12-6 2009 Opening Day win for the Marlins over the Nats.   Revere’s numbers for the game have only been equaled or exceeded 23 times since 1969, with Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson and former steals champ Vince Coleman (with two games each) being the only players with more than one such game during that time period.

DOUBLE DIGIT DAYS

Thursday’s 13 run output for the Nationals marked the ninth time the team has scored at least 13 runs in a contest at Nationals Park. The team record is 15 runs scored, set on September 3, 2015 as the Nats routed Atlanta 15-1.  Washington has scored 14 runs at Nats Park three times, the last coming on August 24, 2014 as Washington pounded San Francisco 14-6.   13 has been the Nats’ magic number for runs scored five times in home games since 2008.

IF YOU CAN’T JOIN EM, BEAT EM

Nats’ second sacker Daniel Murphy had another outstanding series against his former team, collecting five hits with four runs scored, two home runs and five RBI in Washington’s three game sweep of the Mets.  From the second half of 2015 through yesterday’s game, Murph is hitting .320 in 553 at bats with 23 home runs and 96 RBI.

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