It’s hard to believe that the season is nearly two months in, but the numbers don’t lie (as they rarely do). As May begins to come to a close, the Nationals, for the first time in three years, look poised to finish the month atop the NL East. For the past two years, the Nationals have underperformed in the early months of the season, hovering at or below .500, but this year, the offense woke up early enough to provide a meaningful impact, and the Nats sit at an uncharacteristic third in the MLB in runs, with 207, and tied for ninth with the L.A. Dodgers in batting average, with a team average of .260.
None of this could be made possible without Bryce Harper’s early power display (sixteen home runs and counting), which all started on Opening Day against Bartolo Colon, exploded in his three home run game against the Marlins, and sat at a consistent pace after his walk off home run against the Braves in a euphoric afternoon for D.C. Sports (Paul Pierce called game).
The Nationals are on an unprecedented tear, and are in the midsts of a six game winning streak. Harper is finally playing like the player the Nationals expected when they drafted him. But the most exciting part of this team, going down to the wire, isn’t actually Harper.