The Washington Nationals found themselves in a deep hole, boasting a 27-36 record after 63 games. Fortunately for manager Jim Riggleman the National have caught fire, winning six games in a row and seven of their last 10. The Nats are now 33-36, only three games under .500. This hot streak probably saved Jim Riggleman's job, for now.
Danny Espinosa hit a game winning three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th on Thursday night. The Nationals won the game 7-4 over the St. Louis Cardinals to complete the three game sweep over one of the top teams in the National League.
The Nationals have been bashing the ball out of the ballpark; that, along with above average starting pitching, has allowed the Nats to pass the struggling Florida Marlins and are now in fourth place in the NL East.
They are currently only one game behind the New York Mets for third place and five-and-a-half games behind the Atlanta Braves for second place. The Philadelphia Phillies are heating up winning seven in-a-row and find themselves five full games ahead of the Braves with a record of 44-26.
The season ending injury to Adam LaRoche has been difficult for the entire Washington organization, but with Mike Morse destroying the ball with his team leading 12 home runs, it could be a blessing in disguise. He is currently on pace to hit 28 home runs; if he heats up he could hit over 30.
As soon as 3B Ryan Zimmerman gets back in the lineup, the Nationals will continue to grow as a team. Jayson Werth hit a lead off home run on Thursday and has shown signs of heating up; his batting average is currently at .240. If he can start to heat up, the National could keep gaining games in the NL East.