The Washington Nationals appear to be focused on nothing but winning.
The Nationals will look to continue their run toward the NL wild card when they meet the Florida Marlins in the second game of their four-game series.
Thanks to Monday’s 5-2 victory, Washington is enjoying a three-game winning streak for just the second time in two months. Washington trails wild card leader Houston by 1 1/2 games.
“What I think they’ve done the last three days is play the way they’re capable of playing,” said manager Frank Robinson, who banned loud music, card playing and cell phone conversations in the clubhouse after Washington’s last loss. “Their attention is now on baseball itself and not a lot of outside stuff, and it’s starting to show up on the field.”
“They understand the importance of each start now, and each one of them’s going out there and raising their game a level or two,” Robinson said. “If these three pitch that way the rest of their starts, we have a very good chance of winning this wild card.”
Washington will next turn to rookie Darrell Rasner, who will be jumping up from Double-A and making his major league debut right in the middle of a playoff race.
What does Robinson expect from Rasner, a 24-year-old who was 6-7 with a 3.59 ERA in the minors this season?
“I have no idea,” Robinson said. “Hopefully, at least five innings—and we’re in the ballgame.”
The Marlins still have 10 games remaining on their road trip against playoff hopefuls Washington, Philadelphia and Houston.