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Washington Nationals Continue to Impress in Recent Win Over Mets: A Fan’s Take

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Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg.

With the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves getting off to slow starts along with the mess Ozzie Guillen is making with the Miami Marlins, the Washington Nationals have been quietly taking care of business and are now tied for first in the National League East with the New York Mets.

Starting Pitching

In the April 11 game against the New York Mets, Stephen Strasburg showed that he can be a legitimate No. 1 starter for the Nationals in 2012, throwing six scoreless innings while allowing only two hits to go along with nine strikeouts. In two starts this season, Strasburg has 14 strikeouts in 13 innings pitched, with a stellar ERA of 0.69. He really looks like he has everything under control when he steps out onto the mound, and isn't trying to light up the radar gun with 100 mph fastballs, pitching around 95-96 mph instead.

Along with Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann also looks very good, only giving up one run over seven innings in his first start of the year. The only one who hasn't looked too good was Gio Gonzalez, who got roughed up for four runs in three innings of work in his only start this year, but I expect him to get everything back on track with his next start.

Ian Desmond

The Nationals didn't light up the scoreboard as much as they could on April 11 against the Mets (loaded the bases with no outs in one inning and failed to get a run in), but they didn't really need to considering the solid pitching that they have going thus far in the season. The biggest surprise to this point has been the hitting of Ian Desmond, who currently has a .370 average. I know it is only six games into the season, but Desmond to me looks like he is finally comfortable at the plate, and if he continues to hit for average at the top of the lineup, Washington should be able to build up a solid lead for itself in the National League East as April progresses.

Ryan Kekoufski lives near the Nationals' stadium and has been following the team closely ever since they moved to Washington D.C. He covers sports for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, and currently resides in Virginia.

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