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Eleven Out of Fifteen

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It is extremely tempting to try to rationale the last night's win, the fourth in a row and eleventh out of fifteen contests. There are all kinds of ways to reason around the essence of this hot streak to put the season in focus. Something like Resolved: The Nats weren't as bad as they seemed when they were 9-25, but they're not as good as they are now.

That's a good one, because it's probably true, or at least would be if the same guys were winning now that were losing then. Not only does this seem like a different team, in a very real sense it is is a different team. Last night, it was Micah Bowie in yet another emergency start/spot start/shut 'em down for long enough to build a lead performance. How do they get performances like this? Is it Randy St. Clair? Is it some sort of pyschic motivational deal Manny Acta has going on? Or is it possible Bowie -- a guy who hadn't started since 1999, and who had a higher-than-nine ERA when he did -- knows a trick or two about shutting down the opposition?

Whatever it is, it is. Ultimately, you just have to enjoy what's happening and not worry about causes or resolutions. The Nationals could turn back into a pumpkin tonight in St. Louis, and maybe there's still a humiliating little 54-108 season in the offing. You never know. But I do know that this eleven of fifteen stretch has been far better than anything I imagined a month ago, when we were talking about eight of seventeen stretches being hot stuff. They've made this season worth it in May.