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Leftovers: Offense breaks out in big way against Phillies

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The morning after every Washington Nationals game this season we'll revisit the previous day's buffet to over-analyze a morsel of information, nugget from the box score, or tasty treat from the post-game quotes.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals pounded out nine runs and 16 hits on Friday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, primarily against starter Jeremy Hellickson but continued against three relievers.

It's the offensive breakout many have been looking for.

Sometimes big offensive outputs come in fits and starts, with bloops falling in and the like, but the Nats clubbed hard hit ball after hard hit ball all night.

Seven of the 16 hits were of the extra-base hit variety, including starting pitcher Joe Ross' double. Jayson Werth made solid contact in almost every one of his at bats, Wilson Ramos was robbed a couple of times before finally slamming a double late. And Bryce Harper crushed his fourth homer of the season.

The Nats have won their way to an 8-1 start primarily on the pitching and timely hitting of Daniel Murphy and Harper.

But there are signs that this offense is finally getting started.

The team finished third in the N.L. last season in runs scored, behind just Colorado and Arizona, both teams that play at elevation.

Despite that, GM Mike Rizzo revamped things, allowing Denard Span and Ian Desmond to move on. He brought in two players that specialize in making contact in Ben Revere and Daniel Murphy, but Revere played a whole three innings before suffering injury and hasn't played since.

Regardless, Murphy has been more than advertised, making consistent contact and drawing walks at a pace higher than ever before. Ramos seems to have taken to the Lasik surgery he had early in spring training. Harper has picked up where he left off.

And this is without Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman or Michael Taylor really even getting hot.

This team is going to win based upon their starting pitching and mitigating the disaster of the bullpen last season, but it should be a better hitting team overall than the team that scored the third-most runs per game last season in the league.

Plus, they get to beat up on the Phillies and Atlanta Braves for 19 games apiece.

So they've got that going for them, which is nice.