The Washington Nationals are having a phenomenal season, and are zeroing in on their first division championship as a franchise (including their time as the Montreal Expos). On Wednesday night they smoked the Chicago Cubs 9-1, and improved their record to 84-52, while also accomplishing another feat.
For the second game in a row, the Nats tied a franchise record by hitting six home runs (video of all six here). Yes, that’s 12 home runs over the past two games for Washington, which is simply an incredible total.
While the win helped the Nats maintain a 7.5-game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, their fireworks display at the plate was what everyone will be talking about.
Washington got two long-balls from Bryce Harper, plus home runs from Roger Bernadina, Adam LaRoche, Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa on Wednesday night. They led 9-0 entering the top of the ninth inning, when Anthony Rizzo hit his 11th home run for the Cubs.
On Tuesday night, the Nats got two bombs from LaRoche, while Desmond, Jesus Flores, Tyler Moore and Ryan Zimmerman added their own home runs. Washington beat the Cubs 11-5 on Tuesday night.
Much of the attention on the Nations this year has been focused on the team’s pitching staff, but clearly the lineup is pretty darn good. LaRoche now has 28 home runs and 90 RBI, Desmond has 21 and 64 and Zimmerman has 18 and 73. Plus, Harper now has 17 home runs, which are the third-most for a teenager in baseball history. Tony Conigliaro had 24 in 1964, and Mel Ott blasted 18 in 1928.
Meanwhile, Harper’s two home run night was just the third in major league history for a teenager. Ott and Ken Griffey Jr. accomplished the feat as well.
It’s clear that the Nationals are swinging incredibly hot bats right now, and they currently look like the best team in baseball at the moment.