Redskins and Nationals News…

After competing against the #1 Franchise in possibly all of American Sports tooth and nail (albeit a preseason game….but never the less) for a little over 1 half, the Redskins finally gave the fans something to look forward too even in defeat.

Obviously trying to guard the combo of Tom Brady and Randy Moss is virtually impossible being as though the Pats actually had Randy running crossing routes at will, and who has even remember SEEING Randy run as many crossing routes in one half? D’Angelo Hall will take some of the “blame” for Randy’s 2 tds but thats gonna happen, I mean that combination last time they were on a field together combined for 20 tds and the last meaningful drive together they actually connected for a td pass to take the lead with a minute remaning in Super Bowl 42.

Of more importance to Skins fans was the continued growth of Jason Campbell in his second year in Coach Jim Zorn’s offense. He focused on his security blanket Santana Moss early but then found all of the other weapons at his disposal in Chris Cooley, Antwaan Randle El, Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas all for solid gains. He even showed a renewed headsy aspect of his overall development with the pumpfake-run for a TD in the 2nd quarter. Going into the final preseason game, I believe that the Washington Fans and Media should give Jason a break FINALLY and just let the man play football. We are still a work in progress obviously, but atleast we’re progressing.

The Washington Nationals created waves across the nation for the positive for possibly the 1st time in 2/3 years in coming to terms with #1 Overall Draft Pick P Stephen Strausberg from San Diego State University. His contract is a record breaker but to me, that isnt even that big of a deal because the last record contract (Mike Prior) was signed in 2001, sooner or later someone was gonna break that record. Lets hope that the Nats brass caution this kid and bring him along as slow as his development needs. The day after the Strausberg signing, the franchise rewarded Mike Rizzo taking the interim tag off of his “official” title of Interim General Manager. He will now oversee the club for years to come. He has made some great moves during the season (most notably trading for Nyjer Morgan and grabbing Mike McDougle from waivers) and hopefully his shrewd eye for baseball talent will continue to shine for this franchise.

Nationals sweep Marlins as winning streak continues

 

Before Tuesday, the Washington Nationals had lost all 9 previous meetings this season with divisional “rival” Florida by every heartbreaking way possible.  9th inning comebacks, blown saves, blowouts. If there was ever a team that had the “number” of their opposition, this was that instance.

 

But instead of conceding inevitable defeat, the suddenly resurgent Nats completed a 3 game sweep with the 2nd 8th Inning rally in 3 games with a 12-8 win and its fifth consecutive win, a season high.  The team has played .500% baseball under interim manager Jim Riggleman and have won 11 of their past 15 games overall.

 

The team is getting contributions from everybody as the usual power suspects Adam Dunn and Adam Zimmerman had multiple home runs in this series, but as is the case when any team in any sport enter a stretch of great team success, the lesser known players come up in key situations and make winning plays.  Whether its recent recall Elijah Dukes’ 4 RBI effort on Thursday, Ronnie Belliard’s HR on Wednesday and the constant pressure placed on the opposition by table setters Nyjer Morgan and Christian Guzman, this team is finally clicking it seems.

 

The Bullpen has been outstanding during this run, and its probably the main reason for the recent success.  With a 3.19 ERA after the All Star break, the much maligned bullpen has seem to turned a corner in an otherwise dismal season.  Mike McDougal’s emergence as the closer has seemingly had a calming effect for the team. 

 

With the Arizona Diamondbacks coming to town for a series, the Nats are hoping to take the momentum from this recent run into the latter stages of this 2009 season.