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Nice outing by Chris Young last night. Three hits in eight solid innings, and a 3-0 Padres win over the Nationals.

There are certain guys around baseball I like to watch pitch. When he’s on, as he’s been in half his starts so far this season, Young is one of them. There’s just a command, a control over the game, and come to think of it, over the stadium, that Young has on nights like Tuesday. The challenge now is for the young veteran to string together a bunch of similar performances.

But of course, this Washington baseball club is not your father’s Washington baseball club. Then again, maybe it is.

As Mark Zuckerman writes in the Washington Times :

(the) Nationals rank last in the National League in batting average, last in runs scored, second-to-last in home runs, second-to-last in stolen bases, second-to-last in runners left on base and dead last in slugging percentage. Washington (9-18) ended the night with a .230 team average and a .326 slugging percentage that is more than 30 points lower than the next-worst NL club. The team’s 81 runs scored this season are far and away the fewest in the majors.

Perhaps just an eerie coincidence, but check this out: The last Washington Senators team, the 1971 squad, which finished fifth in the American League East with a record of 63-96, batted the exact same .230 for the season that the Nationals are hitting right now. Good for 11th place out of 12 teams. The ’71 Senators, which would become the Texas Rangers in the next year, included such great baseball names as Jeff Burroughs, Curt Flood, Frank Howard and Denny McLain. It finished dead last in slugging, second-to-last in runs and next-to-last in homers.

I have no idea what the significance of those numbers might be, except to say that even skipping a generation of ball being played there, Washington, D.C. is a town quite familiar with the anemic presentation of the national pastime.

— HOWARD COLE

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