#Nats earn Dusty Baker his 1,800th career managerial win!

Where do you begin in a game like this? Stephen Strasburg pitched well enough to earn his 7th win of the season and improve to 7-1. Dusty Baker notched his 1,800th career managerial win in this 13-3 game. Every Washington Nationals starter had at least one hit and one RBI tonight. Daniel Murphy had 4 of the team’s 20 hits, and Brian Goodwin‘s 4-for-5 night shot up his batting average from .208 to .310, and he hit his first career home home run while being just a double shy of hitting for a cycle. In addition, Brian Goodwin had one of the best defensive plays of the season on a diving catch into the gap.

The Nationals have now scored 13 runs or more in 6 games this season which is a feat you rarely see accomplished by June 2nd unless your team plays their home games in Colorado which the Washington Nationals do not.

Five different Nationals’ players had home runs in this game and none of their names were Ryan Zimmerman or Bryce Harper. The Nationals offensive explosion came together without Bryce Harper in the line-up as he served the 2nd game of his 3-game suspension.

“Very relaxing,” Brian Goodwin said about batting in this line-up. “These guys, I mean, they’re special. Just being in a line-up like this, where guys are so pro, they just know what they’re doing, it just really takes the pressure off guys like me to go up there and have relaxed at-bats.”

Michael Taylor continues with his hot bat since becoming the presumptive starting centerfielder after Adam Eaton‘s injury. He is now batting .303 since taking over for Eaton. Tonight Taylor added a home run to start the night’s scoring and later tacked on a double.

“I’ve talked to [Michael Taylor] earlier, all the experience now he has to draw upon is allowing him to slow the game down,” teammate Daniel Murphy said. “That’s something you just don’t get if you don’t play.”

The Nationals improve to 15 games over .500 with a 34-19 record which is the best in the National League. The Nationals also lengthened their NL East lead to 11.0 games over the 2nd place New York Mets. In the last eleven games the Nationals are 9-2 with a four game winning streak.

What you have to like about Dusty Baker is that even in victory he knows that perfection is never achieved, and there are still some areas to improve.

“We’ve got a good team,” Baker said. “We still have to get better and plug up some holes, but in the meantime, we’re winning ballgames.”

There are only 15 other managers in the 1,800 win club. With 36 more wins Dusty Baker will move past Lou Piniella into 15th place for most managerial wins. Dusty Baker’s ultimate goal is not achieving a targeted number of wins in his career. Rather he has said that he wants another chance at winning a World Series. By winning it all he ponders whether or not that’s a guarantee that he will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  That would be affirmative. At Baker’s level of accomplishments, a World Series win would guarantee his enshrinement in Cooperstown as a manager.

“I want that: one more chance to go back to the World Series, to win it as a player and a manager,” Baker said. “Who knows? Maybe that’s enough for the Hall of Fame. That really would be something, wouldn’t it?”

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