The Washington Times - August 9, 2009, 07:05PM

There are two ways to look at the Nationals’ stunning winning streak, which reached eight games today with a 9-2 thumping of the Diamondbacks.

1. Enjoy this for all it’s worth, because it’s a rare thing to go on a hot streak like this. Indeed, the Nats haven’t won this many games in a row since the memorable 10-game run in June 2005 that catapulted them into first place in the NL East.

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2. Sit back and wonder what could have been had this team only played this well back when it actually might have mattered.

Adam Dunn is actually taking that second approach, and you can’t fault him for it. He signed here last winter believing the Nats were ready to make a major improvement from last year’s 102-loss disaster. That, of course, didn’t happen, because of a wretched first half of the season that got Manny Acta and Randy St. Claire fired and left the Nats with nothing but pride to play for the rest of the way.

“This is what I expected from Day One, and that’s why it’s so frustrating,” Dunn said. “Because I knew we were capable of playing like this. I wish we would have played this loose and had this much fun earlier in the year, and we wouldn’t be however many games back.”

That would be 22 1/2 games back of the Phillies. It’s better than the 28 games back Washington found itself only eight days ago. But it’s still a far cry from contention, which is the ultimate goal here.

That said, there’s no reason to get too down about this. I mean, seriously, the Nats have won eight games in a row. They’re the hottest team in baseball. Enjoy it while you can!