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Their surge to the top has attracted such attention that people like ESPN’s Rick Sutcliffe are figuring out ways for Stephen Strasburg to pitch through September and still stay within his presumed 180-inning limit. (Amazingly, it doesn’t involve Strasburg playing under an assumed name. It just calls for John Lannan to jump in a few times and push Stephen’s start back a day.)

With Morse and Werth playing regularly again, the lineup has a totally different — and much more menacing — look. The Nats still have the best pitching in either league, but they aren’t nearly as dependent on it as they were earlier. When they’re down 4-1 in the fifth now, as they were in Arizona on Saturday night, they have the “thunder” (Davey Johnson’s preferred term) to come from behind.

The regular season still has eight weeks to go, of course, time enough for lots of stuff to happen. But you get the feeling Nationals have seen the worst of that “stuff” — and what they haven’t seen, they can handle.