- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2019

The Nationals’ 8-2 run at the All-Star break has the team surging in the latest power rankings, landing Washington in a second place spot in National League East standings.

Bleacher Report has the Nationals up four rungs in the ninth spot, just barely making the top ten. CBS Sports and ESPN both have Washington at No. 11.

It’s a stark contrast from May 23, when the Nationals were the second-worst team in the NL at 19-31. They have won 28 of their last 39 since then.

The Nationals’ success comes in large part from their pitchers. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin each have more than 125 strikeouts before the All-Star Game.

Scherzer fired 11 strikeouts, stole a base and slashed a single in Saturday’s 6-0 victory against the Royals. It was the second time he racked up a hit, a stolen base and 10 strikeouts in his career.

But it was the first time he did it two days after welcoming his second daughter, Kacey Hart, who was born on Independence Day.

Scherzer, who along with Nationals All-Star Anthony Rendon will not be playing in the All-Star Game, is focused on what’s next.

“Our season matters so much more than the All-Star Game,” Scherzer said at a press conference Sunday.

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