In the Nationals' first year in the District in 2005, July 3 was the club's high-water mark (50-31) -- the furthest above .500 they have ever been since leaving Montreal. But things fell apart, and Washington eventually settled for an 81-81 record.
The 2012 version isn't showing any signs of a similar collapse. The Nats have crafted a fine first half even with closer Drew Storen, catcher Wilson Ramos, right fielder Jayson Werth and left fielder Michael Morse injured. Ramos is done for the year. But Morse is back and swinging a hot bat, Storen (elbow surgery) is close and Werth (broken wrist) won't be far behind. Since taking a cortisone shot June 24, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman continues to show the power that was missing thanks to lingering shoulder pain.
"What's good about this team is that we really don't know how good this team can be," Morse said this week. "I think that's what makes us so great because the sky's the limit. ... There's a lot of pieces [missing]. But what we're with right now is working."