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Cleaning Up the Offense

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Sunday brought some good news and some bad news for the Nationals. The bad news: the dream of a perfect 162-0 season is gone, as is their streak of come-from-behind victories. The good news: even though they came up just short against the Cubs on Sunday, the Nats still took two of three at Wrigley to start the season, and head to New York to take on the Mets for a three-game set before heading back to D.C. for the home opener on Thursday.

Ryan Zimmerman appreciates Adam LaRoche's hot start so far this season.

The trends of the first two games continued, as again the offense was dormant early but exploded late. Unfortunately, Washington came up a run shy in the loss, but the team has now scored nine of its 12 runs in the eighth inning or later, after Adam LaRoche’s two-run shot in the ninth on Sunday afternoon. It was the second longball in as many days for the first baseman, who lost most of his 2011 season to injury but has started this season with a bang (or rather, two).

There was a lot of preseason talk about a former Nationals first baseman named Adam – Dunn, that is – heading into the season as a candidate for the Comeback Player of the Year. The way LaRoche has played so far, he seems primed to enter his own name into that debate. He is batting .412 (5-for-12) with the two dingers, three runs scored and four RBI through his first three games, numbers that have to feel especially good after struggling through just 43 games last season.

There was a even a smattering of Nationals red in the crowd at Wrigley enjoying Washington’s series win. Those of you who follow us on Twitter may have already seen this, but we figured it was worth a share with everyone. As if the drama of the last three games wasn’t already enough, hopefully this helps you Ignite Your Natitude. After all, baseball comes home to Washington in just three days.

Also, make sure to check in on Facebook around noon tomorrow, as a few Nationals will be visiting the MLB Fan Cave and taking your questions live. Which players, you ask? You’ll just have to drop by and find out.

Welcome To District 9

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Alright, to be fair, the title of this post should probably read “Welcome to THE District 9”. That’s what we’re calling this year’s informal question and answer sessions here on Curly W Live, which we will run all year with current players, front office members, coaches, prospects and other interesting folks from around the game of baseball.

The name is obviously a play on the Academy Award nominated film from a few years back, but is also a nickname for Washington’s home club, the nine men who take the field at Nationals Park to represent the District each night. The feature itself is our spin on the traditional 10 questions that many organizations will ask in a Q&A format. Instead, we ask nine questions we think you’d like to know the answer to, and reach out to you to provide the 10th.

We will be asking for your submissions via our Facebook and Twitter accounts throughout the year prior to these sessions, with the first of such coming up later this week. So if you don’t already like/follow us on those social media platforms, go check us out and keep your eyes open for your opportunity to ask your favorite baseball folks questions you’ve been dying to know the answer to.

Just so you know we’re serious, we’ll be starting off the year strong with… Gio Gonzalez! Get to know your new ace before Spring Training, as we’ll post Gio’s District 9 right here on Curly W Live later this week. So get creative and give it your best shot, then be sure to check back on Thursday to see if you’ve won!

Gio Gonzalez will answer one lucky fan's question. Could it be yours?