Scoring is up around baseball as home runs fly out of ballparks at a historic rate. The Nationals have been riding that wave and especially lately. They scored 43 runs across three games from Saturday through Monday, as they continue to bash their way through the National League playoff hunt.
Those 43 runs are a franchise record for a three-game stretch. So are the 15 homers they launched against Brewers and Pirates pitchers.
After their most recent barrage, the Nationals are now on a scoring pace never seen before in franchise history. They are averaging 5.29 runs per game, which if it holds would establish a new record for a Nationals or Expos team. The current mark is 5.13 held by the 1994 Montreal Expos, who were famously a juggernaut seemingly destined for a World Series ring before a labor strike ended their season.
The 1994 club remains the best offense in franchise history based on a per game scoring average. But the most runs ever scored by a Nats or Expos team was in 2017 when the Dusty Baker-led Nationals put up 819 runs across 162 games. This year's Nats are on pace for 857.
The Nats, in fact, are already climbing the charts despite having 38 games remaining on their schedule. Through 124 games, they have 656 runs which is more than they had total in 23 separate seasons. They have already scored more runs than the 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2011 Nationals. The 2005 Nats won 81 games and the 2011 club won 80. They already have as many runs as the 2013 Nationals who won 86 games.
What is perhaps most remarkable about the 2019 Nats' offense is that there are no historic standouts in terms of runs scored. Anthony Rendon is on pace for an impressive 116 runs, but that would only place him fifth in franchise history.
Now, Rendon is on track to join some special company in franchise history when it comes to driving in runs. He could challenge the RBI record of 131 set back in 1999 by Vladimir Guerrero.
Rendon is on pace for 127 RBI despite missing 14 games this season. He also currently has the third-best slugging percentage in franchise history.
But what stands out most is that these Nats are doing it collectively. Despite not featuring an elite home run hitter, they are averaging the most homers per game and RBI per game in franchise history. They have the highest OPS and slugging percentage ever for a Nats/Expos team.
Rendon, Turner and Juan Soto have been the stars. But this has been a group effort with many carrying their weight.
The Nats are also doing this in the first year since Harper left the team in free agency. When Harper signed away with the Phillies, there were questions about whether they could replace his production and power. Those aren't questions anymore.
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