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MLB Washington Nationals

5 Things We’ve Learned From Washington Nationals’ Success in 2014

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5 Things We’ve Learned From Washington Nationals' Success in 2014

Jordan Zimmermann
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

While barley holding onto first place in the NL East, the Nationals continue to march their way toward a playoff spot. Thus far, we've learned five things about these Nationals.

5. Rafael Soriano Doesn't Show His Age

Rafael Soriano
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

5. Rafael Soriano Doesn't Show His Age

Rafael Soriano
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Like a fine wine, Soriano seems to get better with age. The 35-year-old continues to dominate the ninth inning as he owns 18 saves in 20 opportunities. Even more impressive is his 1.18 ERA. The Nationals are basically guaranteed a win when Soriano is trotting out to the mound.

4. Anthony Rendon Is The Real Deal

Anthony Rendon
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

4. Anthony Rendon Is The Real Deal

Anthony Rendon
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in his first full season in the majors, Rendon has done it all for the Nationals. Hitting .273 with 12 home runs, 44 RBIs and seven stolen bases, Rendon is going to be a mainstay in the Nationals' lineup for years. The future looks bright for the former first-round draft pick.

3. Adam LaRoche Deserves His First All-Star Roster Spot

Adam LaRoche
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

3. Adam LaRoche Deserves His First All-Star Roster Spot

Adam LaRoche
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Not only does LaRoche deserve an All-Star game bid, but he could also win "Most Underrated Hitter in the Majors" award. Hitting .309 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs this season, LaRoche is worthy of his time in the spotlight. He's way overdue and is a huge reason the Nationals are in first place.

2. Key Injuries Didn't Derail The Season

Bryce Harper

2. Key Injuries Didn't Derail The Season

Bryce Harper
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

An easier question might be who hasn't been hurt on the Nationals this year? Injuries to Bryce Harper, Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez could have really thrown this team out of contention. But somehow, they fought through it and remain in first place.

1. Nationals Own The Best Team ERA In the Majors

Stephen Strasburg
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nationals Own The Best Team ERA In the Majors

Stephen Strasburg
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, it's true. The Nationals have the best team ERA at an impressive 3.07. Opponents are only hitting .245 and the starting rotation has given the team 47 quality starts. What's scary to think about for other teams is if this team was completely healthy all season, how much of a lead would they own in the NL East?