Riggleman thinking about reaching .500
In between victories against the Orioles, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he is not thinking about the Wild Card race even though his team is four games behind the Braves.
Riggleman’s goal right now is to reach .500, and the Nationals have a chance to reach that magic number Sunday against the Orioles at Nationals Park.
“We are playing good baseball and made strides to get out of last place,” Riggleman said. “We can’t do anything else until we get to .500. That is our first goal. Then we can see if we can try to pinpoint some immediate short-term goals. When we were nine under .500, we were trying to get to .500. It was a long way to go.
“I feel great about the ballclub, but we are going to see teh Mariners. They have good pitching. Then we are going to see the White Sox. They are coming alive. It’s a battle every night.”
The 2011 Nationals are clearly Riggleman’s best team since he managed the 1998 Cubs, a team that won the National League Wild Card. However, he said all of the parts are not there with the Nationals — yet.
“We are still waiting on [Steven] Strasburg,” Riggleman said. “We are banged up with [Adam] LaRoche and [Rick] Ankiel. We don’t have everybody there, but nobody does. Getting Ryan Zimmerman back is huge. I feel like we are competitive every night.”