Dontrelle Willis: Pitching will lift Washington to the top of the NL East

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Dontrelle Willis joins Nick Swisher and Mike Hill to discuss the Washington Nationals and what they need to be able to win the NL East.

- All right So the Nats with the 1-0 lead there. They won 7 of 8 after a slow start, seem to be turning things around. Are the Nats now who we thought they would be at the beginning of the season?

- Yeah, man they look good. And I don't necessarily know if it was moving Bryce Harper into the lead off spot, but either way, man, they seem like they got a little fight in them. They had that series at home against Philadelphia Phillies who-- I mean it's a team-- no joke, man I mean Gabe's got them boys playing over there, but for them to fight back and to win those last two games the way they did, seems like it's giving them a little momentum moving forward. Obviously first year mentor Dave Martinez, he started to figure some things out and he's learning his guys, and they're starting to gel a little bit.

- Love the move for Harper to the leadoff spot, it let's him get his time, he gets his swing, and go aggressively at pitches, and he gets his swagger back. When Zimmerman, who was huge for them last year, almost MVP type season, he came out the gate struggling, and the team struggled offensively, because they had a bunch of injuries. Rendon still down. When they get back, that will be the teeth of their lineup, and they're the best 3, 4, and 5 in all of baseball when they are healthy. So, they need to get some time and buy some time.

They have the pitching in at the front line with Gio Gonzalez, Strasburg, Scherzer, those three guys can beat anybody in baseball. So-- we knew they were going to be fine, I never lost faith in them. Especially in this division, we love Atlanta, we love their style, but can their pitching grow up? That's the same question for the Philadelphia Phillies, too. Have great offense, great athleticism, but can that pitching sustain that and go up against some of the tougher offenses in the National League remains to be seen. But again, it's going to be a fun division, but I think they're going to be at the top of it [INAUDIBLE].

- Yeah, no doubt. When it's all said and done all you had to do is list of those three pitchers he listed for you a second ago, man. And that team is right where they need to be. You know obviously Bryce Harper still hasn't hit his stride. I don't know if contract talks or anything have been kind of the law for him.

DONTRELLE WILLIS: You know he'll come around.

- I mean obviously he's one of the best talents we have in our game, and to see him and the leadoff spot man to say hey, he's unselfish enough to be like you know what, if this helps my team win, then I'll do exactly what--

- Can't pitch around him.

- It's going to be in the NL leagues but Arizona still the team to beat in the National--

- Oh, for sure. Oh yeah, yeah. Diamondbacks got my vote all day long, man. They're fun to watch. They have a line up depth and ultimately you're going to have to go through the Diamondbacks, and that's a tough lineup especially a starting pitcher to navigate, because anybody in that lineup can beat you. And we're still looking at Paul Goldschmidt going yet, and Pollock has been the best player on their team. He stays on the barrel and you notice, every time he gets hurt, it seems to be that that's the downfall of their season. So, he's a huge part of their lineup and the catalyst for their lineup. They continue to keep him hot, they're gonna continue to win.

- I will keep you updated on what the Nats are doing and San Diego throughout the show.