Associated Press photo
Ryan Zimmerman's two homers staked the Nationals to an early lead.
At that moment, the idea of the Nationals finding themselves in second place by Sunday evening was terrifyingly possible.
But then John Lannan pitched the game of his life to lead his team to a come-from-behind victory. And then Ryan Zimmerman led an early offensive onslaught against Atlanta right-hander Jair Jurrjens Sunday afternoon. And then Ross Detwiler slammed the door on any possibility of another meltdown with seven strong innings.
And by the end of the day, the Nationals not only had themselves a 9-2 win but a split of this key series and a 3 1/2-game lead once again over their chief competition in the NL East.