Bill Ladson

Williams pleased with Soriano's first half

Williams pleased with Soriano's first half

PHILADELPHIA -- Nationals closer Rafael Soriano needs to have a combined 120 games finished between this season and last to get a guaranteed contract for the 2015 season. Entering Sunday, Soriano had a combined 88 games finished.

Soriano made it known that he would like to play for the Nationals in 2015. But for right now, Soriano said he was not thinking about his contract.

"I don't want to think about the games finished or nothing like that," Soriano said. "I want to help the team win the [World Series]. I think we have the talent and everything that goes with it."

Entering Sunday's series finale against the Phillies, Soriano had a 0.97 ERA, and his 22 saves were tied for ninth in the Major Leagues. As recently as Saturday, manager Matt Williams was raving about Soriano.

"He's been phenomenal," Williams said. "He has taken the ball whenever we've asked him to -- not only in save situations, but in tie games as well to get us an extra inning or an extra at-bat. He's been great."

But Soriano is not satisfied with what he has done.

"I have to do it some more," Soriano said. "Last year, I had a problem with my slider. This year, everything is better. That's the reason I have the numbers so far."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.