In the interest of celebrating Labor Day properly, I am going to present the recent developments within the Washington Nationals organization in one sentence snippets. Less time writing for me, less time reading for you and more time eating barbeque for everyone. Shall we? Continue reading
During the Washington Nationals’ five-game losing streak, opponents outscored them 26-6. In the three games since, the Nationals have more than reversed those figures, outscoring opponents by a margin of 26-5. Continue reading
Washington Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson deserves all the attention today.
Sure, Bryce Harper hit his third home run in two games and Jayson Werth hit his first since May 5, but Jackson was nothing short of brilliant as he led the Nationals to an 8-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals – their second straight after a five-game losing streak.
It may have taken 123 pitches, but Jackson finished the night having tossed eight dominant innings, allowing just one unearned run on four hits while walking two and striking out 10. It was the seventh time Jackson struck out 10 or more batters in his career and the second this year.
But as much as Jackson accomplished on the mound, his efforts elsewhere did not go unnoticed.
After grounding into a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth, Jackson slid hard into second, breaking up a double play and allowing Danny Espinosa to add another run.
Yes, Jackson deserves all the attention. And he will garner much of it. But for now, here is a look at some of the bigger stories that developed this week and some that you may have missed. Continue reading
It is no secret that Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals’ 19-year-old outfielder, has suffered a bit of a slump in the second half of the season. In fact, it is very well documented. I would even go so far as to say that it is hard to avoid hearing about it.
After posting a .282/.354/.472 line with 15 doubles, eight home runs and 25 RBIs in the first half of his rookie campaign, Harper’s numbers have regressed. Since the All-Star break, Harper has batted just .195/.266/.314 with three doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs.
Naturally, his performance has raised some questions about whether or not he deserves a spot in the starting lineup, especially with the likes of Roger Bernadina, Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore idling on the bench. You can go here to read my comments on the situation, or you can read what Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had to about it this morning when he joined Holden & Danny for his weekly segment, the “Mike Rizzo Show,” on 106.7 The Fan.
When asked how Harper’s development can be balanced with the fact that the Nationals are in the midst of their first pennant race, Rizzo’s response was a short one.
“Let him play every damn day,” Rizzo said. “We’re a better team when Bryce Harper is in the lineup.”
By now, I am sure you have heard that the Washington Nationals were swept by a Philadelphia Phillies team that sits 16 1/2 games behind the Nationals in the National League East. Apparently – and I still do not quite understand this one – the sweep, which came on the heels of a loss in the finale of a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves, makes the Nationals the worst team in baseball despite the fact that they still hold the best record in baseball at 77-50. At least, that is what some Nationals fans would have you believe.
I am not exactly the poster child for positivity, though this blog may have you believing otherwise, but I do understand the absolute inevitability of a losing streak or two (or three or four) throughout the course of a 162-game season. Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who spoke with reporters after Saturday night’s 4-2 loss, understands as well.
“Three! Ugh. We’re ready to quit,” Zimmerman said. “Everything’s going to go into shambles.”
Now, in case you could not tell, Zimmerman was being a bit facetious.
The willingness of the face of the Nationals franchise to brush off what amounts to a bump in the road cements the losing streak as a non-issue. As such, it hardly warrants the bit of discussion it is receiving here. What does warrant discussion, however, is everyone’s favorite teenager Bryce Harper, who in the second half of his rookie campaign is batting .194/.266/.316 with just nine extra-base hits and 12 RBIs. Continue reading