You have seen it before, countless times probably. A player gives four strong years to a team, including a round of postseason heroics that contribute heavily to a World Series win, before moving on and signing with another team as a free agent upon the completion of his tenure. That, of course, fills the vacated fan base with vitriol. So angered are they that they feel it necessary to show the player that he is not only unwelcome in his former stomping grounds, but that he is also unwelcome in his new home. They accomplish the latter by buying up every right-field seat for each meeting between the two teams so that they may tell the player personally. Methinks, however, that this scenario is more a case of not knowing what you have until it is gone – a phenomenon that seems to have most recently affected fans of the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth.
Werth, who ended his run with the Phillies after signing a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals in December 2010, has since incurred the wrath of those who would not have him back.
That wrath has never been more apparent than it was last night when the league’s classiest baseball fans went out of their way to show Werth how much he is missed. But in dealing with their grief over Werth’s departure, Phillies fans seem to have pigeonholed themselves into the second stage of the Kübler-Ross model – anger. Continue reading →
There is something to be said of Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson. After all, you do not just luck your way into the playoffs with four different franchises. If you did, there would probably be more than two managers throughout the many years of major league history to have done so. But looking back through the record books, it seems that Billy Martin is the only other to have achieved such a milestone.
No, there is definitely something to be said of Johnson and it seems Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said it best just minutes after the Nationals clinched the first playoff appearance for a Washington baseball team in nearly eight decades.
“There’s a lot of people around here that you can point fingers at that had a lot to do with the change in direction and everything that goes into that in the ballclub and the organization, but none any bigger than Davey,” Werth said. Continue reading →
Washington Nationals rookie Tyler Moore has made quite a name for himself with nothing more than a piece of lumber. In just 138 at-bats this year, Moore has posted a .283/.344/.536 line with eight doubles, nine home runs and 26 RBIs.
His most recent contribution came in last night’s 5-3 win over the New York Mets. With the Nationals down 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Moore hit a first-pitch knuckleball into the left field seats at Citi Field to put the team up 3-2. It marked his second pinch-hit home run since being relegated to a bench role with the return of a healthy Jayson Werth to the everyday lineup. Continue reading →
Last night’s 11-5 win over the Chicago Cubs (51-84) marked a number of firsts for the Washington Nationals (83-52). First and foremost, it marked the first time since moving to Washington that the team has won 83 games. Each subsequent win will set a new high-water mark for the franchise as well. It also marked the first time a D.C. team has hit five or more home runs at home, including Griffith Stadium. Finally, it marked the debut of right-handed pitched Christian Garcia, who spent eight years in the minor leagues after suffering through three elbow surgeries.
Tonight, the Nationals will look to lock down a series win by taking the third of a four-game series with the Cubs. In order to do so, they will have to face right-hander Chris Volstad, who will be opposed by 17-game winner Gio Gonzalez. Continue reading →
After taking the first two games of a four-game set, the Washington Nationals (80-52) dropped the third by a score of 10-9 as a sleeping St. Louis Cardinals (72-61) offense that had scored one run in their last 40 innings finally came to life in the second inning. Unfortunately, it was at the hands of Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who is in the midst of an unusual slump that has kept the pitcher from throwing six innings in each of his last four outings. And after giving up a career-high eight runs, Zimmermann was more than willing to take the blame for his team’s loss.
“I felt the way I normally feel,” Zimmermann said. “The offense did a great job. You have to tip your cap to those guys. They give you six runs and you do all you can to keep the team in the game and you can’t hold it down. This loss is totally my fault.”
The Nationals will have to put the loss behind them today when they face veteran right-hander Jake Westbrook. For the Nationals, it will be Stephen Strasburg, who will make the first of his expected two to three remaining starts before being shut down as part of his Tommy John surgery rehab plan. Continue reading →
After surviving a 13-inning opener in a three-game series that promises to impact the National League playoff picture, the Washington Nationals (76-46) will look for an early series win against the Atlanta Braves (70-52), who fell six games behind the first-place Nationals with last night’s loss. Both teams will be looking for their starters to have strong showings after last night’s extra-innings affair left the rivals with depleted bullpens. For the Braves, trade deadline pick-up Paul Maholm will be on the hill. For the Nationals, everyone’s favorite right-hander, Stephen Strasburg, will make what will be one of his final starts this season before being shut down per his controversial innings limit. Continue reading →
Last night, Edwin Jackson took a tough-luck loss after throwing seven stellar innings of two-hit ball, walking just one and striking out a season-high 11 batters. Unfortunately, Jackson made one mistake. He left a first-pitch fastball over the plate in the seventh for Ike Davis, who lined the pitch to left for a two-run home run, the only runs of the game. Today, the Washington Nationals (74-46) look to take the rubber match of a three-game series with the New York Mets (57-63) before beginning an important series with the Atlanta Braves. The Mets give the ball to right-hander Jeremy Hefner, who will oppose lefty Gio Gonzalez for the Nationals. Continue reading →
Twelve wins in 14 tries was just not in the cards for the Washington Nationals, who dropped the second of a three-game series last night to young right-hander Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants, bringing their road trip record to 7-2 before this afternoon’s finale. Nationals’ starter Jordan Zimmermann, arguably the team’s strongest pitcher this season, lasted just 5.2 innings after giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four. He appeared to have trouble locating his pitches and was unable to get decent movement on a slider that opposing hitters refused to chase. No matter, as Bumgarner was nearly untouchable, tossing his second complete game of the season and yielding a single run on five hits and a walk while striking out five for his 13th win.
The Nationals will have to put the loss behind them as they send Stephen Strasburg to the mound this afternoon and look to take the rubber match of the series before heading to Washington for a six-game home stand. Until then, here are a few of the many exciting stories that broke yesterday – starting with the biggest news. Continue reading →
AT&T Park opened up in March 2000. In the 12 years since, no visiting team had recorded 21 hits in the ballpark until the Washington Nationals (72-44) routed the San Francisco Giants (63-53) by a score of 14-2 last night. Still, it seems that none can help themselves from talking Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg and his inevitable shutdown. The Nationals will look to prove their strength as a team when they send underrated right-hander Jordan Zimmermann to the mound opposite tough young righty Madison Bumgarner in the second of a three-game set. Continue reading →
When Jayson Werth emerged from the dugout in the top of the ninth inning yesterday with bat in hand, a rush of relief washed over the Washington Metropolitan Area, for the Washington Nationals, down 7-2, were to soon mount a comeback and claim their ninth victory in as many games. After all, with manager Davey Johnson’s introduction of Werth to the game how could they not?
Greg Fiume – Getty Images
What made Werth’s appearance so special?
Prior to yesterday’s game, the Nationals had won all 10 of the games in which the newly-reinstated outfielder had appeared since his August 2 return. Why should yesterday have been any different? I mean, it is not like we are throwing out meaningless statistics or anything.
Unfortunately, the stat proved to be meaningless and the comeback they did mount was quickly filed under “too little, too late.” But even in the team’s eventual 7-4 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Werth managed to push a run across the plate on a groundout to third baseman Chris Johnson and leave his mark on a game that saw him sit for 26 of 27 outs – nothing new for the 11-year veteran enjoying a turnaround season after a subpar debut with a new team. Continue reading →