What was originally scheduled to be the most significant series of the year for the Washington Nationals (89-54) and the Atlanta Braves (81-63) is now scheduled for standard fanfare – and it begins tonight as the two division rivals open a three-game series in what will be their final meeting of the regular season.
Since drawing to within four games of the Nationals on August 28, the Braves have played .500 baseball and watched their deficit jump to 8 1/2 games while the Nationals have scored a league-high 96 runs. Now, rather than hoping to close the gap that separates them from the Nationals, the Braves will look to put distance between themselves and the myriad teams hoping for a wild card.
Tonight’s matchup pits Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler against Braves righty Kris Medlen, who has returned to the rotation in his first full season since a 2010 Tommy John surgery, in what will be a rematch of their last meeting on August 22 at Nationals Park. Continue reading →
Today is September 12, 2012, and if you have been living the past week underneath a rock, cut off from all forms of communication, then you probably still believe that Stephen Strasburg will take the mound tonight at Citi Field for his final start of the 2012 season with the Washington Nationals (88-54). Well, I am sorry to say that Strasburg will not be pitching tonight, as he was shut down last Saturday afternoon effective immediatelyfollowing his lackluster three-inning effort the previous night.
Instead, John Lannan will make his third start of the year for the Nationals after spending an overwhelming majority of the season with the Syracuse Chiefs. With Lannan on the mound, the Nationals will look to complete a three-game sweep of the New York Mets (65-77). In doing so, they will have swept the Mets twice this season and won 12 of their last 13 games at Citi Field dating back to 2011. Standing in their way will be rookie right-hander Matt Harvey, who will make just two more starts before he is shut down. Continue reading →
It was an eventful weekend for the Washington Nationals (86-54), who dropped two of three games to the Miami Marlins and had their lead in the National League East cut to 5 1/2 games. In addition to failing yet again to take a season series from the Marlins, the Nationals also received word that young right-hander Stephen Strasburg would be shut down prior to his final expected start of the season. How did Strasburg take the news?
“I don’t know if I’m ever going to accept it, to be honest with you,” Strasburg said. “It’s something that I’m not happy about at all. That’s not why I play the game.”
Yesterday, the Washington Nationals were shut out by right-hander Ricky Nolasco and the Miami Marlins for the second time in just over a week. With the loss, the Nationals’ lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East was cut to 5 1/2 games. The Nationals are still, however, carrying the best record in baseball and are primed to represent the first playoff appearance by a Washington baseball team in a very long time. My only question is: How did the Washington Redskins do yesterday?
My curiosity about the Redskins is, of course, not of my own volition. I could not care less about them (Am I allowed to express that opinion?). But now that the NFL season is underway, the Redskins have usurped the D.C. media and the Nationals have been placed on the back burner – or possibly even the back corner of the refrigerator next to the pasta salad you are afraid to disturb. Now, with all of your favorite venues likely discussing Robert Griffin III, you are going to have to visit Positive Mental Natitude a bit more for your fix of Nationals news. And the big story is… Continue reading →
Though it took about six hours to complete and required a two-hour and 33-minute rain delay, the Washington Nationals (86-53) rallied to beat the Miami Marlins (62-78), setting up this afternoon’s rubber match. Nationals outfielders Jayson Werth and Corey Brown were the heroes of the day, driving in the tying and game-winning runs, respectively.
“We had a nice little rain delay. I got a little massage, changed clothes, had a chicken salad and then we tied it up,” Werth said. “It was well-written.”
Now, on the heels of two extra-innings games and news that Stephen Strasburg has been shut down effective immediately, the Nationals will try to take the series – and the season series for the first time since 2007 – as they battle veteran right-hander Ricky Nolasco. Right-hander and birthday-boy himself, Edwin Jackson, will take the mound for the Nationals. Continue reading →
Last night – in a game where stellar play from Jordan Zimmermann and Kurt Suzuki was overshadowed by two bench-clearing, bullpen-emptying altercations – the Washington Nationals (85-52) completed a four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs. More than enough has already been said about the evening, including this adrenal-gland-inciting quote from Nationals reliever Michael Gonzalez. As such, I must move on to tonight’s three-game series opener with the Miami Marlins (61-77), a game that will almost assuredly garner more attention than last night’s.
Tonight, Jacob Turner and the Marlins are in town to take on Stephen Strasburg and the league-best Nationals in what will be Strasburg’s penultimate start of the season and his final at home. To predict the atmosphere at Nationals Park will be buzzing would be foolhardy. It should be nothing short of electric. Continue reading →
In case you are unaware, the Washington Nationals currently hold the best record in baseball at 84-52. They are also leading the Atlanta Braves in the National League East by 7 1/2 games – their largest lead of the season. Oh, and each and every subsequent win will result in a new high-water mark for the franchise since relocating to the district in 2005.
Of course, I cannot exactly fault you if these notes come as a surprise. After all, right-hander Stephen Strasburg is due to be shut down in just under a week’s time. That is what is important, right? ESPN and the rest of the national media certainly think so. Is it possible that they are wrong in heaping all of their attention on Strasburg while virtually ignoring what the team as a whole has accomplished? I would not think so, but Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo does. He discussed his thoughts yesterday morning when he joined Holden & Danny for his weekly segment, the “Mike Rizzo Show,” on 106.7 The Fan. Continue reading →
If you have been following the Washington Nationals, the Stephen Strasburg innings limit or any major news outlet for the past five or so months, then you already know that the team plans to shut down the man Sports Illustrated once referred to as “the most hyped and closely watched pitching prospect in the history of baseball” after his start on September 12 against the New York Mets – just prior to the team’s first postseason run since the franchise moved to Washington D.C. in 2005.
You are also likely aware of the fact that Strasburg’s shutdown spells certain doom for the Nationals’ chances at making it through the playoffs to the World Series. At least, that is what most reporters outside of the district would have you believe. And we all know that reporters are never wrong. After all, how could a team possibly survive without its ace? Certainly the other aces – Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann – have nothing to say about it.
The news of the Nationals’ failed 2012 season comes as a bit of a disappointment, especially since left-hander Ross Detwiler and right-hander Edwin Jackson – mainstays in the Nationals’ starting rotation this season – are more than capable of picking up the slack. But no one will ever know because they are looked upon as no more than “the other guys.”
Need proof? Here are Twitter users @JWerthsBeard‘s and @JackoBeam‘s creation, which proves just how little the country believes in Detwiler and Jackson.
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 →
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 →