Just another frustrating loss; Nats blow 3-run lead with a bevy of mistakes.

The Nationals had a 3-run lead and watched that lead evaporate and turn into a 1-run deficit. The Nationals had opportunities in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings and in fact had runners on 2nd base and 1st base in the 9th inning with no outs but stranded them en route to a 1-for-10 with RISP> Continue reading

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Game #22 Hellickson with his 2nd start; Rendon to the DL

Dave Martinez and Derek Lilliquist and the other coaches; Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

Reading over comments about the Washington Nationals over-use of the bullpen, it just is not factually true as the Nationals have the 3rd lowest usage of the bullpen at 3.0 innings per game. The only teams that are less are the Astros and the Cleveland Indians at 2.8 and 2.7 innings respectively. The Indians have had 3-complete games which has kept their relievers fresh. While Ryan Madson has appeared in 11 games, that is the 15th highest of any reliever for the number of appearances. For reliever innings, Matt Grace leads the Nationals in most innings at 10 2/3, and he ranks only the 41st for most relief innings. The issue seems more to usage and statistical match-ups rather than over-use except for the case of Ryan Madson. Continue reading

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Stephen Strasburg did what he needed to do to win; Nats bats go cold.

The Washington Nationals were shut-out on a combined 2-hitter tonight and lost 4-to-0, but it was a one-run game through 6 2/3 innings. Stephen Strasburg threw 107 pitches on this night and gave up 2 solo home runs. One of the home runs was given up in the 7th inning when he was pitching on fumes after darting 28 max-effort pitches in the prior frame. We can debate whether Strasburg should have hit the showers after he allowed bases loaded in the 6th inning then worked his magic and struck out 3 in a row to keep it at a 1-to-0 game. Carlos Torres made his Nationals debut and quickly put the game out of reach after he served up a 2-run home run for the final score of 4-to-0.  Continue reading

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Game #21 Nats have a Saturday night with SoCal’s Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg (top left) and Mike Leake (top, fourth from left) led the San Diego Sting into the 11-under nationals in 1999. Thomas Neal (top, second from left) and Brett Bochy (bottom left) are/were also professional ballplayers.
(Photo by Vicky Polk)

When Stephen Strasburg grew up in San Diego, he was only 2 hours from Dodgers Stadium, and he was a die-hard Padres fan and particularly Tony Gwynn.  In Strasburg’s childhood neighborhood, many of his friends were Dodgers fans idolizing Mike Piazza. When you live in SoCal, you have choices, and the Dodgers won the World Series the year Strasburg was born. Continue reading

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Scherzer beats Kershaw with some help from his friends! #Nats win!

MLB.com graphic

Forget all of that history that Max Scherzer has never won against Clayton Kershaw because that just changed. The Nats tagged Kershaw for 4-runs on their way to a 5-to-2 victory. Both bullpens looked shaky when they entered, but it was Sammy Solis who once again saved the Nats in relief. Brandon Kintzler and Sean Doolittle had 1-2-3 innings respectively for the hold and save making this ending a no-drama production in Tinseltown after guns were a-blazing early. Continue reading

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Game #20 features the aces of aces — the Cy’s of Cy’s in La La Land

When Rich Hill got scratched for tonight’s game, the Dodgers penciled in Clayton Kershaw to face Max Scherzer making this the match-up of the Cy Young winners of 2013 and the aces of all aces. Scherzer has won the last two Cy Young awards and in 2013 Scherzer was the AL winner while Kershaw took the honor in the NL that year. Each pitcher has earned 3 Cy Young’s a piece and will compete again this year for the honor. In the early race for ERA leaders, Scherzer is ranked 3rd and Kershaw is ranked 7th. This is a rare match-up indeed as it is only the 10th time in Major League history that two 3-time Cy Young winners have faced-off. Continue reading

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F1RST Residences’ banners above Nats Park are always creative!

If you’ve visited Nationals Park anytime since last season, or if you’ve watched games on television, you’ve probably noticed the banners on the top of a building across the street from the Centerfield Gates. Sporting slogans such as “Bob and FP 2020,” “October is coming,” and “We like our Ws Curly,” they have attracted a lot of attention from Nats fans and the MASN broadcast, and even the Nats beat writers will often mention what they say on Twitter. Continue reading

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Are You Ready for Robo-Umps?

When it comes to changing the rules of baseball, my foot is most often planted firmly in the “leave the game alone” camp. I was opposed to the no-pitch walk and the new slide rules (largely because they are confusing and unevenly enforced.) Pitch clocks, no. And I believe that Commissioner Rob Manfred’s latest suggestion that teams should be limited to one relief pitcher per inning late in the game is an egregious assault on manager strategy. Continue reading

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First 18-gamer of 2018: Happy to escape at 9-9

Lots of us would rather just forget the beginning of this season, so I’m almost reluctant to bring back the 18-gamers.  But here we are – exactly 1/9th of the way through the season, so it’s time to take a look back at the first 18 games of the 2018 season Continue reading

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A managing brain freeze throws this game away.

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On a night when Ryan Zimmerman hits 2 home runs and a triple, you have to win — right? Well, could have, should have, would have, if only. Ryan Madson is 37 2/3 years old with a lot of local mileage on his arm this week, and he had pitched the last two games in a row. Prior to the game, we wrote that we did not expect Madson and Brandon Kintzler to pitch in this game. Well, with a 4-to-2 Nats lead the first reliever used tonight was Ryan Madson and he imploded and departed with a blown save and the loss. Tanner Roark pitched a full 7.0 innings which meant in a regulation game — the bullpen would only have to cover 6 outs. We are not going to blame the loss on Ryan Madson who is a Tommy John survivor and turning 38 years old in August. This is on manager Dave Martinez to know his players. We have said it before including yesterday with Gio Gonzalez — know your players. Continue reading

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