Game #48 has the #Nats going up against another lefty!

Photo from Nationals Instagram

The Nationals have been seeing a whole lot of lefties lately. Tonight, they are scheduled against Eric Lauer who was the 25th pick of the Padres in 2016 out of Kent State. Lauer’s debut a month ago was not great and righties have been torching him to a 10.13 ERA. The soft-tossing lefty has fared well against lefties. Overall he has an 8.14 ERA and a 2.10 WHIP and he will walk a batter if they work the count and show patience. Continue reading

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Ten thoughts after a crazy week for the #Nats

What a crazy week?

1) The top 3 issues for the Nats right now are: A) Injuries B) Injuries C) Injuries.

2) I was convinced before this week that the Nats will win the division comfortably. I haven’t changed my mind. Of course at this rate of injuries, all bets are off and if we can’t get somewhat healthy, we won’t make the playoffs. Continue reading

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Soto — So Good! 19-year-old’s first MLB hit was a 3-run HR!!!!

In most games where you have a 3-for-5 night from a player with 2 home runs like Mark Reynolds, we would be writing the accolades about that player, and instead, we have to talk about Juan Soto who got his first MLB hit which was also his first home run on the first pitch he saw in his first start. It was a 3-run home run and the game-winning RBIs. Continue reading

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Game #47 Nats have first of three game series with Padres

Yes, it is Gio Gonzalez‘s day at Nationals Park

Today is a new day, and the one thing that seems to be staying the same is roster moves. The Nationals made two more roster moves in the last 24-hours as they moved Ryan Madson to the 10-Day DL retroactive to May 17th with a pectoral muscle strain. In place of Madson, the Nationals call-up lefty Tim Collins from Triple-A Syracuse and to make room for him on the 40-man roster, they have moved Howie Kendrick to the 60-day DL.  Continue reading

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And the envelope: The Nats best clutch hitter is….Max Scherzer!

For a batter to hit just every five days, you would expect they would get a little rusty. For Max Scherzer, he has found his groove. While his sample size is very small, his batting average is impressive especially with runners in scoring position. The fourth and final run the Natioanls produced on Sunday night was from an RBI single from Scherzer that stood until the 9th inning as the game-winning RBI until a blown-save ruined the night. Not only is Max Scherzer looking like the man for all seasons, he needs to start getting some pinch-hit appearances. Continue reading

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The Nationals led at one point in this game also; Lose 7-2

The Dodgers got the broom out and swept the Washington Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg had a 2-1 lead at one point and exited with a 3-2 deficit at the 6 2/3 mark in the game. The Nationals offense just could not put much together except a 2-run home run from Trea Turner. The Nationals managed 4-hits on the day and 3-walks. Manager Dave Martinez noticed the obvious that certainly players were swinging at balls out of the zone and had walks they could have taken. One of those was Michael Taylor who had one at-bat that he swung at 3 out of the zone.  Continue reading

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Game #46 brings another roster shuffle in a salvage game; Juan Soto called up!

Juan Soto in Spring Training after his 1st home run for the Nationals

Since the beginning of the season through yesterday, the Washington Nationals have been involved in 57 different roster moves which included many procedural transactions — but too many moves to the dreaded disabled list. It has been head spinning keeping up with all of the roster comings and goings. The Nationals will make three more roster moves today including promoting 19-year-old Juan Soto to the active roster which is now official with Moises Sierra DFA’d and Jefry Rodriguez optioned back to Double-A. Now we are at 60 roster moves for the regular season with many more to come.

A month ago, Soto was punishing South Atlantic League pitchers in Low-A before a promotion to the Carolina League High-A with the Potomac Nationals before his recent short stint with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators. Continue reading

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Blown save gut punch; Get ’em tomorrow #Nats

The Nationals were being no-hit through the 5th inning and then in the bottom of the 6th inning the Nationals exploded for 4-runs to take a 4-2 lead in the nightcap of this doubleheader. Instead of going to the bullpen for the top of the 7th inning, Max Scherzer came out for one more inning and dominated to finish up his night at 121 pitches. Scherzer had not pitched for 8-days due to days-off and rainouts.

This game started with Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill removed after just 2 pitches with a blister and then watched the Dodgers bullpen no-hit the Nationals for 5 innings. The Nationals woke up in the 6th inning, and this is why you play to the end. The bleak start and poor weather seemed to go together on this day along with more injury news for the Nationals who lost Howie Kendrick for the season. When the Nationals offense exploded in the 6th inning it charged some electricity into a Nationals Park in the gloomy weather with the 4-run inning.

When the Nationals bullpen took the ball for the 8th inning, it was Sammy Solis not Ryan Madson or Brandon Kintzler who got the start to the inning against a tough switch-hitting Grandal and then the lefty Bellinger. When Solis came in, it was Kintzler not Madson who warmed up. Solis gave back 1-run on a missed location fastball to cut the Nationals lead to 4-to-3 before Kintzler was called in to finish the inning before heading to the bottom of the 8th inning. Ryan Madson never got up at all in this game. Where was Madson I asked during the game? Was something wrong with him? It was possible as Nationals radio voice Charlie Slowes said that maybe Madson was not available.

The Nationals offense other than the 6th inning would not score the remainder of the game. It was closer Sean Doolittle who would get the ball for the the 9th inning to face the Dodgers bottom of the order. Doo could not strikeout the first 2 hitters who he had in 2-strike counts and both got hits — one line drive hit and one bloop and they both look like line drives in the boxscore. With no outs, Matt Kemp entered to pinch-hit and promptly smacked a double for the game winner and Doolittle’s first blown save in ten save opportunities.

“This was just a great, competitive ballgame from both teams,” Scherzer said. “We did a good job of competing. We were down early, found a way to rally, scored and got the lead. They competed and found a way to win the game.”

Like Max Scherzer, many members of the bullpen had not pitched in seven or eight days. There was a lot of rust and this was a fear with the roster. Losing the nightcap was a gut punch after the effort of Scherzer and the 6th inning offense.

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Game #45 A Max Scherzer rematch with ex-Nats farmhand Rich Hill

Photo by Warning Track Power for TalkNats

In game two of this doubleheader, the Nationals enter the game with new uncertainty as Howie Kendrick suffered an apparent injury to his lower leg. Kendrick will certainly head to the disabled list but who do they call up as Rafael Bautista blew-out his knee in a Triple-A game, and the 40-man roster is thin on position players with Brian Goodwin, Victor Robles, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Wieters, and Jhonatan Solano all on the DL. There are no other pure outfielders remaining on the 40-man roster, however Matt Reynolds has been playing in the outfield. Continue reading

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Game #43, 44, 45 was postponed yesterday; Doubleheader today (hopefully)!

Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

After another postponement of Game #44, we will try again for 2:05 pm this afternoon at Nationals Park. The weather radar looks iffy at best until late afternoon so this will be a wait and see when the first game of this scheduled doubleheader takes place. The good news is the weather report looks good for the entire evening and all of Sunday which should see some sunshine tomorrow. Continue reading

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