Game #70 for #Nats in this time continuum

The Nationals just completed a win for their suspended game from May 15th with a Juan Soto game winning pinch-hit 2-run home run. Now, the Nationals must complete the rained-out game from May 16th with Erick Fedde starting for the Nationals and Sonny Gray for the Yankees in a match-up the Nationals saw last week in Yankees Stadium. Continue reading

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Game #43 Updated: Nationals and Yankees restart their 3-3 tie game in bottom of the 6th inning

With Ryan Zimmerman on the disabled list, he will not be able to walk-off on the Yankees in this regular season  (unless the game(s) is rescheduled due to weather) — but there are plenty of prognosticators who have predicted these two teams as possible World Series teams so don’t despair Zim — you could get your chance in October. Continue reading

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A weekend recap for the #Nats

Photo by LEGNats for TalkNats

A series to raise your blood pressure north of the border.

1) You checked the Jays record on Friday afternoon, their batting averages, their home run totals, their pitchers ERA’s knowing Max is pitching one of the games and you figure 2 out of 3 easy. The Nats got swept, and this weekend is now history. Continue reading

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Game #69 Nats in salvage mode in Toronto

Happy Father’s Day. It is quite obvious that the Nats offense went into hibernation. When a bear is woken up from their slumber, they can attack. The Nationals have been poked all weekend from the Blue Jays, and the Nats have not woken up yet. Could today be the day? Continue reading

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Down on the Farm, Take Two

Happy Father’s Day!

For those unfamiliar with the rhythm of the minor-league season, this is usually when first half ends for the “A” teams and roughly when the domestic “shorties” start up. The DSL just finished up its second week, but more on that in a bit.

Like I did a couple of months ago, I’ll take a few shots go level by level and make some observations, but this time I’ll go from south to north, foreign rookie to AAA.

The D-Nats are 9-4 and just one game off the pace in the DSL South (don’t get too excited, there are 44 teams in the DSL and just six make the playoffs). There are a lot of new names this year and they’re young: 23 were born in the year 2000 or later. This was true two years ago, too, so temper your expectations.

The GCL starts up tomorrow and with no PR staff and no local newspapers–sadly, only one of the five affiliates north of Florida has consistent local coverage, which is particularly sad because one of those affiliates is located in a capital city–we’re at the whims of what the Nationals deign important. Most of the 2018 Draft picks will play here at least for a little while until spots open up in Auburn and Hagerstown.

Opening Day was Friday and the roster is laden with IFAs and 2017 Draft picks. Some names we’re watching at include Israel Pineda, an 18-y.o. catcher; almost-18-y.o. Jose Sanchez, who played alongside Yasel Antuna and Luis Garcia in the GCL infield last summer, 18-y.o. OF Ricardo Mendez, and 19-y.o. LHP Nelson Galindez.

For the first time in several years, the Suns were an also-ran in the Sally Lg. North in the first half. It’s not hard to figure out why: the team’s pitching is 10th, 11th, or 12th in nearly every statistical category. The exception is Nick Raquet, who has been good but not great (but that’s sight-unseen). Antuna and Garcia have both been swinging the bat well when you consider they’re both 18 and three-plus years younger than the league average. Unfortunately, they’ve also combined for 29 errors (and last year’s 4th Rd. pick Cole Freeman has 10). Given the Nats’ proclivity toward collegiate picks, most of the non-IFAs are old for the level.

It’s an even year, so it’s de rigeur for the P-Nats to make the playoffs. As they’ve traditionally been, Potomac has roughly five players who are true prospects and a whole lot of 24- to 25-y.o.’s. Most folks know about Carter Kieboom, who needs more time in the minors even if the scouts by boxscore feel otherwise. An injury to Telmito Agustin has slowed an otherwise breakout season, but he could be back as soon as this Thursday. To be blunt, Blake Perkins has been a disappointment. Rhett Wiseman has been hitting the ball well, but at almost-24 and (in case you didn’t hear it the first 5,271 times) a product of the Vanderbilt program, he should be. Unfortunately, his fielding has dropped off dramatically. Much has been made of Wil Crowe‘s 9-0 record, which says more about how the team has scored an average of six runs per game for him. I’ve yet to see him dominate.

The Senators just saw a six-game win streak broken but they’ve been playing good baseball. The power that made Daniel Johnson a breakout prospect last summer has fallen off considerably, but he’s still getting on base, stealing more than a few, and fielding well. Kelvin Gutierrez and Drew Ward are also having decent years, with the latter finally shifted to his proper position at 1B. Who’s the next Justin Miller? It might be Kyle McGowin who’s racked up 52K’s in 37⅔ IP in his fourth season at AA, as it appears he’s vastly improved his slider.

The Chiefs have averaged 82 losses the past three seasons and for the first six weeks of the season, it looked like a +.500 season might be possible. Instead, they’ve been “working” hard to revert to the mean with eight straight losses (and counting). With the usual slew of injuries, most folks are aware of the stockpile of replacement-level players, with the possible exception of Yadiel Hernandez who’s cooled off considerably in June after tearing up the E.L. in April and May. Much as it pains me to write it, both Jose “Orange” Marmolejos nor Austin Voth could be DFA’d if/when the time comes.

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Tim Cate will soon be a top Washington Nationals’ prospect!

While it was no secret that the Nationals were targeting Mason Denaburg with their first pick, the Tim Cate pick in the second round was not a certainty because the Yankees and Red Sox were picking right before the Nationals. Tim Cate is from that gray area in Manchester, Connecticut where you’re either a Red Sox family or a Yankees family. Those teams have the close geography to scout northeastern players easily. Continue reading

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Game #68 Scherzer takes the mound again in Toronto!

Photo by LEGNats for TalkNats

When Max Scherzer was with the Detroit Tigers, the short trip to Toronto was one he looked forward to since he has had his best games in his career there for an American League ballpark. In his previous four career starts in Toronto, he is 3-and-0 and a 1.98 ERA. That mark in Toronto is almost a full point better than pitching in Kansas City which is Scherzer’s second best AL city where his career ERA is 2.97. Continue reading

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Bryce Harper celebrates Father’s Day in style honoring his dad Ron Harper!

For several years now, Major League baseball has been honoring fathers on Father’s Day with special apparel like the baby-blue caps and the blue ribbons attached to the jerseys. Bryce Harper has “POPS” tattooed on the inside of his right wrist as a permanent way to honor his father, Ron Harper, every day of the year. Their bond as Bryce says is very special. Continue reading

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Game #67 Nats go Nord des Lignes for a weekend series

Every six years, the Nationals are scheduled to play a series in Canada where the Washington Nationals roots originated from their Montreal Expos lineage. The last time the Nationals were in Toronto six years ago a media person asked a 19-year-old Bryce Harper the infamous “Clown Question.” Will Juan Soto be asked the same six years later? Stay tuned. When Ian Desmond left for free agency, he was the last of the Expos drafted players. Even in 2004, the fans and players knew the end was near. Ian Desmond was told that when they drafted him.  Continue reading

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Juan Soto powers the win with a shutdown bullpen!

On a wing and a prayer with the Nats losing 3-to-1, Juan Soto hit a 45° wedge to the opposite field and the wind carried it 338 feet to the first row for a 3-run home run and a 4-to-3 lead. You have to see it to believe it. Off the bat, it looked like a can-of-corn fly-out. Unfortunately, the Nats spot starter Erick Fedde who was called up today gave up a home run that tied the game. Then in the 7th inning,  Juan Soto obliterated a baseball that flew 436 feet to an area that baseballs just don’t go. It was the game winner and set the final score at 5-to-4 — and the story does not end there as the bullpen had to hold that 1-run lead. The combination of Justin Miller, Sammy Solis, Ryan Madson, and Sean Doolittle (17th save) threw a combined 3-inning shutout to secure the win credited to Justin Miller. Continue reading

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