Rick Ankiel wrote a book that is a must-read!

When I told Steve “The Ghost” last week that my copy of The Phenomenon by Rick Ankiel had shipped and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive, he said he’d love a book review when I was done reading it. I told him that sounded great, although I couldn’t promise I could get him something anytime soon, as I’m the slowest reader imaginable, and I’m generally so exhausted after work that the idea of reading puts me to sleep. A few minutes later, he told me someone else might beat me to that review. Probably for the best, I thought. When I was halfway through the book, I sent him a message saying that, even if someone else beat me to it, I’d still love to write up my own review. He told me that would be fine.

Now, approximately 32 hours after I started the book (32 hours that included Caps and Nats games, a full day of work plus a lengthy DMV commute, and some semblance of sleep in between those things), I’m finished and I’m full of feelings and thoughts, so much so that I don’t even know where or how to start this, but I know I want to find a way to put words to paper. Continue reading

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Game #24 without Adam Eaton, #Nats must move forward

After the leg injury to Adam Eaton last night, the Washington Nationals will move Eaton to the disabled-list, and Rafael Bautista will be called up to take his roster spot. It is unknown at this time who will actually be the primary centerfielder. The Nationals could move Trea Turner back to centerfield and Wilmer Difo back to shortstop or go with Michael Taylor or just hand the spot to Rafael Bautista who impressed during spring training.

The 24-year-old right-handed Bautista was signed out of the Dominican Republic at the age of 18 for $350,000. Here is what Bautista’s statistics look like: Last 10 games at Triple-A Syracuse was batting .326 with an overall slash of .291/.325/.354/.680. Bautista is a singles hitter who uses his legs to stretch singles into doubles. Last year at Double-A Harrisburg, he stole 56 bases while being caught 10 times. This year, Bautista’s speed game at Triple-A has not been good. At Syracuse, Bautista has only stolen 3 bases and has also been caught stealing 3 times. Maybe the cold Syracuse weather has played a factor in his speed game. Continue reading

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#Nats lose Adam Eaton to an apparent leg injury; Lose game 7-5

Graphic for TalkNats by JJgraphics38 on Instagram and Twitter.

There just isn’t much to say after we all witnessed an apparent leg injury to Adam Eaton. Our thoughts and prayers to Adam Eaton and hopes for a speedy recovery.

If you missed what happened, in the bottom of the 9th inning Adam Eaton ran out an infield tapper and as he stretched to touch first base his left ankle turned and he tumbled to the ground in pain. Eaton exited the game and was carried off of the field while not putting any weight on his left leg. Of course Eaton was safe at first to load the bases with no outs in the 9th inning. Unfortunately, Eaton’s teammates were in such shock from the injury, they could not score. Continue reading

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Game #23 The #Nats are back home; Mets in town for weekend series

The boys are back in town as the lyrics read. The Nationals return home after a 9-1 road trip that was the most successful in Nationals history. Dusty Baker like the fictional Gordon Gekko wanted to go for it all. “Greed captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit” — Gekko said in the movie Wall Street. Why not be greedy and think about a 10-0 road trip? Dusty always wants the perfect road trip. Dusty came as close as you can come to 10-0.

“Every road trip I always think about having the perfect road trip,” Dusty Baker said. “Thinking about 10-0. I say that to myself all the time. I don’t know if we’ve ever had one, but that’s what you yearn for.”

Managers can generally be greedy, but not when it comes to resting your players. The Mets did not put Yoenis Cespedes on the disabled list a week ago with a sore hamstring like the Nationals did with Trea Turner earlier in the month. Those non-moves usually come back to bite you, and sure enough Cespedes pulled his left hamstring when he wasn’t even running hard in their game yesterday.  Cespedes was officially placed on the 10-day DL this afternoon. Continue reading

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Half St. and other #Nats fans invaded Coors Field for an historic series!

My brother Tom met me in St. Louis three years ago to celebrate my 50th birthday, and I was almost two years late in choosing a city in which we were going to celebrate his 50th. We had almost settled on Montreal, when he pointed out that we always see a baseball game when we get together. I happily looked to see which teams were in town this week, and saw that not only were the Rockies playing in Denver, but the Nats were their opponent! Having established the no-brainer solution, we agreed he would fly from Detroit and meet me in the Mile High City. Here are my impressions of Coors Field from our trip there for Wednesday’s Nats victory. Continue reading

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What is so different about this 2017 line-up? #Nats take top spot in MLB Power Rankings!

Ryan Zimmerman from the @Nationals Twitter

In the most recent MLB Power Rankings on Tuesday morning after the Nationals were just beat the night before by the Rockies, the Nats were ranked #1 in the MLB rankings of best teams. How could that be with the beleaguered bullpen? As a matter of fact, here is the USA Today rankings and the Sports Illustrated rankings. They all have the Nats. The bandwagon has loaded up for the Nats!

Evidently, the fans are worried more than the evaluators. Those rankings by MLB.com were also done before the Nationals scored 42 runs combined on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

The Nationals starting pitchers are identical to last years with Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, and Joe Ross. Much of the bullpen is the same with Oliver Perez, Blake Treinen, Shawn Kelley, Sammy Solis, and Koda Glover. Even the bench looks the same except for Adam Lind. Continue reading

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The Nationals take a happy flight back to D.C. on the wings of a 9-1 road trip!

Thr Nationals scored 16 runs in this game, but it wasn’t a laugher in the bottom of the 6th inning when the score was 4-2 in favor of the Nationals.

In winning this game, the Nationals set their best mark for a 10 game road trip going 9-1, and the only loss was to these Rockies in the first game of the series. The Rockies entered Tuesday’s game with the best record in the National League, and the Nationals grabbed back the best record with winning the last 3 games from the Rockies. The Nationals 11 run 7th inning was their highest scoring inning in their history. The Nationals 16-6 start to the season is the best in Washington D.C. baseball history since 1932. Continue reading

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Game #22 The last game of this road trip; Gio gets the finale in an Au Revoir to Denver;

This 10-day east coast to Colorado road trip with a sleep deprivation-type of scheduling of game times is over for now. Gio Gonzalez is on the mound today, and since he speaks some French now, we say in his honor our au revoir to Denver after this game. The awful weather that looked like a scene from a Denver Broncos winter football game will be in the past. The next western swings for the Nats will be part of 3 separate trips in warmer weather at the end of May through June 7th and then again July 18th to July 23rd , and finishing up with a San Diego trip on August 17th to the 20th. The Rockies hope the Nats will be back this year which would signify that they made the post-season as this is the final regular season game for the Nationals in Colorado.

Dusty Baker will be sitting the struggling Anthony Rendon, and also the red-hot Ryan Zimmerman in a wise move to keep him rested and ready. The Nationals also reinstated Stephen Strasburg back from the paternity list and optioned Matt Grace back to Triple-A Syracuse. Continue reading

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Blake Perkins pulled off the rare walk-off in both ends of a doubleheader!

Blake Perkins (#2) mobbed at home plate after launching game-winning, three-run homer in the opening game of Sunday’s doubleheader with Delmarva. (Photo courtesy: Patrick Cavey)

If you followed what happened Sunday at the Hagerstown Suns doubleheader, you know that Blake Perkins had a walk-off 3-run home run in the first game of their doubleheader, and a walk-off single in the second game of the doubleheader. That is a rare feat at any level, and it was Perkins’ first walk-offs he has had at any level.

In the 2015 amateur draft, the Nationals chose two speedy and athletic center fielders in the 2nd round. One was Andrew Stevenson out of LSU and the other was Blake Perkins out of Verrado High School near Glendale, Arizona. The curious part to many Nationals fans is how Blake Perkins went from a right-handed hitter to a switch-hitter as an 18-year-old who only batted lefty one game as part of a high school pact among teammates that they would all bat lefty in their final game. Continue reading

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5 Guys Boomers & Long Flies! #Nats

The Washington Nationals just lengthened their lead in the NL East as the first 5 batters in the Nationals batting order fattened their stats, and Trea Turner finished a triple shy of another cycle. Bryce Harper was a perfect 4-for-4 with a walk, and Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy have stayed hot.

The Nationals’ 7 game winning streak ended on Monday, and a new streak could have started with 2 in a row. Tomorrow’s afternoon game will determine if this 4-game series was won by the Nats or split as they are up 2-1 now.

Tanner Roark threw 104 pitches over 5 innings. He struggled in a 41-pitch 5th inning and Dusty Baker let him keep pitching even after three straight walks which led to 2 runs scored.

With the Astros loss tonight, the Nationals own the best record in baseball as they improve to 15-6 on the season.  The Nationals have also bested their record from a year ago when they were 14-7 after 21 games played.

“I love speed,” Dusty Baker said. “Speed that can hit is really speed. Speed that can’t hit is just speed. I like to hit first then show you speed.”

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