Nats score 5 runs which is not enough as Strasburg gives up 6 in 4 2/3

The first game out of the All-Star break did not start off well as the Nationals lost 8-5 to the rival Braves. The Nationals offense did their part as they scored 5-runs while the Nationals pitchers did not. Stephen Strasburg was not sharp and exited with a final line of 4.2 IP 6 ER and that’s all you need to know. Strasburg exited in the 5th inning and had words in the dugout with Max Scherzer. Yes, Stras is intense and so is Max Scherzer. No big deal with that as the big deal was the “L” which pushed the Nats to 1 game under .500.  Continue reading

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Game #97 Baseball is back; Stras is back!

Photo by LEGNats for TalkNats

As the official second half of the season starts tonight for 28 teams, the Nationals have a golden opportunity to make up ground in the NL East as they will face the rival Atlanta Braves for a 3-game weekend if the weather allows. The Nationals get back two pitchers today off of the disabled list. Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound tonight after clearing out shoulder inflammation, and Sean Doolittle will remain on the DL with a toe injury. As expected, Ryan Zimmerman returns from the 60-day DL. The corresponding moves for them are fairly straightforward as Trevor Gott was returned already to Triple-A Syracuse and Wander Suero will head back so Zimmerman can return. Continue reading

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Top Ten Ways To Improve All-Star Week(end)

Top Ten Ways To Improve All-Star Week(end)

My 10-year-old and I had a blast this week at the All-Star festivities. We went to the All-Star Fanfest twice and to all three days of games (Futures, HR Derby, All-Star game) at Nationals Park. We also went to Miami last year for that All-Star game and are starting to plan to go to Cleveland next year for their All-Star game. The All-Star week is so much fun for us hard-core fans. Continue reading

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The Dog Days: Baseball’s Prime Time

The Dog Days of Summer are Here

About a month after the summer solstice the atmosphere gets with the program the sun has been laying down.  It gets hot, humid, and stays that way.  Life slows down just a little.  It has been that way for as long as there has been recorded history.  The Greeks and Romans noted that the start of the really infernal heat coincided with the appearance of the star Sirius in the East rising just before the sun.  Sirius is the brightest stellar magnitude star in the sky, outshining the planet Mercury.  It is located in the constellation Canis Majoris, hence the nickname, “Dog Star.”  The prevailing theory was that Sirius added to the heat and misery. The Ancients called this period, starting on July 19, the “Dog Days.”  It has been used and modified over time to mean anytime it is really hot.  But, July 19 to August 20 is the time period ascribed in many traditional interpretations.  It also happens to be baseball’s Prime Time. Continue reading

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Let The Games Begin!

Nationals pitching ERA year-to-date

The Washington Nationals limped into the All-Star break quite badly. The last 11 games against 3 teams who won’t come near the playoffs ended with a disappointing 6 – 5 record due to poor starting pitching. Once the strength of the team, the starting pitching which was in shambles for weeks stabilized somewhat with a return to form of Jeremy Hellickson and a decent performance by Gio Gonzalez. Continue reading

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Multiple opinions on Bryce Harper’s future after his magical night in HR Derby in DC

Photo by MLB; Bryce Harper with Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner

On Monday night, Nationals fans fell back in love with Bryce Harper who is the soon-to-be free agent slugger mired in a protracted funk for months for the Washington Nationals. Harper made his adopted city proud as he put on a power display that was nothing short of what you would expect from “The Natural” which is a fictional movie about Roy Hobbs who obliterates baseballs into the stratosphere for long home runs. Bryce at the age of 16 was dubbed the “Chosen One” for a Sports Illustrated cover and SI was probably correct in terms of baseball marketing where Harper excels. Continue reading

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A Curious History of Washington D.C. All-Star games

This year’s All Star Game will mark the fifth time that the exhibition game has been played in Washington.  There is plenty of history involved.  A listing of players involved in the games played here is long and loaded with Hall of Famers. The games themselves were not particularly classics.  But, they have provided some food for thought as we await the first pitch. Continue reading

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Nats at the break 48-48

Sunday Nats

Photo by Laura Peebles for TalkNats

Nats at the break

There is no question that the Nats are very far from being out of contention. The teams they are chasing are proving to be very flawed and they could be caught by a team with superior talent such as the Nationals if the Washington team plays up to its potential. Continue reading

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Dave Martinez did not forget how to do his job!

Photo for TalkNats

It was nice during yesterday’s game that I could write something “positive” about Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez and his strategies he put in place in the finale before the All-Star break. It all worked.  It has been a while for Davey that he could genuinely smile in a game. When you’re winning, it’s all fun — and you can look like a genius. When you’re losing, you look like the village idiot at times. Yesterday, he really pulled out all the stops. Whether it was Matt Wieters bunting or going with Daniel Murphy off the bench early to pinch-hit for starting centerfielder Michael A. Taylor — it worked.  What worked was execution. If Wieters does not get the bunt down or Murphy strikes out, the pitchforks are back out. Continue reading

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#Nats move into the All-Star break with a W

The Nationals are back to .500 and 5½ games out of 1st place. It’s not where they wanted to be, but the alternatives could have been worse for a team that was struck by multiple key injuries along with a slumping Bryce Harper and a month and a half of poor starting pitching from Tanner Roark and Gio Gonzlalez. In addition, rookie manager Dave Martinez had come under fire for his managerial style.

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