A conflict of interest may exist with Sean Doolittle

Photo by Marlene Koenig for Talknats

Last night, Nationals’closer Sean Doolittle was back on the mound — again — and he once again caused Nats fans to reach for Zestril, Maalox, and bourbon after he walked the Brewers lead-off hitter on four pitches — none of which were close while the reigning MVP, Christian Yelich, stood twenty feet away in the on-deck circle. Doo earned his 28th save in heart thumping style to preserve a 2-1 win for his team. The circuitous road to that 28th save includes five painful blown saves and four excruciating losses.  Continue reading

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Exceptional pitching and Turner scores 2-runs from Rendon RISP magic!

This was one of those signature wins from the Nats who only had 3-hits and no home runs yet they scored the only two runs they needed to win this one behind some small ball along with some exceptional pitching by starter Patrick Corbin, Daniel Hudson, Hunter Strickland, and closer Sean Doolittle. The Nationals won this game by a final score of 2-1 which left no margin for error in a game that the Brewers seemed to have runners on-base most of the night — because they did in every inning except the second inning. The Brewers got a 7-inning gem from Adrian Houser, and the Nats won this one off of the Brewers bullpen after Trea Turner worked a lead-off walk then took second base on an Adam Eaton bunt and scored on an Anthony Rendon double much the same way the Nats scored their first run of the game thanks to Turner and Rendon.

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Game #121 Corbin gets the start to this weekend series against the Brewers!

Photo by Navy Yard Nats for TalkNats

After a well-deserved Thursday of rest, the Washington Nationals are back to the field today to start a three game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers. The home team will send Patrick Corbin to the mound, and the visitors have the right-handed Adrian Houser as their starting pitcher. We should find out how the Nationals will line up their rotation if Max Scherzer is ready to come off of the 10-day IL and pitch on this weekend after he was scheduled to pitch a bullpen session yesterday.  Continue reading

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The analysis of the postseason picture for the Washington Nationals

There is no team that has mathematically clinched a playoff spot including the Los Angeles Dodgers who are an absolute lock statistically, and the Atlanta Braves have put themselves in an enviable spot that all they need to do is go 20-20 to win 92 games. The Nationals, in order to win 92 games, would need to go 27-15 which is a tall order given the remaining schedule. If the Braves go 22-18 they would win 94 games, and the Nationals would have to go 29-13 which would seem improbable — but possible if they sweep five more series and play one game over .500 in the rest or sweep the remaining seven games against the Braves. Continue reading

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A 4-inning pitcher’s duel turns into a bloodbath as Nats score 10 in the 5th for the win!

Photo by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats

This game had the look of a classic pitcher’s duel between Stephen Strasburg and Trevor Bauer as they went to the bottom of the fifth inning in a 1-1 game. Both runs were scored without a hit, and this game looked like the next mistake by either team could be the difference in the game. But the bottom of the fifth inning would change everything with one out and Stephen Strasburg up to bat with 2 strikes and runners on third and second base, the former Silver Slugger served a forehand over the second baseman to score one run to make it a 2-1 game as the wheels were about to come off. The Nats then hit a single, Adam Eaton 3-run home run, Anthony Rendon solo home run, single, walk, and finally a pitching change at a 7-1 game. The Nats continued to roll and finished the inning at 11-1 while putting 9 earned runs on Bauer’s ledger in 4 1/3 innings. That 10-run fifth inning set a record for these 2019 Nationals for runs scored in one inning.  Continue reading

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Game #120 Strasburg closes out this series

Photo by Lynn G for TalkNats

How quickly things change in baseball. On Saturday, many Nats fans were on the ledge after two consecutive losses to the Mets and facing reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom this next day with the possibility of being behind the Mets in the Wild Card chase. The Nats beat deGrom’s Mets on that day and now the Nats have won three-in-a-row and six of their last eight games, and the Mets have now dropped two straight. Continue reading

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Joe Ross continues his dominance; Robles defense, bullpen, and Soto/Dozier are keys to Nats win!

Joe Ross could be the spot starter on Saturday

For the third game in a row, Joe Ross dominated and while his shutout streak ended at 18 innings, he finished tonight with 6 2/3 innings of one run baseball with help from his defense as Victor Robles for the second night in a row had a key outfield assist which is tied for tops in the Majors at nine. Daniel Hudson came in for a 4-out save, and Hunter Strickland and Wander Suero threw a 2 1/3 inning shutout. The offense was courtesy of the speed of Robles to score the first run on a non-force play doubleplay along with solo home runs by Juan Soto and Brian Dozier for a Nats 3-1 win. Continue reading

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Game #119 Joe Ross wants to do it again!

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

Baseball sometimes defies logic. Statistics and trends are the predictors for what a baseball player will do now, and Joe Ross broke the computer modeling. He put together back-to-back zero run games in Arizona where the ball was flying and in San Francisco where the ball was dying, and now this new version of “Joe Cool” wants to continue to defy logic and prove that those who gave up on him were wrong. While the analytics people are converting sinkerballers to four-seamers, Ross has bucked that trend in his previous two starts while mixing up his pitch mix between his sinker, two-seam swingback, four-seamer,  hard slider, soft breaker (curve/slurve), and a changeup. That is six distinct looks he is now throwing, and it is a total role reversal of what he was doing before where his fastballs were getting hit like a nightmare scene from a Home Run Derby.  Continue reading

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Fedde holds his own while the bullpen almost gives it back; Trea puts 4 on the board!

The Washington Nationals won this game by a final score of 7-6, but it should have been a blow-out win. Starting pitcher Erick Fedde went 6.0 innings only giving up 2-runs and departed with a 6-2 lead which almost fully evaporated in the bullpen. Fortunately Trea Turner‘s 3-run home run and RBI single in the 7th inning made the difference in the end. The first batter of the game ambushed Fedde on the first pitch of the game for an oppo home run, and Fedde settled down after that with some help of his defense. It also helped that he had a lead to work with after Matt Adams hit a 2-run home in the first inning. Continue reading

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Game #118 Nats are back home to start a series with the Reds

Photo by Marlene Koenig for TalkNats

The Nationals are finally back home after a long road trip that started out west and finished with some emotional games in New York. The Reds enter Nats Park for a 3-game series, and there will be a slightly different look for both of these teams on their rosters. Gone via a trade is Yasiel Puig, and Derek Dietrich is on the 10-day IL, and called-up is Aristides Aquino. If you do not know Aquino, let’s just say he has 14 career hits and half of those are home runs. The 25-year-old Dominican is playing in Puig’s old spot. The Nationals will send Erick Fedde to the mound, and in the pitcher’s meeting this afternoon, they need to figure out how to pitch to Aquino. Continue reading

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