The Nats were built for marathons and short sprints; Officially eliminated, what’s next?

Photo by Laura Peebles for TalkNats

You probably heard that the Washington Nationals were officially eliminated from the postseason late last night. Not a shocker at all when you start a 60-game season at 19-31.

The next time you see the Washington Nationals after Sunday, it will probably be Mike Rizzo and his manager standing behind a batting cage at one of the practice fields at the FITTEAM spring training complex in West Palm Beach, Florida. While we expect that manager to be Dave Martinez — it is not official at this point in time.

The roster is a huge question mark going into 2021 in terms of turnover and the budget and who Rizzo will target for acquisitions. We know who is under team control for next year, but some of those players could be let go either under declined options, non-tenders, DFA or trades.  Continue reading

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Game #56 Nats will say goodbye to the Phillies

Goodbye Phillies

The Nats placed Carter Kieboom on the 10-day IL which ends his season, and Trea Turner was scratched after he was in the original lineup. We have no idea if Turner was a healthy scratch or if there was an injury or sickness that caused the scratch.

Turner, along with Juan Soto will get MVP votes although neither will win the award even though either player could win the batting crown as they rank in the Top-3 along with Freddie Freeman. On top of that, Soto is well-ahead in the OPS rankings. Trea is in a small group of the 10/10 Club comprised of players with at least 10 home runs and at least 10 stolen bases. Continue reading

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Two friends from Triple-A Fresno bonded together for an unforgettable night!

Yadiel Hernandez hit the walk-off home run on an inside cutter: Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

We wrote about how Luis Garcia‘s family friend could not watch his MLB debut because the Hilton Hotel across from Camden Yards was closed due to COVID, and this has been a plight on families for the most part to watch their loved ones in their debuts — a long tradition snuffed out by COVID. But Leslie Espino got creative and went to the roof of the Hampton Inn hotel across the street from Nationals Park and was able to secure spots on the rooftop as the the only way to watch her husband, Paolo Espino, make his Washington Nationals debut. Leslie took Lisandra Hernandez, who is the wife of the 32-year-old rookie Yadiel Hernandez, with her. Of course it was Hernandez who hit the dramatic walk-off home run to win the game. Continue reading

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Paolo Espino pitches and Yadiel Hernandez walk-off on the Phillies!

Paolo Espino‘s wife (left) and Yadiel Hernandez‘s wife (right) got to watch their husbands; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

A 33-year-old callup started the second game of this doubleheader, and a rookie callup who will be 33 in 2 weeks hit a 2-run walkoff home run to lift the Washington Nationals to a doubleheader sweep over the Phillies. Yadiel Hernandez is the oldest player in Major League history to hit a walkoff home run as his first career home run according to STATS Perform. Continue reading

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Game #55 Nats go for the doubleheader sweep with Paolo Espino

Austin Voth sign; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Nats pitched Austin Voth in the first game of today’s doubleheader against Aaron Nola. With the Nats as deep underdogs, it was Voth who threw the complete game gem in the abbreviated 7.0 inning game in which the Nats went wire to wire with a 5-1 victory. Continue reading

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Game #54 is the first game of a doubleheader (Yes, the 3rd DH in 5 days)

Andrew Stevenson gets another start; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

The Washington Nationals have never been subjected to three doubleheaders in five days, but many of them played those in travel tournaments in their youth. One thing the MLB schedulers did not do was plan enough open days on the calendar just in case there were postponements. The Nationals were once again out of “spot” pitchers as both Wil Crowe and Ben Braymer have pitched in the last two doubleheaders, and Crowe pitched just 4 days ago and will be available out of the bullpen at the 29th man for this doubleheader.

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The Nats are doing their best to be a spoiler and take this game from the Phillies!

Bryce Harper strikes out on the splitter in the dirt as Anibal Sanchez finishes his outing; Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to win a baseball game, and the Washington Nationals had luck on their side in this one. Starter Anibal Sanchez gave up 4 hits and 4 walks over 5.0 innings on 105 pitches, and he bent but did not break. The only run that scored came off of a balk, and with the tying run on second base he threw the splitter to strikeout Bryce Harper who had an 0-fer and 3 K’s in the game.

The Nats bullpen was almost flawless. They covered 4.0 innings and held the Phillies scoreless in this 5-1 win. With the injury to Tanner Rainey, manager Dave Martinez threw Wander Suero in the 6th inning, Kyle Finnegan in the 7th inning, Will Harris in the 8th inning, and Daniel Hudson closed it out.  Continue reading

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Game #53 Phillies in town for the first of four games

Photo by Sol Tucker for TalkNats

Even in what has been a stressful and somewhat of an underachieving season for the Washington Nationals, there are many bright spots. As the sample sizes become full season stats in this 60-game season, it is evident that Juan Soto is among the best players in the Majors and Trea Turner is not far behind him. Luis Garcia is batting .318 and playing a premium position at second place, and in a group of the best rookies this season.

While Soto, Turner, and Garcia won’t win the main awards because they are playing for a losing team, they are bright spots in this dismal season. Soto leads the Majors in OPS and leads the NL in batting average and Turner is not too far behind him. Garcia is 20 and in comparison to Alec Bohm who is 24, and Jake Cronenworth who is 26, there is no comparison that Garcia is playing better ball at his age than either of them were at the same point in their lives. Continue reading

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The Nats score 15 in this one and are now a 20-game winner! Braymer with a one-hitter!

Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

On the day, the Nats scored 16-runs — 1 in the first game of the doubleheader and 15 in the second game of the doubleheader. The Nats gave up no earned runs today, and Ben Braymer won his first career start by a final score of 15-0. Continue reading

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Game #52 is the end of the road for the Nats

Nats stock photo

When you get an opportunity, take advantage as they say. Ben Braymer gets the start in this second game of the doubleheader giving him a chance to show that he belongs.

The first game of this doubleheader was as good as advertised with Max Scherzer and Sandy Alcantara pitching to their spots all game. It was Scherzer who was victimized for two unearned runs leading to the loss. Continue reading

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