The Washington Nationals (43-34) came intoTuesday’s contest winners of eight of their last nine games facing off against the Atlanta Braves (36-41), who had lost five of their last six. Odds were in the Nationals favor that things would turn out well. Free-agent-to-be Jordan Zimmermann took the hill against the Braves’ de facto ace Shelby Miller, who has racked up a 1.94 ERA and 1.017 WHIP to open his 2015 account. It would be the Nationals who would have the last laugh as they claimed a 6-1 decision. Continue reading…
We’ll discuss the week in Nationals’ news, including Max Scherzer‘s continued awesomeness, Stephen Strasburg‘s post-disabled list success, and a whole lot of listener questions from you fine people on Twitter. Feel free to chime in by tweeting @TheNatsBlogJoe and @CraigMac.
Fan favorite, team leader and pending free agent Ian Desmond has had the exact definition of a nightmare season. Following his second straight Silver Slugger award in 2014, general manager Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals front office offered the franchise shortstop a deal that would keep him in a Nationals jersey for the rest of his productive years. However, citing reasons of fairness and equality for future generations, Desmond turned down the reported 7-year, $107 million contract, seemingly assuring that he would test the free agent waters this coming offseason. And to say that things have not gone his way so far this season would be an understatement, as he has produced a meager .225/.269/.356 slash line while committing 17 errors (eight of which came in the team’s first 12 games).
Washington Nationals manager Matt Williams added suspense to game two of Sunday’s doubleheader by waiting until immediately after game one to announce that Tanner Roark would start the endcap. Sadly for the Nationals (42-34), the delayed announcement was about the only source of exhilarating drama they offered, as they surrendered a seemingly infinite number of singles to the Philadelphia Phillies (27-50) in an 8-5 loss.
In game one of Sunday’s doubleheader in Philadelphia, the Washington Nationals (42-33) overcame an early deficit to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies (26-50) by a final of 3-2. With Stephen Strasburg keeping the game close, the Nationals’ offense cashed in on some sloppy defense by the Phillies and took control of the game for good.
The Max Scherzer signing was a mistake, and it has never been clearer than it was Friday night.
Scherzer committed the unforgivable sin of allowing a run, become the first Washington Nationals starter to do so in 48 innings, the longest such streak since 1974. But even a depleted Nats lineup was able to overcome his comparably poor outing as the Nationals (41-33) won their seventh consecutive game, triumphing 5-2 over the Philadelphia Phillies (26-49) hours after their manager, Ryne Sandberg, resigned abruptly.
On Wednesday, a full three weeks since returning from the disabled list, Washington Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon capped a three game stretch when he went 7-for-12. The stretch, although limited, raised Rendon’s average from a meek .230 to .290. It wasn’t terribly surprising, as Rendon has always been seen as an elite player. Raising his batting average was likely just a matter of getting his timing back.
However, Rendon is now DL bound again, with no clear timetable on when he’ll be ready to return. His injury puts the Nationals in a delicate place. They have the middle infield depth to mask his loss, but absolutely cannot absorb injuries beyond what they’ve already sustained. Continue reading…
On June 2nd, the Washington Nationals played a double-header. Michael Taylor went a combined 2-for-8, striking out six times. The games dropped his overall line to .223/.281/.393 and bumped his strikeout rate to an even 40%. He was exactly as advertised: A free swinger with power, but a .281 on-base percentage isn’t exactly passable at the major league level.
I’ve done some research, and it doesn’t seem that anything notable happened the night of June 2nd. No comets with mystical powers passed the earth, nor did any planets align. It rained a bit, so it’s possible (though unlikely) there was a lightning strike to initiate some crazy body-switching magic.
But some way or another, Michael Taylor woke up a new man on June 3rd.
Things are starting to click for the Washington Nationals (40-33).
They polished off a sweep of the Atlanta Braves (35-38) with the help of a rolling offense behind a gem of a start by Doug Fister. The 7-0 win was the Nats’ sixth in a row, tying their season-high winning streak. If the pitchers keep dominating and the hitters keep producing like they have over the past six games, this all-star team could be in the midst of a very exciting run. Continue reading…
Over the last year, the coverage on the Federal Reserve has typically focused on prospects on the Washington Nationals’ full-season affiliates, and for a reason. Full-season players not only are closer to the majors, but also typically have more experience than their short season counterparts and offer more certainty by playing over a larger sample size.
This year, though, the Short-Season A Auburn Doubledays and the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Nationals deserve a closer look, thanks to an infusion of recent draft picks and intriguing prospects on both rosters. Continue reading…