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Gonzalez, Clutch Hitters Send Nats To Series Win

Doomsayers, do not fret. On Sunday afternoon in front of a sell-out crowd, the Washington Nationals (26-18) proved that their unseemly 8-1 loss on Saturday was simply a bump in the road. They beat the fourth-place Philadelphia Phillies (19-27), 4-1, and continued their steady ascent above the second-place New York Mets. With the win, the Nats earned their eighth straight series victory and will hit the road with a 4-1 home stand propelling them forward. Continue reading…

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Strasburg Struggles As Nats’ Win Streak Screeches To Halt

After six straight wins filled with nothing but fantastic offense and lights-out pitching, the Washington Nationals (28-18) had an off day. They were everything that they had not been in their recent win streak when they faced off against the Philadelphia Phillies (19-26) at home. Continue reading…

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Harper Homers Yet Again, Nats Take Down Phillies

Two runs was enough for the Washington Nationals (25-17) on Friday. Thanks to a sixth-inning double by Ian Desmond, the Nationals broke a 1-1 tie and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (18-26) by a final of 2-1. With that rally, the Nationals secured a win for Max Scherzer, who is continuing his season-long dominance. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Difo Highlights Dominican Influences In Nats Farm System

In the wake of Wilmer Difo’s promotion to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, The Washington Post’s James Wagner shared an important fact via Twitter. As Wagner correctly noted, Difo is the first homegrown prospect signed out of the Dominican Republic to make the Nationals’ 25-man roster since the Esmailyn “Smiley” Gonzalez scandal.

The incident Wagner refers to is one that drastically reshaped the Nationals. Gonzalez was a shortstop prospect signed by the Nationals out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 for a $1.4 million bonus. In February 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that Gonzalez’s true identity was in fact Carlos David Alvarez Lugo and that he was three years older than initially believed. As a result, general manager Jim Bowden resigned, Jose Rijo—the head of the organization’s Dominican operations—was fired, and the Nationals had to completely rebuild their Dominican Republic operations.

They became far more cautious in their international spending efforts. In fact, the Nationals did not come close to approaching the bonus they gave to Alvarez—who remained in the organization through 2013—until they signed third base prospect Anderson Franco for $900,000 just two years ago.

It is clear that the Nationals are now more measured and cautious in their international free agent decisions, but that level of restraint has not hurt the organization. In fact, Difo is preceding a wave of intriguing Dominican prospects to the majors. Continue reading…

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Nats’ Blasts Beat Yanks

Homeruns. Arguably the most exciting part of baseball, and something Nationals fans are becoming accustomed to seeing this season. The Washington Nationals (24-17) are now the proud owners of 47 beautiful taters on the year after Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore obliged with two more against the New York Yankees (22-19) on Wednesday evening. Continue reading…

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Difo’s Future Is Bright

Wilmer Difo is heading to the major leagues. Though the story broke this morning, the Washington Nationals made it official early this afternoon when they announced that the infielder was joining the team from Double-A Harrisburg to replace outfielder Jayson Werth, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left wrist injury.

Some questions remain about Difo’s promotion, most of which surround how the Nationals will guarantee him at-bats despite the healthy and talented group of infielders who are already on the roster. Our own Joe Drugan discussed those points this morning—while it is not clear how the Nationals will use him, what is extremely apparent is Difo’s talent and ability to contribute in the future.

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Wilmer Difo Call Up Is Confusing

Ken Rosenthal broke news this morning that the Nationals’ top infield prospect, Wilmer Difo, has been promoted to the major leagues in the wake of a disabled list trip for Jayson Werth after being hit in the wrist last week. Difo has been killing it in the minors this year with a .315/.367/.520 slash line between High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg and has had praise heaped upon him for his stellar play from scouts. However, there are a number of reasons that this move is extremely confusing for the Nats depth and Difo’s progress as a top prospect.

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Zimmerman, Nats Walk Off On Yankees

Early on, it seemed like Tuesday would not be a good night for the Washington Nationals (23-17). But they battled back from a four-run deficit against the New York Yankees (22-18) to send the game to extras, and Ryan Zimmerman hit another walk-off in the 10th to propel the Nats to the 8-6 win. Continue reading…