cmachenryCraig MacHenry

Craig is a contributing writer to The Nats Blog and co-host of the Nats Talk On The Go podcast. He's also a craft beer enthusiast and all-around sports addict.

All articles by cmachenry

 

A Presummer Night’s Recap

When Scherz does take the Mound upon the Field He doth subscribe to such a strong reproach The Braves did hit yet they would not quite yield It was a match that fans did dare to broach  
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Who Is Dusty Baker?

When news came out that former veteran manager Dusty Baker was calling around to ask for a job, whispers began to spread that it was past his time and that he should stick to studio work – where his work with Pedro Martinez on TBS’s Postseason coverage earned them both deserved praise. There was hand-wringing
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Mad Max Does It Again: Scherzer No-Hits Mets

For the penultimate game of the Washington Nationals’ 2015 season they traveled north and braved the rain to play the NL East Division Champion New York Mets. Despite the season (and Matt Williams’ managerial career) being essentially over, there was still plenty to root for as Max Scherzer faced off against Matt Harvey (not shut down? But shut
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Nationals Organization Fails Their Players and Fans In Handling Of Papelbon’s Attack On Harper

On Sunday, the Washington Nationals organization took a massive hit – both on the field and in the stands. In an embarrassing display of machismo and “testosterone”, trade-deadline acquisition Jonathan Papelbon decided to take baseball’s unwritten rules into his own hands, chastising Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly fast enough to his
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Struggling Roark Sinks Nats

On a warm September night, the Washington Nationals turned to starter-turned-reliever-turned-starter-again Tanner Roark to face off against the surprisingly hot Miami Marlins. Winners of four straight, the Nationals came into this game down 7.5 games in the NL East to the New York Metropolitans, with their chance of making the playoffs a whopping 1% according to Baseball
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Bullpen Buckles In Loss To Mets

*fart noise* The Washington Nationals (50-42) came into game two of this post-All-Star Game series against the New York Mets (49-45) having won game one against ace Matt Harvey. Which member of the Nationals’ dominant starting five would get the nod in game two? None of them. Manager Matt Williams turned to Souza trade piece Joe
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The Desmond Problem

As Sunday’s game against the Orioles wound down, it marked the traditional end of the 2015 first half. It’s been quite the first half for the Washington Nationals (49-39) with no shortage of incredible story lines: Max Scherzer’s dominance, Bryce Harper reaching his monumental potential at age 22, injuries on top of injuries, a perfect no-hitter,
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Blasts Lift Nats Over O’s

The Washington Nationals (47-39) came into game two of a three game pre-All Star break set against the “rival” Baltimore Orioles (44-43) on a three-game mini losing streak. The Nationals have been hampered by injuries this season, and that trend seems to be continuing at a rapid pace, as Denard Span hit the disabled list for the second time
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Tough Call Lets Braves Walk-Off On Scherzer

Going for the series win in front of yet another sparse Atlanta crowd (who seem to come to life more when booing Bryce Harper than when their own team does anything) an old fashioned pitching duel broke out between Max Scherzer for the Washington Nationals (43-36) and Manny Banuelos, making his major-league debut for the Atlanta Braves
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10 Presidents The Nationals Should Have Chosen Over Calvin Coolidge

On Wednesday morning the Washington Nationals introduced the sixth member of the Racing President team: 30th president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. Born on the Fourth of July back in 1872, Coolidge presided over the roaring ‘20s despite the fact that he was a relatively quiet, small-government conservative who only became president due to because of
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Nationals Shut Down Freeman-less Braves

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
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Ian Desmond Shows Signs of Life

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
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A Father’s Day Love Letter to Family and Baseball

Baseball is tradition in my family. My father played baseball throughout high school and into college. My mother would sneak away from her two sisters to watch baseball games with her father, all while keeping score. My brother and I both played competitive baseball through high school before taking our talents to slow pitch softball.
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The Importance Of Bryce Harper

CRACK! Bryce Harper hits a monstrous shot off of Brewers starting pitcher Mike Fiers, yet another 400 foot shot that flew off of the bat at a murderous 100+ MPH velocity. THUD! Harper takes a 95 MPH fastball off of his right thigh in the 9th inning of a 7-2 snoozer. He would have to
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Brilliant Scherzer Sets Nats Strikeout Record

Yesterday the Washington Nationals leaned on rookie Joe Ross, who turned in a sterling eight innings to turn a 1-5 slump into a less horrible 2-5 slump. Today the team turned the story on its side, and it was veteran Max Scherzer who got the nod against Taylor Jungmann, who, like Ross, made his second career start. Spoiler Alert: there
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Nats Blow Lead To Brewers, Fall To Second In NL East

Coming into Thursday night’s contest against the Milwaukee Brewers (23-38), the Washington Nationals (31-29) were hoping to take a cue from earlier in the season. Back in April, the Nationals went down 9-1 to the Atlanta Braves only to erase the deficit and flip the page from a mediocre April to a scorching May. Wednesday night’s
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Tale of Two Players: Espinosa vs. Escobar

At the beginning of spring training the Washington Nationals had a set lineup. The only questions that remained were which players would compose the bench. Before Opening Day arrived, however, several of the core position players had wound up on the disabled list, leaving the team struggling from day one. Fast forward to the present,
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Scherzer Wins This Week’s Pitching Duel Of The Century

In one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2015, the Washington Nationals’ (28-19) $210 million-dollar man Max Scherzer went up against the Chicago Cubs‘ (25-21) $155 million-dollar man Jon Lester in the rubber match of a three-game set in the windy city. On a day when the flags weren’t flying out for a change, we
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Max Scherzer: Better Than Advertised

On January 21, 2015 Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo and free-agent pitcher Max Scherzer signed the contract that would make him one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball as well as the highest paid player in Nationals history. The deal came as a shock to the entirety of the baseball community, as many expected
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Fister Struggles After Delay, Nats Lose

This morning the Washington Nationals had to play what ended up to be one of the strangest games of the 2015 campaign. A strange and rocky started turned quickly into disaster as the Nationals (19-17) and Doug Fister dropped an 8-3 decision to the San Diego Padres (19-17).
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Harper Does It Again: Hits Multiple Homers In Nats’ Rout Of Braves

The Washington Nationals (15-15) are now winners of eight of their last 10 games and are starting to resemble the world beaters they were predicted to be at the onset of the season. Behind a resurgent Gio Gonzalez, who once again resembles the Gio of 2012 when he placed third in the National League Cy Young
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Harper Homers His Way To Series Win Over Marlins

The Washington Nationals (14-15) came into a rare Wednesday day game against the Miami Marlins (13-15) hoping to win the rubber match for their third straight series win after a somewhat disastrous start to their season. Manager Matt Williams turned the ball over to the $210-million-dollar man Max Scherzer to get the job done, but by the
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More Bullpen Woes as Nats fall to Marlins

The Washington Nationals came into tonight’s contest in Miami against the Marlins as losers of two straight against the hated St. Louis Cardinals. Hoping to put the series loss in their rear-view mirror the Nationals turned to veteran righty Jordan Zimmermann against Alexandria native Mat Latos. However, the story turned into a familiar one when
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Strasburg Solid In Nats’ First Series Win

The Washington Nationals (6-7) came into Sunday’s contest against the Philadelphia Phillies (4-9) having won three of their last four games — momentum seemingly turning toward the 2014 NL East Division winners for the first time this season. On an overcast and breezy day the Nationals looked to Ace #3 Stephen Strasburg to secure their first series win
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Will Rendon Have a Sophomore Slump?

Before he will even start his second full MLB season, Anthony Rendon has already usurped former Gold Glove winner and Face of the Franchise Ryan Zimmerman as starting third baseman, led the National League’s best team in WAR, and finished top 5 in MVP voting. He’s done this all while playing half of those games
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Hitting For The Cycle: Tony Gwynn, Parity, and Momentum

We were all incredibly saddened about loss of Tony Gwynn, one of the greatest pure hitters in baseball history. So, it only seems right that the first two hits are about this huge loss for baseball. After Gwynn, we look at the unbelievable parity in Major League Baseball this season and whether momentum is really something you can quantify.
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Hitting For The Cycle: Anatomy of a Start, Jon Singleton, Fifth Starters, and Skin Cancer

This week’s Hitting for the Cycle sees four more great pieces with national interest, including a local home run from Washington Post writer James Wagner. You’ll also see Jake Peavy break down a start in remarkable detail, learn why some players aren’t happy with Jon Singleton’s contract, and get stat-heavy on why fifth starters might
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Hitting For The Cycle: International Prospects, Selig’s Successor, Pace of Play, and the Braves New Stadium

After an unexpected off day due to rain, the Washington Nationals will resume their series against the Miami Marlins this evening. Until then, here are the four national articles that you absolutely must read from the past week. You’ll learn about this year’s international prospects, Jerry Reinsdorf and Bud Selig‘s battle for MLB’s next commissioner,
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Hitting For The Cycle: New Breed Stat Guys, Baseball in Florida, Pitching to Strikeout, and Player Tracking Technology

Single: Wait, we’re still arguing that people who like stats don’t enjoy or appreciate baseball? By Craig Calcaterra (Hardball Talk) and A Response to Bob Ryan by Dave Cameron (FanGraphs) To start off today’s piece we are going to focus on two different pieces which focus on a third non-linked piece; confusing, I know. This
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Hitting For The Cycle: Base Construction, All-Star Voting, Jose Fernandez, and Devastating Pitch GIFs

Single: The Base: Approach At Your Own Risk by Steve Wulf (ESPN.com) This piece is one of the reasons that I like to do this column. Who in their right mind would want to read some boring piece on ESPN about the bases? Well, you should, because it’s fantastic. The debate over head-first slide vs
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Hitting For The Cycle: Grit, Lineups, Baseball Economy, And Matt Bush

Single: Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Scouting Fortitude by Jason Parks (Baseball Prospectus) To start off, we are headed to a free article from Baseball Prospectus by noted prospect guru and general weirdo Jason Parks. Oftentimes these “poll the industry” pieces can be nothing but fluff and column inches, but this is the exception that
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Hitting For The Cycle: Unwritten Rules, Plate Collisions, Diminished Offense, and Mapping Fans

Single: Grading the Unwritten Rules: Jed Lowrie and Bunting With a Big Lead by Grant Brisbee (SB Nation) One of my biggest pet peeves in baseball is the preponderance of baseball’s so-called “unwritten rules”. No one knows what exactly these unwritten rules are, just that they exist and that no one has taken the time to
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Hitting For The Cycle: Doctoring Baseballs, Tommy John Surgeries, Defensive Shifts, And Reliever Awards

Single: A Major League Pitcher’s Guide to Doctoring a Baseball by Dirk Hayhurst (Deadspin) For those of you who are already familiar with the writing of former MLB Pitcher Dirk Hayhurst, this article will come as zero shock to you as he has a penchant for sharing inside information. In the wake of the Michael
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Hitting For The Cycle: Jobu, Umpires, And Oakland’s Stadium Problems

Single:Indians, Not Plumbing, Stop the A’s by Paul Gutierrez (ESPN) Bud Selig, the esteemed commissioner of MLB, who has presided over an incredibly prosperous era both in labor peace and economic profitability, has two serious legacy problems: PEDs and the Oakland Athletics. One of these issues is simple – Selig turned his back when players
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Hitting For The Cycle: Instant Replay, Predictions, Mike Trout, and World Series

Harper vs. Trout. Trout vs. Harper. Who is going to “win” this Magic vs. Bird battle of epic proportions? Short answer: we all do.
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Hitting For The Cycle: Stats, Prospects, And Les Expos

In our Hitting for the Cycle series, Craig MacHenry goes through the best of the best baseball writing for the past week – highlighting national stories while giving them some Nationals perspective. Single: Beane Counters by Jonah Keri (Grantland) This feature, which ran last week on the ESPN offshoot Grantland, was yet another biographical and analytical
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