It’s a narrative that Nationals fans have become all-too familiar with this season. The starters pitch a quality game, the offense scores enough to be able to win. And then in comes the bullpen, and suddenly that lead is gone. It feels like it happens instantly, and like it’s a given. One or two of these games is okay; it’s bound to happen over a 162-game schedule. But to have the constant fear of the bullpen even entering the game for fear of a lead slipping away every game is a major concern.
On Monday, June 5th, the most recent update for the All-Star Game ballot was released, and the results were more than pleasant. Though he trailed Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo after the first ballot update, Ryan Zimmerman surged past Rizzo to take the lead in voting. Nats fans rejoice with the knowledge that Cubs Nation can’t compete with the facts.
It’s no secret that the bullpen has been a course of chaos all season. The bullpen was blowing leads even if the starters had pitched a great game, and if the starters didn’t do well and didn’t go far, the bullpen didn’t do anything to help them out. But lately, the starters have eliminated the need to go the bullpen by declaring, “We’ll just do all the work ourselves.” And oh my, have the starters been outstanding.
It’s a drizzly night in DC, and Anthony Rendon, mellow as ever, is sitting in the dugout, waiting for his turn to hit. Trea Turner approaches his favorite player and asks him what his approach is going to be in his at-bat. Rendon shrugs and answers, “I’m going to drive in all the runs tonight.”
It was the perfect storm. Beautiful weather, Mother’s Day, the second game of a doubleheader, the late opening of gates, and at the center of it all: the Trea Turner bobblehead.
Continue Reading Bobblemania: How the Trea Turner Bobblehead Almost Killed Me
Even though it’s only a little over a month into the season, baseball analysts love trying to predict who is going to have an MVP-caliber season or who might win the MVP in the fall. And yes, I occasionally take part in these activities. Usually, I’d take a look at all of the best players in the National League and try to pick four or five who have the best shot at riding their good seasons to the end and at bringing home some hardware. Last year, I had some pretty good predictions. (In my top five, I had Daniel Murphy, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Nolan Arenado, and Corey Seager, who all finished in the top five in MVP voting.) But this year I can’t even pick through the Nats. With so many players currently having torrid seasons, I’m going to look at potential MVP candidates on the Nationals instead of looking at potential MVP candidates in the National League.
Throughout the first month of the 2017 MLB season, the Washington Nationals have been an offensive juggernaut. Opposing pitchers quiver in fear when they see that lineup card. But who’s the player wreaking the most havoc among other teams? Surely it’s Bryce Harper, who’s starting to heat up again and recapture his MVP form. No? Then it has to be Daniel Murphy, runner-up in the 2016 MVP race and noted consistent producer at the plate. Wow, really? Well, then it’s definitely Trea Turner, a known pest on the basepaths who’s recently caught afire atop the lineup. No again? Then who is the best hitter on the best lineup in baseball?
Is 2015 Bryce Harper back? Has he risen from the grave? After a disappointing 2016 season, Nationals fans want nothing more than the return of MVP Bryce Harper.
Hearts of Nationals fans everywhere were broken when it was made clear that Wilson Ramos would not be returning to the Nationals for the 2017 season. The catcher lovingly nicknamed “The Buffalo” was in the last year of his contract, suffered a torn ACL near the end of the season, and ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Rays in the offseason. So the question remained: who could replace the fan-favorite coming off the best season of his career?