Mike Rizzo might have a new strategy when marketing to potential free agents. “Have you been treated poorly by your current, team? Well, you might want to consider joining the Washington Nationals!” This week, Matt Wieters walked off his former club. Through the first three games of the contrived “MASN Cup,” which carries about as much weight as the Mystics Attendance Banners, Wieters has put together a sparkling .385/.429/.462 slash-line. He is carrying on what has become a fine Washington Nationals Tradition: beating your former club in fun and torturous ways.
The 2017 season has not been a good year for Blake Treinen. Handed the closer reigns to start the year, Treinen struggled right out of the gates en route to an 8.10 ERA on the season and a demotion to middle relief. The results for Treinen have been disappointing, to say the least. Most disappointing because he was dominant in 2016, with a 2.28 ERA. So, what has gone wrong this season?
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.
It was a week like any other week. Max Scherzer took another no-hitter into the sixth inning, the Nationals played sub-par games against the Orioles, the Washington Capitals were eliminated in the second round… But from beyond the DL, Adam Eaton led the charge to break up the monotony that led to off-field highlights of the week.
Like good Washington sports fans, Nationals faithful are panicking. This week, like most weeks this season, the hot takes, angry tweets, and general unrest centers around the much-maligned bullpen. But take heart, folks! I’m here to tell you that the bullpen is not actually the Nationals biggest hindrance in making a playoff, but in fact, there’s something else to lose sleep over: Centerfield!
In an effort to keep up with their parent club, the Hagerstown Suns of the Low-A South Atlantic League have gotten off to a blistering start; going 19-12 through 31 games on the back of their high powered-offense. One of the driving forces behind Hagerstown’s success has been Dominican outfielder Juan Soto, who has caught the eye of scouts across the baseball world. The young outfielder has recently made his way onto national top 100 prospect lists, and despite his distance from the majors, could very well be the best hitter in the Nationals farm system.
With a dominating 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday night, the Washington Capitals set up one of the biggest nights in recent memory for Washington DC. On Wednesday night, the Caps, Wizards, and Nats will all be in action.
At Nats Park, boos are usually reserved for Metro closing announcements, postgame press conferences, Jose Tabata, and politicians. Citizens Bank Park is much more liberal in its application of such heckling. Jayson Werth is a consistent recipient of those boos, and Max Scherzer, apparently a varsity booleader back in the day, delights in contributing.
Monday will mark the beginning of the annual interleague series between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. Starting with the first contest in Baltimore, the teams will play four games, with the first two slated for Oriole Park at Camden Yards before the matchup shifts to Nationals Park on Wednesday and Thursday.
The proximity between the two teams has led to an interleague staple since the Nationals arrived in D.C. in 2005, and has appealed to fans in both cities. Yet, after all these years, it still seems fair to question if the Orioles and Nationals are true rivals and, if so, to what extent?