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Nats Fall Twice In Split Squad Saturday

The Washington Nationals (4-4) split their squad on Saturday to accommodate a two-game schedule, but in the end both were losing efforts. Half the team lost 13-4 to the New York Mets (5-6), who continued to hit well against the Nats, and the other half played the Miami Marlins (6-3) in a 4-0 loss.

Sun 2, Robinson 0

Clint Robinson started in left field for the Nats in their game against the Mets Saturday. Robinson is a player who’s had a lot of success as a hitter in the minor leagues and has done stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals. He generally plays first base, but Matt Williams decided to change it up and put him in left field. The gamble did not pay off.

Not once, but twice Robinson (who was wearing sunglasses) lost the ball in the sun on what should have been easy outs. The first time it lead to a double and the second was a single. Both were eventually plated. Once is a mistake, twice is a pattern and while Robinson wasn’t charged with an error you can be sure the coaches saw what was going on. In spring training, every inning is critical to guys without roster spots, and Robinson didn’t do himself any favors.

Bats Struggle

In the past it has often been frustrating for Nationals fans to watch their team fall in close games. In the 2014 NLDS the offense couldn’t get itself going at the right times to close out low-scoring affairs. If Saturday’s games are any indication, the club could be headed for the same old struggles.

In two games the split-squad managed to score a grand total of four runs, two of which came off a homer in the ninth inning of the Mets game. The team as a whole collected five hits against the Marlins and eight against the Mets. If the Nats are to be successful this season they will have to figure out how to generate offense even in the toughest situations.

Bright Spot: Gwynn Jr.

On a day when there wasn’t much positive to talk about, Tony Gwynn Jr. collected two more hits, making his average for spring training .444 to this point. Gwynn Jr. has been quietly putting together quite a resume this spring, and is part of a solid crop of outfielders the Nats brought with them to Florida this year.

If Jayson Werth is unable to suit up to start the season in left field, Gwynn Jr. may be a suitable option for the team and could even add a new dynamic to the team’s offense.

Washington Nationals Spring Training

Late-Inning Meltdown Sinks Nats

Opening the floodgates with a 9-run bottom of the eighth, the New York Mets (3-6) out slugged the Washington Nationals (4-3) in an 11-9 victory.

Despite a performance from the offense that kept them in the game until the final out, the Nationals were undone by a late-inning bullpen meltdown. Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: Wilmer Difo Shows His Value

During the Washington Nationals’ blowout win over the Detroit Tigers yesterday afternoon, one infield prospect continued his solid spring. Wilmer Difo was one of game’s offensive stars for the Nationals, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple against one-time Cy Young Award winner David Price. That performance makes the switch-hitter 6-for-12 (.500) at the plate with three RBI. Continue reading…

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Skole Wows, Gio Meows As Nats Beat Tigers

Hot bats in the late innings helped the Washington Nationals (4-3) snap their three game losing skid and win 9-2 against the Detroit Tigers (5-4) in Grapefruit League play on Wednesday. Kate Upton was at the game, and while that was all that mattered to some, there were also baseball things to talk about. Continue reading…

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Gio Debuts in Loss to Braves

Despite coming close, the Washington Nationals (3-2) could not get over the hump today in their 2-1 loss to the visiting Atlanta Braves (2-4). Over the course of the game, the Nationals had a couple of close opportunities, including a rally that was snapped by a bad break in the bottom of the ninth. Continue reading…

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Late Rally Sends Nats Past Cardinals

Down early, the Washington Nationals (3-0) got some help from their bench in a 6-5, come-from-behind victory over the visiting St. Louis Cardinals (2-1).

Things looked bleak for the Nationals entering the bottom of the sixth, as sloppy defense, a rough second inning for Stephen Strasburg, and a few missed offensively opportunities left them in a 4-1 hole. Their fortunes changed quickly, however, thanks to a comeback that was sparked by some of their best prospects.

Continue reading…

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Nats Top Braves in Spring Slugfest

In their second spring training game, the Washington Nationals (2-0) kept me warm on a 19-degree Providence day by winning an offensive showdown against the Atlanta Braves (1-2), 9-8.

Now, as we all know, spring training records don’t matter. But a recent article in the Economist seems to prove that an individual player’s spring training stats do have some predictive value. Armed with this knowledge, let’s overreact wildly respond measuredly to a few notable showings.

Continue reading…

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Nationals Win In Scherzer’s Debut

On a day when most of their fan base was buried in six to eight inches of snow and huddled beneath blankets, the Washington Nationals went to work against the New York Mets in sunny Florida.

Baseball is back everyone, and with it all the joys and heartbreaks we’ve become so accustomed to. But this is Spring Training baseball, and to me, the unpredictability, experimentation and above all overreaction that comes along with it is almost better than the regular season.

So while you turn the heat up a few more degrees, take some time to digest my thoughts on the first action of the 2015 season. And try not to push the panic button. Continue reading…

Washington Nationals Spring Training

Federal Reserve: Top Five Prospects To Watch

When they take the field this evening, the Washington Nationals will begin Spring Training as a complete team that has very few positions to settle. While that could force some prospects back to the minors, a few of them stand out.

To preview Spring Training, the Federal Reserve presents five prospects to watch. Keep in mind that Spring Training statistics do not have predictive value, but these players should offer plenty of intrigue over the next few weeks. Continue reading…