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Nats Again Avoid Sweep With Win Over Red Sox

The Washington Nationals (3-6) exorcised some demons and avoided a series sweep by beating the Boston Red Sox (6-3), 10-5, on Wednesday. After an inauspicious start to the season in which just about the only positive thing that can be said is that there are still 153 games left to play, a big win and all the missing runs from the previous games were just what the Nats needed to get their groove back. The team may want to consider honoring Jackie Robinson every day, they seem to play better in the number 42 jerseys. Continue reading…

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Rafael Martin Makes The Majors

Yesterday afternoon, the Washington Nationals made an effort to alleviate their bullpen woes by purchasing the contract of right-handed reliever Rafael Martin from Triple-A Syracuse. Martin takes the place of left-hander Xavier Cedeno, who was designated for assignment.

Martin finally reaches the majors after a long and unique journey. Five years ago, Adam Kilgore covered Martin’s road to the Mexican League in an excellent Washington Post story. Martin took a job in construction out of Jurupa Valley High School in Southern California while playing in a men’s baseball league. After attending a tryout, he was signed by a Mexican League scout and went on to pitch in relief for Saraperos de Saltillo for three seasons until the Nationals picked him up prior to the 2010 campaign. Continue reading…

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Nats Escape Sweep In 10-Inning Win Over Phillies

It took 10 innings and a game-saving play, but the Washington Nationals (2-4) avoided a road sweep Sunday with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies (3-3). The Nationals held the lead over the first four innings, headlined by a Bryce Harper home run in the first. But the Phillies scored a run in the fifth inning and another in the seventh, which set the stage for extras and the rally that gave the Nationals the victory. Continue reading…

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Fister Outduels Hamels, But Nats Fall Short

The prohibitive World Series favorite Washington Nationals (1-4) came into Sunday night’s contest vs. the prospective basement dweller Philadelphia Phillies (3-2) needing a win after a string of poor results. Just 1-3 through the first four games of the season and having only scored seven runs, the Nationals turned to their ostensible fifth pitcher Doug Fister in an attempt to break their luck.

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The oft-injured Nationals catcher and main piece in the Matt Capps trade came into Saturday’s matchup with only two hits through three games on the season, mostly hitting weak ground balls to middle infielders. Hitting in the 5-hole, Wilson Ramos was expected to act as almost a second cleanup hitter, knocking in runners almost at will. But things have not progressed as planned for him thus far. Fortunes might have changed, however, when in the fourth inning Ramos got a hold of an outside pitch and muscled it out to right field for a solo shot. The home run gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Ramos’ offensive performance will be a key component to the Nats surviving the first few weeks of the season sans Jayson Werth, Anthony Rendon, and Denard Span.

Defensive Optimization

Coming out of spring training, most fans expected Danny Espinosa to cover the extra infield position abandoned by the disabled Rendon, though it seems the organization had other ideas. Non-roster invitee Dan Uggla, owed $12.7 million from the Braves, has taken the first four games at 2B, leaving the superior defender in Espinosa on the bench. A big believer in bench depth, manager Matt Williams decided that tonight would be a good night to have a few of his bench players get some time, giving Espinosa a chance to shine against a lefty. This move would pay off in spades in the bottom of the first, as Ryan Howard hit a rocket shot into the right field corner where new RF Bryce Harper fielded the ball and hit the cutoff man (!!!) in Espinosa who threw an absolute bullet to Ramos, nailing Chase Utley at home plate for the last out in the inning – a throw Uggla could only dream of making. By finally playing the best defense, Williams was able to prevent the Phillies offense from taking an early lead against the beleaguered Nationals.

Desmond’s Woes Continue

April struggler Ian Desmond did his best NFL wide receiver impression in the fifth inning when he decided to look towards first base before actually catching the ball, earning his fourth error through the Nats first error games. Traditionally a slow starter, Desmond has been guilty of costing the Nationals at least one game early in 2015 with several errors consecutively against the Mets. Tonight, Desmond missed an easy double play early on in addition to hesitating to take control on a ground ball up the middle in the eighth leading to the tying run scoring. So far Desmond has not shown himself as worthy of the mega-millions deal he hopes to earn as a free agent after this season.

Rally Plate/UFO

This is a thing that happened.

As the game progressed, Blake Treinen couldn’t overcome a few defensive lapses and the Phillies were able to tie the game in the eighth, only to steal a win in the 10th off of Tanner Roark on a double down the line by Odubel Herrera dropping the Nationals to 1-4 in 2015. The Nationals will turn to $210-million superstar Max Scherzer in attempt to avoid the sweep tomorrow.

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Offense Stays Quiet as Nats Fall to Phillies

For the fourth time in their first four games, the Washington Nationals (1-3) failed to score four runs. So when the Philadelphia Phillies (2-2) scored four in the seventh, a 1-0 lead turned into an insurmountable deficit as the Nats fell, 4-1.

In a season characterized by high expectations, the Nats have stumbled out of the gate. But, of course, there is nothing to be concerned about.

Continue reading…

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Harvey Out-Duels Strasburg In Nats Loss To Mets

In the finale of their first series of the season, the Washington Nationals (1-2) were bested by Matt Harvey and the New York Mets (2-1).

The Mets’ 6-3 win marked the first time they had taken a series win from the Nationals since Sept. 1, 2013. The Mets won only four games against the Nats last year, without a single series victory. Continue reading…

MLB: All Star Futures Game

Federal Reserve: MiLB Opening Day Previews

After a long offseason, Minor League Baseball today celebrates Opening Day in the four full-season levels. To preview the upcoming season, the Federal Reserve is providing a rundown of all four of the Washington Nationals’ full-season affiliates. Among the items previewed include the notable players who made Opening Day rosters, as well as two big names who did not. Continue reading…

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The Zimmermen Lead Nats To First 2015 Victory

It was a Zimmerman(n) night in D.C. on Wednesday as the Washington Nationals (1-1) held on to beat the New York Mets (1-1), 2-1. After a disappointing Opening Day the Nats bounced back in a game that featured Ryan Zimmerman’s bat and Jordan Zimmermann’s brilliance from the mound. Coming into the game Zimmermann hadn’t lost since July 11 and had posted a 2.08 ERA in 14 starts since then. He wasn’t about to break that streak on Wednesday night. Continue reading…