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Nats Top Yanks in Florida Finale

The Washington Nationals ended the Florida portion of their spring training slate today with an 8-2 victory over the New York Yankees. With two big innings on offense and a solid effort from the pitching staff, this win came fairly easy for the Nationals.

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Federal Reserve: Potential Minor-League Breakouts

With the minor league season opening in one week, several Washington Nationals prospects look primed for a breakout seasons. To forecast those players the Federal Reserve lists five breakout candidates to watch. The list includes two catchers that could take big steps forward, a pair of hurlers with interesting potential, and a centerfielder who should refine his all-around game.

1) Pedro Severino, catcher

DOB: 7/20/1993 B/T: R/R Projected 2015 team: Double-A Harrisburg Senators

Already an excellent defensive catcher, Severino rallied offensively at High-A Potomac last year by batting .308/.379/.477 after the All-Star Break. During his career, he has not been a patient hitter, which he should improve upon this year. Continue reading…

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Nats Loss To Cardinals Highlighted By Off-Field News

If there were ever a game to be overshadowed by off-the-field events, the Washington Nationals’ (10-13) loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (12-10) was it. The 6-2 contest saw the Cardinals take a 4-2 lead in the fifth, which they never relinquished. The bad news is that it was a Nationals’ loss. The good news is that it leaves us with more time to analyze a pair of trades that took place today. Continue reading…

Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 91

The offseason is almost over, and the Nats decided to make some final, unexpected moves. We talk about the bevy of injuries, the latest roster moves, and make lineup predictions while we start the final countdown toward Opening Day.

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Bullpen Busts in Loss to Mets

Thursday afternoon in Viera, the Washington Nationals (9-11) turned in their second straight uninspiring effort, falling 8-3 to the New York Mets (14-10) after the Nats shut New York out for the first five innings and allowed them to score in each of the remaining four. This unfortunate outcome dropped my career spring training record to 0-2. Fortunately, like most spring numbers, I don’t expect this one to translate to the regular season.

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Scherzer Deals, But Cards Top Nats

Wednesday’s game was my first spring training game since 2005, when Brian Schneider’s wife sold me a Nationals hat. It was as hot and humid as I remembered. I don’t remember who won that game when I was 10, but it was the St. Louis Cardinals (10-7) who emerged triumphant today, scoring in the bottom of the eighth to claim a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals (9-10).

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Escobar Makes Spring Debut In Win Over Yankees

The Washington Nationals (9-9) took down the New York Yankees (12-9) 7-6 with an abbreviated squad, after being hit by the injury bug early in the week. The squad got back to .500 behind a solid outing from Doug Fister as well as offensive help from a few unlikely sources. The biggest news of the day however, was not what happened on field, but rather the decisions made off of it.

Scherzer Gets the Nod

After much deliberation Matt Williams was finally ready to announce that he had picked which one of his aces would start Opening Day. He announced today that Max Scherzer, the newest addition to the staff, would have the opportunity to take the mound when Nationals Park reopens for the year. The decision on William’s part was not a slight to his returning staff as some have implied, but rather a chance for his biggest offseason addition to prove himself in front of a sold-out crowd.

The rationale is solid and I applaud his decision, but to be fair there were few bad decisions he could have made in this situation.

Doug Fister Continues To Roll

Though he could have had a better day, Fister did what he needed to do to help his team win. The first at-bat of the game was a strikeout and he contributed with a two-run single on offense. His ERA was 4.97 for the spring, which is not stellar. But sometimes for pitchers it’s not about the individual stats, but rather helping your team to win.

Fister has always been good at playing that role, and that’s what makes him such a good commodity on a team full of star pitchers. His ability to hang in when the going gets tough was exhibited again on Monday. Since spring training is nearing completion, it is safe to start making extrapolations to some extent about what performances will look like in the regular season, and as long as Fister can get wins he will fit right into this squad.

Escobar Shines in Debut

Yunel Escobar made his debut for the Nats on Monday after coming back from an oblique strain, and proved he was none the worse for wear. He went 1-for-2 with a single, but the play that really stood out was a great diving play he made defensively.

If the Nats continue to struggle with injuries, they will need strong backups to play an extended amount of time. Escobar was essentially a question mark up until Monday, but if he continues to put in strong performances he will be a great addition to the team.

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Taylor Shows His Power In Nats’ Tie With Tigers

For the second time in a week, the Washington Nationals (7-8-3) and the hosting Detroit Tigers (7-14-2) played to a tie, as Sunday’s contest resulted in a 7-7 draw. Michael Taylor’s performance was the highlight of a big day for the Nationals’ lineup, but a late-inning rally by the Tigers prevented them from walking away with a victory. Continue reading…