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What Happened to Danny Espinosa’s Bearded Headshot?

Last season, Danny Espinosa’s fu manchu mustache graced the jumbotron at Nationals Park and the jumbotrons of stadiums far, far away. This season, his lumberjack beard did the same for four wonderful games. The ridiculous amount of facial hair he boasted was the stuff of fairytales. If, of course, your fairytale includes hyperactive hair follicles.

This debacle, though, gave Espinosa a Beast to his Belle — a Sid to his Buzz Lightyear, a Jeff Kent to his Barry Bonds. Espi’s legendary beard was reported missing from his scoreboard picture during Monday’s game. After much prodding and outrage by fans, it was GM Mike Rizzo who revealed himself as the culprit.

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Checking in on the Nats’ Early-Season Velocities

With Gio Gonzalez’s long-awaited debut in Tuesday night’s dramatic win over the Braves complete, all five of the Nationals’ starters have made their 2016 season debut on the mound. It’s far too early to read too much into one start (or two starts in the case of Max Scherzer) from a statistical standpoint. No one should conclude that Gonzalez is going to post a 0.00 ERA after one start, for example. While it’s too early to extrapolate most pitching statistics out over a full season, it’s not too early to take a closer look at each pitcher’s velocity.

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The Next Step for Joe Ross

Joe Ross, by all accounts, had an excellent start to his season Sunday. Against a Marlins lineup with no shortage of fearsome hitters, Ross put up a stellar line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Two of those hits, one of the walks, and the run all came in the first inning, but after he settled down, the Marlins had little success against him.

But under the surface, a problem Ross struggled with in 2015 bubbled: facing lefties.

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Bryce Harper and the Marlins: A Lopsided History

Bryce Harper is one of the best hitters in baseball. This is a well established fact. And as is the case with most great hitters, Harper is a threat to any pitching staff he faces. But one team in particular has consistently struggled against him: the Miami Marlins.

Over the course of this career, Harper has owned the Marlins. This is not a surprise, given that Harper’s best seasons have coincided against some terrible Marlin teams, not to mention that Miami and Washington are frequent opponents by virtue of being National League East rivals.

Still, the numbers are pretty mind boggling. Continue reading…

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Werth, Zimmerman Brave the Cold to Hang with D.C. Kids

Before their scheduled 4:05 game on Saturday was postponed, a few Nationals braved the unseasonably frigid weather and went out and about around the District contributing to the community. Jayson Werth threw out the first pitch at Mclean Little League opening day (where his sons play) and Ryan Zimmerman attended the grand opening of Ryan Zimmerman Field. Continue reading…

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Early-Season Overreactions

It’s been a full work week since the season started, so it’s clearly time for us to start drawing wild conclusions, extrapolating results, and just losing our minds in general. Baseball season is long, and it’s always been a struggle to determine when it’s okay to start forming an idea of what kind of season it’s going to be. Some believe you can start as early as Spring Training, some believe you need to wait until the All-Star Break, and still others draw a new conclusion following each win or loss. I personally thrive on wildly and publicly overreacting to a very small sample size, and then backtracking when I am inevitably wrong and claiming I never said any such thing. So this time I’m going to put my overreactions into writing for you all so there’s no way out.

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Off-Field Recap: The Hair Up There

The inaugural week of the 2016 season has come around, and with it the gift of eternal happiness — at least until the last out is recorded in October or until the bullpen blows a save. The Nationals went 2-1 this week, losing last night to the Marlins but keeping their hopes of a 161-1 season alive. The team’s decent week on the field translated to a fun week off it, and as a nice, complete change of pace, Bryce Harper was in the spotlight. To recap:
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