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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mike Scioscia, Matt Williams voted top managers

Mike Scioscia of the Angels and Matt Williams of the Nationals are Sporting News’ 2014 American League and National League Managers of the Year, respectively, as selected by a panel of 22 major league managers. SN has given Manager of the Year awards since 1936.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 21, 2014 at 02:36 PM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, awards and honors, nationals

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Adam LaRoche accepts that he must step aside to make room for Ryan Zimmerman

Adam Kilgore in the Washington Post-

... this October was likely LaRoche’s last ride with the Nationals — the last time the beloved teammate, dependable first baseman, genial outdoorsman and charitable man will wear a Nationals uniform. If the decision was his to make, in a vacuum, LaRoche would finish his career in Washington. He knows it is not, and he is okay with that.


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Matt Williams and the Great Bullpen Screw-Up | FOX Sports

Ouch.

As an outsider, we can’t know about the internal dynamics of the clubhouse and how well Williams might or might not have handled the aspects of his job that we never see. But part of his job is also to make decisions during the games that give his team the best chance to win, and in the biggest game of his managerial career, he made a series of poor decisions that directly led to the run that eliminated his team from the postseason. The Nationals’ offense didn’t do Williams any favors in this series, and it’s tough to advance when your team just doesn’t hit. But on Tuesday night, they scored at least enough runs to earn the right to keep playing.

They didn’t get that chance, though, because Matt Williams was unwilling to use his best pitchers in a tie game. In many ways, baseball is getting a lot smarter. In this particular way, baseball has a long way to go.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2014 at 06:52 AM | 193 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, matt williams, nationals, playoffs, sabermetrics

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants - Recap - October 06, 2014 - ESPN

The error was not pretty.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 07, 2014 at 06:33 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, nationals, playoffs

Sunday, October 05, 2014


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Giants’ Unlikely Strategy Leads to Game 1 Victory

“It seems to be a formula that works,” Giants hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. “That was our approach. Not to be too big. Not to try to do too much. Just put the ball in play and see what happens.”

I guess a guy who struck out in 30% of his big-league at-bats would know.

My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 04, 2014 at 08:12 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, nationals, nlds

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Tim Hudson on Nationals-Giants: ‘What do you have between your legs?’

The building of narratives for the Nationals-Giants National League Division Series can officially begin, and the juxtaposition between the recent playoff success for each team is an easy place to start. The Giants have won two of the last four World Series, a grizzled bunch that has survived seven consecutive postseason elimination games. The Nationals squandered a six-run lead in Game 5.

That’s an easy storyline that columnists and reporters are sure to beat into a fine paste by 3:07 p.m. Friday. Late Wednesday night, in a champagne-soaked clubhouse at PNC Park, Giants Game 2 starter Tim Hudson beat everyone to the punch – and offered a direct challenge to the Nationals.’

“Obviously they have a talented group over there, there’s no question,” Hudson told The Post’s Barry Svrluga. “They have some great pitching. But come playoff time, talent can take you a long ways, but what do you have between your legs? That’s going to take you real far. And I think we’ve got a group in here that really has some of that.”

Hudson’s implication: The Nationals don’t. Or at least they haven’t shown it yet.

 

Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: October 02, 2014 at 11:59 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, nationals

Giants Win Should Aid Favored Nationals

Hey, all. I’m back with my (crude, i.e., doesn’t take into account lineups) postseason projections for you all to tear apart. Below is a summary of my data as the LDS round begins.

Overall WS Win Likelihoods:
* WSN 19%
* LAA 19%
* LAD 18%
* BAL 14%
* DET 9%
* SFG 8%
* KCR 7%
* STL 6%

Most likely WS outcome: LAA over WSN in 7 (2.04%)

Interesting WS match-ups:
* All-Cali Series 18%
* Beltway Battle 10%
* Show Me State Showdown 2%

Check out the full link for more analysis and pretty charts.

J-Doug Posted: October 02, 2014 at 11:59 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, cardinals, dodgers, giants, nationals, orioles, projections, royals, tigers, world series

For old fans of Senators, Washington baseball success is a contradiction in terms

At Chevy Chase Elementary School in the early 1960s, my friend Alan Alper heralded every baseball season’s opening day by predicting confidently that the Washington Senators would have a winning season and maybe go to the World Series.

He was always wrong. Drastically so. The Senators were so bad that their woes inspired a best-selling book and Broadway musical.

It never stopped Alper. He was committed, devoted, a true believer.

“I didn’t think about how they were so bad — I just knew they were my team,” Alper, 61, who lives in Northwest Washington, recalled….

Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 02, 2014 at 09:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: general, nationals

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jordan Zimmermann Throws Nats First No-Hitter

Have the Nats peaked too soon???

After having his final regular season start pushed back due to a bruised shoulder – an injury suffered on a line drive that bounced off his arm eight days prior – Jordan Zimmermann took the mound Sunday hoping to dispel any doubts about his health before the playoffs. Boy, did he.

The Nationals right-hander tossed the first no-hitter in club history, a one-walk performance of pure beauty that began with 4 2/3 perfect innings and featured 10 strikeouts…

boteman Posted: September 28, 2014 at 05:17 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, no-hitters

Friday, September 26, 2014

Josh Willingham plans to retire at season’s end, source says

The Ham is no longer Willing.

Josh Willingham insists he hasn’t made any decisions about his playing future.

However, an associate of the 35-year-old outfielder/designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals says he has told people close to him that he is “100 percent retiring” once this season ends.

Willingham, one of just three players in Twins history to hit at least 35 home runs in a season, disputed that version in a text message to the Pioneer Press.

“I haven’t made a decision yet and don’t know what I’m going to do,” Willingham wrote.

Slowed by a groin injury that has limited him to two starts since Sept. 11, Willingham is closing in on the first postseason appearance in his 11-year career.

Only seven active players have more career games than Willingham (1,146) without a postseason appearance.

Closing out a three-year, $21 million contract signed with the Twins after the 2011 season, Willingham was traded to Kansas City on Aug. 11 after the Royals claimed him on waivers. The Twins received Double-A right-hander Jason Adam in the deal, which saw the Royals pick up the remaining $1.836 million of the $7 million Willingham is owed this season.

A right-handed power hitter, Willingham hit 35 homers and drove in 110 runs in his 2012 Twins debut. Only Harmon Killebrew (eight times) has exceeded that homer total in Twins history.

Willingham was unable to follow that up due to nagging injuries to his knee (2013) and wrist (2014). He had a combined on-base/slugging percentage of .761 in 23 games (83 plate appearances) with the Royals.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 26, 2014 at 12:17 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, josh willingham, marlins, nationals, retirements, royals, twins

Monday, September 22, 2014

Svrluga: Baseball’s Relentless Grind - The Glue

“I tell people that if someone came in here naked, they could go out and play baseball fully equipped outside in front of a crowd,” Wallace said.

Jake Peavy was showering and unavailable for comment.

boteman Posted: September 22, 2014 at 12:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: clubhouse, nationals, travel

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stephen Strasburg pitching like the Nationals’ Game 1 starter

Stephen Strasburg is not quite a finished product yet, but the past month has revealed the contours of what he will look like when he is. Strasburg has selected the right pitches, located them where he wants and thrown with wicked velocity and vicious movement. In the face of arduous situations, he has stayed cool in the saddle. Whatever the Nationals envisioned for Strasburg when they drafted him first overall in 2009, that is how he’s pitched for the past month.

Coot Veal and Cot Deal taste like Old Bay Posted: September 21, 2014 at 07:36 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, stephen strasburg

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Keri: How Washington Built a World Series Favorite

Or: How I Learned To Love Them Even Though They Stole My Team

The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch their division this season…. Throughout the 2014 campaign, the Nats have conjured late-inning heroics and convincing blowouts alike while building the best record in the National League, and at 87-64, they’ve still got a shot at matching the 98-win 2012 Nationals for the best record in franchise history.1

That’s a damn miracle, considering that just five years ago this was the worst franchise in baseball, and a way station for the damned.

boteman Posted: September 18, 2014 at 05:25 PM | 58 comment(s)
  Beats: expos, grantland, jonah keri, nationals

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Umpire ejects Braves fan for heckling Bryce Harper

At least one Braves fan didn’t get to enjoy the postgame concert or boo the Nationals as they celebrated their National League East title on Tuesday at Turner Field because he was ejected by the home plate umpire for shouting obscenities at Bryce Harper earlier in the game. Good job, guy.

The incident occurred in the sixth inning, when Harper came to the plate after Ian Desmond’s two-run homer to the moon gave the Nationals the lead. Harper paid no mind as a fan near the Braves dugout stood and shouted obscenities at him. You can hear the fan in this video.

With an 0-1 count on Harper, home plate umpire Tim Welke had heard enough.

“Hey, hey, hey, get rid of that guy,” Welke yelled to an usher as he pointed at the fan. “Get rid of him now. Get rid of him.”

“Wow, we had a fan, an unruly fan hollering at Bryce Harper, and the home plate umpire, Tim Welke, is having that fan ejected,” Braves broadcaster Chip Caray said. “I think [longtime Turner Field usher ] Walter Banks is escorting that man up the aisle.”

Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: September 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, bryce harper, nationals

Ryan Zimmerman Watches Nats Celebrate From Afar

Most of the Nationals celebrated in Atlanta last night.

Congratulations?

“Thanks,” Zimmerman said by phone. “I guess.”

Zimmerman is rehabilitating his torn hamstring, and playing in instructional league games in Viera, Florida while his teammates commemorated the 2014 National League East championship is an annoying necessity.

“It sucks,” he said. “Hopefully, I’m helping us get to the point where we have a few more celebrations like that. But those are not just my teammates, but my friends. It’s hard to see them celebrate and not be there with them. We’ve all devoted so much of our time together.”

boteman Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:45 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: injury, nationals, rehab, ryan zimmerman

The Numbers Behind the Nationals’ Division Title Celebration

You won’t find these numbers on B-Ref.

boteman Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:38 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, nl east

Barry Svrluga, WaPo: Washington Nationals can celebrate the present — and their future

Maybe this is a good time to remind everyone that 10 years ago this very night, Washington did not yet have a baseball team. And that in the winter of 2004-05, the franchise had its accounting operations in Montreal, its baseball operations in Florida, its upper management at a Georgetown law firm and the guts of a fly-by-night, do-everything staff in trailers in the parking lots of RFK Stadium. Until now, the idea of sustained baseball success in Washington was somewhere between a blind hope and an abstract theory, with obstacles to overcome that should not soon be forgotten. ...

There has, too, been a major development off the field. Now, there are fans — curly W-wearing, watch-every-game-till-they-have-to-go-to-bed fans — who aren’t scarred by 33 years without baseball, who never needed to travel up the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to see the “home” team, who will one day be able to tell their kids they watched Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in their primes at old Nationals Park, passing stories down without a gap that left an entire generation without baseball.

TerpNats Posted: September 17, 2014 at 01:17 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, washington

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sports Bog: Fans Switch From Skins to Nats

Dan Steinberg’s Sports Bog takes an off-beat look at sports and whatever else strikes his fancy at any given moment.

#FTTR Fail To The Redskins

boteman Posted: September 14, 2014 at 12:13 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: funny, media, nationals, radio

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Nationals down Braves to stretch division lead to 9, largest in DC franchise history

WASHINGTON—Mathematicians will say the Washington Nationals can’t clinch the NL East until next week. Practicality says they essentially wrapped it up Tuesday night when they sent nine hitters to the plate against Ervin Santana in the first inning of another win over the Atlanta Braves.

The Nationals beat their division nemesis for the second time in two nights, winning 6-4 to push their lead to nine games with 19 to play. Atlanta had been a thorn in Washington’s plans for about a year and a half, but the Nationals have put the kibosh on that trend by winning five of the last seven meetings.

Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: September 09, 2014 at 11:59 PM | 132 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nationals

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Steinbog - Wacky Nats Dodgers Game In 19 Tweets

A fun recollection of fan reactions to the craziness that was the Nationals at Dodgers 14 inning topsy-turvy marathon yesterday.

If you watched Wednesday afternoon’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — which eventually became Wednesday evening’s Dodgers-Nats marathon, and then Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — you already know that it was one of this season’s wackiest games. The fact that it involved perhaps the National League’s two best teams — who might well be on a collision course for October — made it both wacky and compelling. The fact that it also included about 700 players, and multiple improbable comebacks, and one of the most memorable fans in recent Nats history, made it wacky, compelling, and unforgettable.

boteman Posted: September 04, 2014 at 01:29 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, funny, nationals, twitter

The Dodgers-Nats 14-inning marathon, in 19 wacky tweets

If you watched Wednesday afternoon’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — which eventually became Wednesday evening’s Dodgers-Nats marathon, and then Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Nats marathon — you already know that it was one of this season’s wackiest games. The fact that it involved perhaps the National League’s two best teams — who might well be on a collision course for October — made it both wacky and compelling. The fact that it also included about 700 players, and multiple improbable comebacks, and one of the most memorable fans in recent Nats history, made it wacky, compelling, and unforgettable.

If you’ve never seen a corpulent sunbather stashing away a hot dog for later, here’s your chance.

Chris Needham Posted: September 04, 2014 at 11:27 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why did Bryce Harper use Yasiel Puig’s bat? Because he uses everyone’s bat.

On Thursday, cameras caught the unusual sight of Bryce Harper hitting with a bat that had Yasiel Puig’s name etched into the barrel. For Harper, it turned out, it was not unusual at all.
Puig had given Harper the bat, joining a long list of players Harper has borrowed lumber from. Harper said he has used bats given to him by, among others: Chase Utley, Michael Morse, Troy Tulowitzki, David Wright, Buster Posey, Todd Helton, Melky Cabrera and Miguel Cabrera.

“I mean, I swing everybody’s model,” Harper said.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Boswell, WaPo: For streaking Washington Nationals, runs like this don’t come around very often

Long winning streaks are part of the fabric and lore of baseball. They just aren’t part of the fabric and lore of D.C. As a kid, I became a Senators fan in third grade. I was a sophomore in high school, more than seven seasons and 1,100 games later, before I saw my first winning streak of more than five games.

We heard that other towns had streaks that stretched for weeks, not days. The 1916 New York Giants won 26 in a row, though with a tie game stuck there. The Cubs once won 21 in a row. But from 1956 through the team’s exodus in ’71, D.C. had only six winnings streaks of more than five games in 15 years. Newspapers hailed anything longer than back-to-back wins as a “streak.” Better use that “Nats Win Streak Hits Three” headline while you still can.

Now times have not only changed but inverted. Go on, get excited. The Nats’ series with San Francisco this weekend is history knocking.

TerpNats Posted: August 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Posnanski: The need – the need for speed

When the Detroit Tigers traded Doug Fister to the Washington Nationals back in December for a a middling left-handed pitching prospect and some change, it was, well, baffling… There were explanations at the time… Now, with a a few months of clarity added to the picture, none of [them] makes sense.

1. [Making room for Drew] Smyly? No. The Tigers have already traded away Smyly to get David Price and make a desperate run for the playoffs with a wounded and uneven team.

2. An underappreciation of [Robbie] Ray? Too early to tell but early signs say: No. Ray has struggled in his early starts which doesn’t mean much, but I still haven’t talked to a scout who loves him.

3. Money? No. When [Tigers GM Dave] Dombrowski realized that his team was short pitching, he went out and got David Price who is making twice as much as Fister and will make more next year.

So … why?

Nobody is saying why, but I have a guess. It’s a guess that directly relates to something I see all around baseball, even at some of the more enlightened places. I have invented a word for it: Fistrust.

FISTRUST (pronounced FIS-truh-st, noun): A deep suspicion and profound lack of confidence in pitchers who cannot throw 90 mph.

Wasn’t that also Chip Caray’s catchphrase?

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 19, 2014 at 10:27 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: doug fister, drew smyly, nationals, robbie ray, tigers, trades

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