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Nats rocket past Astros in Houston 14-4

The Nats needed this one. With the bats cooled for most of the series in San Diego, the Nats' offense erupted in Houston with 14 hits in a 14-4 cruise over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The highlight of the day was the 7th inning where the Nats sent 12 men to the plate and exploded for a season-high 9 runs. Adam Dunn and

Bryce Harper "caught like a champion" in JUCO World Series debut

College of Southern Nevada won their first game at the JUCO World Series Saturday 13-5 over Pitt CC (North Carolina) from Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, CO. Sophomore Donn Roach struck out 11 batters and allowed only three unearned runs over eight innings to notch the win. 17-year old Bryce Harper went two-for-four with three runs scored, a walk and a strikeout. Southern Nevada (50-14)

At Potomac, left-hander Clayton Dill shows off "durable arm"

WOODBRIDGE, Va. --- Left-handed relief pitcher Clayton Dill continues to progress with the Potomac Nationals. He was impressive in his relief appearance last week versus the Kinston Indians. The 5'11" Dill hails from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and was a 35th round selection of the Nationals in 2008. He pitched for the GCL Nats as a rookie, Vermont and Hagerstown last season. Dill attended Arkansas-Little Rock

MacDougal promoted to Syracuse; Nats sign Jason Jones

There were several moves in the Nats organization of note Thursday, including promotions of RHP Mike MacDougal and RHP Erik Arnesen Triple-A Syracuse. It's been a long road back for MacDougal after being released by the Marlins at the end of spring training. The Nats' save leader last year is now one step away from the major leagues again. It was a big day for

Bryce Harper ready for JUCO World Series

College of Southern Nevada baseball coach Tim Chambers is preparing the Coyotes for their first trip to the JUCO World Series since 2003, which begins Saturday and runs through June 5 in Grand Junction, Colorado. To follow the tournament, including play-by-play and schedules, click JUCO World Series to stay up-to-date on Bryce's exploits. This could turn out to be the biggest nine days so far

Norris expects to return to lineup Saturday

WOODBRIDGE, Va. --- Potomac Nationals 21-year-old catcher Derek Norris is gradually recovering and feeling better after getting hit in the head by a 95 mile per hour fastball Friday during a game in Salem, Virginia. Norris was taken to the hospital Friday after being hit on the batting helmet by a pitch, according to a release from Potomac. Norris lay motionless on the field for

Are Nats preparing Strasburg for long haul?

Did anyone else find it interesting that Strasburg pitched only five innings and 52 pitches against Toledo Monday? Are the Nats trying to slow him down a smidge for the long haul from June through October? It did not seem that Strasburg was being overworked Monday night. He took care of two of the innings on just 15 pitches. Are the Nats telling us they

Strasburg solid in five innings vs. Toledo

Stephen Strasburg went five innings Monday night for Syracuse in the Chiefs 6-3 win over Toledo. He allowed only one earned run (two runs total) on five hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 52 pitches and 36 for strikes which included four groundouts and four flyouts. He left with the game tied 2-2. Strasburg was happy with the work he got in Monday's

Bryce Harper's homer: "One of the biggest shots I had ever seen"

Updating Bryce Harper's big weekend, I interviewed Matt Youmans of the Las Vegas Review-Journal on "Nats Insider" on Federal News Radio Sunday. Youmans was at the NJCAA Western District Finals in Lamar, Colorado. Harper's team, the College of Southern Nevada, won the tourney 25-11 Saturday over Central Arizona College. True to form, 17-year-old catcher continued to rewrite the record books for his team, which plays

Harper provides spark in NJCAA Western District Tourney

Bryce Harper and College of Southern Nevada won the NJCAA Western District Tournament over the weekend in Lamar, Colorado. CSN lost the first game of the championship series Saturday to Central Arizona College 21-14 but then rebounded to crush CAC in the second game 25-11. According to Dan Cabrera from CSNCoyotes on Twitter, Bryce Harper was 6-for-6 with 4 HRs, a double, a triple and

McCatty to Stammen: Go to the curve early and often

Game 2 Saturday afternoon at Nats Park features the Nationals righthander Craig Stammen against the Orioles righthander Brad Bergesen (3-3, 5.45). Stammen is coming off a bad first inning against the Cardinals on Monday night where he allowed four runs, but then he settled down, not allowing another run for his final five innings of work. I asked Craig about how he recovered from that

Batista keeps Nats in game despite little rest

In a game where the Nats got down early to the Orioles and lost their starter Scott Olsen by the third inning due to injury, 39-year old righthander Miguel Batista kept them in the ball game and gave them a chance to come back. Just like he did Thursday against the Mets, and countless other times in his career. Down 4-0 to Baltimore after three

Bryce Harper hits for cycle

Bryce Harper went 6 for 7 with 5 RBI and 3 runs scored Friday, becoming only the second Coyotes player ever to hit for the cycle, as the College of Southern Nevada trounced host Lamar Community College 22-8 in the semifinals of the NJCAA Western District Tournament in Lamar, Colorado. The Coyotes scored 18 of their 22 runs in the final two frames to blow

Olsen credits Pudge for best run of career

The Nationals will attempt to stay above .500 as they welcome in the Baltimore Orioles for the start of three at Nats Park. The pitching match-up in game one features left-hander Scott Olsen (2-1, 3.15) against rightie David Hernandez (0-5, 5.84). I caught up with Scott to get a preview of his start against the Birds. He has been lights out recently. In Olsen's last

Dunn knew Feliciano would not give him much to hit

Down 10-1, the Nats battled back to get within 10-6 and the bases loaded in the 8th. There were two outs for slugger Adam Dunn. 23,612 at Nats Park knew this was the best chance the Nats were going to have to save a miserable night in the field. But Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano did not give Dunn the opportunity to beat him. Dunn flew

Atilano never loses confidence in sinker

Nats right-handed starter Luis Atilano (3-0, 3.90) faces Mets right-hander John Maine (1-3, 6.13) in the finale of the two-game set tonight at Nats Park. Atilano is coming off a start against the Colorado Rockies in which he allowed back-to-back homers. He did not have the best control with four walks in five innings and was often behind in the count. A lot of times

Storen and Clippard help Nats close the door on the Mets

Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard shut down the Mets in the 7th and 8th innings Wednesday to help the Nats snap a 5-game skid and win 5-3. Storen made his Nats Park debut, getting a nice ovation from the 19,384 as he was introduced following 6 and 1/3rd innings from starter Livan Hernandez. With a man on 2nd, Drew induced Jose Reyes to line out

Lambin stays consistent at Syracuse, hopes for the call

The 30-year old switch-hitting second baseman Chase Lambin from Houston, Texas is having his best season as a minor leaguer for the Syracuse Chiefs. Lambin is batting .311 through 33 games with 8 doubles, 2 triples, 5 homers and 18 RBI. He says having Stephen Strasburg in Syracuse has changed the feeling in the stadium and the clubhouse. "When Strasburg pitches there is a whole

Clippard helps Balester in reliever transition

After he was roughed up in Syracuse to start the season, the Nationals decided to convert right-hander Collin Balester from a starter to a reliever. So they sent Collin to extended spring training in Viera, Florida, where he has faced off against the Astros, Braves and Tigers, among other squads. In his most recent outing, Balester told me he went two innings and allowed no

2011 in 2010

The Nationals are going for it. With Drew Storen called up Sunday and Stephen Strasburg starting (most likely) June 4, Mike Rizzo is announcing to the senior circuit that you can't spell National League without the National(s). This was not the case last season (or the year before that, or the....stop!). The Nats would make mistakes or get crushed in the bullpen and nothing would

Storen called up to Nats; Bruney DFA'ed

The Nationals have called up pitcher Drew Storen from Triple-A Syracuse and designated reliever Brian Bruney for assignment. Riggleman says Storen has earned the promotion. "We are going to bring Drew Storen up and work him into the mix in the bullpen," Riggleman said. "Anywhere from that sixth inning through the eighth inning. We probably would not use him in real long stints. It will

Nats look to leave Denver with win behind Olsen Sunday

The Nationals will attempt to even up the four-game set with the Rockies in the final game of the series Sunday at Coors Field in Denver. With a win, the Nats would be 4-3 on the nine-game road trip. Two wins in both New York and Denver would be big before a pair in St. Louis to wrap up the trip. This is another opportunity

Nats swept in Denver, fall 4-3 to Rockies

Colorado Rockies swept a day-night doubleheader from the Washington Nationals on Saturday, 4-3. The Rockies got to Luis Atilano with a pair of homers in the third inning, and a costly error by Ian Desmond (that could have been charged to Adam Dunn for not handling the throw) in the seventh gave Colorado the 4-3 lead that would hold. Manager Jim Riggleman on Atilano's outing:

Rockies late surge downs Nats in Game 1

Livan Hernandez and Ubaldo Jimenez did not disappoint, dueling into the late innings, as the Colorado Rockies blew open a close game with three runs in the eighth Saturday afternoon, downing the Washington Nationals 6-2 in the first game of a doubleheader from Coors Field in Denver. Unfortunately for the Nats, most will remember Brian Bruney's struggles in the Rockies last at bat. Ian Stewart's

Nats vs. Rockies postponed; split doubleheader Saturday

The Rockies have announced Friday's game at Coors Field between the Nationals and the Rockies has been postponed due to inclement weather. The game has been rescheduled as part of a split doubleheader on Saturday. Scheduled starters for the Nats remain as expected. Game 1, Livan Hernandez vs. Ubaldo Jimenez. Game 2, Luis Atilano vs. Jason Hammel, Hammel is returning from the disabled list and

Your P-Nats fix: Norris, Peacock, Morris and scoreboard news

I got to sit down and grab some more knowledge from Paul Menhart, pitching coach for the Potomac Nationals regarding their roster this year. We already talked about Fabian and Frias, and it was a big week for the P-Nats with the return of Derek Norris, who is back in the lineup in Potomac after getting over a hamate injury. "He is still trying to

P-Nats progress for Fabian and Frias

I had a chance to visit with Potomac Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart and we talked about a few of his pitchers this season and how they are doing. Menhart, as you know, was the pitching coach for Stephen Strasburg during the Arizona Fall League and has been working with the Nats younger pitchers for years. We began with a focus on a pair of

Marquis: "I will be out 8-10 weeks"

Potomac Nationals pitching coach Paul Menhart gave me some quick insight on veteran Nats pitcher Jason Marquis and his outing Tuesday in Woodbridge. Jason told the media today it is a strong possibility he will need surgery to clean up bone chips in his elbow. He said he felt a lot of pain this morning and expects to be out 8 to 10 weeks. Menhart

This and that

A few quick hit notes to finish out the evening... Jason Marquis struggled in his rehab start in Woodbridge as Potomac fell to Winston-Salem 8-5. Marquis allowed 6 hits and 3 earned runs over 3 2/3. Jason threw 54 pitches and 36 for strikes. Marquis has been on the disabled list since April with bone chips in his elbow. Former National Ryan Langerhans hit a

A weakness exposed?

The Mets got to Brian Bruney and Tyler Clippard Tuesday as New York erupted for six runs in the eighth inning that turned a 6-1 lead into an 8-6 loss. Bruney did not record an out but allowed 3 runs, 2 earned on 2 hits in the eighth. Clippard recorded only a strikeout to Jeff Francoeur in his worst outing of the season, giving up

Bryce and Bruney

Just so you have them when the Nats pick Bryce Harper with the number one overall selection, here are his stats: Bryce finished his first collegiate regular season with a .417 batting average, 71 runs, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 23 homers, 68 RBI, .917 slugging percentage, .509 on-base percentage, grounded into only 2 double plays, 16-20 stolen bases, .982 fielding percentage, 165 total bases in

Minor notes

The rough early season for the Harrisburg Senators offense is starting to show with the moves the team is making. Unfortunately, the Nats have given up on outfielder Michael Daniel. Daniel batted only .182 with no homers and just 2 RBI in 19 games. The University of North Carolina product was a seventh round selection in the 2005 first year player draft. Bill Rhinehart has

Rizzo and 33 days

With the Nationals' victory over the Florida Marlins 3-2 Sunday, the Nats are 17-14 and won their 17th game of the season 33 days faster than last year's pace. The Nats did not secure the team's 17th win until June 11 last season and by then the Nats were close to 20 games out of first place. I caught up with Nats General Manager Mike

Strasburg lights out against Gwinnett

Syracuse Chiefs starter Stephen Strasburg rolled past the Gwinnett Braves in his Triple-A debut from a sold out Alliance Bank Stadium. Strasburg continued to hit 96-99 miles per hour on his fastball, a drop off the table curve ball and an assortment of off-speed stuff that confused the G-Braves hitters. Strasburg also added 2 RBI as Syracuse led 3-0 when he left the game. He

Strasburg ready for next step in Syracuse

The next step in Stephen Strasburg's seemingly meteoric rise is Syracuse as he gets a chance to see what he can do at the Triple-A level. Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the Chiefs, sat down with Strasburg as he arrived in Syracuse and asked him how his life has changed since being selected as the #1 overall selection. "Oh, obviously there are a lot more

Game 3 preview vs. Braves: Nieves on Olsen's hot start

Nats left-hander Scott Olsen gets the start tonight against the Braves' veteran Tim Hudson as the Nats look for their fifth series win of the season. Olsen, coming off a lights out performance in the win over Florida last Friday night, is 7-1. He tossed six innings and allowed five hits and no earned runs, while striking out four and walking three. He has a

Going for the win in the 10th

Braves closer Billy Wagner, from nearby Crozet, Virginia, came on in the 10th inning with the lead and was able to stop the Nats rally. Wagner allowed a single by Cristian Guzman and it looked like the Nats would have a chance to tie or win the game. But Wagner retired the next three batters to notch only his third save of the season. Ian

Chambers dispels Nats job rumor

College of Southern Nevada baseball coach Tim Chambers told me that he has "absolutely not" been offered a job with the Nats. Tim said he called the Nats Assistant General Manager Roy Clark last night and they joked about how the media frenzy with him and the interest in his player, Bryce Harper, most likely fueled this type of speculation. "I was a 'bird-dog' while

Game 2 Braves preview: Atilano riding sinker to Big Leagues

Nats starter Luis Atilano learned his best pitch the sinker from the Nats organization. He will prominently display that pitch again tonight as he takes on the Atlanta Braves in his 3rd overall start and 2nd at home. I asked Luis what he felt about his 2-0 start: "I feel happy about it. I am keeping my focus from day to day. I am trying

Desmond calls on Double-A coach to refine hitting

Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond went 2-4 with a home run, a single, 2 RBI and a run scored in the Nats 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night at Nats Park. Desmond is batting .338 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI in last 6 games. His homer was number two on the season and came off Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami in the fifth inning.

Chambers insists Harper "very coachable"

College of Southern Nevada enters the final week of the regular season riding an eight game winning streak and a 42-10 overall record. The Coyotes are 29-7 in conference play, guaranteeing their 6th Scenic West conference regular season championship. They have two games remaining on their schedule at Salt Lake Community College, Friday and Saturday before the post season starts May 12th. Potential #1 overall

Strasburg versus Reds in June?

With the team announcement that Nationals number one overall selection Stephen Strasburg is moving on to the Syracuse Chiefs, I project the possible May starts for #37, and if all goes well, his first major league baseball start would be in early June for the home series against the Cincinnati Reds. Jim Callis, Executive Editor of Baseball America told me it makes sense for

New Perspective: Watching Strasburg on the Road

I wanted to relay my experiences from my visit last week to Reading, Pennsylvania to watch Stephen Strasburg's start. Strasburg did very well in that game, going five innings, allowing no hits and retiring the first 13 batters he faced. Unlike Sunday's start in Harrisburg, Strasburg was in control from the start and even contributed the game winning base hit. It is always fun to

Matt Chico adds new pitch, gets win for Harrisburg

Senators pitcher Matt Chico continues to work hard to get back to the Major Leagues and had a very good outing this week for Harrisburg at Reading, his first win of the season. I caught up with Matt this week and he talked about the conditions of his start and his new pitch, the two seam fastball. "I had no problems in the 40 degree

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