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Phillies pouring it on (Nats fall 10-4)

The Nationals have finally returned home for the first time since July 20 and left-hander Gio Gonzalez looked to get off to a good start in front of the Nationals Park faithful. He started that last game at home and recorded a no-decision in a 5-4 win over the Brewers. Despite falling to the Reds on Saturday, Gonzalez allowed only one run on four hits

Williams on Walters’ “big potential” in Cleveland, Rizzo on 2011 trade that got him to Nats

The Nationals decided to trade future potential for playoff experience and depth for their infield on Thursday, sending prospect Zach Walters to the Cleveland Indians for veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera. Manager Matt Williams said Walters thought he was in trouble when his skipper called him into the office early Thursday to deliver the news. “Shocked as anybody else would (be),” Williams said. “I said, ‘No,’

Williams and Rizzo on acquisition of Cabrera

Manager Matt Williams was excited with the news that the Nationals had acquired two-time All-Star infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the Cleveland Indians. Williams said during pregame availability on Thursday that Cabrera brings to the Nationals postseason experience. “He is a guy that has been in pennant races,” Williams said. “He understands that. He understands the pressures of this time of year and getting where you

Matt Williams on the 4-3 win over the Marlins

Nationals manager Matt Williams had these thoughts on Drew Storen working out of a jam in the ninth inning to record his first save of the season in a 4-3 win at Miami: “Certainly, the (Giancarlo) Stanton homer, and then the ball kind of inside the line at first. But Drew made a pitch when he had to make a pitch. That is all that

Nationals needed early run after two losses in series and got it (Nats win 4-3)

Fresh off two rough setbacks in Miami, the Nationals wanted nothing more than to get off to a good start in the final game of the three-game set against the Marlins in Miami. They had lost the first two games - a heartbreaking 7-6 comeback loss Monday and a 3-0 shutout Tuesday. The Marlins sent out left-hander Brad Hand, who was 0-3 with an 8.71

With Zimmerman injury news foreboding, expect Rizzo to make a move

The Nationals fell to the Marlins 3-0 on Tuesday night. It was their second straight loss and third in four games. The nine-game road trip suddenly reminds us of a recent long trip to San Diego, San Francisco and St. Louis. During that West Coast swing, the Nationals raced out to a 5-2 record to start the road trip. They ended up losing three straight

Nationals unable to take advantage of early chance (Marlins win 3-0)

Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez appeared to be having trouble controlling his pitches early on tonight against the Nationals. But the Nationals were unable to score a run with men on base in the first and second frames. Alvarez pitched around a walk to Denard Span in the first thanks to a double play ball. In the second inning, the Nationals loaded the bases with no

Learning from a tough loss in July can pay deeper dividends in September

Losing is never easy. Blowing a 6-0 lead is up there as most upsetting. But falling 7-6 at Miami Monday is actually a good thing for a team that has seen a lot go well in the month of July. It seemed like Rafael Soriano was due. Recently, a few of his best pitches have been up in the zone. He actually lives on the

Nationals make Eovaldi work in first (Marlins come back for 7-6 stunner)

The Nationals did not waste any time getting on the board against Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. In the first, following a Denard Span pop out, Anthony Rendon singled and went to second on a Jayson Werth walk. After a wild pitch, runners were on second and third base. Adam LaRoche followed with a line drive out to deep center, which scored Rendon from third, and

Nats have played better on the road, but what about Zimmerman injury?

The Nationals have done well on long road trips that commenced after June 1. It’s another mark of a team with depth, timely hitting and quality pitching. Following Sunday’s 4-2 win at Cincinnati, the Nationals have now won or tied the first two series of multi-city road trips three times since the beginning of June. From June 6 through 15, they traveled to San Diego

With right-handers on the schedule, it’s time to play Walters

With more indications that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will be out for most of the rest of the summer, the Nationals have a few days until the trade deadline to make a decision. Should they go out and add a bat or stand pat? Should it be an infielder with experience or another solid bench bat? Could they possibly, as Ray Knight told us on

Roark and Simon in rematch of May 21 battle (Nats win 4-1)

The Nationals managed only a Denard Span home run in their last meeting with Reds right-hander Alfredo Simon. In the first inning Friday night, the Nationals managed an Anthony Rendon single and Jayson Werth was hit by a pitch. With one out, the Nationals had men on first and second. But Adam LaRoche struck out and Ian Desmond grounded out to second. But at least

Bullpen’s success due to solid contributions from one to seven

It is amazing to think about how productive the bullpen has been this season for the Nationals. Tyler Clippard, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano have been very efficient in the seventh, eighth and ninth frames. Soriano is 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA with 23 saves this season. Storen is 2-1 with a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings. Clippard is 6-2 with a 1.93 ERA in

Rendon’s extra-base capability an important asset for Nationals

One main reason the “>Nationals have been able to get on a roll since late June has been their ability to compile extra-base hits on offense. The Nationals have gone 11-6 in July and 14-6 since June 28. The offense has averaged 5.24 runs per game in the past 17 games, totaling 89 runs. The Nats are enjoying a stretch of 23 consecutive games with

Rockies tee off on Strasburg early (Nats lose 6-4)

The Nationals were able to grab the lead in the first inning thanks to a fielding mistake. With Denard Span on base after a single, Scott Hairston’s grounder to DJ LeMahieu was mishandled on a force attempt. The throwing error allowed Span to score all the way from first and the Nationals led 1-0. But in the bottom of the first, the Rockies teed off

Espinosa’s value highest is now, staying with the Nationals

It seems like any time the trade deadline talk comes up relating to the Nationals, inevitably Danny Espinosa’s name comes up in the conversation. Especially when Bryce Harper returned to the lineup June 30, Espinosa was relegated to the bench for spot duty in the late innings on defense or a pinch-hit appearance here and there. General manager Mike Rizzo has fielded calls from prospective

Rockies get to Zimmermann for early lead (LaRoche homers, Nats lead 7-4)

Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann battled through the first inning against the Rockies, and despite allowing two hits, was able to come through it unscathed. Unfortunately, the Rockies were able to get a couple of more hits in the second inning to take their first lead of the series. Ben Paulsen doubled, and one batter later, DJ LeMahieu smacked a triple down the right field line

Starters keep game scoreless early (Desmond 5-for-5 in 7-2 win)

The Nationals looked to settle in against the Rockies’ Franklin Morales, who was making his first start against the D.C. club after five previous relief appearances. And the third inning was the time. Especially against a reliever-turned-starter, who you would expect would run out of ways to get you out. But Morales was up to the task. With one out in the third, Denard Span

Werth on the anatomy of a walk-off win and looking down the road

That one play, really that one at-bat, made the game. Bottom of the ninth, Anthony Rendon at first base, two outs. Brewers reliever Rob Wooten was on the cusp of getting out of the inning. He had relied on his slider and curveball to get to two outs and had made it difficult for any Nationals to get a good swing. But veteran Jayson Werth

Zimmerman, Werth and bullpen find a way to beat the Brewers 5-4 (updated)

The Nationals battled with the Brewers all day, finally ending it on a Jayson Werth double that scored Anthony Rendon all the way from first base in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 victory. The up-and-down affair had both teams with leads. The Nationals led 1-0. Milwaukee went up 2-1 and then 3-1. The Nationals tied it on a Ryan Zimmerman two-run shot

Gonzalez fights through jam in second unscathed (Nats walk off with 5-4 win)

Left-hander Gio Gonzalez has been able to go long into games in his last three starts, totaling 21 2/3 innings. While averaging seven innings in those games, he has allowed the bullpen to enjoy short work and keep it fresh. Gonzalez will look to do that again Sunday against the Brewers. The Nationals are 3-0 in three games Gonzalez has started against Milwaukee. In the

Nationals help Roark early and he does the rest

Doesn’t matter if you start Tanner Roark after 10 days off, four days, five days or spot duty. He always seems to deliver. On Thursday, Gio Gonzalez could not get back to D.C. because of a flight cancellation. Manager Matt Williams moved Roark up to Saturday and he quickly adapted. The Nationals scored five runs in the first inning Saturday and Roark went seven innings

Nationals take big lead, chase Garza in first (Nats win 8-3)

The Nationals took it to Brewers starter Matt Garza in the first inning. Denard Span singled and Jayson Werth doubled. Following a walk to Adam LaRoche, Ryan Zimmerman provided a two-run single to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead. After another Garza walk, this one to Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond’s infield single scored LaRoche and the Nationals’ advantage was 3-0. Wilson Ramos then delivered a

Williams on Zimmermann, Fister and the trade deadline

Nationals manager Matt Williams reported during Saturday’s pregame that right-hander Jordan Zimmermann is on target to start Tuesday night in Denver against the Rockies. Zimmermann left the July 11 game at Philadelphia with a right biceps cramp. “He’s good to go. He had a good bullpen today,” Williams said. “All indications are he’s set to go on Tuesday unless he feels something after, but we

Strasburg relies on Storen to help with building back velocity after surgery

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg took the 4-2 loss Friday night against the Brewers. Two early home runs by Scooter Gennett and Khris Davis set the tone. But a two-out walk turned into a huge play in the game. It came in the third, with Milwaukee already leading 2-0. Strasburg had set down Kyle Lohse and Carlos Gomez to begin the inning. But it only took four

Gennett and Davis connect off Strasburg again (Nats lose 4-2)

Right-hander Stephen Strasburg allowed a grand slam to Scooter Gennett and another home run to Khris Davis on June 25 in a 9-2 Brewers victory over the Nationals. Fast forward to July 18, Strasburg allowed early home runs to Gennett and Davis and the Brewers lead 2-0 over the Nationals after 1 1/2 innings. The Brewers can hit home runs. Six of their starting nine

Nationals agree to terms with right-hander Erick Fedde

The Nationals announced today that the club agreed to terms with right-hander Erick Fedde, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The 21-year-old Fedde is a 6-foot-4, 180-pound junior out of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He was the Mountain West pitcher of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery in early June. He went 8-2 with a 1.76 ERA (15

Zimmermann looks good for Tuesday, Roark bumped up to Saturday night

Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann will start Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies in Denver if everything goes well during his throwing this week. Zimmermann left last Friday’s game at Philadelphia in the fourth inning with a right biceps cramp. An MRI revealed a biceps strain. He was not place on the disabled list. Zimmermann threw from 100 feet yesterday and will throw longer yardage today. Manager

Harris on Giolito and his Futures Game experience

I got some more insight from Team USA hitting coach Mark Harris, who got to work with and watch Nationals prospects Michael Taylor and Lucas Giolito play Sunday in the All-Star Futures Game. Team USA beat team World 3-2 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Harris, the hitting coach at Double-A Harrisburg, had this to say about Taylor’s season. Giolito did give up a home run

Clippard does his job, puts out fire in fifth inning (AL wins 5-3)

Nationals right-hander Tyler Clippard got his chance to pitch in his second All-Star Game in the fifth inning tonight at Target Field in Minneapolis. He was able to put out a fire started by Cardinals right-hander Pat Neshek. With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth, Neshek allowed a run-scoring double by Mike Trout that scored former Nationals prospect and current Athletics

Harris: Taylor “putting the ball in play,” raises average 60 points

Double-A Harrisburg Senators center fielder Michael Taylor has made big steps this season at the plate. Taylor is batting .323 through 88 games with 110 hits. Last season, he hit .263. He has 16 doubles, two triples, 18 homers, 27 stolen bases and 54 RBIs. Last season for high Single-A Potomac, he had 10 homers in 133 games. Harrisburg batting coach Mark Harris, who has

Zimmermann getting critical rest as the All-Star break commences

Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann avoided the 15-day disabled list after a MRI revealed only a right biceps strain. It was very good news for a Nationals starting rotation which has weathered a couple of storms early this season to be one of the most dominant staffs in the major leagues. Right-hander Doug Fister (lat strain) missed a great deal of the beginning of the season

Taylor notches base hit, Giolito a blown save but U.S. Futures win 3-2

Team USA defeated Team World 3-2 on Rangers prospect Joey Gallo’s two-run homer in the All-Star Futures Game from Target Field in Minneapolis on Sunday. Double-A Harrisburg center fielder Michael Taylor went 1-for-4 with a single and two strikeouts. Low Single-A Hagerstown right-hander Lucas Giolito surrendered a two-run shot to Puerto Rican shortstop Javier Baez, a top Cubs prospect, that gave the World team a

Official: Tyler Clippard added to NL All-Star Game roster (Nats win 10-3)

Looks like Tyler Clippard will need to book an airplane ticket to Minneapolis. The Nationals reliever has been added to the All-Star Game roster for the National League, according to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal. Source: #Nationals' Clippard being added to NL All-Star team.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 13, 2014 Clippard has a 2.03 ERA in 40 innings this season with the Nationals. This is

Souza, Laffey making waves as they cruise to Triple-A All-Star Game

There is hot. And then there is Steven Souza Jr. Somebody please cast him in the “Fantastic Four: Part II” as the Human Torch. The Nats Twitter world (thanks @jimatwitt) talks about him a lot and his statistics don’t lie. In the last 10 games at Triple-A Syracuse, Souza is hitting .475 (19-for-40) with six doubles, one triple, two homers, six stolen bases and 14

Nationals vs. Orioles week of battles, and a good step in building rivalry

It was exciting to be able to watch the Nationals and Orioles do battle this week in three intriguing games. The first game was tied into the 11th inning. Following a rain out on Tuesday, the Nationals took advantage of Bud Norris’ inability to hit his spots (he was sent to Double-A after the game for extra work), to win 6-2. The third game had

Desmond on hand: “It’s good”

BALTIMORE -- Nationals manager Matt Williams confirmed that shortstop Ian Desmond’s hand is not broken, at least from the X-rays taken at Camden Yards after the game. The X-Ray’s were negative. Desmond on how his hand felt after the game: “It’s good.” How much pain was he in? “It doesn’t feel good, but it’s not broken,” he said. “I think I’m good hands. You just

Orioles get to Gonzalez early with long ball (Nats fall 4-3)

The Orioles scored a run in the first inning for the second straight game and they did it in a very familiar way. With one out in the first, Steve Pearce slammed a 2-0 Gio Gonzalez offering over the left field wall and the Orioles led 1-0. It was a 91 mph four-seam fastball. Gonzalez was able to get the next two batters out. The

Williams on Gonzalez, Harper and Frandsen prior to matchup with Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Nationals manager Matt Williams said starting Kevin Frandsen at second base against Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen had nothing to do with Danny Espinosa, who started at that position last night. “We want to make sure we continuing to give our guys work,” Williams said. “Franny has played well. His last couple of at-bats have been good. He got a base hit and he

Werth, Fister and LaRoche after 6-2 win at Orioles

Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth had a double and a home run in a 6-2 victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night. His homer was one of three solo shots by the Nationals in support of Doug Fister, who improved to 52-52 in his career, the first time he has been at the .500 mark since 2010. “Warm night, balls flying, small ball park, good

Nationals erase bad memory with quick strike against Norris (Nats win 6-2)

One way to quickly forget a long rain delay that lead to a postponement and to forget an 8-2 11-inning loss is striking early in the first game back against the same opponent. The Nationals jumped on Orioles starter Bud Norris in the top of the first. After a groundout, Anthony Rendon and Jayson Werth hit successive doubles to make it 1-0 Nationals. Adam LaRoche

Williams on Roark’s resilience, Espinosa’s work ethic and LaRoche’s extra effort

Nationals manager Matt Williams said in his pregame meeting with the media that the Nationals decided to push right-hander Tanner Roark back to the final game before the All-Star break because they can use him out of the bullpen over the next couple of days. “Tanner’s got resiliency. We can use him out of the bullpen If need be,” Williams said. “That’s another factor. So

Williams on rotation following rainout, update on tickets for Aug. 4 makeup

Nationals manager Matt Williams said right-hander Doug Fister would be pushed back one day to start Wednesday at Baltimore, following Tuesday’s rainout in D.C. Williams also laid out the pitching probables for the remaining games before the All-Star break. “So Doug will go tomorrow,” Williams said. “And then we will go Gio (Gonzalez), Zimm (Ryan Zimmerman) and Stras (Stephen Strasburg), and Tanner (Roark) will pitch

Williams on Harper’s struggles at the plate: “He’ll be fine” (game postponed)

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 Monday in the loss to the Orioles. He has gone just 3-for-20 (.150) in the past six games with 10 strikeouts. On Monday, Harper popped out, flew out to center field, struck out looking and was walked twice (once intentionally) in five plate appearances. Manager Matt Williams said during Tuesday’s pregame meeting with the media that he saw

Strasburg, Rendon and Stammen on 8-2 loss to Orioles

Nationals reliever Craig Stammen said his fastball was fine, but he never was able to command his slider and that contributed to a rough 11th inning. The Orioles slammed two of their three homers in that extra frame off of Stammen as the Nats fell 8-2. “I made some good pitches with my fastball, but my slider was just so bad that it didn’t really

Report: Astros and Nationals shared spring training site could be ready in 2017

There have been discussions recently about the Nationals and Houston Astros working together on a shared spring training site. According to a Houston Chronicle article, Astros owner Jim Crane confirmed there have been more than talks and a proposed site in West Palm Beach, Fla., could be set to open in as early as 2017. Approval from state and local authorities is still needed for

Strasburg and Tillman battling in D.C. (Nats fall 8-2 in 11 innings)

A pair of 48-win teams tangle in the Nation’s Capital on Monday night as the Orioles arrive to face the Nationals. The teams opening day starters, Stephen Strasburg and Chris Tillman are off to great starts. Strasburg allowed only a Manny Machado double down the left field line in the first three innings. Machado’s hot shot came in the second at-bat of the game. Strasburg

Williams on Rendon’s first half success and facing his former manager Buck Showalter

Nationals manager Matt Williams fielded questions about second baseman Anthony Rendon and why he has garnered so much interest to be included in the Final Vote for next week’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis. “Anthony continues to understand himself and what he can and can’t do,” Williams said. “For me, I think he’s shown more power than anybody expected him to show. And that’s power to

Rendon reacts to inclusion in the Final Vote for All-Star Game

Major League Baseball on Sunday night announced that Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon is among the final five players eligible for inclusion in the All-Star Game in Minneapolis on July 15 via the Final Vote. Fans can vote for Rendon here. He’s competing against Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau and Braves outfielder Justin Upton. Balloting

Zimmerman on his big hit, Zimmermann on his fastball in 2-1 win over Cubs

In a nail-biting pitchers’ duel, it can come down to one pitch - and it usually is from a bullpen arm late in the game. Sunday was no exception, as Cubs starter Jake Arrieta and Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann combined to throw 12 innings and allow one run. With the game tied in the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals got a man in scoring

Werth delivers early for the Nats against Arrieta (Nats win 2-1)

The Nationals and Cubs are wrapping up their three-game holiday weekend series with a marquee matchup, with right-hander Jordan Zimmermann against right-hander Jake Arrieta. Zimmermann has allowed two earned runs or less in six consecutive starts, while Arrieta has taken a no-hitter into the seventh inning two starts in a row. The Nationals are looking to go nine games above .500 for the first time

Gonzalez, Zimmerman and Ramos on 13-0 win over Cubs

Nationals winning pitcher Gio Gonzalez was provided early run support that helped him concentrate on the job at hand. Going eight strong innings, Gonzalez allowed the Cubs only four hits and one walk with no runs allowed. The Nationals ended up pounding the Cubs 13-0. Gonzalez gave credit to the defense behind him and catcher Wilson Ramos guiding him through each inning. “I feel like

Nationals open scoring on Desmond hit in second (Nats win 13-0)

The Chicago Cubs racked up 14 hits in the first game of the series. Facing Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez on Saturday, they showed no signs of letting up. On Friday, the Cubs generated five hits in the first two frames. On Saturday, after Gonzalez pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, which included a pair of strikeouts, Chicago tallied three hits in the second frame. Fortunately for

Nats announce four more international signings

The Nationals have agreed to terms with four international free agents, the team announced Saturday. The four pitchers are right-handers Tomas Alastre, Christian Flores and Pedro Avila and left-hander Gilberto Chu. Here is the team release on the players: Alastre, 16, is a 6-foot-4, 170-pound native of Venezuela. He began his career at shortstop, but recently converted to the mound. Avila, 17, is a strong,

Why Williams put Harper back at No. 6 in order, Soriano’s continued effectiveness

The Nationals looked to shake things up a bit against (former) Chicago Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel Friday by batting Bryce Harper near the top of the order at No. 2. It didn’t work out that day. Harper went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. The Nationals lost the opener 7-2. But really that might have more been because of what Hammel was doing and how well he

Roark, Span and Barrett after 7-2 loss to Cubs

Right-hander Tanner Roark suffered his sixth loss of the season Friday, 7-2 to the Cubs at Nationals Park. That is the second loss to Chicago in as many starts. Each time, he allowed four runs. “They did what they did last time, base hit me, just got beat,” Roark said. He also had a chance to impact the offense when he came up with two

Werth homer gets Nats going on Fourth of July (Cubs win 7-2)

The Chicago Cubs were able to strike first against Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark. Chris Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano deposited clean singles onto the Nationals Park outfield grass to open the first. Anthony Rizzo’s double-play grounder to Ian Desmond scored Coghlan and the Cubs led 1-0. Bryce Harper, batting second for the first time the week, flew out to left field in the bottom of the

Williams on Harper hitting second, Zimmerman and the Fourth of July

Nationals manager Matt Williams explained during pregame Friday the reasoning for placing Bryce Harper near the top of the lineup at the No. 2 spot against the Cubs and right-hander Jason Hammel. “I think it’s a question of trying to create a little bit with Bryce at the top of the lineup, especially against a righty,” Williams said. “We faced three lefties the last three

Tony Tarasco on outfielder Michael Taylor: “The kid’s a specimen”

It was September 2010 and the Nationals had decided to move Michael Taylor from shortstop to the outfield. The decision was made and presented to Taylor prior to instructional league workouts. Tony Tarasco, currently the Nationals’ first base coach, was then the outfield coordinator for the organization. “We told (Taylor) we thought it was a better place for him to shine and take advantage of

Desmond, Fister and Clippard break down Nats’ 4-3 win over Rockies

Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond felt he had hit the ball well enough, but stood at third waiting for the umpires to agree. If it was a homer, it would be the go-ahead run to complete the comeback for the Nationals over the Rockies 4-3. “The way it bounced back hard like that I kind of assumed that it was over,” Desmond said. “And the way

Fisters settles down, Werth and Desmond crush homers (Nats win 4-3)

The Rockies have been desperate to get their offense going in this series. They finally were able to deliver a big inning against the Nationals and Doug Fister early in the series finale. Fister got through the first unscathed. But in the second, the Rockies started a rally with singles from Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson. With two men on in the second, backup catcher

Williams has no issue with Harper’s comments (first pitch moved to 6:30 p.m.)

Nationals manager Matt Williams was able to shed more light on what he thought Bryce Harper meant when talking about where he would like to hit in the lineup and what position he would prefer to play. Williams said he understands if Harper would want to hit higher in the lineup than sixth. “With regard to scrutiny regarding the lineup, that’s on me,” Williams said.

Strasburg and Werth key Nationals’ series win over Colorado

The Nationals got the all-around performance they wanted from Stephen Strasburg on Tuesday. He almost was able to close out the game, leaving after 7 2/3 innings after he allowed just one run on five hits with eight strikeouts. It was a more consistent outing for Strasburg after three previous starts in which he had allowed 14 earned runs. “I just tried to execute pitches

Strasburg works with early advantage against Rockies (Nats win 7-1)

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, as with any starter, pitches better with a lead. But it really seems to help Strasburg, who has had a tendency of giving up early runs, and then never being able to get into a groove. In his last three starts, Strasburg has allowed 14 earned runs. So having his offense give him an early advantage allows him to not have

Williams on Strasburg’s mechanics and Harper’s comments

Nationals manager Matt Williams’ two main topics Tuesday prior to their game against the Rockies dealt with Stephen Strasburg’s mechanics and Bryce Harper’s comments. Williams said Strasburg worked on his mechanics during his side session this week following his last start June 25 at Milwaukee. In that game, Strasburg allowed seven runs, all earned, on eight hits with three walks over 4 2/3 innings. The

Harper happy to be back on field, and a take on his center field comments

Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper was back in the lineup Monday for the first time in 57 games. He contributed with an RBI single, a run scored and some laser-beam outfield throws. It didn’t create an out that time, but his throw was Harper-like stunning for its power and force. “I just thought (Justin) Morneau came off a little hot and tried to back-door him

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