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Lind, Goodwin and Difo highlight a complete Nats offense

The Nationals offense, especially their 3-4-5-6 hitters, has set the tone for a high scoring band of brothers that makes most National League starters uncomfortable. However, with Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman out of the starting lineup in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Rockies on Sunday, runs were certain to be at a premium. Rockies starter Jon Gray threw a perfect game for

Edwin Jackson provides boost again as Nats prevent series sweep

The Nationals got another major boost from veteran Edwin Jackson. After signing June 16, Jackson returned to pitching for the Nats July 18 in a 4-3 win at Anaheim. He went seven innings that night and surrendered only two runs on three hits. Then came an 8-0 setback against Milwaukee in which he gave up seven runs (three earned) in five innings for the loss.

Pitchers dominate early in Game 2 (Nats win 3-1)

As one might expect after a long, drawn-out first game, the start of the second game of the doubleheader has been dominated by the quality pitching of Nationals right-hander Edwin Jackson and Rockies right-hander Jon Gray. Jackson has allowed two hits but has struck out five in the first three innings. Gray has countered by retiring nine straight hitters and striking out four. Game 1

Game 103 lineups: Rockies at Nats

An extended game one that turned into a difficult 10-6 loss for the Nationals to the Rockies means the first pitch Game 2 of today’s doubleheader has been pushed back to 7:40 p.m. EDT. With the way Game 1 went for the Nationals pitching staff, the club hopes veteran Edwin Jackson can eat a good amount of innings before the club embarks on a week-long

Even with opponent’s advance scouting, Difo continues to deliver

Shortstop Wilmer Difo connected on the biggest hit of the game Saturday night for the Nationals in their 4-2 loss to the Rockies. His two-run single that dropped perfectly in front of left fielder Gerardo Parra helped to ignite a rally for the Nationals that in the end came up a bit short. But the base hit on the first offering from Rockies starter German

Rockies’ Márquez too much for Nats this time in 4-2 setback

The Nationals faced off against a hot pitcher in German Márquez and lost to Colorado 4-2. There was a big chance for the Nats to get back in the game in the sixth with their newest hitter Howie Kendrick in the middle of the rally, but it fell a little bit short. Kendrick’s pinch-hit double and a two-run single by Wilmer Difo were the highlights

Roark allows early home run (Rockies win 4-2)

Right-hander Tanner Roark battled through a single and a walk in the first inning by striking out Mark Reynolds. But in the second inning, Carlos González was walked and Trevor Story worked a long count into a two-run shot over the right-center field wall that gave the Rockies a 2-0 lead. Roark bounced back to strike out looking the next three hitters he faced and

Strasburg has solid bullpen session plus notes on Werth and trade deadline

Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg took a solid step forward in his recovery from a right elbow nerve impingement with a smooth bullpen session on Saturday, according to general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo. Right-hander Erick Fedde will be called up Sunday to make his major league debut as Strasburg takes at least one start off. “He threw a bullpen today and came

Baker and Rizzo react to trade for Kendrick; Drew sent to DL

The Nationals activated infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick and placed infielder Stephen Drew on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain, retroactive to July 26. The team also announced they designated corner infielder Matt Skole for assignment clearing a 40-man roster spot for Kendrick. General manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo said he had always respected the play of Kendrick and had hoped

Game 101 lineups: Rockies at Nats

The Nationals are looking to get their three-game set with the Rockies underway tonight after a Friday night rainout. The pitching probables remain the same with right-hander Tanner Roark (8-6, 4.83 ERA) facing off against right-hander German Márquez (8-4, 4.20). Manager Dusty Baker said Friday that Roark is starting to get back to the way he was pitching when he pitched well last season. “I

Baker: Heisey, Raburn and Werth will head to West Palm Beach

Manager Dusty Baker confirmed that Chris Heisey, Jayson Werth and Ryan Raburn will accompany the team to Florida when the Nationals begin their six-game road trip in Miami. All three will rehab at the club’s West Palm Beach facility. “Raburn and Heisey could be ready pretty soon, not sure when exactly,” Baker confirmed, but Werth is not close to running yet. “They backed him off

Postponed: Sunday split doubleheader scheduled

The Nationals announced tonight’s game against the Colorado Rockies has been postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be made up Sunday night as part of a day-night doubleheader. There will be separate admissions for Sunday’s two games. Tickets for tonight’s game will be honored for Sunday night’s game. If you had tickets for tonight’s game and cannot make Sunday’s game, you can exchange

Zimmerman’s 237th homer one to remember for D.C. baseball

A big part of the Nats’ home run barrage on Thursday was Ryan Zimmerman. And that makes a lot sense. Zimmerman took his rightful place in Nationals baseball lore with two homers, the second one getting him to 237 in his career ,which equals the all-time home run record in Washington baseball history set by former Senators slugger Frank Howard. Howard played for the Dodgers,

Happy birthday to me: Scherzer reaches 200 strikeouts in 15-2 win

It helps to have an offense that can score runs. But when you also have Max Scherzer, it’s a day in the park. Scherzer went six innings and allowed only one run as the offense crushed eight homers as the Nationals ran away from the Brewers 15-2. Not too bad for a 33rd birthday. “Yeah, what a birthday gift,” Scherzer said. “I said coming in

Nats’ homer count reaches eight in 15-2 rout of Brewers

Dusty Baker wants his team to play better in day games. Having your star home run hitter crank one out of the park in the first inning helps. Facing Brewers starter Michael Blazek, Bryce Harper launched a two-run shot over the right-center field wall to give the Nats a 2-0 lead in the first inning. It marked the first time in the series the Nationals

Game 100 lineups: Nats vs. Brewers (with roster moves)

The Nationals have recalled left-hander Sammy Solis from Triple-A Syracuse and placed right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow nerve impingement, retroactive to July 24. Strasburg would be eligible to return Aug. 4 at Chicago against the Cubs. It is interesting to note, however, that Strasburg was placed on the disabled list with an elbow nerve impingement. Previously the Nationals

Baker confirms Strasburg heading to DL, Fedde to be called up Thursday

The Nationals are calling up right-hander Erick Fedde to start in place of Stephen Strasburg on Saturday against the Rockies. Manager Dusty Baker confirmed that Strasburg will go on the disabled list Thursday, retroactive to July 23. In his last start Sunday at Arizona, Strasburg finished only two innings and left, citing “achiness” in his arm. Nationals head athletic trainer Paul Lessard described it Tuesday

Brewers jump out to lead again, Harper tossed (Nats win 8-5)

A loud homer off the bat of Domingo Santana, which landed in the last row in front of the concourse near left-center field, gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. It appeared to bouncing around the concourse and traveled 476 feet according to StatCast, which would be the longest home run in Nationals Park history. Former Nationals slugger Michael Morse’s

Baker agrees with “big-picture” mentality for Strasburg’s next start

There’s some interesting news from Nationals manager Dusty Baker about the thought process that goes into whether or not Stephen Strasburg will make his next start. MASN’s Dan Kolko relayed a conversation he had with Strasburg to Baker prior to Wednesday night’s second game against the Brewers in which Baker said Strasburg has a big-picture mindset about the rest of the season and if the

Nats prospect Juan Soto has hamate surgery; new top 10 list revealed

The Nationals’ No. 3 prospect, outfielder Juan Soto, has been out recently because he had the hamate bone removed from his right hand, according to Nationals director of player development Mark Scialabba. Soto will be able to return to the lineup in a few weeks. Soto fractured his ankle back in early May with low Single-A Hagerstown and returned for several rehab games at the

Baker would love to improve record at home and during the day

Manager Dusty Baker, prior to facing the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday, talked about the Nationals’ home and away records and how they do in day games. The club was coming off another long road trip of nine or more games. In those three long trips, the Nationals have been outstanding, going 23-5 (.821). The Nationals have the National League’s best road record at 33-19 (.635). Why

Harper knew Davies was good from his childhood days

Offensively, it just wasn’t the Nationals’ night in an 8-0 setback to the visiting Brewers. The Nats went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and managed only five hits. They left eight men on base. Only one of their three doubles came with a runner on base. Bryce Harper’s double with two outs and Stephen Drew on first in the eighth was their best chance

Jackson taxed early (Brewers shut out Nats 8-0)

Edwin Jackson got into a heavy pitch count in the first inning thanks to a pair of two-out walks to the Brewers’ Travis Shaw and Domingo Santana. A called third strike to Eric Thames prevented damage, but Jackson had to spend 29 pitches to end the frame. In the second inning, Manny Piña and Brett Phillips started a rally with back-to-back singles. A Zach Davies

Updates on injured and excused players

Besides an update on right-hander Stephen Strasburg, manager Dusty Baker also had updates on other injured or excused Nationals players. * Shortstop Trea Turner (right wrist fracture, June 30, 18 games missed): “Trea is getting an X-ray and follow-up this afternoon,” Baker said. “I talked to him. He says he’s feeling pretty good, but he’s also in the hands of the doctor and the X-ray

GCL Nats throw two no-hitters in Sunday doubleheader

Pitching a no-hitter in baseball is unique and rare. Pitching two no-hitters in back-to-back games of a doubleheader on the same day is like winning the lottery. Four pitchers for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nats pulled off the nearly impossible Sunday by doing just that: combining to throw two seven-inning no-hitters. In the opener, Joan Baez, down from high Single-A Potomac to work on

P-Nats owner’s letter to fans not encouraging for Prince William County return

For many years, the Single-A Potomac Nationals and owner Art Silber have worked and hoped to build a new stadium to replace the aging and outdated Pfitzner Stadium in Prince William County. Yesterday, Silber released a statement which said he is considering moving the team to a location outside of the county after a potential stadium deal at the Potomac Town Center could not be

Former Senators broadcaster Bob Wolff passes at 96

Remembrance today for the passing of legendary sports broadcaster Bob Wolff, who died Saturday night at 96, his indelible mark left on D.C. baseball broadcasting forever. Wolff was the first Washington Senators radio and television play-by-play announcer beginning in 1947 all the way to 1961 when the club moved to Minnesota. This New York Times obituary talks about the day he went down to interview

Robles returns, Ballou released, Soto still on DL

From July 3 to July 8, Nationals outfielder prospect Juan Soto played five rehab games for the Gulf Coast Nationals as he recovers from an ankle injury. He has been out of the low Single-A Hagerstown lineup since May 2. A club source told me the 18-year-old’s reinstatement to the Suns is not imminent and he remains on the disabled list. Soto is ranked as

Scherzer works clean first inning, AL beats NL All-Stars 2-1 in 10

The 88th All-Star Game was a showcase for the top notch pitching in the major leagues this season. Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer started the game in impressive fashion. He held the American League to one hit with two strikeouts in the first inning. The other highlight was the live on-air interview between FOX broadcasters and Bryce Harper during the game. The American League defeated the

Scherzer’s impact on D.C. not limited to baseball

Nationals right-handed Max Scherzer gets his second All-Star Game start tonight in Miami. The Nats’ top starter has had another outstanding first half as he leads the club in their pursuit of a second straight division title. But his effect on the Nationals in a philanthropic role in our nation’s capital region is also very strong and dates back to his first season with the

Grace and Romero shine for bullpen to end first half

The bullpen was called upon to keep the Nationals in the game Sunday and it did its job. Starter Joe Ross was held to just 3 1/3 innings, leaving with what manager Dusty Baker described as “triceps tenderness.” Left-hander Matt Grace followed, and along with four other relievers, held the Braves to two runs the rest of the way, a span of 5 2/3 frames.

Heart of Nats order causes nightmare for opposition

One key to the Nationals’ big lead in their division heading into the All-Star break is the heart of their order. Their 3-4-5-6 hitters in the lineup have established a nice core of their offense which is difficult for any opposing pitcher to navigate. Sunday, they added their No. 7 hitter to the mix of lethal bats and that was too much for the Braves

Rendon’s patience pays dividends (Ross leaves early; Nats win 10-5)

The Nationals went after Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb in the bottom of the first inning. Newcomb had trouble finding the strike zone early as Brian Goodwin and Wilmer Difo were walked. Bryce Harper followed with a single to left field that loaded the bases. Goodwin stopped at third base despite a wave home sign from third base coach Bobby Henley, respecting Matt Kemp’s arm. The

Nats announce signing of 27 International free agents

The Nationals have announced the signing of 27 international free agents. Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager Mike Rizzo and vice president of international operations Johnny DiPuglia made the joint announcement. The list includes nine outfielders, three infielders, two shortstops, two catchers and one third baseman. There are nine right-handed pitchers and three left-handers. Seventeen of the players are from the Dominican Republic,

Pitch-framing: The art of getting a strike call

The game within the game for a catcher involves a critical skill: the ability to frame pitches in a way to set the strike zone to benefit your pitcher. Pitch-framing depends on many factors involving the pitcher, the catcher, the umpire and the game situation. This is part one in our series on the art of the game: catchers and pitch-framing. Some of the best

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