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Stephen Walker: Enjoying the journey without knowing the destination

The statheads are trying to ruin my delight in the Nationals’ 2012 season, including Sunday’s comeback win over the Milwaukee Brewers, the club’s 24th so far. I’m trying hard not to let them. Now, I love baseball research and statistical analysis. The Society for American Baseball Research, SABR for short, has changed how fans, managers and front office personnel interpret, evaluate, and even enjoy teams

Ted Leavengood: Thanks to Johnson, Nats morph into a contender

The 2012 Nationals have moved beyond any centennial comparisons to Clark Griffith’s inaugural year at the helm in D.C. Davey Johnson coming aboard in Washington 100 years after the Old Fox is a nice parallel. However, at this juncture, Johnson’s ability to connect with his players and mold a winning club has put his team at a far more historic juncture. After Sunday’s unbelievable comeback

Marty Niland: Remembering your grandfather’s Nats and the last time Washington led the majors

At 20 games over .500, the Nationals have hit their high-water mark since moving to Washington in 2005, and with the right combination of events this weekend, they could find themselves with the best record in baseball. Think about that for a minute. Before this season, anyone who might even dare to form that combination of words would have been laughed out of town -

David Huzzard: Masterful Johnson blends ingredients into a winner

A manager has something to do with winning, but whatever that is, it can’t be measured and it is not certain how much it matters. Only that it does. If the average person were given the finest ingredients in the world they could not produce a dish as excellent as a master chef, and that is what Davey Johnson is as a manager. Nationals general

Rachel Levitin: Context, not one loss, defines an entire season

Life’s pretty busy these days, what with the constant news cycle, work weeks that extend beyond 40 hours even if they shouldn’t and the general buzz-buzz-buzz attitude that American culture unintentionally employs upon its citizens. That’s why it makes sense that busy folks would be baseball fans. Here’s my logic: It’s a long season. There are at least 162 games in a season. That allows

Stephen Walker: Why the 2005 Nationals melted down against the Braves and the 2012 Nats didn’t

The brand-new Washington Nationals, attracting 35,000 fans a per game in D.C., visit Atlanta tied for first place with the Braves, who have ruled the National League East since 1991. The team that wins the three-game series will own first place. In Game 1, after eight innings, the Nationals lead 2-1. Ace and All-Star Livan Hernandez is masterful, baffling the Braves with his pinpoint control.

Ted Leavengood: Too good to fail

It is certainly noteworthy that the two left-handed starters who fought for the last spot in the Washington rotation in March were the ones who stood up to the Braves four months later when the games really counted. Lohn Lannan lost out when the Nats came north in the spring, and he probably deserved better. But after this weekend, no one will ever again question

Werth scratched from rehab start with Single-A Potomac

WOODBRIDGE, Va. - If you were planning on heading to Pfitzner Stadium for Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth’s injury rehabilitation assignment with the Single-A Potomac Nationals tonight, you may want to readjust your Friday evening plans. Werth has been scratched from tonight’s game. In fact, he never even made it to Prince William County. Serveral minutes ago, he was spotted in the home clubhouse at Nationals

Marty Niland: Hail to “The Chief” and Cordero’s return for first-pitch ceremony

For fans who have followed the Nationals since they moved from Montreal, it’s not hard to forget the last time they were in first place this late in the season - that wonderful summer when baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005. A big part of that success will be at Nationals Park tonight to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the opening

Christmas in July at Nationals Park this weekend

Just writing the title of this entry makes me wanna run jump into my Santa suit. On, Dasher! On, Dancer! On, Prancer and Vixen! On, Strasburg! On, Harper! On, Desmond, um ... Wait, I’m getting confused. Anyway, this weekend when the Nationals host the Braves, the team will host its annual Christmas In July Toy Drive to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for

Dream Foundation hosts K Street Cocktails reception

It’s easy to look at the Nationals on the field and be impressed. The team is atop the National League East and seems destined for a playoff berth. But off the diamond, the success of the Nationals organization is just as potent. The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation has been touching the lives of children all throughout our nation’s capital and has been a beacon of

David Huzzard: This time, Nats winning without smoke and mirrors

On September 17, 2005, the Nationals stood at 77-71 and had a 5-0 lead entering the bottom of the ninth against the San Diego Padres. Since entering the All-Star break with a record of 52-36 and 2 1/2-game lead in the National League East, the Nationals had fallen back to fourth place and stood eight games back in the division. The wild card was vaguely

Rachel Levitin: Missing my second home

For the last two weeks, I’ve been stuck home sick from work. It sounds sort of nice, but I assure you that after a while, the novelty of that sentiment wears off and then the boredom hits. As a result, I had to miss one of my favorite baseball games of the year - the Fourth of July. As I sat home that day waiting

Stephen Walker: Nationals may miss Wilson Ramos more than anyone thinks

As the Nationals continue to own the best record in the National League and maintain a 2 1/2-game lead in the NL East, injured catcher Wilson Ramos seems like a forgotten man. Unnoticed though he may be, Washington’s baseball club misses Ramos more than most fans think. Jesus Flores, himself healthy for the first time in four years after overcoming a myriad of injuries, has

Ted Leavengood: They’ll have to rip the ball out of Strasburg’s hands

Any concern that the Nationals’ pitching staff would waver in the second half was dispelled by the first three games in Miami. “Quality start” hardly describes what Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg served up over the weekend. They limited the Fish to three runs in three games which should have been enough for more than two wins. But the All-Star break turned a

New guest bloggers enter the lineup for the second half

Can you believe we’ve reached the All-Star break already, Nats fans? Opening day seems like only yesterday, yet here we are in the dog days of summer, halfway through the season. For the Nationals, it’s been a dream start to 2012. The Nats currently sit with the best record in the National League at 49-34 and are in position to not only capture the NL

Ted Leavengood: A midterm examination

The first half is in the books, and perhaps the better word to describe it is midterm exclamation. Even after losing the series to Colorado, there have still been 83 games played through injury and devastating heat to a result that few Nationals fans would have believed possible at the start. Suffice it to say that the Nationals have aced the first half of the

Marty Niland: Washington looking for new All-Star memories

With the Nationals playing better than ever at the midpoint of the 2012 season, they’ll be well represented at next week’s All-Star Game, where Washington could find some new memories to cherish. Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Ian Desmond give the Nats their largest and most accomplished contingent since baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005. This group has the potential to leave the

Dave Nichols: Does Zimmerman’s return come at a cost?

Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg have been generating a lot of hype these days, and rightfully so. Both are exciting young players who should lead the Nationals’ attempts at glory for the next 10 years or so. But there’s no questioning that the face of the franchise remains third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman struggled mightily for most of the first three months of the season

Will Yoder: Hard to choose the Nats’ first-half MVP

The Nationals are about to wrap up their best first half in franchise history. At 45-32, Washington has the best record in the National League, is 3.5 games ahead of the second place team in the NL East, and is on pace to win 95 games this season. What has been perhaps most impressive about the team’s run so far this year is that when

Ted Leavengood: More All-Stars where these came from

Yesterday, Nationals fans saw - for the first time this season, really - the Ryan Zimmerman who has been the most enduring Nationals All-Star since 2006. His two-run double in the first inning off Tim Hudson was the telling blow in an 8-4 win to take another road series against perennial National League contenders, the Atlanta Braves. He had a solo home run as well,

Harper looks to join trio of Nats in Kansas City for Midsummer Classic

It was a continuous debate, at least for the past month or so, whether Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper should/would make the All-Star team. So with the announcement of the rosters for the 83rd annual Midsummer Classic, I’m happy to report the debate has been settled - kind of. Harper wasn’t selected by the fans or National League manager Tony LaRussa - that honor was reserved

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