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Patrick Reddington: Davey Johnson, Stephen Strasburg and Beijing In 2008

Davey Johnson was especially blunt in his assessment of 25-year-old right-hander Stephen Strasburg’s last outing. Washington’s 2009 No. 1 overall pick gave up six hits and three runs in six innings of work in which he struck out six and threw 109 pitches to the Miami Marlins. “He was actually awful,” Johnson told reporters after the start. “He was. I mean, every pitch he threw

Rachel Levitin: September subject to change

The past three September in D.C. have felt completely different. September 2011 was a quiet time. The Nationals went 80-81 that year, which was an improvement on all the seasons prior. The 2012 season was the most successful season played by this incarnation of D.C. baseball since the Nats’ inaugural year in 2005. Despite a short-lived playoff run, the Nats entered the offseason as National

David Huzzard: As potential free agent, Yankees’ Girardi a tempting option

This is a tale of two teams. One has an average age of 27.8 and the other 31.8. One has a solid young core composed of a 20-year-old former Rookie of the Year outfielder with back-to-back 20-homer seasons, a young pitching staff with three top-of-the rotation starters who are finishing the season with a 3.50 ERA or lower, a converted third baseman playing second who

Ted Leavengood: It all goes back to Zimmerman

There are landmark moments that stand like Mount Rushmore looking down upon the crowd of gameday events that have transpired since the first pitch was thrown out at RFK Stadium in 2005. There was Jayson Werth’s walk-off home run to send the Nationals to a Game 5 in the 2012 National League Division Series, Stephen Strasburg’s 14-strikeout debut in 2010 and maybe Bryce Harper’s breakout

Dave Nichols: Disappointing campaign ends on hopeful note

Well, here we are. The final week of the 2013 regular season. It’s been a fascinating but ultimately disappointing season. Unless the Nationals manage to win out this week and get an extraordinarily well-timed losing streak by either the Reds or Pirates, the Nats’ season will come to an end without reaching the playoffs. It’s funny, if the Nats had finished a couple of games

Nineteen wins means double the celebration

Jordan Zimmermann showed no mercy against the Marlins on Friday night. He opened the game with 5 2/3 hitless innings and finished his night by surrendering just two hits in a complete-game shutout. With his 19th win of the season, Zimmermann temporarily tied Max Scherzer for the most wins in the majors. So how exactly did the Nationals congratulate the National League leader in wins?

Patrick Reddington: Streaking in D.C.

Denard Span struck out in his seventh-inning at-bat against Miami right-hander A.J. Ramos on Thursday night, leaving him 0-for-4 in the series finale with the Marlins. Span was three spots away from another at-bat when Wilson Ramos lined out to end the bottom of the eighth. Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless top of the ninth for the Nationals to earn his 42nd save in the

Rachel Levitin: September baseball is family time

For just a few minutes (or at least while you read this blog post) let’s try and forget that the openly-hyped 2013 Nationals are 5 1/2 games behind the Reds for the second National League wild card. Instead, I’d like to give my two cents on September baseball. It’s the end of summer and the start of the school year come September. Fall is here,

David Huzzard: The Nationals’ place in D.C. baseball history

According to the modern baseball catalog of knowledge, Baseball Reference, the official major league history of Washington baseball began in 1884 with the Washington Nationals and the Washington Statesmen playing that season. The Nationals finished with a record of 47-65 and the Statesmen were 12-51. That would turn out to be a fitting beginning to Washington baseball history. There would be two more defunct franchises

Nationals pay tribute to Navy Yard tragedy

A day ago, innocent lives were lost at the Navy Yard just up the street from Nationals Park. Today, the Nationals honored those affected by the tragedy by wearing U.S. Navy hats during batting practice. Before the Braves and Nats took the field for Game 1 of their doubleheader, Nationals Park held a moment of silence to honor those at the Naval Yard. The Nationals

Ted Leavengood: Keeping our Navy Yard neighbors in our prayers

Events like those that transpired at the Navy Yard yesterday seem to plague our country with disturbing frequency. It is unfortunate that they happen at all, or that they happen in any neighborhood or any work place. But they came home yesterday to the Navy Yard, part of the neighborhood around Nationals Park. The most exciting thing happening Monday should have been the Braves series

Dave Nichols: No room for error

It’s come to this for the Nationals. They have 13 games to play in the regular season and trail the Reds by 4 1/2 games for the final wild card spot. They are close enough to taste it, yet still far enough out that they aren’t much more than a mathematical possibility at this point. It’s excruciating to think that if the Nats had managed

Video: Nats fan’s legacy impacts D.C. community

For me, baseball is so much more than a job or a sport that I enjoy. Of the many memories I have from watching baseball, some of the best include ones bonding with my dad or the conversations I had with friends while watching a game. About a month ago, Dan Kolko introduced us to a story of Richard and Kent Wilson, a father and

Patrick Reddington: Ross Detwiler’s lost season

When Stan Kasten was the Washington Nationals’ president, before the former Atlanta Braves president left the nation’s capital and became president and co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he shared an anecdote with reporters about a phone call from retired, legendary Braves manager Bobby Cox, who had called him after watching Ross Detwiler pitch. “This is unbelieveable, this is the exact way we did it.”

Rachel Levitin: Is it too little too late for the Nats?

The Nationals are now six games back in the wild card chase behind Cincinnati with 17 games left on the schedule. This is after Wednesday night’s 3-0 victory against the New York Mets in which Washington notched its fifth consecutive victory. It’s like MASN’s Dan Kolko said yesterday: finally, it’s all clicking. But is it too late? That’s the question facing the Nationals. Offense has

David Huzzard: The Nationals and international free agents

List the best free agent pick-ups of this past offseason, and it will be difficult to leave off Hyun-jin Ryu or Yasiel Puig. Go back one season earlier and there is an argument to be made that the best free agent signings were once again of non-MLB players in Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish. This offseason, that could be the case once again with rumors

“Productive” meeting held between Nats and Lee County, Fort Myers, Rockford Construction

Officials from Lee County, Fort Myers and Rockford Construction met yesterday in Washington with Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner to discuss the team’s potential move to vacant City of Palms Park for spring training, perhaps as early as the 2015 Grapefruit League season. According to this story in the Fort Myers News-Press, Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais characterized the meeting as a fact-finding mission but

Ted Leavengood: Nationals’ sun may be setting, but what a view

Five home runs in a 9-0 blowout, and still Gio Gonzalez completely stole the spotlight from Rick Schu’s offense. He flirted with history for six innings, taking a no-hitter into the bottom of the seventh. Then one got away. It was so close, so close to being corralled by Adam LaRoche, so close to being foul, but it was a hit. Gonzalez left the mound

Handicapping the field as Nats prep for Johnson’s exit as skipper

Davey Johnson’s playful “World Series of bust” boast from back in spring training seems eons ago. As the Nationals try to pull off an impossible comeback and work their way back into contention for a National League wild card berth, there are already rumblings about possible successors for their lame-duck manager. Johnson announced before the season that 2013 would be his last at the helm

Patrick Reddington: Which Denard Span is the real Denard Span?

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo described Denard Span as a “front line defensive center fielder” when he acquired the then-28-year-old outfielder from the Minnesota Twins last winter. Rizzo went on to say that he saw the 2002 Twins’ first-round pick who turned 29 in February as, “a confident leadoff type of hitter (who) appeals greatly to us because of his skill set as an offensive

Rachel Levitin: Considering an early arrival

It had been longer than I could remember since I last sat in the stands at Nationals Park, so on Sunday I changed that. Maybe it was the fact that it was “Sunday Night Baseball” on the eve of Labor Day or maybe it was the fact that I was feeling slightly burned out. But either way, I went to that game. The unfortunate part

Lombardozzi’s web gem highlights 3-2 victory

In a tie ballgame, every play matters. Jordan Zimmermann found himself in a bit of a jam in the seventh inning with two men in scoring position and only one out. Kevin Frandsen came to the plate and ripped it down the third base line, but Ryan Zimmerman snatched it and got the lead runner going to the plate. Cesar Hernandez came to the plate

David Huzzard: Where it all went wrong

This is normally the time of year where I start to realize that I won’t be able to watch baseball again for five or six months, depending on how you count the postseason and spring training. This season, the Nationals have failed to live up to expectations to a degree that has me glad the season is going to end. It isn’t a feeling I

Ted Leavengood: Desmond is Nationals’ rock-solid rock star

You will not find his picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated nor Rolling Stone, but Ian Desmond is a rock star. He is a rock, one of the most solid players on the Nationals roster, and he is emerging as a star who deserves to be recognized as such. Desmond’s WAR rating currently stands at 5.2 for the 2013 season. Wins Above Replacement -

September calls for new prizes from MASN’s “Touch ‘Em All” Nationals Rewards

Launched in July, MASN has been rewarding its top fans on social media with exclusive Nationals prizes. By sharing Facebook posts, retweeting our writers, tagging Instagram pictures with #masnNationals and more, fans have earned points, which at the end of the month, accumulated and earned them signed gear from their favorite Nationals. Well, this month is no different. Signed Denard Span baseballs and a bat

Dave Nichols: Harper’s eighth-inning sacrifice was case of results trumping process

The Washington Nationals salvaged the last of the three-game weekend set with the New York Mets on EPSN’s Sunday Night Baseball, overcoming an early deficit with a three-run eighth inning to win 6-5, spurred by Bryce Harper’s sacrifice bunt with men on first and second and no outs, trailing by two runs. The percentages say it was a bad play. Statheads throughout Natstown winced. The

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