Entries Listing

Opposite dugout: Mets and Nats have traveled different paths since opening series

Manager: Terry Collins (5th year) Record: 15-7 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 1B Lucas Duda (.312, 2 HR, 12 RBIs), CF Juan Lagares (.299, 11 RBIs), LHP Jonathon Niese (2-1, 2.74 ERA), RHP Jacob deGrom (2-2, 2.96 ERA), RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 3.04 ERA, 31 Ks), RHP Jeurys Familia (1.69 ERA, 9 saves). Season series vs. Nationals: 2-1 Pitching probables: April 30 -

David Huzzard: Would losing benefit the Nationals in the near future?

It is still early in the baseball season and no amount of struggling by the Nationals will change that. There are still just over five months and 140 games left until the end of the season. It is a tiring refrain to hear that it’s early, but no matter what happens these games are going to be played. War or work stoppage are the only

Matt of Matt’s Bats: No way around it, injuries have hurt Nationals

It’s been a tough week for Nationals fans. Following a series loss against the Cardinals, the Nats arrived in Miami to face the Marlins. Even though Miami has one of the best sluggers in baseball, Giancarlo Stanton, who is just starting to get hot, many doubted the Marlins had the fire to win against the Nats. Coming off the week they just had where they

Opposite dugout: First series against new-look Braves lacking usual feel

Manager: Fredi Gonzalez (5th year) Record: 9-9 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: RF Nick Markakis (.338/.439/.371 with 11 BB), 1B Freddie Freeman (.235, 4 HR, 8 RBIs), 3B Chris Johnson (.314/.375/.429), SS Andrelton Simmons (.279, 11 RBIs), LHP Alex Wood (1-0, 3.00 ERA), RHP Jason Grilli (1.20 ERA, 7 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting of 2015; 11-8 in 2014 Pitching probables:

Marty Niland: A veteran club like the Nats shouldn’t be playing like this

There are many ways to break out of a losing streak. A good way to extend one, however, is to make silly plays, something the Nationals have gotten good at during their current five-game skid. Let’s review the fun, shall we? On Wednesday, after the Nats rally to tie the Cardinals at 5-5 with a five-run third, Bryce Harper, representing the go-ahead run, gets himself

Patrick Reddington: “Cardinal Way” is making things tough on Nationals

With wins in two of the three games in the nation’s capital this week, the St. Louis Cardinals improved to 16-7 against the Nationals since 2012. Different rosters, different managers (for the Nats at least), but the same outcome. Over the last several years, the Cards have held an edge in the head-to-head series. The 2012 National League East Champion Nationals actually took four of

Opposite dugout: Despite lofty expectations, poor pitching has Fish reeling

Manager: Mike Redmond (3rd year) Record: 5-11 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 2B Dee Gordon (.348/.361/.435 with 9 RBIs, 9 stolen bases), RF Giancarlo Stanton (4 HR, 14 RBIs), 1B Michael Morse (2 HR, 7 RBIs), SS Adeiny Hechavarria (.311/.338/.410 with 1 HR, 10 RBIs), RHP Dan Haren (1-1, 3.32 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting of 2015; 6-13 in 2014 Pitching

David Huzzard: Slow start has Marlins fishing for answers

It’s still very early in the baseball season, too early to count any team out or call into question anyone’s spring training predictions, but the Marlins have the worst record in baseball and could be on the verge of changing managers. One of the main reasons for this is that Marlins starting pitching is not very good. They came into Wednesday’s action sporting a 5.30

Rachel Levitin: Seeing what Escobar is all about

When the Nationals announced that right-handed reliever Tyler Clippard was traded to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Yunel Escobar in January, the public opinion was that folks were sad to see Clippard go. Teammates and fans alike were not ready to see their beloved eighth inning reliever (whose use of the song “Peaches” will always make this particular Nats baseball observer smile) trade in red,

Opposite dugout: First-place Cardinals bring baseball’s hottest pitching staff into D.C.

Manager: Mike Matheny, fourth year Record: 8-3 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 3B Matt Carpenter (.400/.449/.689, 7 doubles, 2 HR, 10 RBIs, 10 R); LF Matt Holliday (.361/.467/.389, 6 RBIs); RHP Michael Wacha (2-0, 1.35 ERA, 0.90 WHIP); RHP Lance Lynn (1-1, 1.64 ERA, 0.909 WHIP) Season series vs. Nats (2014): 5-2, 25 runs scored, 12 runs allowed Pitching probables April 21: RHP

Matt of Matt’s Bats: Rafael Martin’s long and winding road

We are barely into the third week of baseball, but there is already a heartwarming story about one of the players on the Nationals, Rafael Martin. Martin’s story is like something out of a rock and roll ballad. Martin almost let go of his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, but held on tightly, kept working hard and now he’s a pitcher for the

Marty Niland: Welcome back, Mr. Span

Two weeks into the 2015 season, the Nationals lineup as it was envisioned at the start of spring training is beginning to take shape. The most recent addition - and the most welcome so far - was the return of leadoff man and center fielder Denard Span on Sunday. With all due respect to Michael A. Taylor and Yunel Escobar, the man who should have

Gwynn speaks on Hall of Fame father’s use of smokeless tobacco on HBO’s “Real Sports” on Tuesday

It’s been less than a year since the death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn from salivary gland cancer, and Gwynn’s passing has brought many calls for Major League Baseball to ban the use of smokeless tobacco. As baseball and its players association move toward another round of negotiations on a new labor agreement next year, expect smokeless tobacco to be one of the most

Patrick Reddington: Getting a push from Scherzer

New Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer said this spring that his conversations with his former teammate in Detroit, Rick Porcello, went a long way in helping in his own and Porcello’s development as major league starters. In an interview with Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo in the leadup to his opening day start with the Nationals, Scherzer discussed the relationship, explaining that he and Porcello would

David Huzzard: Nats’ early-season bullpen struggles can be fixed

The Nationals’ 3-6 record is not the fast start that fans wanted and experts expected, and the early struggles have been three-pronged. The offense took the first five games off, the defense has had issues catching and throwing the ball, and the bullpen has given away leads. Of the three, the offense has already started to turn with Jayson Werth off the disabled list, and

Opposite dugout: Phillies hope to halt skid, continue success vs. Nats

Manager: Ryne Sandberg, third year Record: 3-6 Last 10 games: 3-6 Who to watch: 3B Cody Asche (.500/.571/.667, 1 HR, 2 RBIs); 2B Chase Utley (.167/.229/.367, 2 HR, 7 RBIs); LHP Cole Hamels (0-1, 3.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP); RHP Aaron Harang (1-1, 0.73 ERA, 0.73 WHIP) Season series vs. Nats: 2-1, 10 runs scored, 7 runs allowed Pitching probables April 16: LHP Cole Hamels vs.

Rachel Levitin: Nationals still searching for rhythm and momentum

If spring training is the warm-up for the start of the season, I think it’s safe to say April is the warm-up for the rest of baseball’s marathon run from spring to fall. The Nationals are 2-6 to start their 2015 run and there have already been mumblings from various sources around Twitter and otherwise that have people begging the question: Is it time to

MASN airing special on baseball’s return to D.C. tonight (updated with rebroadcast dates)

If a full evening of programming centering on Nationals baseball sounds like paradise, you’re in luck. Not only will fans have the opportunity to watch full coverage of tonight’s game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park beginning at 5:30 p.m., but once “Nats Xtra” postgame wraps up, MASN will air “National Pastime: Baseball’s Return to Washington,” an hour-long special in celebration of the club’s

Matt of Matt’s Bats: Despite issues in field and at plate, Nats should come around

The Nationals have played seven games so far and have an unimpressive record of 2-5. When everyone is excited for baseball season to begin and expectations are so high that this team could win the division and even go to the World Series, it’s disappointing that there have been so many sloppy plays and bad losses. However, there are also bright spots that people may

Marty Niland: Three reasons Nats fans should remain optimistic

Repeat after me: “It’s still early. ... It’s a marathon, not a sprint. ... Nobody ever won a pennant in April. ... Three of our best hitters haven’t played yet.” Can we think of any other worn-out clich├ęs to perk up the spirits of Nationals fans expecting more after a 2-4 first week? There are probably plenty. Quite a few have appeared on Nats message

Opposite dugout: Well-rounded Red Sox welcome Nats to Fenway for home opener

Manager: John Farrell, third year Record: 4-2 Last 10 games: 4-2 Who to watch: LF Hanley Ramirez (.320/.333/.680, 3 HR, 7 RBIs); SS Xander Bogaerts (.407/.467/.519, 2 XBH, 2 SB, 6 RBIs); RHP Rick Porcello (0-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.333 WHIP); RHP Justin Masterson (1-0, 3.00 ERA, 0.833 WHIP) Season series vs. Nats (2014): DNP since 2012 Pitching probables April 13: RHP Rick Porcello vs. RHP

Opposite dugout: Phillies in rebuilding mode as they meet Nats for first time in ‘15

Manager: Ryne Sandberg, third year Record: 1-2 Last 10 games: 1-2 Who to watch: C Carlos Ruiz (.375/.583/.375, 0 XBH, 0 RBIs); RF Jeff Francoeur (.222/.222/.556, 1 HR, 3 RBIs); LHP Cole Hamels (0-1, 7.20 ERA, 1.60 WHIP); RHP Jerome Williams (4-2, 2.83 ERA, 1.134 WHIP in 2014) Season series vs. Nats (2014): 10-9, 70 runs scored, 84 runs allowed Pitching probables April 10: RHP

Patrick Reddington: Bryce Harper is still learning, and that should scare opponents

As Mike Rizzo explained this winter, the decision to move Bryce Harper to right field and Jayson Werth to left field served two purposes. One, Werth could “save his legs” with less ground to cover in left, which Rizzo explained would lead to less wear in the short and long-term for the 35-year-old outfielder. With Harper in right, the Nationals general manager said the team

David Huzzard: Baseball is a simple game ...

I’m certain that you’ve heard the saying that baseball is a simple game a number of times in your life as a sports fan. But a startling number of people don’t seem to understand how simple it is. Broadcasters and hot-take journalists are always talking about players knowing or not knowing how to win. The highest level of baseball I played was t-ball, and even

Matt of Matt’s Bats: The Nationals through the eyes of a 10-year-old

Hello, Nationals fans! Aren’t you happy baseball is back? My name is Matt, a 10-year-old kid from the D.C. suburbs. I am a huge Nats fan, so I am so excited to be writing for MASNsports.com this season. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the readers who may not know me. In July 2012, I started a blog called Matt’s Bats,

Rachel Levitin: Considering Ryan Zimmerman’s legacy

When baseball moved back to Washington, D.C., a decade ago, I also moved to town right around the same time. My dad used to joke with me back then, saying, “Good thing D.C. got a baseball team! They must’ve known you’d be coming!” He was kidding, of course, but I liked to think that it was somewhat true. The 18-year-old kid headed off to college

Fans encouraged to show off must-see moments with MLB’s THIS campaign

Local and national media alike had been talking about Stephen Strasburg for a long time. The hard-throwing right-hander was set to make his major league debut against the Pirates. And he did not disappoint. He struck out 14 Bucs over seven innings en route to his first win. THIS electric stuff was even greater than what many expected. While celebrating the Nationals’ 10th season, new

Opposite dugout: Upstart Mets hoping arms lead club to improved campaign

Manager: Terry Collins, fifth year 2014 record: 79-83 Who to watch (2014 stats): 1B Lucas Duda (.253/.349/.481, 30 HR, 92 RBIs); 2B Daniel Murphy (.289/.332/.403, 37 doubles, 9 HR, 57 RBIs); RHP Jacob deGrom (9-6, 2.69 ERA, 1.14 WHIP); RHP Matt Harvey (DNP, Tommy John surgery) Season series vs. Nats (2014): 4-15, 52 runs scored, 95 runs allowed Pitching probables April 6: RHP Bartolo Colon

Marty Niland: Five things that must go right for the Nats to succeed in 2015

How can a team that hasn’t even competed in a league championship series be a favorite to win the World Series? It may seem odd, but that’s the predicament the Nationals find themselves in as they enter the 2015 season. Experts nationwide have pegged a team with a bullpen full of question marks, Denard Span, Anthony Rendon, Jayson Werth and Casey Janssen on the disabled

Throwback Thursday: The beasts in the NL East

Opening day is only four days away. That’s right, Nationals fans. Only four more days until the defending National League East champions take the field. Speaking of NL East champions ... Before the Nationals begin to chase another division title, let’s throw it back that moment. Yes, I am talking about that moment. Relive the Clinchmas celebration below. It truly never gets old.

« March 2015 | Main Index | Archives | May 2015 »