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Opposite dugout: Brewers still smelling playoffs

Manager: Craig Counsell (3rd season) Record: 69-64 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 3B Travis Shaw (83 RBIs, 27 HR), CF Keon Broxton (20 HR, 19 SB), 1B Eric Thames (28 HR), RF Domingo Santana (22 HR, 66 RBIs), RHP Zach Davies (15-7, 3.91 ERA), RHP Corey Knebel (30 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-2 Pitching probables: Aug. 31: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. RHP

Houston natives Rendon and Albers set up relief fund for victims of Hurricane Harvey

Anthony Rendon and Matt Albers have had their minds and hearts with Texas for the last few days as Hurricane Harvey has devastated parts of the state, including their hometown of Houston. On Tuesday evening, the duo set up a YouCaring page, raising money to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, with proceeds going directly to the Houston Food Bank plus other area shelters. In

Luke Erickson: Who they gonna call?

For the first six seasons in D.C., Sept. 1 meant one thing for fans of the Washington Nationals: Let’s see if any of these minor leaguers might make the team next spring. Like, for example, Ian Desmond in 2009, Wilson Ramos in 2010, and the trio of Steve Lombardozzi, Tommy Milone and Brad Peacock in 2011 (yes, it counts because Milone and Peacock were key

Marty Niland: Nats getting key plays from unlikely sources

How many injuries can the Nationals withstand and still maintain the second-best record in the National League? Let’s hope that question remains rhetorical. But when an infielder who wasn’t supposed to get out of the minor leagues this season and the 13th different man to play the outfield in 2017 are making key plays, it’s not a bad idea to keep that question in mind.

Opposite dugout: Stanton making MVP case during Marlins’ wild card push

Manager: Don Mattingly (2nd season) Record: 66-63 Last 10 games: 8-2 Who to watch: RF Giancarlo Stanton (.296/.389/.670 with 50 HR, 108 RBIs), LF Marcell Ozuna (.309/.377/.556 with 31 HR, 102 RBIs), 2B Dee Gordon (.292 with 46 stolen bases), RHP José Ureña (12-5, 3.68 ERA), RHP Brad Ziegler (4.61 ERA, 9 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-7 Pitching probables: Aug. 28: RHP José Ureña

Take a look back at MASN’s Dan Kolko and Orbit’s battle in Houston

A few years ago, Houston Astros mascot Orbit began a friendly squabble with MASN’s Dan Kolko. Orbit is known around the league for getting into comical situations with fans, players and teams. He has done everything from tiger hunting to holding interventions to having his own hot dog eating contest to escaping police custody! The past few times that the Nationals and the Astros have

David Huzzard: Nationals have prospered against adversity

The Nationals have faced as much adversity possible for a team more than a dozen games up in their division in late August. There exists a subset of baseball fans that theorize that the teams that do best in the playoffs are those that have been battle-hardened by a tough division race or fight for the wild card. This is the typical type of adversity

Opposite dugout: Injuries, trades have left Mets a hollow shell

Manager: Terry Collins (7th year) Record: 55-71 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: OF Yoenis Céspedes (.292, 42 RBIs), 3B Wilmer Flores (42 RBIs), SS Asdrúbel Cabrera (35 RBIs, 20 doubles), OF Brandon Nimmo (.264), RHP Jacob deGrom (3.49 ERA), RHP AJ Ramos (23 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-9 Pitching probables: Aug. 25: RHP A.J. Cole vs. RHP Jacob deGrom, 7:05 p.m., MASN2

Luke Erickson: Stadium woes for Nats’ Single-A teams

For most of this century, the Nationals’ full-season Single-A teams have been seeking new stadiums. Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown was built in 1930 and has been hosting professional ball for 61 of its 87 years. G. Richard Pfitzner stadium in Woodbridge was built in 1984 and has been home to the current Potomac franchise since its inception. There is an axiom in engineering: fast, cheap

Win a signed P-Nats’ Dan Kolko bobblehead with MASN’s caption contest!

Earlier in the year, the Nationals’ Single-A affiliate, the Potomac Nationals, held a month-long fans’ choice contest for the next big bobblehead idea. The winner, of course, was none other than the dual Jayson Werth and MASN’s Dan Kolko bobblehead highlighting one of their most memorable postgame interviews together. MASN is giving you the chance to win one with its caption contest on Facebook! Simply

Opposite dugout: Despite injuries, Astros coasting toward postseason

Manager: A.J. Hinch (3rd season) Record: 76-48 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Jose Altuve (.362 with 171 hits, 29 SB), 3B Alex Bregman (.277 with 15 HR, 48 RBIs), OF George Springer (.303 with 28 HR, 70 RBIs), LHP Dallas Keuchel (11-2, 2.58 ERA, RHP Charlie Morton (10-5, 3.69 ERA). Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (0-4 in 2014) Pitching probables: Aug.

David Huzzard: Commending the job Mike Rizzo has done

The Nationals can be viewed as either one of the luckiest teams in baseball or one of the unluckiest. But there is a third option and that is that general manager Mike Rizzo knows what he is doing. I would have said before this season that if the Nationals don’t have a deep playoff run, Rizzo is as good as gone as GM. There are

Opposite dugout: Padres progressing through their rebuild

Manager: Andy Green Record: 54-66 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Wil Myers (24 HR, 59 RBIs), LF Jose Pirela (.293/.344/.520), 2B Yangervis Solarte (.271/.347/.426), LHP Brad Hand (2.19 ERA, 10 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-2 Pitching probables: Aug. 17: RHP Edwin Jackson vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin, 10:10 p.m., MASNAug. 18: RHP Max Scherzer vs. RHP Luis Perdomo, 10:10 p.m., MASN2Aug. 19:

Luke Erickson: Thoughts on that other fall baseball

With the minor league season winding down - Labor Day is the last day - thoughts start to turn to the Arizona Fall League. In theory, the AFL, which runs from Oct. 10-Nov. 18 this season, is a finishing school for the top prospects. In practice, it’s not quite that. That’s not to say that top prospects don’t appear; they do, but not exclusively. Pitchers,

Opposite dugout: Pitching a question as Angels make playoff push

Manager: Mike Scioscia (18th season) Record: 61-58 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: CF Mike Trout (.341, 23 HR, 55 RBIs), DH Albert Pujols (17 HR), SS Andrelton Simmons (.301, 55 RBIs, 17 SB), LF Cameron Maybin (25 SB), RHP Bud Norris (18 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-1 Pitching probables: Aug. 15: LHP Tyler Skaggs vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05 p.m., MASN Aug.

David Huzzard: Waiting for the regular season to end

The Nationals have such a commanding lead in the division that it has the same feeling as a losing season. It is like the Nationals are playing out the string, but instead of the season ending with golf outings and vacation, it will become exciting again and the Nationals will be in the playoffs. For now though, the Nationals are playing out the string. I’d

Opposite dugout: Struggles at plate and on mound have crippled Giants

Manager: Bruce Bochy (11th season) Record: 46-70 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: C Buster Posey (.321 with 51 RBIs), CF Denard Span (24 doubles, 4 triples), 2B Joe Panik (20 doubles, 4 triples), LF Gorkys Hernández (9 stolen bases) RHP Hunter Strickland (2.09 ERA, 13 holds), RHP Mark Melancon (11 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 0-3 Pitching probables: Aug. 12: RHP Chris Stratton

MASN and COX hosting Social Media Weekend August 12-13 at The Bullpen

This Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13, MASN and COX will be hosting Social Media Weekend at The Bullpen next to Nationals Park! Fans will have the opportunity to collect unique Nationals prizes at both the MASN and COX booths, and can try their swinging luck at the Cox Virtual Home Run Derby! Think you can hit a homer? Try your luck! The Cox

Luke Erickson: Are any Nats affiliates playoff bound?

If you’ve been following the Nationals’ minors closely (*ahem*), you’d know this ranges from virtually impossible (DSL Nats, Syracuse) to almost laughable (Potomac, Harrisburg, Auburn; all in last place by several games). Two of the affiliates, however, are in contention. If you’re one to bring the tartar sauce while going after your white whale, you might make the argument that these two teams - the

Marty Niland: Nats bench gaining valuable experience for postseason

The dog days of August are proving to be a grind for the Nationals, playing .500 ball in their past 10 games. But while they endure this rough patch of injuries and a sometimes sputtering offense, they are laying valuable groundwork for the postseason. Let’s face it, with a 13-game lead in the National League East and none of the other teams playing even .500

Opposite dugout: Marlins’ big numbers don’t show in their record

Manager: Don Mattingly (2nd season) Record: 52-57 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: RF Giancarlo Stanton (36 home runs), LF Marcell Ozuna (26 homers, 87 RBIs), 2B Dee Gordon (40 stolen bases), CF Christian Yelich (24 doubles, 9 stolen bases), C J.T. Realmuto (.306 average), Brad Zeigler (6.10 ERA, 2 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 5-4 Pitching probables: Aug. 7: LHP Chris O’Grady vs.

“Come As You Were”: ’90s night coming to Nats Park

’90s night is coming to Nats Park on August 11 as the Nationals take on the Giants! Over the past two seasons, the Nats have put on successful ’80s-themed nights where fans, players and on-air personalities dressed in ’80s-themed costumes, making for a radical night at the game. This season, the Nats have decided to change up the decades and go with a ’90s-themed night

David Huzzard: Dusty Baker is better than some think

My opinion on Dusty Baker started to change sometime before the Nationals hired him. His name came up often whenever a job opened up and he was mentioned often by broadcasters when Matt Williams was the manager of the Nats. My thought on Baker started to be why is a manager that has done nothing but win in his career so disliked by a certain

Opposite dugout: Cubs gaining momentum to start possible playoff preview with Nats

Manager: Joe Maddon (3rd season) Record: 57-50 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 3B Kris Bryant (.274/.388/.511 with 20 HR, 47 RBIs), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.263/.392/.523 with 26 HR, 70 RBIs), C Wilson Contreras (.276/.347/.508 with 18 HR, 65 RBIs), RHP Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 3.80 ERA), RHP Wade Davis (2.43 ERA, 22 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 2-2 Pitching probables: Aug. 4: RHP Tanner

Washington Post Magazine gives Nats fans a closer look at MASN broadcaster F.P. Santangelo

If you follow F.P. Santangelo during MASN broadcasts or on social media, you know he isn’t afraid to give you an inside look into his life in and out of the broadcast booth. He caught up with Joe Heim of the Washington Post for a Q&A on an array of topics, including covering the Nationals, adjusting broadcast styles and bringing personal insights from his seven

Luke Erickson: Finally, some promotions

If there’s one thing that marked the 2017 season in the Nationals minors, it’s how few, far between and slow promotions have been. To clarify, I’m talking about upward moves from the low-to-mid minors based on merit, not the needs-based shift from Triple-A to the majors. Granted, nobody in their right mind wants to return to the days when an old-for-the-level, low Single-A guy is

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