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Opposite dugout: September slide cements losing season for Pirates

Manager: Clint Hurdle (7th season) Record: 73-85 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: CF Andrew McCutchen (87 RBIs, 28 HR), LF Starling Marte (20 steals), 1B Josh Bell (87 RBIs, 25 HR), RHP Gerrit Cole (1.239 WHIP), LHP Felipe Rivero (20 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 2-1 Pitching probables: Sept. 28: RHP Ivan Nova vs. RHP Edwin Jackson, 7:05 p.m., MASN Sept. 29: RHP

Opposite dugout: Phillies hope second-half momentum carries into 2018

Manager: Pete Mackanin (3rd season) Record: 62-94 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Rhys Hoskins (.278 with 18 HR, 46 RBIs); 1B Tommy Joseph (.238 with 22 HR, 68 RBIs); 3B Maikel Franco (.231 with 21 HR, 70 RBIs); RHP Aaron Nola (12-10, 3.56 ERA); RHP Héctor Neris (3.18 ERA, 23 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-10 Pitching probables: Sep. 25: RHP A.J.

Marty Niland : Three reasons the Nats will prosper in the playoffs

It’s fun to be a Nationals fan right now. The team is winning on its final road trip of a record-setting offensive season. It has locked up home-field advantage in the National League Division Series and Bryce Harper is most likely headed back into action for the final week of the regular season. That’s all great news for fans that feel like their luck runs

David Huzzard: Workmanlike Rendon deserves NL MVP honors

Years ago, I set in the cold, metal bleachers for a night game at Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge, Va. I was there not only because I enjoy baseball, but to watch a Nationals prospect named Anthony Rendon. It is easy to tell the legit prospects from the organizational talent at that level and it has nothing to do with skill. Rendon was giant compared to Continue reading ....

Opposite dugout: Mets to go through changes in offseason

Manager: Terry Collins (7th year) Record: 65-97 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: SS Asdrúbal Cabrera (.276 with 52 RBIs, 31 doubles), 3B Wilmer Flores (.271 with 18 HR, 52 RBIs), OF Brandon Nimmo (.268), RHP Jacob deGrom (15-9 with 3.55 ERA), LHP Jerry Blevins (3.04 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 5-11 Pitching probables: Sept. 22: RHP Edwin Jackson vs. RHP Robert Gsellman, 7:10

District 34 podcast: Figuring out Nats’ playoff roster after clinching division

On the last episode of the District 34 podcast, Byron and I were counting down to the Nationals clinching their second straight division title. Well, on Sept. 10, they did (with some help from the Braves) to secure the team’s fourth National League East crown in six seasons and a spot in this year’s playoffs. To start this episode, we recap the celebration that took

Opposite dugout: Braves hoping to finish season on a high note

Manager: Brian Snitker (2nd season) Record: 67-81 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 1B Freddie Freeman (.318 with 27 HR, 69 RBIs), CF Ender Inciarte (.305 with 190 hits, 23 2B), RF Nick Markakis (.276 with 150 hits, 36 2B), LHP Sean Newcomb (3-8, 2.73 ERA), RHP Arodys Vizcaíno (5-3, 11 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 8-8 Pitching probables: Sep. 19: RHP Max Scherzer

Marty Niland: Let’s keep Baker, the best Washington manager ever

As the Nationals close out the regular season and prepare for the National League Division Series, the focus of fans’ attention turns away from the players on the field and into the dugout and manager Dusty Baker. The 68-year-old skipper has already taken an injury-riddled squad through the gauntlet of a major league regular season to an unprecedented second straight division title, and now must

Opposite dugout: After long skid, Dodgers no longer a lock for best NL record

Manager: Dave Roberts (2nd season) Record: 94-52 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: 3B Justin Turner (.326/.419/.536 with 19 HR, 67 RBIs), SS Corey Seager (.305/.385/.489 with 19 HR, 68 RBIs), 2B Chris Taylor (.296 with 19 HR, 67 RBIs), LF Cody Bellinger (37 HR, 86 RBIs), LHP Alex Wood (14-3, 2.81 ERA), LHP Rich Hill (9-8, 3.67 ERA), RHP Kenley Jansen (5-0, 1.29

David Huzzard: Nats need not concern themselves with playoff matchups

There is going to be a side story to the Dodgers-Nationals series this weekend, and like many side stories, it is flat and pointless, a time-filler to help get to the end of the season. Kind of like my run on sentences. This story is not a tale as old as time but it is one that is asked all the time of fans, players,

Opposite dugout: Braves floating on string of walk-off wins

Manager: Brian Snitker (2nd year) Record: 64-78 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Freddie Freeman (25 HR, 30 doubles), CF Ender Inciarte (21 SB), RF Nick Markakis (69 RBIs, 36 doubles), RHP José Ramírez (25 holds), RHP Arodys Vizcaíno (10 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-7 Pitching probables: Sept. 12: RHP Julio Teheran vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05 p.m., MASN Sept. 13: LHP

Marty Niland: Nats and their fans get the celebration they deserve

We partied like it was 1933. For the first time in several generations, Washington baseball fans celebrated a championship the right way: on their home field after a win. It hadn’t happened in Washington since Sept. 21, 1933, when the original Nats beat the St. Louis Browns 2-1 at Griffith Stadium. After Lefty Stewart tossed a complete game for his 15th win of the season,

David Huzzard: Top three in rotation are undisputed advantage for Nats

2.19, 2.50, 2.78 - that isn’t just a random collection of numbers, those are the ERAa of the Nationals’ top three starting pitchers, Max Scherzer, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg. Those three rank second, third and fourth in ERA and first and 11th in FIP (Strasburg and Scherzer are tied). Scherzer is the current front-runner for NL Cy Young with a healthy lead in all

Opposite dugout: Phillies hope Hoskins continues to shine in September

Manager: Pete Mackanin (3rd season) Record: 53-86 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: LF Rhys Hoskins (.309/.425/.734 with 12 HR, 27 RBIs), CF Odúbel Herrera (.288/.333/.465 with 12 HR, 48 RBIs), 1B Tommy Joseph (20 HR, 65 RBIs), RHP Aaron Nola (10-10, 3.72 ERA), RHP Héctor Neris (3.02 ERA with 19 saves)Season series vs. Nationals: 5-7 Pitching probables: Sept. 7: RHP Aaron Nola vs.

Luke Erickson: Looking ahead to 2018

While the parent Nationals have a little more than a month to go - six or seven weeks if they can advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time in franchise history - the season in the minors ends tomorrow. On a won-loss basis, 2017 was a disaster, nestled somewhere on the spectrum between “Ishtar” and Dan Snyder’s tenure as an owner.

District 34 podcast: Nats still recovering during final playoff push

Long time no see, Nationals fans! Sorry for the hiatus over the past couple of weeks, but have no fear, we are finally back with a new episode of the District 34 podcast! The Nationals’ magic number to clinch the National League East is down to 10, so they can theoretically clinch their second straight division title within a week. That’s quite an accomplishment considering

Opposite dugout: Marlins need a strong finish for chance at postseason

Manager: Don Mattingly (2nd season) Record: 67-69 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: RF Giancarlo Stanton (.285 average with 52 HR, 111 RBIs); LF Marcell Ozuna (.307 average with 32 HR, 107 RBIs); CF Christian Yelich (.288 average with 70 RBIs; 145 hits); LHP Adam Conley (6-6, 5.02 ERA); RHP AJ Ramos (3.63 ERA, 20 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-10 Pitching probables: Sep.

David Huzzard: Does Harper’s absence create an opportunity?

Bryce Harper is the most important player to the Nationals’ success, yet his absence creates an opportunity for the Nationals to find out if they really need him. Ask yourself: How good does a player have to be to be worth what Harper is going to command in free agency, and will Harper really command that much. The second part of that question is important

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