As we turn another page on the calendar, the hot stove is getting warmer. Will the Nationals have a shot at free agent starters Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel? Will they sign another catcher to spell 35-year-old Kurt Suzuki, who is now a Nat again? What’s happening at second base? Does Screech’s salary count toward the luxury tax?
For the answers to these and other questions, you’ll just have to stay tuned for the next episode of “As the Nats Turn.”
The team’s past, on the other hand, holds plenty of certainty. We can tell you for sure that every Nationals game you’ll see on MASN in the coming week ends in a win for the good guys.
You can bet that these “Nationals Classics” telecasts will feature lots of clutch hitting from Nats bats, as well as another gem from their ace. Money, baby.
Meanwhile, if you’ve got a can’t-miss prediction (or even a vague hunch) about offseason moves, enlighten us in the comments section.
Thursday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. - On July 23, 2016, former and future Nationals hurler Edwin Jackson started for the Padres against Max Scherzer. Each surrendered two runs (Jackson over six innings, Scherzer over seven). Both bullpens held until the home half of the ninth. Anthony Rendon led off with line drive single to left. Danny Espinosa went down swinging, but Stephen Drew then drove a 1-2 pitch from Kevin Quackenbush to the gap in right-center for a walk-off triple.
Friday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. - It was April 21, 2015 when the Cardinals, trailing by a run since the third inning, tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the ninth on Matt Holliday’s single to left. The Nats couldn’t put the game away in regulation, but with two out in the 10th, Yunel Escobar brought the contest to an abrupt end with a shot to left-center.
Monday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. - Daniel Murphy provided the power for the Nats on Aug. 4, 2017 in a tidy 4-2 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The second baseman had a two-run homer in the top of the first, then a solo blast in the sixth. Rendon’s sac fly gave the visitors a cushion in the eighth. Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle took care of business in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively, in relief of Tanner Roark, who allowed five hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 10:30 a.m. - Rendon put on a hitting clinic on April 30, 2017, going 6-for-6 with three home runs and 10 RBIs as the Nats overwhelmed the Mets 23-5 at Nationals Park. The Mets actually struck first, with Jay Bruce’s single plating Jose Reyes in the top of the first. But the Nats came roaring back, pummeling Noah Syndergaard in a five-hit, five-run home half. That was just the start of the mayhem. Rendon’s first dinger of the day came off Sean Gilmartin in the third. He took Gilmartin over the wall a second time in the fifth for a three-run homer, and put the icing on the cake with a solo in the eighth on a 2-2 offering from Kevin Plawecki. And oh yeah, don’t forget Tony Two-Bags’ bases-clearing double in the fifth. Meanwhile, Matt Wieters only got four RBIs with two home runs that afternoon. Slacker.
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. - Wieters took center stage on Aug. 6, 2017 in the Nats’ win over the Cubs. The switch-hitting veteran catcher climbed into the left-handed batter’s box with the score tied and the bases juiced in the eighth. Jumping on the first pitch he saw from Carl Edwards, Wieters sent it over the ivy in center field. Brian Goodwin took Koji Uehara deep in the ninth to cap the 9-4 victory.