Nats follow similar recipe to complete doubleheader sweep of D-backs

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The Nationals got what they needed in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Diamondbacks. Josiah Gray pitched 5 ⅓ innings of one-run ball and four relievers combined to cover the remaining outs in a 6-1 win.

Would it be too much to ask for the same in the nightcap?

Joan Adon was hoping to get deep into the game to help out his taxed teammates in the bullpen and perhaps turn around his start to the season. The relievers who weren’t used in this afternoon’s game were hoping to post more zeros. And the Nationals offense was hoping to manufacture runs just like they had done earlier.

Adon did his part, becoming the first Nationals starting pitcher to complete six innings in 2022 as he helped his club complete the doubleheader sweep with a 1-0 win in front of an announced crowd of 11,720.

The 23-year-old rookie starter held the D-backs scoreless over 6 ⅓ innings with five strikeouts on 88 pitches, 57 for strikes, to earn his first major league win. A big turnaround from his previous two starts.

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Game 13 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks

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Let’s keep the ball rolling and play some more baseball!

The Nationals and Diamondbacks will shortly take the field again on South Capitol Street for tonight’s nightcap after Washington won the first game of today’s split doubleheader 6-1.

Joan Adon, on normal rest, is hoping his third time's the charm as he takes the mound tonight. The right-handed rookie is 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA over his first two starts of the season. In nine innings, he’s given up 13 hits, 10 runs, three home runs and seven walks (to just eight strikeouts) while hitting one batter and throwing three wild pitches.

Manager Davey Martinez elected to stick with Adon in this spot in an attempt to not put too much pressure on the already taxed bullpen in today’s twinbill. Martinez only used four relievers in the opener, so he should have plenty of options for the nightcap. The Nats will need another starter this weekend, but they will address that later in the week.

Left-hander Francisco Pérez has been designated as the 29th man to give the ‘pen some help for tonight’s game. He is only available for the nightcap because a 29th player is only eligible for both games of a doubleheader if both teams agree to it. The Diamondbacks are using 29th man on tonight's starter, Tyler Gilbert, so they didn’t need it for the first game.

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García named International League Player of the Week

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While the Nationals were an early rainout due to inclement weather forecasted for their series opener against the Diamondbacks, there was some news in the minor league system on Monday.

Luis García was named the International League Player of the Week for the week of April 11-17.

Optioned to Triple-A Rochester during the last week of spring training, García has been on a tear to start the season for the Red Wings. Over six games last week, the 21-year-old went 14-for-27 for a .519 batting average and 1.370 OPS while recording five extra-base hits, five RBIs and nine runs scored.

He's slashing .377/.411/.623 with an 1.034 OPS, two home runs, seven RBIs and three walks over 12 games to start the season at Rochester. In the field, he has played 10 games at shortstop (where he has committed four errors) and two games at second base.

In 110 career big league games between 2020-21, García slashed .254/.285/.395 with a .680 OPS, 24 doubles, two triples, six homers, 22 RBIs and 11 walks.

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Future meets past as Gray and Ruiz face off against Scherzer

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It was all too perfect how the stars aligned for tonight’s match-up between the Nationals and Mets on South Capitol Street.

What was supposed to be just one of 19 meetings between division rivals turned into a convergence of past and future for the Nationals.

Max Scherzer made his highly anticipated Mets debut and return to Nationals Park tonight in front of a crowd of 25,677 that gave him another loud ovation as he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning. He returned the favor by striking out six over six innings en route to a 7-3 win over his former team.

And who opposed him from his former team? The two players that headlined the package deal that sent Scherzer to Los Angeles at last year’s trade deadline: Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz.

It’s almost too easy to call this match-up fate. The baseball gods had some fun with this one.

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Rizzo lays out Cavalli’s developmental plan at Triple-A

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When the Nationals face the Mets in the season’s second game Friday night, Josiah Gray will take the mound with batterymate Keibert Ruiz, symbolizing the future of the franchise.

Ironically, they’ll be up against the past of the franchise in Mets starter Max Scherzer, one of the two All-Star players general manager Mike Rizzo gave up last summer to acquire Gray and Ruiz.

Funny how baseball works sometimes.

But while these pieces of the Nationals’ future are on display in Washington, D.C., another young starting pitcher got his season underway Thursday night with Triple-A Rochester in Toledo.

Cade Cavalli, now the organization’s top prospect after Gray and Ruiz graduated last season, made his season debut with the Red Wings after sticking around the major league camp in West Palm Beach almost to the end of the shortened spring training. And he had mixed results.

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As new season begins, Nats happy to return to normalcy

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It’s finally here: Today is opening day!

You can’t help but be excited for the start of a new season (especially after a 99-day lockout). Opening day is just a special day on the calendar, no matter a team’s expectations.

The Nationals have a new organizational direction this season after last summer’s sell-off at the trade deadline. But players, coaches, fans and media alike can’t help but be optimistic at the start of a new season.

I guess the saying is true: Hope springs eternal.

Along with new hopes and expectations, this season also brings a return to normalcy for ballplayers and media members.

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Nats, Wizards rep the District with cherry blossom-themed uniforms

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We are nine days away from opening day, and if that’s not enough to get you excited about a new baseball season, perhaps some new Nationals swag will.

The Nationals revealed the club’s cherry blossom-themed City Connect uniforms today, combining two things that represent spring in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are the first of seven major league clubs participating in this year’s Nike MLB City Connect Series.

Managing principal owner Mark Lerner first teased a new alternate jersey for this season during a March 21 spring training game broadcast on MASN, and mentioned the Nationals have been working with Nike on these for a while now.

“Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms represent hope and new beginnings, making them the perfect symbol of this Nationals team,” said Lerner in a statement. “We’re excited to unveil these beautiful uniforms as the embodiment of our historic organization’s hopeful future as we lead the District of Cherry Blossoms celebration with our friends at the Wizards.”

While we have been anticipating a cherry blossom-themed uniform release for the Nats over the past couple of weeks, we were not expecting it to be a collaboration with the local basketball team as well.

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What's going to happen once lockout ends?

What's going to happen once lockout ends?
It's a matter of when, not if, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement and the lockout ends. Spring will bloom and a new baseball season will be underway. The real question is what is going to happen once the lockout does, in fact, end? It wasn't our direct topic of conversation, but that question was discussed a bit on this week's episode of the "MASN All Access Podcast." I came up with three things that fall under that...
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Who backs up Bell at first base?

Who backs up Bell at first base?
Now that the celebration of Ryan Zimmerman's retirement has had its moment in the spotlight - and don't worry, I'm sure there will be plenty more celebrations this season and in the years to come - it's time for the Nationals to look ahead as to what their future looks like without their face of the franchise. The long-term ramifications are still to be determined. But as it pertains to the 2022 season, Zimmerman's retirement leaves an immediate hole to be filled on the Nats roster: backup...
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For younger generation, Ryan Zimmerman is baseball in D.C.

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On behalf of an entire generation of Nationals fans, I want to congratulate Ryan Zimmerman on his retirement and say thank you.

If you're around my age, growing up a baseball fan in the Washington, D.C., area was complicated.

I've spent all of my almost 30 years of living in and around our nation's capital. I went to grade school in Silver Spring, Md., high school downtown at Gonzaga College High School and college at the University of Maryland in College Park.

As an avid sports fan, I've rooted for the now Washington Commanders, Capitals and Wizards my entire life, along with any team that's represented my city. The Mystics, D.C. United and Spirit have all won championships. I rooted for the Valor as they won the last ArenaBowl of the defunct Arena Football League. I went to all but one of the DC Defenders' home games of the former XFL. I even try to keep up with the Kastles and Old Glory DC in their respective tennis and rugby leagues.

But baseball is harder to explain.

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Although young, Nats farm restocked with position players

Although young, Nats farm restocked with position players
Last week, we discussed which Nationals pitching prospects could make their major league debuts this season, aside from Cade Cavalli. This week, we're pivoting our attention to the position players on the farm. Amy Jennings and I wondered, during this week's episode of the "MASN All Access Podcast," when we might see them in Washington. But for the purposes of this post, this exercise is going to be more of an appreciation of the restocking of the Nats farm system with position players...
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Can Robles take back his spot in center field?

Can Robles take back his spot in center field?
A few days ago, we discussed the curious case at first base for the Nationals heading into spring training. It's an interesting situation to think about for the team's long-term future, but it isn't a very pressing matter as it relates to the upcoming season. The same cannot be said for the situation in center field and how it relates to Victor Robles. It's been a hard fall from grace for Robles, formerly the organization's top prospect, who was believed to be even better than Juan Soto....
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Frandsen hopes to pass along passion for baseball in new role

Frandsen hopes to pass along passion for baseball in new role
Kevin Frandsen is back in Washington, D.C. After a nine-year major league career, including the 2014 season with the Nationals and the last four seasons as a member of the Phillies radio broadcast crew, the former utility player is picking up the stick mic and stepping in front of the camera for Nats games this year. MASN and the Nationals announced yesterday that Frandsen was chosen to be the new color commentator alongside play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter in the broadcast booth for the...
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Frandsen chosen as new Nats analyst on MASN

Frandsen chosen as new Nats analyst on MASN
The new baseball season will bring a new look to the broadcast booth, as MASN and the Nationals have announced Kevin Frandsen as the new color commentator for Nats broadcasts this year. Frandsen will join play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter in the MASN broadcast booth for the 2022 campaign after spending the last four seasons as a member of the Phillies radio broadcast team. "Thrilled is an understatement for the way I feel right now," said Frandsen in a released statement. "I'd like to...
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Nats announce scheduled game times for 2022 season

Nats announce scheduled game times for 2022 season
The Nationals on Thursday morning announced the scheduled game times for the upcoming regular season. First pitch for opening day against the Mets at Citi Field is scheduled for a 1:10 p.m. start on Thursday, March 31. Both subsequent games of the opening series on Saturday and Sunday are also starting at 1:10 p.m., possibly including the first time Max Scherzer faces the Nats as a member of the Mets. The home opener at Nationals Park is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch against the...
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The curious case at first base

The curious case at first base
Whenever the Nationals actually report to West Palm Beach, there will be plenty of position battles to dissect. You can pretty much go right up the middle of the field. Will Keibert Ruiz get a strong hold of the starting catcher's spot? Who will fill out the back ends of both the rotation and bullpen? Who will start in the middle part of the infield? Can Victor Robles earn his spot in center field back from Lane Thomas? You can even throw in questions about Carter Kieboom at third base. But...
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Longley brings important qualifications to new role with Nats

Longley brings important qualifications to new role with Nats
This was always going to be an important offseason for the Nationals. Not in terms of signing big-name free agents or making a big splash on the trade market, but in terms of making significant changes and improvements on the minor league side to start this first full year of the rebuild off on the right foot. They have already signed a handful of veteran players to minor league deals to potentially help the major league roster and add depth to the upper levels of the farm system. They signed a...
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Nats announce new minor league player development staff (updated)

Nats announce new minor league player development staff (updated)
The Nationals announced their 2022 minor league player development staff on Tuesday, with 14 new roles and more than 20 new members. This completes the process this offseason of completely revamping the department as the Nationals focus more on the growth of their minor league players during the first year of what is hoped to be a quick rebuild. General manager Mike Rizzo hinted at these changes coming to the organization during his press conference on the last day of the regular season. "We...
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Vaquero signs record deal for international prospect with Nats

Vaquero signs record deal for international prospect with Nats
As has been widely expected, the Nationals officially announced the signing of Cuban outfielder Cristhian Vaquero as the international signing period opened today. The 17-year-old switch-hitter is considered by many the top prospect in this international class. The Nationals agreed to terms with 10 players from three different countries, headlined by Vaquero, to open this signing period. Vaquero has reportedly been signed to a $4,925,000 bonus, which is a new club record for an international...
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Nats expected to sign top international prospect Vaquero

Nats expected to sign top international prospect Vaquero
Today marks an important day on the baseball calendar, especially for teams looking to bolster their farm systems. The international signing period begins today, as opposed to the traditional July 2 opening, and runs through Dec. 15, allowing teams to sign young talent from foreign countries to their lower level minor league teams. For the Nationals, this presents another opportunity to add young talent as they attempt to revamp their entire organization from top to bottom. But unlike the...
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