Rainey shut down for now, Suero gets a few days off

Rainey shut down for now, Suero gets a few days off
A two-game interleague series doesn't usually bring for a lot of news and notes at this point in the season. But the Nationals did have some updates on two bullpen arms that are currently down on the farm. Most significantly, Tanner Rainey has been shut down at Triple-A Rochester for the time being with an injury to his side. It's another bad break for the promising young reliever, who is struggling through this season. "Rainey had a pain in his side," Nationals manager Davey Martinez said...
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Nats announce 2022 spring training schedule

Nats announce 2022 spring training schedule
The 2021 season isn't over yet, but if you are already looking forward to next year, Major League Baseball earlier today announced they 2022 spring training schedules for all 30 clubs. All teams across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues will open exhibition play on Saturday, Feb. 26. For the Nationals, that opening contest will require a three-hour trip to Lakeland to face the Tigers. The home opener at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches won't come until Sunday, Feb. 27, in a split-squad matchup...
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Game 120 lineups: Nats vs. Blue Jays

Game 120 lineups: Nats vs. Blue Jays
Unfortunately for the Nationals, Joe Ross' season-ending injury is another blow to an already depleted rotation, one that bears no resemblance to what the club expected to have at the beginning of the season. Fortunately, the two off-days this week surrounding this two-game set with the Blue Jays allow those who are available to pitch to do so on normal rest, not requiring manager Davey Martinez to do much shuffling. This afternoon we'll get another look at Josiah Gray, who has become a...
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Temperature check two weeks after trade deadline

Temperature check two weeks after trade deadline
Two weeks ago today, the Nationals completed six franchise-altering trades, admitting this season was a lost cause. They were able to move eight players (seven on expiring contracts) to net 12 prospects in return. Ten of those 12 are already in MLBPipeline.com's ranking of the top 30 Nats prospects. Six of those 12 are in the top 16. And three of those six are in the top 10, including Nos. 1 and 2, Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray (both acquired in the Max Scherzer-Trea Turner deal with the...
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Nats rally late, but suffer sweep against Mets (updated)

Nats rally late, but suffer sweep against Mets (updated)
Nationals manager Davey Martinez spent his morning Zoom session with reporters detailing his pitching plans for today's doubleheader against the Mets. After a suspended game on Tuesday and last night's postponement, the mound plans had been thrown into a state of flux. Of course, like much of this season, nothing really ever goes according to plan for the Nationals. But today, the pitching plan held up: Sean Nolin and three relievers got through the first game and Erick Fedde got through four...
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Game 115 lineups: Nats at Mets

Game 115 lineups: Nats at Mets
And we're back. Seven innings down, seven more to go before the Nationals can finally get out of New York and return home after a long week. Erick Fedde brings a 4-8 record and 5.15 ERA to his late-afternoon start. The last time Fedde faced the Mets, on June 18, he pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball with six strikeouts to bring his season ERA to 3.33. Over the eight starts since, the right-hander is 0-4 with a 7.75 ERA. In two starts against the Mets this season, Fedde has only...
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Nats go quietly in opening loss to Mets (updated)

Nats go quietly in opening loss to Mets (updated)
The recipe for success for the Nationals the rest of the way this season is going to be one of two things: keep the score close, take a late lead and hope to hold on, or explode for a lot of runs early and win in a blowout. Neither of those scenarios took place in today's 4-1 doubleheader opening loss to the Mets. Let's start with keeping the score close. The Nationals did get a gutsy effort from Sean Nolin in his first major league appearance since 2015. But the left-hander served up a...
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Pitching plans laid out for Thursday's doubleheader

Pitching plans laid out for Thursday's doubleheader
The past few days have not been easy on Nationals manager Davey Martinez and pitching coach Jim Hickey. A suspended game Tuesday night then a postponement last night has led to today's doubleheader against the Mets at Citi Field, while also throwing the Nats' pitching plans into chaos. Good thing they're in the city that never sleeps. After a confusing 40 hours or so, Martinez was able to lay out his pitching plans for today's two games: Sean Nolin will start the opener and Erick Fedde will...
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Game 114 lineups: Nats at Mets (Nolin starting)

Game 114 lineups: Nats at Mets (Nolin starting)
It's been a weird week for the Nationals in New York leading up to this afternoon's series finale against the Mets. The coaching staff rejoined the team on Monday's off-day. Tuesday's game was suspended in the second inning. In Wednesday's resumption, the Nats blew a 4-1 lead, then went up 7-4 and blew that lead before finally losing 8-7. And then yesterday's regularly scheduled game had to be rescheduled as a part of an early doubleheader today. Let's hope everything goes smoothly for...
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Kieboom and García embracing opportunity together

Kieboom and García embracing opportunity together
This new direction the Nationals are taking for the remainder of the season and into next year presents plenty of opportunities. Opportunities for rookies to make their major league debuts. Opportunities for veterans to finish their seasons strong and make their cases for 2022. And opportunities for young guys who have been around a while to continue to grow. Carter Kieboom and Luis García find themselves in that last category and are embracing the chance to grow together. Both players...
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Ross strong, but Nats blow another late lead in loss (updated)

Ross strong, but Nats blow another late lead in loss (updated)
Erick Fedde was allowed to push his limits during a season-high 108-pitch outing on Sunday, emptying the tank and showing the Nationals what he can muster while on his last legs. Joe Ross, in a similar position as Fedde in this rotation, was able to do the same this afternoon, even in the Nats' eventual 7-5 loss to complete a sweep at the hands of the Phillies in front of 22,575 fans at home. Ross' case is a little different than Fedde's, since he didn't pitch last year and is still...
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McGowin nearing rehab assignment, coaches to be cleared Sunday

McGowin nearing rehab assignment, coaches to be cleared Sunday
With the additions of new names and faces over the past week, the Nationals are still waiting for the returns of some familiar folks, hopefully sooner rather than later. On the field, the Nats are still without Kyle McGowin, who has been on the 10-day injured list since July 11 with right biceps fatigue. The right-handed reliever took a big step in his return this afternoon by throwing off the mound in the bullpen and then to live hitters on the field at Nationals Park. "He threw 24 pitches....
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Game 109 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Game 109 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies
This afternoon's series finale against the Phillies represents another opportunity for a young Nationals pitcher to go out and show what he can provide the team down the line, while also trying to avoid a four-game sweep at home. Joe Ross makes his 19th start of the year today. He's 5-9 with a 4.00 ERA after giving up five runs (four earned) in last weekend's start against the Cubs. In the start prior, he held this very Phillies club to just three hits over five scoreless innings in...
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Brady House not feeling extra pressure with rebuild

Brady House not feeling extra pressure with rebuild
All rebuilds have a face attached to them. Usually one of a young, up and coming player - whether a high draft pick or fast-rising prospect - that signifies the hope of what's to come. The light at the end of the tunnel. The success of the future. I know Nationals manager Davey Martinez said he doesn't like the term "rebuild," but for our purposes, let's just stick to calling it that, even if this new direction for the franchise is more of a retooling or reloading. Whatever "re-" you...
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Game 103 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs (plus roster moves)

Game 103 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs (plus roster moves)
Hey, don't forget: There's still a baseball game to be played tonight! After the Nationals made six franchise-altering trades over the last 24 hours that netted them 12 new prospects for eight veterans, manager Davey Martinez's new-look team now has to turn its attention to a three-game series against the Cubs, who will also have a new-look roster. Originally, it appeared that Jon Lester was tonight's scheduled starter, but since he was traded to the Cardinals at the last minute, Paolo...
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With chance for sweep, Nats collapse in loss to Phillies (updated)

With chance for sweep, Nats collapse in loss to Phillies (updated)
Would you believe me if I told you this morning that the Nationals would have a very good chance to sweep the Phillies in today's doubleheader after a COVID-19 outbreak in the visitors' clubhouse, trade rumors heating up about Washington's first starting pitching, an ominous forecast all day in Philadelphia and blowing a 7-0 lead in the second game? Well, they did have a chance, but that's not what happened after the Nats followed up a strong win in the first game with a complete collapse...
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Scherzer earns win in presumably last Nats start (updated)

Scherzer earns win in presumably last Nats start (updated)
The last 24 hours for the Nationals have been hectic, to say the least. But they are just the latest episodes in what has been a chaotic and unprecedented start to the second half for the fading ballclub. With a COVID-19 outbreak, trade rumors swirling, bad weather approaching and a doubleheader to play, what message did manager Davey Martinez deliver to his players this morning as they arrived at Citizens Bank Park, still unsure what the roster would look like or if they were even going to...
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Game 101 lineups: Nats at Phillies (plus roster moves)

Game 101 lineups: Nats at Phillies (plus roster moves)
All eyes will be fixated on the transaction wire over the next 30 hours or so, not only as we get closer to tomorrow's 4 p.m. trade deadline, but also because the Nationals had to make a number of roster moves this morning after 13 members (four players, nine staffers) tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday. Not to mention the potential of needing to fill other roster spots if some players depart later today via trade. As if that weren't enough of a wrench thrown into today's plan, the...
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Could Stevenson supplant Robles in center field?

Could Stevenson supplant Robles in center field?
Andrew Stevenson has played an important role for the Nationals since debuting in 2017. A left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield positions with a great glove and speed that also poses a threat on the basepaths is a manager's dream player off the bench. The only role Stevenson hasn't played is that of a regular starter, aside from filing in for players dealing with long-term injuries. Could that possibly be changing as we see him get more starts in center field over Victor...
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Corbin can't sustain command in loss to Orioles (updated)

Corbin can't sustain command in loss to Orioles (updated)
It's been an up-and-down season for Patrick Corbin so far in 2021. After struggling out of the gate, he seemed to have fixed his issues for a couple of starts. Then they resurfaced before a couple of strong outings ahead of the All-Star break. But Corbin did not get the second half off on the right foot after giving up six runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Padres last Saturday. And although it looked like Corbin was going to redeem himself with strong command early Friday night,...
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