Drew activated off DL, Heisey begins rehab assignment

Drew activated off DL, Heisey begins rehab assignment
SAN FRANCISCO - The Nationals' bench got a major boost today at the start of a long West Coast trip when Stephen Drew was activated off the disabled list, his right hamstring strain finally healed enough to allow him to play on the big league roster. Drew had been out since April 12, suffering his hamstring injury only three days after teammate Trea Turner did the same. But while Turner was able to return only 12 days later, Drew needed nearly seven weeks to be cleared for game...
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Game 50 lineups: Nats at Giants

Game 50 lineups: Nats at Giants
SAN FRANCISCO - Hello from the banks of McCovey Cove, where it's currently 54 degrees with a nice marine layer hovering over everything as the Nationals begin their week-long tour of the Bay Area. Yes, this is a rare (and nice) road trip that includes three games against the Giants, an off day and then three games against the Athletics on the other side of the bay. These Giants are not the Giants we've come to know over the last half-decade or so, languishing near the bottom of the National...
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Taylor's numbers continue to rise since assuming everyday role

Taylor's numbers continue to rise since assuming everyday role
The caveats will continue, because it has only been 24 games and because he'll need to do this over a much longer period of time before anything declarative can be said. But in those 24 games since he took over as the Nationals' starting center fielder, Michael A. Taylor sure has done everything he can to make sure he can continue holding that role. With another key home run in yesterday's 3-0 victory over the Padres, Taylor added to his growing resume. In 24 games since Adam Eaton tore his...
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With robotic precision, Strasburg dominates another opponent

With robotic precision, Strasburg dominates another opponent
When Max Scherzer does something big, you know it. Scherzer puts all his emotions on display, celebrates when he succeeds, laments when he fails. When Stephen Strasburg does something big, you have no idea. Strasburg rarely reveals any emotions, and his expressions and words aren't much different after a win than they are after a loss. Take, for example, the Nationals right-hander's response this evening to a question about the 15 strikeouts he recorded in a 3-0 victory over the Padres, a...
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Strasburg strikes out career-high 15 Padres (Nats win 3-0)

Strasburg strikes out career-high 15 Padres (Nats win 3-0)
Stephen Strasburg isn't getting a ton of help from his defense, so he's taking matters into his own hands this afternoon. Strasburg has seven strikeouts through three scoreless innings against the Padres, overcoming two errors by his Nationals infield but struggling to keep his pitch count manageable. Ryan Zimmerman and Trea Turner each were charged with errors in the game's first two innings, prolonging things for Strasburg. Zimmerman made a wide throw to second base in the top of the...
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Murphy sidelined with illness, Difo gets another start

Murphy sidelined with illness, Difo gets another start
Daniel Murphy is out of the Nationals lineup for the second straight day, and this one is no simple planned-in-advance day off. Murphy is under the weather, dealing with a stomach bug, according to acting manager Chris Speier. "He's just not feeling all that hot," said Speier, who is filling in for Dusty Baker this weekend while the latter attends his son's high school graduation in California. Murphy, along with Ryan Zimmerman, didn't play in Friday night's series opener against the...
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Game 48 lineups: Nats vs. Padres

Game 48 lineups: Nats vs. Padres
Stop me if you've heard this one before: It's a cloudy day in D.C. with a chance of rain being a factor for this afternoon's game. As always, stay tuned and hope for the best as the Nationals and Padres attempt to start and complete the second game of their weekend series. San Diego native Stephen Strasburg is on the mound for the Nats, making his seventh career start against the favorite team of his childhood, though his first since 2015. Strasburg, not surprisingly, has fared well against...
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With 95 mph slider, Glover seizing opportunity to close

With 95 mph slider, Glover seizing opportunity to close
Max Scherzer was the story of last night's 5-1 victory, but let's not overlook Koda Glover, who made quite an impression himself despite only throwing four pitches. Summoned to relieve Scherzer with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Glover was thrown into a major fire but immediately doused it by striking out Hunter Renfroe to earn his fourth save. It was the kind of situation - one bad pitch could have tied the game and ruined everything Scherzer did for 8 2/3 innings...
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With 8 2/3-inning gem, Scherzer authors another magic moment

With 8 2/3-inning gem, Scherzer authors another magic moment
Chris Speier has watched comfortably from afar as Max Scherzer has sent Dusty Baker back to the dugout on several occasions over the last two seasons, the Nationals ace refusing to let his manager remove him from a ballgame before he's ready to be removed. But with Baker back home in California this weekend for son Darren's high school graduation, Speier is filling in as manager. And so the potential scenario was raised to the longtime bench coach this afternoon: What would he do if he needed...
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Scherzer nearly goes the distance as Nationals beat Padres 5-1

Scherzer nearly goes the distance as Nationals beat Padres 5-1
With the reigning Cy Young Award winner on the mound and one of the National League's least productive lineups at the plate, you could be excused for showing up at Nationals Park tonight fully expecting to witness something historic. In the end, there was no history. A run-of-the-mill Max Scherzer gem would have to suffice. Scherzer nearly went the distance, allowing only three hits while striking out 13 in 8 2/3 innings and leading the Nationals to a 5-1 victory over the Padres, a result that...
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Heisey will try to rehab without surgery; Nats acquire Raburn

Heisey will try to rehab without surgery; Nats acquire Raburn
The prognosis for Chris Heisey may not be nearly as dire as initially feared. Though an MRI confirmed Heisey ruptured his right biceps tendon, doctors have told the Nationals outfielder he can attempt to rehab the injury without surgery and thus return to play in a relatively short time frame. Heisey said he had been playing through shoulder pain for much of the season and felt worse after a swing during Tuesday night's game. When he took batting practice Wednesday afternoon, he felt a sharp...
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Game 47 lineups: Nats vs. Padres

Game 47 lineups: Nats vs. Padres
The Nationals host the Padres this weekend, and they'll have someone else calling the shots from the dugout for all three games. Bench coach Chris Speier will be serving as manager while Dusty Baker attends his son's high school graduation in California. Speier will have some extra help in the dugout, with minor league field coordinator Jeff Garber added to the big league coaching staff for the weekend. The Nationals face a struggling Padres club, and perhaps with that in mind a pair of key...
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Friday morning Nats news and notes

Friday morning Nats news and notes
Some news and notes before the Nationals open their weekend series with the Padres ... * If you missed the news yesterday, Dusty Baker will be away from the team all weekend as he attends his son's high school graduation in California. Baker flew home after yesterday's loss to the Mariners. And since the Nationals will be heading out west themselves to begin a three-city trip Monday in San Francisco, the manager will simply reconnect with everybody then. That leaves Chris Speier to manage all...
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The critical pitching decision that loomed over a Nationals loss

The critical pitching decision that loomed over a Nationals loss
The modern day manager's job has far more to do with player and media relations than in-game strategy, but sometimes a specific situation does crop up in a ballgame that requires a key decision by the man in charge. And in those instances, the manager in question has to weigh competing factors and pick the one he believes makes the most sense at the time. Neither available option may be that appealing, but in those cases you play the percentages or go with your gut and hope for the best. Dusty...
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Cruz's homer propels Mariners to first-ever win in Washington

Cruz's homer propels Mariners to first-ever win in Washington
His starter beginning to labor, Dusty Baker made the decision to hand over today's game to the Nationals bullpen with one out in the top of the sixth. The ensuing result was not what the veteran manager wanted. Though quite possibly was what too many in the crowd of 18,881 feared. Nelson Cruz's three-run homer off Jacob Turner turned the Nationals' two-run lead into a one-run deficit and ultimately proved the critical moment during a 4-2 loss to the Mariners in their bumped-up series finale...
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Game 46 lineups: Nats vs. Mariners

Game 46 lineups: Nats vs. Mariners
A very pleasant good morning to you all. And it most definitely is the morning, with the Nationals and Mariners today wrapping up their series with a 12:05 p.m. first pitch. The start time was bumped up four hours in hopes of getting this one in before the heavy rain arrives later. It's not an ideal scenario, but as Dusty Baker put it: "It beats the alternative." Baker has all of his regulars in the lineup despite the quick turnaround ... aside from Matt Wieters, who understandably won't be...
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After a 1-2-3 ninth, Baker finally deems Glover his new closer

After a 1-2-3 ninth, Baker finally deems Glover his new closer
This won't come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying close attention over the last week, but Koda Glover is now the Nationals closer. The rookie reliever had essentially taken over the role last week after Shawn Kelley blew a save opportunity against the Phillies, but Dusty Baker was unwilling to go so far as to formally pronounce it. But after Wednesday night's 5-1 win over the Mariners, in which Glover pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, the Nats manager relented (or slipped) and made it...
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With seven dominant innings, Roark finds himself again

With seven dominant innings, Roark finds himself again
Sometimes a pitcher spends hours poring over videos, working on mechanics in the bullpen, analyzing opposing hitters, using every technological method available to him to fix a problem. And sometimes he just takes advice from Crash Davis. Ask Tanner Roark the biggest difference for him during tonight's 5-1 victory over the Mariners, how he was able to succeed in two-strike counts after struggling in those situations over the last month, and you get an answer straight from "Bull Durham." "I...
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Nats score early, get another quality start in 5-1 win over M's

Nats score early, get another quality start in 5-1 win over M's
What's the best way to overcome a suspect bullpen? How about a string of starts that reduce the relievers' workload by a significant amount? The Nationals have figured out that formula in recent days and tonight won their third straight game thanks to seven strong innings from Tanner Roark. Roark's best outing in weeks, combined with another early offensive explosion against the Mariners, produced a 5-1 victory before a crowd of 29,223 that didn't have to sweat much for the second night in...
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Heisey goes on DL with ruptured bicep; Solís rehabbing in Florida

Heisey goes on DL with ruptured bicep; Solís rehabbing in Florida
The Nationals outfield took another significant hit this evening when Chris Heisey had to be placed on the disabled list with what the club says is a right bicep rupture. It's unclear how the injury occurred, but Heisey was on the field for batting practice this afternoon and did not appear to be dealing with any ailments prior to that point. Already playing with a short bench after electing to carry a 13th pitcher upon recalling Joe Ross on Tuesday, the Nationals hurriedly recalled Brian...
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