Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper's quest to become a complete baseball player took another positive step forward with a game that mixed timely at-bats with pinpoint accuracy courtesy a rifle of an arm from right field.
Harper contributed both offensively and defensively in the Nationals' 4-1 series-clinching win over the Phillies. He had a RBI single, a RBI groundout and an outfield assist to lift the Nationals to their 19th win in their last 24 games.
On defense, Harper gloved what appeared...
Manager: Ryne Sandberg (3rd season)
Last 10 games: 7-3
Who to watch: 1B Ryan Howard (.257/.307/.521 with 9 HR, 21 RBIs), SS Freddie Galvis (.319, 11 RBIs), CF Odubel Herrera (.262, 13 RBIs), RHP Cole Hamels (4-3, 3.24 ERA), RHP Aaron Harang (4-3, 1.82 ERA), RHP Jonathan Papelbon (11 saves, 1.50 ERA)
Season series vs. Nationals: 3-3
May 22: RHP Sean O'Sullivan vs. RHP Max Scherzer, 7:05 p.m. MASN May 23: LHP Cole Hamels vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg, 4:05 p.m.,...
Manager: Ryne Sandberg, third year Record: 1-2 Last 10 games: 1-2 Who to watch: C Carlos Ruiz (.375/.583/.375, 0 XBH, 0 RBIs); RF Jeff Francoeur (.222/.222/.556, 1 HR, 3 RBIs); LHP Cole Hamels (0-1, 7.20 ERA, 1.60 WHIP); RHP Jerome Williams (4-2, 2.83 ERA, 1.134 WHIP in 2014) Season series vs. Nats (2014): 10-9, 70 runs scored, 84 runs allowed
Pitching probables April 10: RHP Jerome Williams vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7 p.m., MASN2 April 11: LHP Cole Hamels vs. RHP Doug Fister, 7 p.m., MASN2 April...
How far have the Phillies fallen? So far that a Pennsylvania radio station has decided to drop them from its airwaves to start broadcasting Nationals games. That's right. Sports Radio 96.5 FM in Harrisburg, Pa., is kicking the Phillie Phanatic to the curb and making way for Teddy and the boys. Ron Giovanniello, regional vice president of Cumulus Media Pennsylvania, confirmed the move to The Patriot-News.
"Our agreement was up and we made the decision last week to part ways with the Phillies...
Have you noticed how the Nationals offense has been more all or nothing this season? That is one reason why their record when scoring more than four runs jumps out at you.
The Nationals are 66-9 when scoring four or more runs in a game this season. They are 14-52 when scoring three or fewer.
Ironically, the Phillies series had two games that were against that average - the 11-inning 9-8 loss on Friday and the 3-2 win on Sunday.
But it just seems that the Nationals score zero to three runs...
Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark allowed two earned runs in a tough 3-2 loss to right-hander A.J. Burnett and the Phillies on Aug. 25.
In their rematch Saturday, it took the Phillies only three innings before they connected for two earned runs.
With one out in the third, Burnett singled. With two outs, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley singled to load the bases.
Ryan Howard smacked a base hit through the infield, scoring two runs, and the Phillies led 2-0.
The Nationals enjoyed only a single...
There was some question prior to Friday's series opener against the Phillies whether or not first baseman Adam LaRoche would be able to play.
He admitted during pregame that he has been battling back pain, elbow soreness and flu-like symptoms since early in the week.
Facing the Dodgers on Wednesday, LaRoche managed to battle through the pain to put together a two-hit five RBI performance, including his 20th homer of the season, in a 8-5 14-inning victory over Los Angeles.
LaRoche told manager...
A pair of southpaws doing battle tonight in Philadelphia.
Cole Hamels was off to smooth start with two quick outs in the first. Against Anthony Rendon, a grounder to third base was fielded by Andres Blanco, who threw to first for the out. But first base umpire Gary Cederstrom ruled that first baseman Darin Ruf drifted off the bag and called Rendon safe.
Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg requested a video review. The video replay in New York overturned the call and Rendon was out.
Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon had three hits, including a double and a three-run shot, with four RBIs in an 11-0 shutout of the Phillies Saturday night.
Rendon needed a triple in one of his final two at-bats to hit for the cycle, but grounded out and flew out.
"I heard people in the stands, 'Get the triple, get the triple.' I didn't want to. That means I've got to run more," Rendon smiled. "So I can just stop at second base."
Rendon was happy to be able to get just one base...
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez was looking to build off a seven-inning, one-run performance Saturday at Cincinnati. He took a hard luck 1-0 loss, but still managed to pitch well, allowing the Reds only four hits and striking out eight.
But in his first game back at Nats Park since July 20, Gonzalez struggled against the Phillies, giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 10-4 Nationals loss.
He allowed eight hits and recorded only 11 outs. In the five-run fourth inning, the Phillies were able to get...
The Nationals have finally returned home for the first time since July 20 and left-hander Gio Gonzalez looked to get off to a good start in front of the Nationals Park faithful. He started that last game at home and recorded a no-decision in a 5-4 win over the Brewers.
Despite falling to the Reds on Saturday, Gonzalez allowed only one run on four hits over seven frames.
Against the Phillies with one away in the first, Gonzalez surrendered a hit to Jimmy Rollins but then recorded a pair of outs...
The Phillies have lost five in a row and needed to at least start off their final game of the series with the Nationals well.
Veteran Chase Utley answered the bell.
In the top of the first, following a leadoff double by Ben Revere and a sacrifice that moved him to third, Utley delivered a run-scoring single past starter Doug Fister into center field to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead, their first of the series.
Fister got out of the inning without any further damage. He is seeking his fourth...
Not a bad pitching matchup for us tonight here at Nationals Park, as Stephen Strasburg will oppose Phillies righty A.J. Burnett.
Strasburg hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 21 innings against the Phillies.
He went 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in two home starts against the Phils last season.
Ryan Zimmerman is making his second big league start in left field tonight and again hitting fifth. The Nationals' lineup from 1-8 looks exactly as it did yesterday. So does the Phillies', in fact.
Manager: Ryne Sandberg, second year
Last 10 games: 4-6
Who to watch: 2B Chase Utley (.319/.378/.517, 30 XBH, 27 RBIs); RF Marlon Byrd (.274/.330/.476, 8 HR, 17 doubles, 32 RBIs); 1B Ryan Howard (.226/.300/.428, 11 HR, 40 RBIs); RHP A.J. Burnett (3-4, 3.79 ERA)
Season series vs. Nats: 2-1, 11 runs scored, 7 runs allowed
June 3: David Buchanan vs. Jordan Zimmermann, 7 p.m., MASN HD
June 4: A.J. Burnett vs. Stephen Strasburg, 7 p.m., MASN HD
June 5: Kyle Kendrick...
PHILADELPHIA - While there was minimal pushing and shoving in the top of the fifth inning when benches cleared between the Nationals and Phillies, and while the game went on without further incident, tonight's Denard Span-Cliff Lee spat might be something to keep in mind the next 18 times these teams play each other in 2014.
Bad blood can build quickly between division rivals.
Span came up in the fifth with runners at second and third and one out. He stepped into the batter's box and started...