What other franchises can match Nats' playoff heartbreak?

What other franchises can match Nats' playoff heartbreak?
There are many different kinds of miseries in sports. There's the misery that comes from repeated losing year in and year out, as any fan of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns can attest. There's the misery that comes from repeatedly coming oh-so-close to winning the big one, as any fan of the Buffalo Bills can attest. And then there's the misery that comes from repeatedly reaching the playoffs and then finding new ways to squander those opportunities, as any fan of the Kansas...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Postseason player shares revealed

Postseason player shares revealed
They may have failed to advance beyond the first playoff round once again, but the Nationals still managed to earn some extra cash for their brief October run. The team was awarded $2,746,264.04 to be split among its players and other selected personnel, according to figures released Monday by Major League Baseball. That total, which also was awarded to the three other clubs that were eliminated in Division Series play, resulted in individual shares of $36,864.74. The Nationals issued 61 full...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

NLDS game blog: Nats can make D.C. sports history with Game 5 win

NLDS game blog: Nats can make D.C. sports history with Game 5 win
It's Game 5. There are no ifs, ands or buts. It's all hands on deck. Throw all your stat sheets and conventional wisdom out the window. It's your best versus mine. It's win or go home. Do or die. The Nationals and their loyal fan base are no strangers to this dire situation. We all know what's at stake, having now been here in three of Nationals' four playoff appearances. Win and advance to the first National League Championship Series in club history and the first league/conference final...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Relive Nationals' five-run eighth inning in Game 2 comeback victory

Relive Nationals' five-run eighth inning in Game 2 comeback victory
So about last night ... That was an incredible game of baseball between the Nationals and Cubs. From the home runs to the relief pitching to the dramatic comeback, Game 2 of this National League Division Series provided the best of what postseason baseball has to offer. Anthony Rendon started the scoring with a solo home run in the first. Gio Gonzalez gave manager Dusty Baker a solid start. Matt Albers, Sammy Solís, Ryan Madson, Oliver Pérez and Sean Doolittle combined for four shutout...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

NLDS game blog: Gonzalez, Nats offense aim to even series in Game 2

NLDS game blog: Gonzalez, Nats offense aim to even series in Game 2
It's a new game on a new day. After the Nationals dropped Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday night, they will look to get even with the Cubs this afternoon on South Capitol Street. While technically not a must-win game, the Nats really can't afford to go to Chicago down 2-0. And so a lot of pressure falls on Gio Gonzalez, who takes the mound today for Game 2. Gonzalez had one of his best seasons with the Nationals this year, going 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA. Though there may be...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

NLDS game blog: Stasburg looks to get Nats off to strong start

NLDS game blog: Stasburg looks to get Nats off to strong start
It's finally here. Postseason baseball is back in our nation's capital as the Nationals welcome the defending World Series champion Cubs for the National League Division Series. There's no way to understate the importance of Game 1 in a playoff series, especially in a five-game set. The winner of the series' first game advances 72 percent of the time. And just look at the Nationals' postseason history: Obviously, they have lost all three of their previous playoff series, but they have only...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Gonzalez got into nice groove in 2017, earns Game 2 start

Gonzalez got into nice groove in 2017, earns Game 2 start
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez gets the nod as the Game 2 starter for the National League Division Series between the Nationals and the Cubs. The Cubs will counter with southpaw Jon Lester, who went 13-8 with a 4.33 ERA in 32 starts this season. Gonzalez went 15-9 with a 2.96 ERA in 32 starts. He struck out 188 in 201 innings. The 15 wins were the most in a regular season for Gonzalez since his career-high 21 victories in 2012. Gonzalez appeared to be positively influenced by the arrival of veteran...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Opposite dugout: Defending champion Cubs begin postseason with bull's-eye on their backs

Opposite dugout: Defending champion Cubs begin postseason with bull's-eye on their backs
Manager: Joe Maddon (4th season) Record: 92-70 (won NL Central) Who to watch: 3B Kris Bryant (.295/.409/.537 with 29 HR, 73 RBIs), 1B Anthony Rizzo (32 HR, 109 RBIs), C Willson Contreras (23 HR, 75 RBIs), LF Kyle Schwarber (30 HR, 59 RBIs), RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA), RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA), LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), RHP Wade Davis (2.30 ERA, 32 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-4 Pitching probables: Oct. 6: RHP Kyle Hendricks vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg, 7:31 p.m.,...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Breaking down the 10 postseason teams and their October storylines

Breaking down the 10 postseason teams and their October storylines
After losing three National League Division Series - to the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers - the Nationals are in the postseason for the fourth time in six seasons. The Nationals, who finished with 97 wins and start the NLDS on Friday at home against the Cubs, have the deepest rotation, a rebuilt bullpen, depth, and a versatile offense that has power, speed and a blend of left-right hitters. They are the favorite to win the NL pennant and bring a World Series to Washington for the first time...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Home field advantage, 100 wins still on the table for Nats

Home field advantage, 100 wins still on the table for Nats
ATLANTA - Just when you thought discussion of the Nationals ending up with the best record in the National League was finished, those wacky Dodgers have gone and brought up the possibility once again. In losing three in a row to the lowly Phillies, Los Angeles has fallen back into its late season slide. This supposed super-team, which only a month ago was on pace to challenge the all-time record of 116 wins, has now lost 15 of its last 20. And thanks to the Nationals' three-game winning...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

District 34 podcast: Figuring out Nats' playoff roster after clinching division

District 34 podcast: Figuring out Nats' playoff roster after clinching division
On the last episode of the District 34 podcast, Byron and I were counting down to the Nationals clinching their second straight division title. Well, on Sept. 10, they did (with some help from the Braves) to secure the team's fourth National League East crown in six seasons and a spot in this year's playoffs. To start this episode, we recap the celebration that took place at Nationals Park that day and what this division championship means for the Nats, Dusty Baker and Washington, D.C. as a...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Harper takes full BP session on field, says timing now is key

Harper takes full BP session on field, says timing now is key
The crack of the bat said it all. This wasn't a sound anyone had heard around the Nationals batting cage in five weeks. This was the sound only Bryce Harper makes when he connects with a ball during batting practice. And this being Harper's first on-field BP session since his scary-looking left leg injury on Aug. 12, it drew plenty of attention. From general manager Mike Rizzo, hitting coach Rick Schu and other team personnel standing behind the cage. From reporters and photographers watching...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Nats will keep foot on gas pedal for final three weeks

Nats will keep foot on gas pedal for final three weeks
And on the day after, Dusty Baker played his regulars. Though their latest division title has already been secured, the Nationals don't appear to taking their foot off the gas pedal anytime soon. Baker's lineup for tonight's series opener against the Braves - all the currently active regulars are starting except for Jayson Werth, who is dealing with a sore left shoulder - is evidence of that, as are the manager's answers when asked how he plans to handle the final three weeks of the regular...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Marty Niland: Nats and their fans get the celebration they deserve

Marty Niland: Nats and their fans get the celebration they deserve
We partied like it was 1933. For the first time in several generations, Washington baseball fans celebrated a championship the right way: on their home field after a win. It hadn't happened in Washington since Sept. 21, 1933, when the original Nats beat the St. Louis Browns 2-1 at Griffith Stadium. After Lefty Stewart tossed a complete game for his 15th win of the season, a team that included future Hall of Famers Joe Cronin, Goose Goslin, Heinie Manush and Sam Rice popped champagne to...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Could the Nationals catch the Dodgers for NL's best record?

Could the Nationals catch the Dodgers for NL's best record?
The Nationals have known for some time they're going to clinch a division title and then have multiple weeks of games left to play before the postseason begins, creating an awkward situation in which Dusty Baker has to find a balance between resting his regulars while still keeping them sharp. There may, however, be a new goal for the Nats to chase even after they officially win the National League East: the league's best record and No. 1 seed for the playoffs. What once seemed unfathomable...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Taking a look at the bizarre AL wild card race

Taking a look at the bizarre AL wild card race
The American League wild card race is bizarre, flawed or mediocre - whatever you choose to call it. In most seasons, teams struggling to stay above .500 would be long gone out of the race. Not this year. Here is what makes the AL wild card race so wild: * The Twins, who lost 103 games in 2016, are contenders even with a rotation that includes Bartolo Colon, Aaron Slegers, Dillion Gee and Tim Melville. Colon is 44 and looks like a sportswriter. Slegers has made one big league start, Gee 23 in...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

David Huzzard: Waiting for the regular season to end

David Huzzard: Waiting for the regular season to end
The Nationals have such a commanding lead in the division that it has the same feeling as a losing season. It is like the Nationals are playing out the string, but instead of the season ending with golf outings and vacation, it will become exciting again and the Nationals will be in the playoffs. For now though, the Nationals are playing out the string. I'd say it should be a feeling familiar to Nats fans, but how many really exist that suffered through the 2008 and 2009 seasons? Let alone...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Where the American League postseason race stands

Where the American League postseason race stands
With less than two months to go, there's not a lot of drama in the National League races. The Nationals most likely will play either the Cubs, Brewers or surging Cardinals in the Division Series, while the Dodgers will play the winner of the projected Diamondbacks-Rockies wild card game. The American League is more complex. Teams are bunched and a .500 record keeps a team thinking October. The Orioles are contenders even though they were seven games under on July 16. The Orioles' schedule...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Marty Niland: Nats bench gaining valuable experience for postseason

Marty Niland: Nats bench gaining valuable experience for postseason
The dog days of August are proving to be a grind for the Nationals, playing .500 ball in their past 10 games. But while they endure this rough patch of injuries and a sometimes sputtering offense, they are laying valuable groundwork for the postseason. Let's face it, with a 13-game lead in the National League East and none of the other teams playing even .500 ball, it's extremely likely the Nats will win their fourth division title in six seasons. While this might be the most exciting team...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments

Luke Erickson: Are any Nats affiliates playoff bound?

Luke Erickson: Are any Nats affiliates playoff bound?
If you've been following the Nationals' minors closely (*ahem*), you'd know this ranges from virtually impossible (DSL Nats, Syracuse) to almost laughable (Potomac, Harrisburg, Auburn; all in last place by several games). Two of the affiliates, however, are in contention. If you're one to bring the tartar sauce while going after your white whale, you might make the argument that these two teams - the Gulf Coast League Nationals and the low Single-A Hagerstown Suns - are the ideal. The...
Continue reading
  0 Comments
0 Comments