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On Bell’s timing, Avilán’s surgery and Nats’ vaccine goal

Josh Bell, maybe more than just about any big-name hitter in the majors, depends on proper timing at the plate to be successful. The big slugger doesn’t have the short, compact swing of an Anthony Rendon. His is a long swing with long arms that, when in sync, produces explosive results but otherwise can produce a lot of whiffs. When the Nationals first baseman departed ... read more

Game 14 lineups: Nats vs. Cardinals

Joe Ross has been probably the most positive development for the Nationals so far this young season. The right-hander, who won the fifth starter’s job in spring training after opting out of the 2020 campaign, has been outstanding in each of his first two outings and has yet to allow a run in 11 innings. It’s everything the Nats could’ve hoped for and more from ... read more

The positives and the negatives after two weeks

The Nationals’ 2021 season is only two weeks old, but boy does it feel like a lot has happened already or what? It’s been an eventful 13 days since they took the field to face the Braves after seeing their first four scheduled games of the year postponed due to their COVID-19 outbreak. Prominent players have gone on the injured list, prominent players have come ... read more

Lineup goes quiet as Nationals drop series finale (updated)

The day began with aggravating - though not terribly shocking, if you’ve been paying attention - news. Stephen Strasburg was going back on the injured list, this time with right shoulder inflammation, and the $245 million pitcher would not be making his scheduled start against the Diamondbacks. Rarely in the past have the Nationals not suffered as a result of a Strasburg IL stint, and ... read more

Nationals again left to solve rotation without Strasburg

Anytime during his 11-year career Stephen Strasburg has looked as bad as he did Tuesday night in St. Louis, when he was rocked for eight runs in five innings with diminished velocity, erratic command and poor body language, the right-hander has proven either to be injured or tipping his pitches. Turns out he was injured after all. The Nationals placed Strasburg on the 10-day injured ... read more

Game 13 lineups: Nats vs. Diamondbacks (Strasburg to IL)

The Nationals would like to win today’s series finale against the Diamondbacks, no question. If they do, they’d have taken three of four over the weekend and five of seven over the last week, a nice bounceback since that ragged 1-5 start to the season. But truth be told, there’s a bigger story going on right now that supersedes anything: Stephen Strasburg is injured. Despite ... read more

Injuries in ‘pen could create chances for Clay, McGowin

Back when the Nationals broke spring training and headed north, the bullpen looked like a definite strength. The addition of closer Brad Hand set the Nats up for a lockdown back end, and guys like Wander Suero and Kyle Finnegan backed up the high-leverage relievers with the potential to pitch multiple innings in middle relief. Now, barely two weeks into the season, the bullpen is ... read more

Fedde fans nine over five frames, Nats win second in row (updated)

Erick Fedde has struggled through outings where he couldn’t seem to harness any confidence. He’d get behind hitters, have to throw a hittable fastball and pay the price. But in the early going of Saturday’s start against the Diamondbacks, he got the feel for his changeup and used it masterfully. He also mixed his pitches to keep Arizona hitters off-balance and got on a roll. ... read more