#TBT to “Nationals Classics”: Milestones, memories and some newer vintages

Regular readers of this space are familiar with our recaps of “Nationals Classics” on MASN. Usually, all winter long, we stoke the hot stove and feed your need for baseball with rebroadcasts of memorable games from past seasons. Well, in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic that has short-circuited the national pastime, we’re back with more “Nationals Classics” to keep you satiated.

Whether you’re working at home, sheltering in place or planning your next strategic grocery store run for toilet tissue and hand sanitizer, take a break for a few minutes to enjoy some of the best games MASN has to offer.

You’ll notice some games of more recent vintage joining our rotation. What better way to remember some of the highlights of the 2019 World Series season than to relive them in your own favorite place to watch baseball?

Enjoy this week’s hefty helping of “Nationals Classics” on MASN ...

Thursday, March 19 - 1:30 p.m. - No one is surprised when Max Scherzer steals the show, which is exactly what he did against the Braves on April 9, 2018. In the midst of a complete-game two-hit shutout, the right-hander singled leading off the seventh and caught reliever Peter Moylan napping by swiping second base, the cherry on top of a 2-0 Nationals victory.

Thursday, March 19 - 7 p.m. - Lovers of longball will find a lot to like in this lumberfest from Aug. 18, 2019, when the Nats routed the Brewers 16-8. Washington batters clubbed eight home runs, matching a team record. Juan Soto and Brian Dozier each went deep twice, while Matt Adams, Victor Robles, Anthony Rendon and Adam Eaton also connected.

Friday, March 20 - 9 a.m. - Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy a memorable feat of strength by a then-teenaged Soto. On May 21, 2018 against the Padres, 19-year-old Childish Bambino went yard against the Padres in a lopsided win, ripping a three-run homer.

Saturday, March 21 - 6 p.m. - Until Sept. 28. 2014, no Nationals pitcher had thrown a no-hitter. But on the final day of the campaign, Jordan Zimmermann turned the trick, getting a spectacular diving catch in left-center field by Steven Souza Jr. to seal the deal. The sight of Zimmermann with his arms extended in celebration has become an iconic image in Nationals history.

Saturday, March 21 - 11:30 p.m. - When Scherzer took the mound at home against the Tigers on May 11, 2016, he was facing Zimmermann, who was making his first appearance against the Nats since departing in free agency. All Scherzer did against his former mates was to fan 20 batters, the crowd hanging on every third strike as the whiffs mounted in the later innings.

Monday, March 23 - noon - The Nats and Marlins went back and forth on April 9, 2014, trading big rallies until the eighth inning, when Jayson Werth secured control for the home team. Werth stepped to the plate against Carlos Marmol and blasted a grand slam to left-center field, propelling the Nats to a 10-7 victory over the Fish.

Monday, March 23 - 7 p.m. - If there’s one thing manager Davey Martinez’s “go 1-0 today” philosophy has taught Nationals fans, it’s not to give up - especially when things seem particularly dire. That was the case last Sept. 3, when a five-run ninth against the Nats bullpen put the Mets ahead 10-4. With one down in the bottom of the ninth, the home team started its comeback - a rally capped by Kurt Suzuki’s three-run no-doubter to left field that touched off a wild walk-off celebration.

Tuesday, March 24 - 9 a.m. - For the first of four “Nationals Classics” today, we’ve got more Scherzer mastery. On July 27. 2018, he became just the fourth pitcher in major league history to record seven seasons of 200 or more strikeouts by fanning 11 Marlins in a 9-1 shellacking in Miami.

Tuesday, March 24 - 4 p.m. - Isn’t it odd how the Marlins seem to be on the wrong side of so many memorable moments in Nationals history? On April 19, 2016, the Nats went deep four times in one inning against the Fish, with Werth, Wilson Ramos, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman all connecting in the seventh during a 7-0 whitewashing that included a 10-strikeout performance by Stephen Strasburg.

Tuesday, March 24 - 8 p.m. - Tanner Roark wasn’t known as a strikeout pitcher during his time with the Nationals, but on April 23, 2016, the control-oriented right-hander fanned 15 Twins in seven innings in a 2-0 interleague triumph. Zimmerman drove in both runs for the victors.

Tuesday, March 24 - 11:30 p.m. - Down 4-1 in the sixth inning against the Tigers on May 9, 2016, the Nats rallied and walked it off in the ninth on Clint Robinson’s pinch-hit homer to right.

Wednesday, March 25 - 9 a.m. - We’re revving up the wayback machine to April 14, 2005, the Nationals’ first home game in D.C. at RFK Stadium after moving from Montreal. Vinny Castilla homered and Liván Hernádez worked into the ninth for a 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks that had the old ballpark bouncing up and down.

Wednesday, March 25, 7 p.m. - A doubleheader sweep of the division-rival Phillies helped the Nationals clinch the National League wild card last Sept. 24. Trea Turner’s sixth-inning grand slam off Jared Hughes put the home team ahead for good. A short while later, champagne was flowing in a clubhouse, the first of many bubbly baths last fall.

blog comments powered by Disqus