This week’s selection of “Nationals Classics” on MASN fits into one two categories: those games dominated by stellar pitching and those featuring lots of offense.
Pitching and hitting are the game’s cornerstones. Put them together and you’ve got a winning combination.
Good pitching can usually trump good hitting, and this week’s “Nationals Classics” wraps with a trio of the best mound efforts ever seen in D.C. (or anywhere else, for that matter). On Wednesday, you can settle into your comfiest, coziest couch and marvel at the first three no-hitters thrown in Nationals history, a gem by Jordan Zimmermann and two masterful outings by Max Scherzer.
For those of you who dig home runs, we’ve got a bunch of blasts, including a home run spate by a now-departed slugger and a game featuring a pair of grand slams.
Thursday, May 28 - 1 p.m. - Jeffrey Hammonds was a former first-round draft pick who spent the final 37 games of a 13-year major league career with the Nationals in 2005, their first season in D.C. after moving from Montreal. This game from May 18, 2005 might have been his Nationals highlight. In the ninth inning of a tense pitchers’ duel at RFK Stadium, Hammonds’ RBI single to left scored Brad Wilkerson for a 1-0 victory over the Brewers.
Friday, May 29 - 7 p.m. - We promised you some grand slam action, and here it is. On April 19, 2017, salamis by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman provided the bulk of the offense in a 14-4 rout of the homestanding Braves. Harper hit two homers, connecting on the slam in the second after a solo shot in the first for a five-RBI night. Zimmerman went deep off former Nat Ian Krol in the eighth. The Nats pounded Atlanta pitching for 20 hits.
Saturday, May 30 - 10 a.m. - Harper was on a roll on May 9, 2015, hitting his sixth homer in three games as the Nats bested the Braves 8-6 in D.C. Jose Lobaton and Zimmerman also homered for the home team in an 8-6 triumph.
Sunday, May 31 - 4 p.m. - Zimmermann no-hit the Marlins in the final game of the 2014 season on Sept. 28, notching the first no-hitter in Nationals history. The right-hander needed a little bit of luck to finish off the masterpiece, Steven Souza Jr.’s sprawling catch in left-center field of Christian Yelich’s deep drive doing the honors. Zimmermann walked one and fanned 10, and a second-inning blast by Ian Desmond stood up for a 1-0 win.
Monday, June 1 - 9 a.m. - History buffs remember Aug. 7, 2007 as the night Giants slugger Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record with his 756th career blast, which came in the fifth inning off Mike Bacsik. What was a footnote for the memorable evening was an 8-6 Nationals victory, thanks to a four-run eighth inning featuring run-scoring singles by Nook Logan and Tony Batista, an RBI double from Felipe López and a sacrifice fly by Zimmerman.
Wednesday, June 3 - 3 p.m. - Our pitching-centric tripleheader begins with a repeat of Zimmermann’s no-no against the Fish. If you missed it Sunday, here’s another chance to relive history.
Wednesday, June 3 - 6 p.m. - June 20, 2015 was the date that José Tábata earned undying hatred on South Capitol Street. Pinch-hitting in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Tábata ruined Scherzer’s bid for a perfect game by dropping his left elbow in front of a pitch and strolling to first base. Scherzer regained his composure and got Josh Harrison to fly to left to end a 6-0 no-hit victory.
Wednesday June 3 - 8:30 p.m. - Scherzer ended his season in style on Oct. 3, 2015, capping a Cy Young campaign with his second no-hitter of the year, a 2-0 masterpiece against the homestanding Mets in the nightcap of a double dip. He struck out 11, including nine in a row at one point, and benefited from a Wilson Ramos sacrifice fly and a Dan Uggla homer.