#TBT to “Nationals Classics”: Pitching and offense aplenty

Well, pitchers and catchers have reported to West Palm Beach, followed by position players. Pretty soon, there will be Grapefruit League games. And before you know it, the regular season will be upon us, pandemic willing.

But before we turn the page to a new season, we’ve got time for one more collection of “Nationals Classics” on MASN. This week’s array of retro games includes some of the most memorable pitching and hitting performances by the Nationals.

So sit back and enjoy them. The snow and ice are melting. Temperatures are gradually increasing, as is the amount of daylight each day. Your long winter’s wait is almost over.

Thursday, Feb. 25 - 1:30 p.m. - No way around it, Max Scherzer’s 2015 campaign was something special. He closed it out in style on the season’s penultimate day, by no-hitting the Mets at Citi Field in the nightcap of a doubleheader. Mad Max fanned 17, incuding nine straight at one point, in a 2-0 masterpiece.

Thursday, Feb. 25 - 6 p.m. - The Nats prevailed in a slugfest against the Marlins on May 24, 2019, scoring four times in the eighth inning for a 12-10 win. Juan Soto cracked a three-run homer off Tayron Guerrero in the eighth and Matt Adams followed with a solo shot.

Friday, Feb. 26 - 11 a.m. - Chris Heisey was the hero on April 24, 2016, when the Nats eclipsed the Twins 6-5 in 16 innings. Heisey’s blast off Michael Tonkin cleared the wall in left-center and provided walk-off heroics.

Saturday, Feb. 27 - 7 p.m. - Last Aug. 14, the Nationals had their lumber in gear in a 15-3 thrashing of the Orioles at Camden Yards. The visitors banged out 19 hits, but only one home run, Asdrúbal Cabrera’s solo shot in the seventh.

Sunday, Feb. 28 - 11:30 p.m. - Long before he came up with big blasts in the 2019 National League Division Series and World Series, Howie Kendrick was still showing a flare for the dramatic. On Aug. 13, 2017, his 11th-inning walk-off grand slam did in the Giants for a 6-2 triumph.

Tuesday, March 2 - midnight - We’re setting the wayback machine for April 14, 2005, when the Nationals played their first game in D.C., a 5-3 victory over the Diamondbacks. Liván Hernández got within two outs of a complete game and Vinny Castilla hit a two-run homer at RFK Stadium.

Tuesday, March 2 - 11 a.m. - Manager Dusty Baker removed right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the July 3, 2016 game against the Reds after 6 2/3 hitless innings. With his pitch count at 109, Strasburg had walked four and fanned five. The bullpen closed out a 12-1 rout that featured five Nationals home runs.

Tuesday, March 2 - 7 p.m. - Strasburg used his arm and his bat to help the Nats past the Braves in Atlanta on July 18, 2019. Strasburg homered and drove in five runs, and worked the first 5 1/3 innings in the 13-4 victory.

Wednesday, March 3 - 10:30 a.m. - All the scoring in a 7-0 win at Miami on April 19, 2016 came in one inning, the seventh. The Nats homered four times in the frame, with back-to-back solo blasts by Jayson Werth and Wilson Ramos starting things off. After Bryce Harper’s grand slam, Ryan Zimmerman followed with another solo shot. Strasburg pitched eight innings of three-hit ball.

Wednesday, March 3 - 11:30 p.m. - Facing the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 3, 2005, the Nats needed some extra-inning magic to eke out a 5-4 victory in 12 innings. Brian Schneider’s homer off Sergio Mitre did the trick, with Joey Eischen recording the final four outs for the win.

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