Liz Barr: Anthony Rendon still has a lot to play for

Liz Barr: Anthony Rendon still has a lot to play for
On a team with stars such as Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner and Juan Soto, sometimes it can be easy to forget about Anthony Rendon. And while it's probably what he wants, as the man famously will go to excessive lengths to avoid talking about himself and his accomplishments, we would be doing the world a great injustice if we let what he's done this season go away quietly without mention. Even as everyone has been ignoring him, Rendon has put together a stellar season. And even...
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Opposite dugout: Marlins arrive in D.C. on rare winning streak

Opposite dugout: Marlins arrive in D.C. on rare winning streak
Manager: Don Mattingly (3rd season) Record: 62-93 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: C J.T. Realmuto (21 HR, 73 RBIs), RF Brian Anderson (60 RBIs), SS JT Riddle (9 HR, 36 RBIs), LF Derek Dietrich (16 HR, 45 RBIs), RHP Kyle Barraclough (10 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-10 Pitching probables: Sept. 24: RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-1) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-7); 7:05 p.m., MASNSept. 25: RHP Jeff Brigham (0-3) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (17-7); 7:05 p.m., MASN2Sept. 26: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (6-11)...
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Ryan Sullivan: End of 2018 season looms large for Joe Ross, Nationals

Ryan Sullivan: End of 2018 season looms large for Joe Ross, Nationals
One of several reasons the 2018 Nationals have underachieved this season has been their lack of starting pitching depth. Washington suffered lengthy injuries to starters Stephen Strasburg and Jeremy Hellickson this season, and replacements Erick Fedde, Tommy Milone and Jefry Rodriguez could not adequately replace their performance. However, one could argue the Nationals' pitching depth began to feel strained in July 2017, when Joe Ross tore his ulnar collateral ligament and was forced to...
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Opposite dugout: Disappointing season draws to a close for the Mets

Opposite dugout: Disappointing season draws to a close for the Mets
Manager: Mickey Callaway (1st season) Record: 70-82 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: LF Michael Conforto (26 HR, 121 hits); SS Amed Rosario (.260 with 133 hits, 21 SB); 1B Wilmer Flores (.267 with 11 HR, 51 RBIs); 3B Todd Frazier (84 hits, 58 RBIs); RHP Jacob deGrom (8-9, 1.78 ERA); LHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.03 ERA); RHP Robert Gsellman (3.97 ERA, 11 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 8-7 Pitching probables: Sept. 20: LHP Jason Vargas (6-9) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (17-7); 7:05 p.m., MASNSept. 21:...
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Liz Barr: Bryce Harper finishing season on a strong note

Liz Barr: Bryce Harper finishing season on a strong note
Bryce Harper's 2018 season has been a roller coaster, to say the least. In a year many predicted to be off the charts due to his upcoming free agency, Harper has underperformed in the eyes of many. His numbers are not fantastic; they're nowhere near what he hit last season (.319/.413/.595) or what he hit in his 2015 MVP campaign (.330/.460/.649). But his season has not been all bad, and it's actually come around quite nicely, especially on the production end. Harper started the year...
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Marty Niland: Strong finish could set Nats up for future, as it did in 2011

Marty Niland: Strong finish could set Nats up for future, as it did in 2011
With wins in seven of their last nine games and three straight series victories under their belts, the Nationals seem determined to close out the 2018 season on a high note and set the tone for a winning 2019. It brings to mind the 2011 Nats season, when they won 14 of their last 17 games and eight of their last 10 to finish with their best record since 2005 at 80-81. Keep in mind that this was a team that had never finished with a winning record since moving to Washington and was a year...
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Opposite dugout: Fried fish playing out the string, trying to avoid 100 losses

Opposite dugout: Fried fish playing out the string, trying to avoid 100 losses
Manager: Don Mattingly (3rd season) Record: 58-91 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: C J.T. Realmulto (.282 with 21 HR, 71 RBIs), 2B Starlin Castro (.280), RF Brian Anderson (59 RBIs), LF Derek Dietrich (16 HR, 45 RBIs), RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-0, 1.42 ERA), RHP Kyle Barraclough (10 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 5-9 Pitching probables: Sept. 17: RHP Erick Fedde (2-3) vs. RHP Trevor Richards (3-9), 7:10 p.m., MASN Sept. 18: RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-7) vs. RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-0), 7:10 p.m.,...
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Ryan Sullivan: Victor Robles flashes his offensive, defensive skills

Ryan Sullivan: Victor Robles flashes his offensive, defensive skills
Yesterday, the Nationals interrupted a road trip to play contest at Nationals Park against the Cubs rescheduled due to rain. At this point in the season, neither team likely wanted to make the trip, but it was one of the most entertaining and well-played games of the season. Unfortunately the Nationals were unable to come away with the victory, but a silver lining in this difficult loss was the play of rookie Victor Robles. Robles served as Washington's leadoff hitter and starting center...
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Opposite dugout: Braves boast formidable mix of youth and experience

Opposite dugout: Braves boast formidable mix of youth and experience
Manager: Brian Snitker (3rd season) Record: 82-64 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: LF Ronald Acuña Jr. (25 HR, 14 SB), 1B Freddie Freeman (.307/.388/.500, 85 RBIs), RF Nick Markakis (.306/.371/.457, 88 RBIs), CF Ender Inciarte (25 SB), RHP Kevin Gausman (3.89 ERA), RHP Arodys Vizcaíno (15 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 9-7 Pitching probables: Sept. 14: RHP Max Scherzer (17-6) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (9-10), 7:35 p.m., MASN2Sept. 15: TBA vs. RHP Julio Teheran (9-7), 1:05 p.m., FOXSept....
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Opposite dugout: Cubs head back to D.C. for makeup with Central lead down to a game

Opposite dugout: Cubs head back to D.C. for makeup with Central lead down to a game
Manager: Joe Maddon (4th season) Record: 84-61 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 2B Javier Báez (.292 with 30 HR, 100 RBIs), 1B Anthony Rizzo (24 HR, 92 RBIs), 3B Kris Bryant (.277, 11 HR), RHP Pedro Strop (13 saves, 2.33 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-3 Pitching probables: Sept. 13: LHP Mike Montgomery (4-5) vs. RHP Joe Ross (0-0), 4:05 p.m., MASN2 Inside the Cubs: Joe Maddon's club is not happy about losing a scheduled off-day to play a makeup game in D.C. this afternoon. This means...
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Liz Barr: Wander Suero, Greg Holland have strengthened Nationals bullpen

Liz Barr: Wander Suero, Greg Holland have strengthened Nationals bullpen
In a season like the 2018 Nationals have been having, it's important to focus on individual accomplishments. Not a lot of the guys have been necessarily bad, per se, and many of them are actually having fantastic seasons. Nothing is clicking all on the same cylinders at the same time. While their record isn't what you want it to be, a number of guys can be proud of how their seasons turned out individually, and some of these players reside in the bullpen. A lot of people can get up in arms...
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Marty Niland: Dealing with disappointment is familiar territory for Nats fans

Marty Niland: Dealing with disappointment is familiar territory for Nats fans
The 2018 season is a huge disappointment to most Nationals fans, many of whom believed the team had the potential to win an unprecedented third straight National League East championship and finally win a postseason series. But is this really the most disappointing season the Nationals have been through since moving to Washington in 2005? It's certainly not the first letdown Nats fans have been through. There have been other seasons that have been at least this disappointing, and seasons in...
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Opposite dugout: Series against Nationals looms large for fading Phillies' playoff chances

Opposite dugout: Series against Nationals looms large for fading Phillies' playoff chances
Manager: Gabe Kapler (1st season) Record: 74-68 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: 3B Maikel Franco (22 HR, 66 RBIs), CF Odúbel Herrera (21 HR, 65 RBIs), 2B César Hernández (.258), LF Rhys Hoskins (30 HR, 88 RBIs), RF Nick Williams (17 HR, 50 RBIs), RHP Aaron Nola (16-4, 2.29 ERA), RHP Seranthony Domínguez (14 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 8-8 Pitching probables: Sept. 10: RHP Erick Fedde (1-3) vs. RHP Jake Arrieta (10-9). 7:05 p.m., MASNSept. 11: RHP Tanner Roark (8-15)...
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Ryan Sullivan: Remainder of season looms large for Wilmer Difo

Ryan Sullivan: Remainder of season looms large for Wilmer Difo
The Nationals have 21 games left in a difficult season filled with injuries, poor play and the departure of several popular players. This has left many in NatsTown pondering on social media about why they should continue to watch games down the stretch. The obvious answer is that baseball is awesome and once the final pitch is thrown, we must anxiously wait like a dog for its owner to return home for pitchers and catchers to report next February. And with all due respect to my Caps brethren...
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Opposite dugout: Cubs continuing roll toward another NL Central crown

Opposite dugout: Cubs continuing roll toward another NL Central crown
Manager: Joe Maddon (4th season) Record: 82-57 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 2B Javier Báez (.297 with 30 HR, 100 RBIs), 1B Anthony Rizzo (24 HR, 90 RBIs), 3B Kris Bryant (.277, 11 HR), LF Kyle Schwarber (24 HR, 57 RBIs), LHP Jon Lester (15-5, 3.53 ERA), LHP Cole Hamels (4-0, 1.00), RHP Pedro Strop (11 saves, 2.45 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 2-1 Pitching probables: Sept. 6: RHP Kyle Hendricks (11-10) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-7), 7:05 p.m., MASN Sept. 7: LHP Jon Lester (15-5) vs....
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Liz Barr: Soto, Robles offer a glimpse of Nationals' future

Liz Barr: Soto, Robles offer a glimpse of Nationals' future
At the beginning of the year, everyone anticipated Victor Robles to be a quick call-up; he was going to be the young face of the future that made his mark this season, digging out a role in the outfield and being an important piece for the Nationals off the bench or perhaps in some kind of starting role. That wasn't the case. Robles suffered a freak injury on his elbow at the beginning of April that forced him onto the disabled list until deep into the summer. Instead, it was Juan Soto,...
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Opposite dugout: Red-hot Cardinals aim to continue playoff push

Opposite dugout: Red-hot Cardinals aim to continue playoff push
Manager: Mike Shildt (1st season) Record: 76-61 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: IF Matt Carpenter (.273 with 35 HR, 73 RBIs); 1B José Martínez (.310 with 77 RBIs, 139 hits); C Yadier Molina (.271 with 108 hits); LF Marcell Ozuna (.273 with 133 hits); RHP Miles Mikolas (13-4, 2.96 ERA); RHP Jack Flaherty (8-6, 2.87 ERA); RHP Bud Norris (2.85 ERA, 28 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-1 Pitching probables: Sept. 3: RHP Jack Flaherty (8-6) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (16-6), 1:05 p.m.,...
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Ryan Sullivan: Thinking about some under-the-radar Nats prospects

Ryan Sullivan: Thinking about some under-the-radar Nats prospects
Earlier this week, I was driving by a Bob Evans restaurant and noticed in the window a large sticker with the words "Down on the Farm." Not only did this display get me hungry and wishing I was wearing my fat pants, it got me thinking about the Nationals farm system and some under-the-radar prospects in the organization. In this space, I have discussed young players like Juan Soto, Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia this season, among others. But in the spirit of looking ahead toward next year,...
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Opposite dugout: Brewers trying to make room in crowded playoff race

Opposite dugout: Brewers trying to make room in crowded playoff race
Manager: Craig Counsell (4th season) Record: 75-60 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 1B Jesús Aguilar (.277 with 30 HR, 92 RBIs); 3B Travis Shaw (26 HR, 74 RBIs); CF Lorenzo Cain (.309 with 136 hits, 24 SB); OF Christian Yelich (.319 with 151 hits, 75 RBIs); RHP Jhoulys Chacín (13-5, 3.61 ERA); RHP Chase Anderson (9-7, 4.04 ERA); LHP Josh Hader (2.05 ERA, 10 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 2-1 Pitching probables: Aug. 31: RHP Jhoulys Chacín (13-5) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (8-13); 7:05...
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Liz Barr: Strong defense has been consistent for Nationals

Liz Barr: Strong defense has been consistent for Nationals
To say that this season has been a roller coaster for the Nationals would be an understatement. They've struggled to find consistency. Sometimes they score double-digit runs and sometimes they get shut out multiple games in a row. Finding rhythm has been difficult. The pitching has been up and down, the offense has been up and down. But there's one thing the Nationals have been very consistent at all year, something they've done very well all year long: defense. Sure, they're going to have...
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