Opposite dugout: Phillies firmly in NL East and wild card races

Opposite dugout: Phillies firmly in NL East and wild card races
Manager: Gabe Kapler (1st season) Record: 70-60 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 3B Maikel Franco (22 HR, 66 RBIs), CF Odúbel Herrera (20 HR, 64 RBIs), 2B César Hernández (.259), LF Rhys Hoskins (26 HR, 81 RBIs), RF Nick Williams (17 HR, 49 RBIs), RHP Aaron Nola (15-3, 2.13 ERA), RHP Seranthony Domínguez (14 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 7-6 Pitching probables: Aug. 27: RHP Stephen Strasburg (6-7) vs. RHP Zach Eflin (9-4), 7:05 p.m., MASN2Aug. 28: RHP Max Scherzer (16-6)...
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Marty Niland: Nationals end streak of futility before hitting record books

Marty Niland: Nationals end streak of futility before hitting record books
The only thing consistent about the 2018 Nationals has been their inconsistency. It was on full display in last weekend's series against the Mets, which saw them end a 32-inning scoreless skid in Sunday's 15-0 rout. The scoring drought was miserable, but it could have been worse. Juan Soto's sixth-inning grounder to score Trea Turner stemmed the streak before it could grow long enough for the record books or the longest runs of futility by Washington teams. The major league record for...
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Ryan Sullivan: What will Nationals lineup look like in 2019?

Ryan Sullivan: What will Nationals lineup look like in 2019?
Earlier this week, the Nationals traded Matt Adams to the Cardinals and Daniel Murphy to the Cubs, the first legitimate signs Washington had essentially conceded its playoff chances this season. These two deals netted an intriguing prospect in Andruw Monasterio, while hopefully trimming payroll below the luxury tax figure, both positives for the future. Also, it will give players like Wilmer Difo significant playing time in September to earn spots for next season. But this left me speculating...
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Liz Barr: Can Juan Soto win NL Rookie of the Year?

Liz Barr: Can Juan Soto win NL Rookie of the Year?
Let's think about awards, shall we? Individual awards are the main things going for Nationals for the rest of the season, and individual accomplishment cannot be overlooked, no matter what the team is doing. Now the question that's been on everyone's mind for the past few months: Can Juan Soto win National League Rookie of the Year? The automatic thought is yes, he can. For the longest time, Soto appeared to be a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year. He was tearing up the league like no one else,...
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Opposite dugout: Mets picking up pieces with eye toward 2019

Opposite dugout: Mets picking up pieces with eye toward 2019
Manager: Mickey Callaway (1st season) Record: 56-71 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: LF Michael Conforto (18 HR, 51 RBIs), 3B Todd Frazier (14 HR, 46 RBIs), 1B Wilmer Flores (.278/.332/.447 with 47 RBIs), SS Amed Rosario (6 3B, 14 SB), RHP Zack Wheeler (3.63 ERA), RHP Robert Gsellman (7 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-6 Pitching probables: Aug. 24: LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-10) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (3-8), 7:10 p.m., MASN2Aug. 25: RHP Tanner Roark (8-12) vs. RHP Zack Wheeler (8-6), 4:05 p.m.,...
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Opposite dugout: Series with Nats looms large over Phillies' playoff chances

Opposite dugout: Series with Nats looms large over Phillies' playoff chances
Manager: Gabe Kapler (1st season) Record: 68-56 Last 10 games: 4-6 Who to watch: 3B Maikel Franco (.281 with 20 HR, 61 RBIs), CF Odúbel Herrera (10 HR, 62 RBIs), LF Rhys Hoskins (25 HR, 77 RBIs), 1B Carlos Santana (18 HR, 69 RBIs), RHP Zach Eflin (9-4, 3.70 ERA), RHP Aaron Nola (14-3, 3.24 ERA), RHP Seranthony Domínguez (14 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 6-4 Pitching probables: Aug. 21: RHP Vince Velasquez (8-9) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (8-12), 7:05 p.m., MASN2 Aug. 22: RHP Zach Eflin...
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Marty Niland: Ramos deserves a hearty "horns up" from Nats fans this week

Marty Niland: Ramos deserves a hearty "horns up" from Nats fans this week
When Nationals Park is filled with hometown fans, there's no love lost crowd for opposing players, especially on a division rival like Philadelphia. However, when the Phillies play in Washington this week, even the most diehard Nationals partisans should give a hearty cheer and a "horns up" for the newest Phillie, catcher Wilson Ramos. Nats fans remember watching Ramos mature from a promising rookie into the game's top-hitting catcher from 2011-2016 as he helped the team blossom from an...
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Ryan Sullivan: Hitching a ride on a fun idea

Ryan Sullivan: Hitching a ride on a fun idea
Somewhat lost amid this difficult road trip for the Nationals, the team announced via press release Thursday that they will debut the WGL Energy bullpen cart during Friday's game against Miami. This bullpen cart will be at all remaining 2018 home games, with both home and visiting pitchers able to use the cart to drive them from the bullpen to their dugout. Originally introduced in 1950 by the Indians, bullpen carts were popular attractions at baseball games throughout the 1960s and 1970s....
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Opposite dugout: Marlins bullpen taxed after Ureña's antics lead to ejection, suspension

Opposite dugout: Marlins bullpen taxed after Ureña's antics lead to ejection, suspension
Manager: Don Mattingly (3rd season) Record: 48-75 Last 10 games: 2-8 Who to watch: C J.T. Realmuto (.293), 2B Starlin Castro (.281), RF Brian Anderson (54 RBIs), SS Miguel Rojas (9 HR, 44 RBIs), RHP Drew Steckenrider (1 save) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-8 Pitching probables: Aug. 17: RHP Dan Straily (4-5) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (15-5), 7:05 p.m., MASN2Aug. 18: LHP Wei-Yin Chen (4-9) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (1-1), 7:05 p.m., MASN2Aug. 19: LHP Pablo López (2-3) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-9), 1:35...
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Liz Barr: Franchise leaderboards are Zimmerman's domain

Liz Barr: Franchise leaderboards are Zimmerman's domain
Ryan Zimmerman has been the face of the Nationals since their inaugural year in 2005. You can't say the name without thinking about Zimmerman in some way, shape or form. Whether it be as a fresh-faced young third baseman, a Rookie of the Year runner-up, a Silver Slugger and Gold Glover, the humanitarian, the seasoned vet or the king of walk-offs, Zimmerman's fingerprints are all over this team. And his greatness on the field isn't just contained to Washington history, but it stretches over...
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Marty Niland: Nats' historic run of winning seasons is at risk

Marty Niland: Nats' historic run of winning seasons is at risk
Sunday night's walk-off loss to the Cubs might have been a crushing moment for the Nationals and their fans, a potential gut punch to the season and possibly a way of baseball life that fans may have taken for granted. By surrendering a two-out, two-strike grand slam in the bottom of the ninth, a team that's already on the fringe of the postseason race found another way to lose and is now just two games over .500 at 60-58. At risk over the rest of the season are not only back-to-back division...
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Opposite dugout: Surging Cardinals have sights set on postseason spot

Opposite dugout: Surging Cardinals have sights set on postseason spot
Manager: Mike Shildt (1st season) Record: 63-55 Last 10 games: 8-2 Who to watch: 3B Matt Carpenter (.277 \ with 32 HR, 65 RBIs); C Yadier Molina (.290 \ with 53 RBIs, 95 hits); 1B José Martínez (.299 with 114 hits); LF Marcell Ozuna (.272 with 122 hits, 62 RBIs); RHP Miles Mikolas (12-3, 2.74 ERA); RHP Jack Flaherty (6-6, 3.22 ERA); RHP Bud Norris (2.85 ERA, 22 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (3-3 in 2017) Pitching probables: Aug. 13: LHP Tommy Milone (1-1) vs. RHP...
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Ryan Sullivan: A night to remember in the MASN broadcast booth

Ryan Sullivan: A night to remember in the MASN broadcast booth
On Wednesday evening, I was fortunate enough to spend my birthday attending the Nationals game and to sit with Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo in the MASN broadcast booth from the second through the fifth innings. You might assume my lofty position as a MASNsports.com guest blogger was my ticket to this invitation, but actually, several months back at the Nats Clubhouse Social event, I was the lucky winner of this opportunity as a raffle prize. As a diehard baseball fan that has spent a bit...
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Opposite dugout: Cubs host streaking Nats in Windy City for three-game weekend series

Opposite dugout: Cubs host streaking Nats in Windy City for three-game weekend series
Manager: Joe Maddon (4th season) Record: 66-48 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 2B Javier Báez (25 HR, 88 RBIs, 19 SB), LF Kyle Schwarber (20 HR, 48 RBIs), 1B Anthony Rizzo (17 HR, 74 RBI), 3B David Bote (.338), RHP Pedro Strop (2.74 ERA, 8 SV) Season series vs. Nationals: 0-0 Pitching probables: Aug. 10: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (5-2) vs. RHP Kyle Hendricks (8-9), 2:20 p.m., MASNAug. 11: RHP Tanner Roark (6-12) vs. LHP Jon Lester (12-4), 4:05 p.m., MASNAug. 12: RHP Max Scherzer (15-5) vs. LHP...
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Liz Barr: Resurgent Roark getting second-half results

Liz Barr: Resurgent Roark getting second-half results
He stumbled, but he got back up again. Many lost faith in him, but he proved them wrong. Tanner Roark is back and better than ever, and it appears he's re-finding the form he had in 2016, the year in which he came in 10th place in National League Cy Young Award voting. Whether or not he's that good again has yet to be seen, but nevertheless, Roark has found brand-new second-half life. Throughout his career, Roark has always been a second-half pitcher. His career first-half ERA is 4.05, while...
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Opposite dugout: Braves aim to stay in the thick of NL East race

Opposite dugout: Braves aim to stay in the thick of NL East race
Manager: Brian Snitker (3rd season) Record: 60-48 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 1B Freddie Freeman (.316 average with 18 HR, 69 RBIs), RF Nick Markakis (.319 average with 68 RBIs, 135 hits), CF Ender Inciarte (.253 average with 105 hits, 23 stolen bases), 2B Ozzie Albies (.276 average with 20 HR, 123 hits), LHP Sean Newcomb (10-5, 3.23 ERA), RHP Mike Foltynewicz (8-7, 3.04 ERA), CL A.J. Minter (2.98 ERA, 8 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 7-5 Pitching probables: Aug. 7: LHP Max Fried...
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Marty Niland: Nats need streak like they had in 2014 to get back in the race

Marty Niland: Nats need streak like they had in 2014 to get back in the race
The Nationals have played their best baseball of the season since the All-Star break, and especially since Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline, yet they're still looking up at Atlanta and first-place Philadelphia in the National League East standings. What they really need right now is a winning streak, one like the amazing 10-game run they put together four years ago this month that secured their place at the top of the division. Like this season, the Nats were under the guidance of a...
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Ryan Sullivan: Max Scherzer is a diamond in a rough season

Ryan Sullivan: Max Scherzer is a diamond in a rough season
The 2018 season for the Nationals can best be summarized thus far with the words frustrating and disappointing. There have been lengthy injuries to players like Adam Eaton, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, and mediocre on-field performances from others. Just this week, Washington traded a player due to reported clubhouse issues and designated another for assignment for bizarrely slamming his glove in anger during a 25-4 victory. A team that was supposed to coast to the National League East...
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Rendon, teammates visit Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

Rendon, teammates visit Nationals Youth Baseball Academy
Before they took the field against the Reds tonight to start a four-game series, third baseman Anthony Rendon and some of his Nationals teammates spent time this afternoon visiting with scholar-athletes at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy. Rendon was joined by Juan Soto, Tanner Roark, Spencer Kieboom and other members of the Nationals. The visit highlighted the historic championship by the Mamie Johnson Little League 12-U team and the end of the summer programming at the Youth...
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Opposite dugout: Reds headed toward yet another last-place finish

Opposite dugout: Reds headed toward yet another last-place finish
Manager: Jim Riggleman (1st season) Record: 48-60 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 3B Eugenio Suárez (.300 with 24 HR, 81 RBIs); 1B Joey Votto (.289 with 109 hits, 22 2B); 2B Scooter Gennett (.313 with 17 HR, 67 RBIs); SS José Peraza (.284 with 118 hits, 17 SB); RHP Matt Harvey (5-4, 4.44 ERA); RHP Tyler Mahle (7-8, 4.53 ERA); RHP Raisel Iglesias (2.11 ERA, 21 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 0-3 Pitching probables: Aug. 2: RHP Tyler Mahle (7-8) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (14-5); 7:05 p.m.,...
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