Liz Barr: Finding the positives during a rough stretch for Nationals

Liz Barr: Finding the positives during a rough stretch for Nationals
The last month or so of Nationals baseball has been a little bit rough. It's been tough for the team and tough for fans, and at times it's been hard to watch. They keep finding new ways to lose, and it seems like there are never enough runs scored, they can't get that big hit and there are always runners left on base. It's frustrating. But we can't wallow in misery. If we only talk about failures and what the team isn't doing right, we're going to drive ourselves crazy. Yeah, things...
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Marty Niland: Celebrating baseball's evolution and sense of community

Marty Niland: Celebrating baseball's evolution and sense of community
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden's baseball roots aren't in Washington, but she knows the sense of pride that baseball fans in the nation's capital feel toward their team and national pastime. "They represent the capital, and the team in the capital, and this is the all-American game," she said, previewing the Library of Congress' new exhibit, "Baseball Americana," which opened Friday amid the buildup to the 89th All-Star Game on July 17 at Nationals Park. Washington baseball fans can...
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Opposite dugout: Red Sox visit D.C. looking to stay atop AL East

Opposite dugout: Red Sox visit D.C. looking to stay atop AL East
Manager: Alex Cora (1st season) Record: 56-29 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: RF Mookie Betts (.339 with 20 HR, 41 RBIs); DH J.D. Martinez (.324 with 25 HR, 100 hits); 3B Rafael Devers (78 hits, 47 RBIs); LF Andrew Benintendi (.284 with 20 2B, 53 RBIs); LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-3, 4.11 ERA); RHP Rick Porcello (9-3, 3.60 ERA); RHP Craig Kimbrel (2.16 ERA, 24 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (2-1 in 2015) Pitching probables: July 2: RHP Rick Porcello (9-3) vs. RHP Max Scherzer...
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Ryan Sullivan: Saying farewell to Jayson Werth

Ryan Sullivan: Saying farewell to Jayson Werth
Earlier this week, Jayson Werth publicly acknowledged his baseball career is over, failing to specifically use the word retirement, but effectively ending his playing days. After the Nationals decided not to offer him a contract, Werth signed a minor league pact with Seattle in March to attempt to earn his way back to the majors. Unfortunately, nagging injuries and mediocre statistical performance was baseball's way of telling him his playing days were finished. Werth had a fascinating career,...
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Opposite dugout: Phillies hope to build momentum against struggling Nationals

Opposite dugout: Phillies hope to build momentum against struggling Nationals
Manager: Gabe Kapler (1st season) Record: 42-36 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: LF Rhys Hoskins (43 RBIs), CF Odúbel Herrera (.298, 13 HR, 45 RBIs), 1B Carlos Santana (46 RBIs), 2B César Hernández (.264, 12 SB), 3B Maikel Franco (38 RBIs), RHP Aaron Nola (9-2, 2.58 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-3 Pitching probables: June 28: RHP Tanner Roark (3-8) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (9-2), 7:05 p.m., MASN2June 29 RHP Erick Fedde (0-3) vs. RHP Nick Pivetta (4-6), 7:05 p.m., MASN2June 30: RHP...
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Liz Barr: Soto working his way into Rookie of the Year conversation

Liz Barr: Soto working his way into Rookie of the Year conversation
Juan Soto has taken the Nationals by storm. We all know this. The Childish Bambino has provided the Nationals with a spark, and at times he's the only thing keeping this streaky train running. But he hasn't just taken the Nationals by storm, he's taken the entire league by storm, in a way no teenager has in a long time. There isn't an elite crop of rookies in the National League this season. There isn't a unanimous favorite like Cody Bellinger. So I say that it's within reason that Juan...
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Continue to #VoteNats as Harper slips to third, Turner stays in fifth

Continue to #VoteNats as Harper slips to third, Turner stays in fifth
The penultimate National League All-Star balloting update has been released and the Nationals now just have two players ranked in their respective positions: Bryce Harper and Trea Turner. Harper has been going through a highly documented and publicized slump over the last month-plus, but he's made some positive strides over the last week, slashing .300/.423/.600 with six hits (all doubles), three RBIs and five walks over his last six games. He also made headlines over the last few days when he...
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Marty Niland: Ex-Senators catcher Moe Berg's story comes to life on screen

Marty Niland: Ex-Senators catcher Moe Berg's story comes to life on screen
Moe Berg is known as a man who possibly changed history, although the former Washington Senators catcher is best remembered for decidedly non-baseball skills. Anyone who has visited the International Spy Museum has likely seen Berg's photo and read his story, and some who have been inside CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., may have seen his baseball cards on display. Now his exploits as a secret agent who helped the Allies win World War II have been brought to life in a film that's in limited...
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Opposite dugout: Rays throwing starters, not "openers," at Nationals

Opposite dugout: Rays throwing starters, not "openers," at Nationals
Manager: Kevin Cash (4th season) Record: 37-40 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 3B Matt Duffy (.318 with 23 RBIs), C Wilson Ramos (.289 with 9 HR, 36 RBIs), 2B Joey Wendel (.262), 1B C.J. Cron (16 HR, 38 RBIs), LHP Blake Snell (9-4, 2.48 ERA), Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (3-1 in 2015) Pitching probables: June 25: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-4) vs. LHP Blake Snell (9-4), 7:10 p.m., MASN2 June 26 RHP Max Scherzer (10-3) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-3), 12:10 p.m., MASN Inside the Rays: The...
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Ryan Sullivan: Carter Kieboom's breakout season is being noticed

Ryan Sullivan: Carter Kieboom's breakout season is being noticed
We are witnessing an outstanding season from a Nationals prospect unable to legally buy beer. If you immediately think this is yet another article about Juan Soto, I promise you it is not. Although he might deserve it, the 19-year-old Soto started the year at Single-A Hagerstown and is now batting cleanup in the major league. Yet somehow overlooked in the Soto tsunami, the Nationals have another prospect breaking out in their system in Carter Kieboom. Washington's first-round pick in 2016 out...
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Opposite Dugout: Phillies ready to see a whole lot of Nationals

Opposite Dugout: Phillies ready to see a whole lot of Nationals
Manager: Gabe Kapler (1st season) Record: 39-33 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: CF Odúbel Herrera (.299, 12 HR, 41 RBIs), LF Rhys Hoskins (41 RBIs), 1B Carlos Santana (41 RBIs), 2B César Hernández (.262, 10 SB), 3B Maikel Franco (36 RBIs), RHP Zach Eflin (4-2, 3.43 ERA), RHP Aaron Nola (8-2, 2.55 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-2 Pitching probables: June 22: RHP Tanner Roark (3-7) vs. RHP Zach Eflin (4-2), 7:05 p.m., MASNJune 23: RHP Erick Fedde (0-2) vs. RHP Aaron Nola (8-2),...
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Liz Barr: Taylor has earned his way back into Nats lineup

Liz Barr: Taylor has earned his way back into Nats lineup
Michael A. Taylor has been absolutely on fire of late. The man who was once under the Mendoza line has raised his batting average almost forty points in just over two weeks. It's phenomenal what Taylor has been able to do this month. At the beginning of June, Taylor was hitting just .204 and struggling mightily in just about every aspect offensively. But since the calendar turned, Taylor has become a new hitter. This month, in 14 games (nine starts), Taylor has hit a sizzling .429, scored...
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#VoteNats to send your favorite Nationals to All-Star Game in D.C.

#VoteNats to send your favorite Nationals to All-Star Game in D.C.
We're a month away from the All-Star Game coming to D.C., which means we're getting closer to the announcements of the National League and American League rosters. And the Nationals need your help to ensure the host city is well-represented in the All-Star Game! After leading all NL outfielders in voting last week, Bryce Harper has slipped to second with 1,002,696 votes behind Braves outfielder Nick Markakis' 1,173,653. Harper, a five-time All-Star, currently leads the league with 19 home...
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Opposite dugout: Suspended game, makeup bring Yankees back to D.C.

Opposite dugout: Suspended game, makeup bring Yankees back to D.C.
Manager: Aaron Boone (1st year) Record: 46-21 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: 3B Miguel Andújar (.293/.321/.515 with 28 RBIs), 2B Gleyber Torres (.283 with 13 HR, 34 RBIs), RF Aaron Judge (18HR, 46 RBIs), LF Giancarlo Stanton (16 HR, 37 RBIs), C Gary Sánchez (13 HR, 39 RBIs), RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.98 ERA), LHP Aroldis Chapman (1.17 ERA, 20 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-1 Pitching probables: June 18: Suspended game resumes at 5:05 p.m. on MASN June 18: RHP Sonny Gray (4-4) vs....
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Former National, fan favorite Michael Morse to take on MASN broadcast booth in Toronto

Former National, fan favorite Michael Morse to take on MASN broadcast booth in Toronto
The MASN broadcast booth will have a familiar face in an unfamiliar role this weekend as the team heads north of the border. Instead of the usual duo of Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo calling the Nationals' three games against the Blue Jays, former Nats player and local fan favorite Michael Morse will take on the role of color analyst alongside play-by-play man Carpenter. Santangelo will be in California for his son's college graduation. Morse, 36, has begun transitioning his career from...
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Ryan Sullivan: Nationals need a boost behind the plate

Ryan Sullivan: Nationals need a boost behind the plate
The Nationals have been scuffling thus far in June with a 5-5 record. In particular, the offense has been struggling, scoring only 39 runs in those 10 games. And if you eliminate their 11-run explosion last week against the Rays, the Nationals are averaging only 3.11 runs per game in June. While it takes many hitters collectively struggling at the same time to produce these results, the Nationals catchers have been particularly dreadful recently. Starting catcher Matt Wieters was having a solid...
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Opposite dugout: Going is still tough for a streaky and unimpressive Blue Jays squad

Opposite dugout: Going is still tough for a streaky and unimpressive Blue Jays squad
Manager: John Gibbons (11th season) Record: 30-38 Last 10 games: 5-5 Players to watch: INF Yangervis Solarte (.252, 12 HR, 37 RBIs), RF Teoscar Hernández (11 HR, 31 RBIs), 3B Josh Donaldson (.234, 5 HR, 16 RBIs). RHP Sam Gaviglio (2-2, 3.66 ERA), RHP Tyler Clippard (4-2, 3.34 ERA) Series vs. Nationals: 1st meeting (2-1 in 2015) Pitching Probables: May 28: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:07 p.m., MASNMay 29: RHP Marco Estrada (3-6) vs. RHP Max Scherzer, 4:07 p.m., MASNMay 30:...
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Liz Barr: Pitching staff taking the fall for Nats' stagnant offense

Liz Barr: Pitching staff taking the fall for Nats' stagnant offense
Your pitchers can't get you a win if you don't score any runs. By all means, a starting pitcher that goes at least six innings and only gives up two or three runs should not be an automatic loss. It's not the greatest start of their life, but they're keeping the other team in arm's reach. That's not a lot of runs for a starter to give up, especially if they're going long, and in theory the offense should be able to produce enough runs to at least make it a net zero. But that hasn't been...
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Opposite dugout: Struggling Orioles are looking for answers

Opposite dugout: Struggling Orioles are looking for answers
Manager: Buck Showalter (9th year) Record: 20-50 Last 10 games: 1-9 Who to watch: SS Manny Machado (.310/.377/.567 with 18 HR, 53 RBIs ), 3B Danny Valencia (.283/.350/.462), CF Adam Jones (16 doubles, 10 HR, .293/.313/.457), RF Mark Trumbo (.261/.320/.420), RHP David Hess (4.13 ERA), RHP Brad Brach (10 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 0-3 Pitching probables: June 19: RHP David Hess (2-3) vs. RHP Jefry Rodriguez, 7:05 p.m., MASNJune 20: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-8) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05...
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Marty Niland: Paul Casanova displayed tenacity in historic contest

Marty Niland: Paul Casanova displayed tenacity in historic contest
Endurance is the most remarkable trait of professional athletes. Whether it's Alex Ovechkin grinding through 13 National Hockey League seasons before winning the Stanley Cup or Nationals ace Max Scherzer powering through eight innings to strike out 13 batters, remarkable displays of strength and stamina make for compelling competition. On June 12, 1967, 41 years ago Tuesday, Senators catcher Paul Casanova showed such tenacity, working 22 innings behind the plate and driving in the winning run...
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