District 34 podcast: Nats make blockbuster trade to bolster bullpen

District 34 podcast: Nats make blockbuster trade to bolster bullpen
It was always a matter of when not if the Nationals would make a trade to bolster their bullpen, and it finally happened over the weekend. Byron Kerr and I are back to break down the acquisition of right-hander Ryan Madson and left-hander Sean Doolittle from the A's and the ripple effect on the Nats bullpen on a new episode of the District 34 podcast. Madson and Doolittle both made their Nationals debuts in a 4-3 win over the Angels Tuesday night, with the righty putting together a shutdown...
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Luke Erickson: Is anyone really untouchable in a trade?

Luke Erickson: Is anyone really untouchable in a trade?
When this guest blog was first written, it was about how the injury to Joe Ross would force a trade and that the Nationals may have to consider trading one or more of their so-called untouchable players, outfielder Victor Robles and Erick Fedde. Instead, Washington and Oakland executed their 432nd 11th trade this decade with right-hander Blake Treinen, infielder Sheldon Neuse and left-hander Jesus Luzardo going to the Bay Area and left-hander Sean Doolittle and right-hander Ryan Madson coming...
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Opposite dugout: Angels hope Trout's return is catalyst in wild card race

Opposite dugout: Angels hope Trout's return is catalyst in wild card race
Manager: Mike Scioscia (18th season) Record: 46-49 Last 10 games: 3-7 Who to watch: CF Mike Trout (.337/.457/.714 with 16 HR, 36 RBIs), SS Andrelton Simmons (.291 with 39 RBIs), DH Albert Pujols (14 HR, 56 RBIs), RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-10, 4.82 ERA), RHP Bud Norris (2.35 ERA, 14 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: First meeting (2-1 in 2014) Pitching probables: July 18: RHP Edwin Jackson vs. RHP Jesse Chavez, 10:07 p.m., MASN2 July 19: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco, 10:07 p.m.,...
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Gio Gonzalez discusses July 27th Uncork for A Cause with MASN's Dan Kolko

Gio Gonzalez discusses July 27th Uncork for A Cause with MASN's Dan Kolko
Last month, Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez sat down with MASN's Dan Kolko to discuss his upcoming Uncork for a Cause charity event on July 27, and what it means to be in a position to give back to his hometown. Uncork for a Cause is an opportunity for professional athletes and celebrities to continue to be community leaders and to support charities that are close to their hearts. Originally established by TAG sports, the event is a one-of-a-kind experience with a fantastic selection of food...
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Bryce Harper makes "Jeopardy!" for second time

Bryce Harper makes "Jeopardy!" for second time
For any Nationals fan, or frankly any baseball fan, the answer to this "Jeopardy!" question on Thursday, July 13 was fairly easy: Bryce Harper makes Jeopardy (via @KcannonDFS and @charlcies) pic.twitter.com/6QXRl2Ek0r -- Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) July 13, 2017 Although, as Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post pointed out, Bryce Harper hasn't been called "Bam Bam" in nearly four years. So this could have gone over most fans' heads. This is the second time the five-time All-Star has...
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David Huzzard: How Nats can add relievers by adding to payroll

David Huzzard: How Nats can add relievers by adding to payroll
There are two ways to add players from outside the organization. That is by spending money or spending talent. Most trades are completed by spending talent, but there is a way to spend money and make a trade that might present the Nationals with the best option for improvement this deadline. The rumors have begun swirling, and according to one writer's source the Tigers have no interest in moving right-hander Justin Verlander and according to another writer's source they aren't shopping him...
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Opposite dugout: Reds still in the midst of rebuilding process

Opposite dugout: Reds still in the midst of rebuilding process
Manager: Bryan Price (4th season) Record: 39-49 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 1B Joey Votto (26 HR, 68 RBIs), SS Zach Cozart (.316/.394/.547), CF Billy Hamilton (38 stolen bases), RHP Raisel Iglesias (1.69 ERA, 16 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-2 Pitching probables: July 14: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. RHP Tim Adleman, 7:10 p.m., MASN2 July 15: RHP Max Scherzer vs. RHP Luis Castillo, 7:10 p.m., MASN2 July 16: RHP Tanner Roark vs. RHP Homer Bailey, 1:10 p.m., MASN2 July 17: RHP Stephen...
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David Huzzard: What is the impact of the the Nats' bad bullpen?

David Huzzard: What is the impact of the the Nats' bad bullpen?
I had a question earlier this week on the Nationals bullpen. It was a simple one: Exactly how many ninth-inning blown saves have they had and where does that compare to the league average? The Nationals have 14 total blown saves, but because a lot of old-timey baseball stats are dumb, that counts a blown lead by a reliever in any inning and not just the ninth. The answer for how many ninth-inning blown saves has to be found by looking at how many times the Nationals had a lead entering the...
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Opposite dugout: Freeman's return gives Braves a glimmer of hope

Opposite dugout: Freeman's return gives Braves a glimmer of hope
Manager: Brian Snitker (2nd year) Record: 40-43 Last 10 games: 5-5 Who to watch: 1B Freddie Freeman (49-for-143, 14 HR), C Tyler Flowers (.319/.412/.459) LF Matt Kemp (21 doubles, 12 HR) CF Ender Inciarte (11 stolen bases) RF Nick Markakis (42 RBIs), RHP Jim Johnson (18 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 4-5 Pitching probables: July 6: RHP Mike Foltynewicz vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05 p.m., MASN July 7: RHP R.A. Dickey vs. RHP Max Scherzer, 7:05 p.m., MASN July 8: RHP Julio Teheran vs. RHP...
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Luke Erickson: Why the Syracuse Chiefs struggle

Luke Erickson: Why the Syracuse Chiefs struggle
The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs won 61 games in 2016, surpassed by everyone in the International League but Omaha (58). The 2017 edition of the Chiefs is on pace to win just 53 games. In nine seasons of affiliation with the Nationals, the fans in Syracuse, as I've been reminded me on more than one occasion, have seen just two winning seasons - 2012 and 2014. One thing that needs to be made clear is that while Triple-A is the highest classification of the minors, it's no longer where you'll find...
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Send Anthony Rendon to All-Star Game in Final Vote

Send Anthony Rendon to All-Star Game in Final Vote
Entering Sunday before the 2017 All-Star teams were announced, Anthony Rendon was batting .298 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs, already the most he's had for the first half of a season in his career. His .399 on-base percentage, .555 slugging percentage and .954 OPS led all qualifying National League third baseman. And his 3.4 WAR currently ranks first among all major league third basemen, third overall in the league and fifth in all of baseball. Oh, and have you seen what he can do with his...
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Marty Niland: It's far from panic time for Nats fans

Marty Niland: It's far from panic time for Nats fans
From the sense of panic among Nationals fans these days, you would think the team is in last place, rather than on a pace to win more than 90 games. Let's calm down and let general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dusty Baker do their jobs. It's far too early for predictions of collapse. After Trea Turner broke his wrist, joining previous leadoff man Adam Eaton on the disabled list, Nats fans on Twitter started posting messages of gloom and doom. Perhaps the best was, "Leading off the the Nats...
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Opposite dugout: Mets looking to change fortune against Nats before break

Opposite dugout: Mets looking to change fortune against Nats before break
Manager: Terry Collins (7th season) Record: 38-43 Last 10 games: 7-3 Who to watch: RF Jay Bruce (.261 with 20 HR, 55 RBIs), LF Yoenis Céspedes (.281/.347/.541 with 9 HR, 19 RBIs), 1B Lucas Duda (14 HR, 30 RBIs), RHP Jacob deGrom (8-3, 3.55 ERA, 125 strikeouts), RHP Addison Reed (2.59 ERA, 14 saves) Season series vs. Nationals: 3-7 Pitching probables: July 3: LHP Steven Matz vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg, 6:05 p.m., MASN2 July 4: RHP Seth Lugo vs. RHP Joe Ross, 11:05 a.m., MASN July 5: RHP Jacob...
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David Huzzard: Nats should rekindle trade talks for McCutchen

David Huzzard: Nats should rekindle trade talks for McCutchen
Baseball is considered a slow sport. All the discussions on how to get young people to pay attention to the game recently are centered around pace of play, but it sure does seem to move fast at times. A week ago leadoff hitter and shortstop was the least of the Nationals' concerns and this week it has moved to the top of the docket. With a 9 1/2-game lead in the division and every division rival looking like a seller this deadline, the Nationals place atop the division is as secure as it is...
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MASN gives fans hilarious look into daily life of Dan Kolko

MASN gives fans hilarious look into daily life of Dan Kolko
Nationals fans know that MASN on-field reporter Dan Kolko, who is in his fourth season as a member of MASN's broadcast team, is always bringing them behind-the-scenes views during home and road games. Now, "MASN All-Access" - along with Kolko's MASN colleagues Bob Carpenter, F.P. Santangelo and Mark Zuckerman - is giving fans an exclusive, hilarious look into the daily routine of "MASN Dan" and his preparation throughout the season. You go, Dan Kolko! Video by Paul MancanoArticle by...
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Opposite dugout: Cards in unfamiliar territory looking up at NL Central leaders

Opposite dugout: Cards in unfamiliar territory looking up at NL Central leaders
Manager: Mike Matheny (6th season) Record: 37-41 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 3B Jedd Gyorko (.298 with 12 HR, 39 RBIs), 1B Matt Carpenter (14 HR, 40 RBIs), CF Tommy Pham (.284 with 9 HR, 25 RBIs), C Yadier Molina (9 HR, 31 RIs), RHP Mike Leake (5-6, 3.12 ERA), RHP Carlos Martínez (6-6, 2.88 ERA), RHP Seung Hwan Oh (16 saves, 3.75 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 1-2 Pitching probables: June 30: RHP Tanner Roark vs. RHP Mike Leake, 8:15 p.m., MASN2 July 1: LHP Gio Gonzalez vs. RHP...
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Luke Erickson: A look at the Potomac Nationals at the half

Luke Erickson: A look at the Potomac Nationals at the half
While Bill Parcells is wildly overrated as a coach, his maxim of "You are what your record says you are," is spot-on, and applies to the Potomac Nationals this year. The P-Nats almost finished .500 in the first half, falling two games short at 33-37, and haven't been above the break-even mark since May 13. Simply put, they're not quite good enough to win consistently. This is not to say there haven't been bright spots. Victor Robles is the Nationals' No. 1 prospect in the organization and...
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Marty Niland: Cubs-Nats series is loaded with history

Marty Niland: Cubs-Nats series is loaded with history
If a date with the World Series champions and a potential postseason preview won't give Nationals fans enough to talk about this week, the Nats' series with the Cubs will offer plenty of history. The two teams, as well as mangers Joe Maddon of the Cubs and Dusty Baker of the Nationals, have a more than bit of a past between and among them, and we only have to go back to last season to start. The Nationals were coming off a blistering 16-7 April and had won three of their first four in May...
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Opposite dugout: Defending champion Cubs still out of sorts

Opposite dugout: Defending champion Cubs still out of sorts
Manager: Joe Maddon (3rd season)Record: 38-37 Last 10 games: 6-4 Who to watch: 3B Kris Bryant (.263 with 16 HR, 31 RBIs); 1B Anthony Rizzo (.261 with 17 HR, 48 RBIs); SS Addison Russell (.232 with 53 hits); RHP Jake Arrieta (7-5, 4.36 ERA); LHP Jon Lester (5-4, 3.83 ERA) Season series vs. Nationals: 1st meeting (5-2 in 2016) Pitching probables: Monday, June 26: RHP Eddie Butler vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez, 7:05 p.m., MASNTuesday, June 27: RHP Jake Arrieta vs. RHP Max Scherzer, 7:05 p.m.,...
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David Huzzard: Nats should look at other trade possibilities

David Huzzard: Nats should look at other trade possibilities
The 2017 Nationals are a confusing team to follow. They are a combination of the best run-producing team in baseball, a huge division lead, a strong top of the rotation and one of the worst bullpens ever constructed. That last one gets most of the attention and it needs to be addressed, but it is not the Nationals' only weakness heading into the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The bullpen is the obvious area of concern and it's where the Nationals focus will be, but it will also be where...
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