Tag Archives: Dodgers

A flagship NL franchise that is being destroyed by terrible ownership. Bolted Brooklyn for Los Angeles after the 1957, spawning a nostaglia industry of memorabilia and books.

Will we still be happy that the All-Star Break is over during/after Nats game tonight?

A co-worker asked me this morning about the Washington Nationals. He’s a casual fan going to the Sunday game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom he expected to be a better opponent. I suggested that the Dodgers were better than their record now that Yasiel Puig was on the team. I also suggested that the Nats were less than the sum of their parts thus far this season. The lineup, incomplete for so long, is finally healthy so perhaps the players can start hitting around their statistical norms. Even Bryce Harper is slumping a little bit, but who knows, maybe finishing 2nd in the Home Run Derby will get him going. The lack of situational hitting is the biggest problem, a relapse to the 2005-2011 Nats that seemed to lead the NL in runners left on base annually. Well, maybe not in 2008 and 2009.

We are also really overdue for a Ryan Zimmerman walk-off.

On the pitching front, Stephen Strasburg is having an “off year” while sporting an ERA of 2.99. Gio Gonzalez has settled into a groove after a mediocre start while Jordan Zimmermann is an All-Star (and rural American!) who hasn’t been quite as good of late, but clearly the leader on the staff. The backend hasn’t been good with Ross Detwiler on the DL twice and having trouble getting through the order a third time. Dan Haren, on the other hand, has had trouble getting through the order once, though has shown signs of improvement.

The Nats are six games back of the Atlanta Braves and catching them over the next 67 games is certainly possible, some even say probable. But it probably won’t happen all at once if it does — read Nats Pennant Push for more as you watch games while breathing into a paper bab. and September scheduling favors the Braves.

They can win the NL East, but it will likely be a slog. I thought that some of the preseason predictions of greater than 98 wins was wishful thinking, but 48-47 at the break was not something I anticipated. On Opening Day, I predicted 94 wins and I think that’s optimistic at this point.

Of course, if the Nats just wear their red caps and the Braves don’t wear their alternate jerseys, it’ll all work out!

MSM PREVIEWS

Washington Nationals have their work cut out for themThe Post

Washington Nationals storylines to watch in second halfThe Wash. Times

2nd half storylinesCSN Washington

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS

They found a few!

It starts up again at 7:05 tonight — 11 game homestand. Time to get going.

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Vin Scully on Bryce Harper into the wall: The only good thing about it is it knocked his beard off

There has been a lot of discussion and pixels generated over Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper‘s collision into the right field wall the other night. All of this talk about toughness and such (I’m guilty of it too) has overshadowed the the actual story — a fairly inexperienced outfielder took a bad route on a fly ball and in trying to catch up to it, ran so hard he didn’t see the wall.

Prior to last night’s Nats 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Charlie Slowes of the Washington Nationals Radio Network interviewed legendary voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully and Harper’s wall collision came up. Scully reminded us all of the real story:

Charlie Slowes: Speaking of shoulders and knees and collisions, how about Bryce Harper into the wall last thing last night.

Vin Scully: The only good thing about is it knocked his beard off …and I was delighted to see…(Slowes heard laughing in the background)…I went down to the clubhouse because I admire his play and there he was clean-shaven, uh stiches under the chin…such a fine young man and an outstanding player…and it’s none of my business but I hope he stays clean shaven.

I’m sure somebody will get the audio into embeddable format, but until then MLB Gameday subscribers can here it by going to this page, clicking on the WJFK link and starting to listen around the 12:00 mark.

UPDATE: Legendary Dodgers Voice Vin Scully ‘Delighted’ Harper’s Clean-ShavenCBS DC
The audio is now available from the link above.

The interview also touches on the current Dodgers, the movie “42″ and his start on the radio at WTOP in Washington when he lived at 29th and O Street for $15 a week. Good stuff, but what else would it be? The interview, between to New Yorkers and Fordham graduates) could have been something like:

Vin: Charlie, nobody outside of New York knows how to fold a newspaper

Charlie: Can’t good hard rolls either, Vin

and it still would have been good.

OTHER NATS NEWS

Clayton Kershaw out-dueled Dan Haren (The Post), but with the lineup the Nats put out last night, how wouldn’t he?

More troubling – Harper is feeling nauseous which suggests he has a concussion.

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Zimmermann, Nats beat Dodgers 6-2; Harper runs into a wall and is listed as day-to-day, but aren’t we all?

After another brutal game 7 loss for the Washington Capitals (more on that later) what D.C. fans absolutely did not need was Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper running into a wall.

That’s from SB Nation: Bryce Harper injury: Nationals outfielder hurt after colliding with wall.

Probably not a good idea in a 6-0 game to go for the play and not settle for playing the ball off the carom.

Harper is listed as day-to-day, but aren’t we all?

I’m sure The Post will have a side-by-side breakdown comparing Harper running into a wall with Babe Ruth running into a wall at Griffith Stadium (Ghosts of DC).

Ruth knocked out (LOC)

Bryce Harper receives 11 stitches, no concussion after nasty collision with Dodgers Stadium fence [UPDATED] – Nationals Journal, The Post

Lots of photos on Nats Enquirer: Bryce Harper runs into Dodger Stadium wall, leaves game shaken up and bleeding…

Get well, Bryce, LOVE the stirrups!

The good news is the Nats beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 after that awful series with the Chicago Cubs. Jordan Zimmermann is the first MLB 7 game winner of 2013.

Ryan Zimmerman drove 3 runs.

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Nats clinch play-in game with 4-1 win over the Dodgers


Last night’s Washington Nationals 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched an appearance in the NL Wild Card at minimum, but it is really a play-in-game in the new format. I can’t get excited yet. The Cincinnati Reds clinched the play-in appearance earlier in the day too. If neither team wins again, they’ll meet for the right to advance as the Wild Card. Since that’s played in Dayton, the Nats better keep winning, right?

Charlie Slowes
even got his fireworks!

When the Nats win the division title, I’ll get excited. The are 13 games to go and the Nats magic number over the Atlanta Braves is 8.

I didn’t think there should be much celebrating of this, but Jayson Werth disagreed:



POST-GAME TEAM REACTIONS

RECAPS
Washington Nationals clinch MLB playoff spot with 4-1 win over Los Angeles Dodgers _ The Post
The playoffs are the payoff for the NationalsCSN Washington
Nationals don’t go wild after clinching playoff berthThe Wash. Examiner
Nationals beat Dodgers to clinch D.C.’s first playoff berth since 1933The Wash. Times
Playoff spot is only first step for Nationalsnationals.com

MORE TWITTER REACTIONS


Really Phil?!

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Nats: Let Teddy Win video from ESPN E:60 and a doubleheader today

Video: Ken Burns narrates and John McCain featured as ESPN E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movementLet Teddy Win
Ken Burns narration. Sen. John McCain and Theodore Roosevelt’s great-great grandson Winthorp testifying. Scott Abelman explaining the Let Teddy Win movement. E:60 gave Teddy never winning the Presidents Race the serious coverage it deserved. Here’s the video which you won’t have to sit through 50 minutes of non-Teddy segments to get to:

Good work all.

A real doubleheader for the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers tonight. First game is at 4:05 p.m. NL East magic number is 10. A Nats weep clinches a play-in game berth at worst. Hopefully, getting those 10 wins, 10 Atlanta Braves losses or something in-between will be enough to Let Teddy Win.

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Nats: Catching up to the Bryce Harper era, two days later

I go away for a family wedding (and sun, surf, food & drink, etc.) on the Grand Strand (more to come) and it gets a little exciting in Natstown. Or at least on Washington Nationals first western road trip of the season. I thought the timing of my spring break and that trip were ideal, but a few things happened:

Ryan Zimmerman to the DL, retroactive to April 21. That’s pretty much what I expected the moment I saw Mark De Rosa playing third from the left field stands at my friend Fritz’s bachelor party. Get well Zim! Brad Lidge went there too — sports hernia. That’s okay.

Checking Twitter on Friday, I saw Bryce Harper was getting called up for the second two games of the series at the Los Angeles Dodgers. That was kind of surprising, on the service time and baseball fronts. On the former, Harper is under club control through 2018 (@MarkZuckerman). On the latter, he was hitting .250 (MiLB.com) with exactly one more homer than I’ve hit this year. Yet, the situation and that bench that Davey Johnson was so proud of prompted Harper’s promotion. The 19 year old has held up his end so far.

Did I pull up the archived radio broadcasts of Harper’s first at-bat (and pregame) from both the Nats (Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler) and Dodgers (Vin Scully) feeds? I sure did.

He plays his first baseball game in D.C. tonight, but Harper has already played softball on the Washington Monument grounds (The Nats Enquirer). That’s awesome – like Willie Mays and stickball in Harlem. He’s growing on me.

He was also mooned in L.A. (Deadspin). Smart fans there in Chavez Ravine.

Harper has continued wearing stirrups as well, which I noticed back in the spring.

Meanwhile, the team is losing. After winning their first six series, they have 4 losses in a row, including a sweep against the Dodgers. Oof. Tonight the Nats host the Arizona Diamondbacks — I may have a guest prognosticator set up for that series later. It should be a beautiful night in Nationals Park tonight. Jordan Zimmermann is pitching.

I read this as Peter Angelos trolling the Nats (The Sun) again.

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Invest in Nats ticket futures right now

Once again, a Washington Nationals weekday afternoon game is in danger of being rained out. This happened back in May when the Pittsburgh Pirates were in town. Like that day in May, there are $2 tickets available for the game. If the game gets rained out, I you can exchange today’s ticket for a future game. That’s what I did the last time. Now, of course, the $2 is misleading, because with service charges each seat can cost over $5, but that is still a good deal for tickets that are $20 regularly. There is the risk that today’s game, make that games, with the Los Angeles Dodgers could actually be played, but risking $5 to save $15 might be worth it to you. I took the day off planning on going to the game anyway, so either way, I win.

Also, in case you were or are still confused about last night’s rainout, here are the details from Nationals Journal.

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Strasburg returns, but Nats squander lead, lose 7-3 to Dodgers

After a day of hand-wringing over the weather, the ominous skies above Nationals Park remained threatened rain, but held off long enough for Stephen Strasburg to make his long-awaited return to the Washington Nationals. The Nats fans who braved the elements and uncertainty were rewarded with 5 innings of shutout baseball from Strasburg who pitched with efficiency aided by the Los Angeles Dodgers willingness to swing at the first pitch they saw. Strasburg gave up only 2 hits while striking out 4 batters on only 56 pitches.


Hacked embed codes don’t work for a couple of days

A good return for Strasburg, who pitched in conditions for his return from Tommy John surgery similar to what his counterpart Jordan Zimmermann did last year. The difference was that Strasburg pitched well.

The Post

Stephen Strasburg looks like old self in return to Washington Nationals

THOMAS BOSWELL: Stephen Strasburg’s star shines as brightly as ever

CSN Washington
Strasburg dominates in return from Tommy John surgery

The Wash. Times

Strasburg delivers in Nationals return

Strasburg had it down cold

The Wash. Examiner

Strasburg storms back

So, after Strasburg left with a 3-0 lead (he also reached on a bunt after a throwing error and later scored) the Nats bullpen gave up 7 runs to the L.A. Doug Slaten, not too far removed from the DL himself, gave up 2 runs. Brad Peacock, another starting pitcthing prospect was sent into his first major league game with 2 runners on and MVP candidate Matt Kemp at bat in the 6th. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? The Nats baby Strasburg, but throw Peacock into a meat grinder? Seriously, the Nats come off as being starstruck about their #1 picks and contemptuous about other players. I don’t get it. Peacock round up giving up 4 hits and run in 1 1/3 innings. The 3-0 lead was lost.

Ultimately, after a rain delay, the lead was lost in the 8th when Henry Rodriguez allowed 2 runs to score. In the 9th, Yunesky Maya (remember him?!) gave up another two to round out the scoring for the Dodgers.

Overall, the main long-term objective of the game — Strasburg returning and pitching well, was met, but manager Davey Johnson must not have cared about anything else.

You have to wonder about this team.

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Is Charles Krauthammer embracing “the soft bigotry of low expectations” for the Nats?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: The best show in townThe Post

…I can finally devote a summer column to the finest efflorescence of that season this city has to offer: the Washington Nationals.

They are a baseball team. Not yet very good, mind you, but it matters not. When you live in a town with a great team, you go to see them win. When you live in a town with a team that is passing rapidly through mediocrity on its way to contention — the Nats have an amazing crop of upcoming young players — you go for the moments.

Despite the headline, I’m not going to tear Krauthammer’s annual Washington Nationals column apart (though I hope someone else does, there is an opportunity for it) for suggesting that a bad or mediocre team is fine, because I’m still of the “derp, we havuh teem” mindset more than I should be seven seasons in. His suggestion that “the moments” are what make following a baseball team isn’t a bad one, though following a winning one is really fun. The journey to get there is almost the most fun of all or so I have been told. I’ll let you know if/when it happens.

Oh and speaking of low expectations, the Nats resumed their “win game 1, lose next two” approach to series this week. They fell to the Braves in Atlanta last night to end a 1-6 road trip. They return to Nationals Park tonight to face the New York Mets, needing a sweep to share third place. The Nats play well at home, so perhaps they can at least take the series. The Los Angeles Dodgers show up on Labor Day for a day game followed by two night games and another day game in the finale on Thursday. Some pitcher coming off of elbow surgery is expected to pitch on Tuesday too.

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