February 21, 2020

Washington Nationals Game 154 Review: Nats Beat Phillies in Extras, Eliminated from Playoffs

Saturday evening was a bittersweet affair for the Washington Nationals. They beat the Phillies 2-1 in extra innings on a walk-off double hit by outfielder Bryce Harper, but — after the Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds to clinch the National League East division title during the game — the Nats were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw a noteworthy game with thirteen total strike outs in eight innings pitched. It was the fifth time this season Strasburg has tallied 10-plus strikeouts, the fourth consecutive time he’s done so in 2015, and the twenty-first time of his career. Strasburg gave up three hits and one run while walking a batter, and throwing one wild pitch. He threw 101 pitches and 73 strikes. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 148 Review: Harper homers again as Nats top Marlins

Bryce Harper hit his league-leading 41st homer,  a two-run shot in the seventh inning, and Tyler Moore added a solo home run as the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 5-2 at Nats Park on Saturday.

With the Mets loss to the Yankees earlier in the day, the Nats are seven games back with 14 to play.

Harper drove in a run a sacrifice fly earlier in the day to up his RBI total to 95. Moore’s homer, his fifth of the season, came in the fifth inning off starter Brad Hand. Moore finished 2 for 3 for the day. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 147 Review: Nats Beat Marlins on a Sacrifice Fly in Extra Innings

The Washington Nationals made things interesting on Friday night and ended their night with a 5-4 win  over the Miami Marlins on a sacrifice fly hit by Catcher Jose Lobaton. The fly ball hit by Lobaton sent outfielder Jayson Werth home to score and secure the victory.

Starting pitcher Max Scherzer stayed strong through seven innings pitched despite a minor hiccup of a two-run homer hit by Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich in the first inning. Scherzer threw 104 pitches and 70 strikes while giving up five hits and two runs. He walked two, struck out two, and threw one wild pitch.

The Nats offense caught up with Miami the next inning by scoring a run on a solo homer hit by Clint Robinson off Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez making it 2-1 through two innings played. Fernandez lasted five and two-thirds innings while giving up five hits and two runs to the Nats.

Washington tied it up at 2-2 in the sixth inning when outfielder Bryce Harper scored on a wild pitch thrown by Fernandez but the Marlins pulled ahead 3-2 in the eighth while facing reliever Felipe Rivero.

A throwing error made by second baseman Anthony Rendon with reliever Blake Treinen on the mound in the eighth tied it up 3-3  before the Nats pulled ahead by a  run after in the bottom half of that same inning. Wild pitches thrown by Marlins reliever Jose Urena resulted in movement along the base path for the top of the Nats order. Pinch runner Trea Turner scored on a on a sacrifice fly hit by shortstop Ian Desmond to center field to tie it up and Harper scored on a clutch single hit by outfielder Michael A. Taylor giving the Nats a 4-3 lead.

Miami caught up with the Nats to tie it back in the top of the ninth against closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose been ill the past few days with a fever and wasn’t 100% according to Manager Matt Williams. Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas tied it up by scoring off a sacrifice fly hit by Miami’s lead off man Dee Gordon but the Nats would take the game in the tenth inning on Lobaton’s sacrifice fly off reliever Brian Ellington as redemption.

HERO: Lobaton for the sac fly in the tenth.

GOAT: Papelbon for blowing the save.


  • The Nats are 8-2 in extra innings this season now.

UP NEXT: LHP Justin Nicolino (3-3, 3.81) and the Miami Marlins face RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 3.51) and the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C. at 4:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Game 146 Review: Nats Fall Short Against Marlins

The Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. Starting pitcher Tanner Roark lasted five innings against the Marlins while giving up six runs on eight hits — including two home runs — and striking out four batters. Roark threw 80 pitches and 54 strikes.

Miami dug into Roark right away starting with lead off man and second baseman Dee Gordon. Gordon opened the game up with a single before third baseman Martin Prado went long with one out putting the Marlins up 2-0.

Washington tied it up at 2-2 in the second inning  when outfielder Jayson Werth scored on a two-run homer crushed by shortstop Ian Desmond off Marlins starting pitcher Jarred Cosart. The Nats didn’t manage to get another run again until the sixth inning and it was already too late by that point.

The Marlins took a four-run lead in the fifth inning against Roark and the Nats on four hits. Shortstop Miguel Rojas led off the inning with a double before scoring on a sacrifice fly hit by Gordon making it a 3-2 ballgame. A pair of back-to-back singles hit by outfielder Christian Yelich and Prado followed by a three-run homer hit by first baseman Justin Bour was the game’s “decider” moment according to Washington’s Manager Matt Williams with the Marlins up 6-2.

The Nats had an opportunity in the eighth inning to tie up the game but only managed a pair of runs. Washington left the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate while falling to Miami 6-4. Third baseman Anthony Rendon led off the inning with a single off reliever Brian Ellington and moved to scoring position on a single hit by outfielder Bryce Harper off reliever Mike Dunn. A two-out , two-RBI single hit by Desmond off reliever Bryan Morris putting the Nats within reach of the Marlins but it wasn’t enough.

HERO: Desmond for presenting the Nats with a clutch offensive performance. He went 2-for-4 with a home run and a single. Washington only had six hits on Thursday. He had two of them.

GOAT: Roark didn’t get the job done. It’s that simple.


  • Closer Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable today due to falling ill. He had a fever.
  • The Nats bullpen held the Marlins for four innings tonight. Nobody scored against Doug Fister, Matt Grace, Rafael Martin, and Matt Thornton.

UP NEXT: Jose Fernandez (5-0, 2.06) and the Miami Marlins face Max Scherzer (12-11, 2.91) and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. at 7:05 p.m.

Washington Nationals Game 145 Review: Washington finally earns road sweep at Philadelphia


Bryce Harper hit his 40th home run of the season and Gio Gonzalez struck out 12 over seven innings as Washington took down the Phillies 12-2 Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.

[Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 145 Review: Harper hits 40 as Nats spank Phils


Jayson Werth homered twice and Bryce Harper hit his league-leading 40th home run of the season to lead the Washington Nationals over the Philadelphia Phillies 12-2 at Citizen’s Bank Park.

Werth went 3 for 4 with a pair of solo shots and scored three times in support of Gio Gonzalez, who picked up his 11th win of the season following a five-hit, two run performance over seven innings, including 12 strikeouts — tying his career high.

The Nats (75-70) were already leading comfortably in the seventh inning when Harper delivered his moon-shot home run just over the wall in right-center. His 40th completed a 2-for-5 night and upped his RBI total to 92.

Anthony Rendon (2 for 4, 3 runs, 3 RBIs), Yunel Escobar (2 for 5, 2 RBIs), Jose Lobaton (2 for 3, run, 2 RBIs) and Clint Robinson (3 for 5, run) all added multi-hit games.

Felipe Rivero and Rafael Martin both pitched scoreless innings of relief.

With the New York Mets loss to Miami, the Nats trail in the division by 7 1/2 games with 17 to play.

NEXT GAME: Thursday at 7:05 against Miami Marlins. Tanner Roark (4-5, 4.38) hosts Jarred Cosart (1-4, 4.58)

Washington Nationals Game 144 Review: Harper and Strasburg lead Nationals past Philadelphia

Bryce Harper went 3 for 3 with two home runs and Stephen Strasburg allowed one hit while striking out 14 batters over eight innings as Washington beat the Phillies 4-0 Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

[Read more…]

Bryce Harper MVP Debate: There isn’t one

So a few national sportswriters are promoting Yoenis Cespedes and his what will be 50 or so games he plays for the New York Mets this season as an MVP candidate, specifically over Washington Nationals star right fielder Bryce Harper, considering the Mets will most likely cruise to the playoffs while the disappointing Nats limp home.

They are wrong. And likely, only writing these opinions on the direction of their editors for clickbait. Much like I am for this column.

There just isn’t any debate. Harper leads the N.L. in almost all relevant offensive categories and has been a plus defender. And oh, by the way, has played in the N.L. ALL SEASON LONG, something Cespedes has done only since the trading deadline.

Has Cespedes been important to the Mets during their stretch drive. Unequivocally, yes. But again, he’s played in the N.L. in just 36 games thus far. How can anyone with a straight face legitimately consider him the MVP of the league based on 36 games?

It’s like the season the baseball writers awarded Rafael Palmeiro the Gold Glove at first base when he only played 25 games at the position that season.

Harper leads the N.L. in the following categories (acc’d to B-R.com): WAR, Offensive WAR, average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, adjusted OPS, runs scored, runs created, offensive win %, AB/HR and others. He’s currently tied for second in home runs and eighth in RBIs, which is a testament to his teammates, not him.

This is a silly defense of a silly argument to begin with. Bryce Harper is the N.L. MVP this season, and if he doesn’t win the voting, it should be dismissed and ridiculed.

Washington Nationals Game 139 Review: Another night, another late inning collapse


Since the New York Mets overtook the Washington Nationals  more than a month ago, everyone — media, fans, the front office, Matt Williams, the players — have pointed to the six games the Nats had left with the Mets head-to-head.

They’ve squandered the first three. Despite holding a lead going into the seventh inning for the third night in a row, the result remained the same. The Mets rallied, no one on the Nats could shut the door, and the prohibitive favorite to win not just the N.L. East — but represent the senior circuit in the World Series — lost again.

This time, the Nats fell 5-3 to the Mets, falling seven games behind — and 9 1/2 out of the wild card — with 23 to go. [Read more…]

Washington Nationals Game 136 Review: Rendon, Harper and Werth Come Up Big


The Washington Nationals went for their first four-game sweep of the season Sunday afternoon at Nationals Park, and they got it, finishing the Atlanta Braves with an 8-4 thumping. The Mets lost in the ninth inning, and the Nationals won, bringing the deficit to be overcome to four games, just in time for a three-game series against the division leader. Powered by home runs from Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, and with 4.2 IP of scoreless ball from the bullpen, the Nationals completed the sweep. [Read more…]

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