September 22, 2014

BREAKING: Nats Claim Left-handed Reliever Matt Thornton off Waivers

The Washington Nationals have reportedly acquired left-handed reliever Matt Thornton off a waiver claim from the New York Yankees, according to CBSSports.com writer Jon Heyman.

In 24.2 innings pitched this season, Thornton has held a 2.55 ERA and recorded 20 strike outs. Most importantly, he has posted solid numbers against left-handed hitters. This season, he has held left-handed batters to a .250/.306/.250 slash line through 64 plate appearances and, all-time, he has held left-handed batters to a .234/.297/.345 line.

The 37-year-old is set to earn $3.5 million in 2015, per his current contract.

Although the MLB non-waiver trade deadline has passed, teams can acquire players through the waiver wire.

Washington Nationals Spring Training: Nats fall to Yankees off Detwiler’s shaky start

After tossing a 1-2-3 first inning, Ross Detwiler gave up all the runs the New York Yankees needed in the second inning of the Washington Nationals’ 4-2 loss at George M. Steinbrenner Field Monday afternoon.

Detwiler retired Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter and Brian McCann in order in the first but gave up back-to-back singles to Brian Roberts and Francisco Cervelli in the second inning. It quickly became evident that Detwiler struggled with location, as several of his fastballs fell away from his inside targets.

The poor fortune continued when Kelly Johnson doubled in Roberts before Ichiro Suzuki reached on a throwing error by Nats’ shortstop Zach Walters. On the play, both Cervelli and Johnson scored to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead before an out was recorded.

Then, Zoilo Almonte hit a ground-rule double on a fly ball down the right-field line and soon after, Corban Joseph singled on a grounder that plated Suzuki.

Despite his struggles, Detwiler had no issues facing New York lead-off man, Gardner, as he struck him out a second time before the Nats called upon a replacement.

Detwiler finished his Grapefruit League debut in just 1 ⅓ innings of work, during which he allowed four runs, three earned, over five hits.

Left-hander Danny Rosenbaum stopped the bleeding, by simply forcing Yankee captain Jeter to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Tanner Roark took the mound for two uneventful innings, during which he allowed just two hits.

In fact, the Nationals’ relief corp prevented the Yankees from tacking on additional runs, from Xavier Cedeno and Christian Garcia to Aaron Barrett and Manny Delcarmen.

In the top of the fifth, the Nationals finally put a run on a board, via a home run by the red-hot Zach Walters. Walters is now 6-for-7 with two doubles, a triple and the solo home run this spring.

The Nats tacked on a second run in the sixth after Eury Perez and Denard Span led off with back-to-back singles. Danny Espinosa then reached on a fielding error by Jeter, which allowed Perez to score Washington’s second run.

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Offer Bus Trip to Yankees/Nationals Exhibition Game

Syracuse Chiefs Logo
CHIEFS OFFER BUS TRIP TO YANKEES/NATIONALS EXHIBITION IN D.C.

See Major Leaguers in action before the season starts

Syracuse, NY—The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, announce a fan bus trip to Washington, D.C. on Friday, March 29th to see the Chiefs’ parent club, the Washington Nationals, take on the New York Yankees. The game will be held at Nationals Park and is scheduled for a 2:05 P.M. first pitch.

The bus will leave Alliance Bank Stadium at 6 A.M. and is slated to arrive at Nationals Park at approximately 1 P.M. The bus will return to the home of the Chiefs after the game. The trip includes a game ticket, bus fare, snacks and a Syracuse Chiefs winter hat. The trip costs $150 per person.

Join other Chiefs fans in cheering on former Syracuse players in their final tune-up for the regular season. For more information about the trip, contact Desiree Ellison at desiree@syracusechiefs.com or 315-474-7833.

FORMER NATS: Nick Johnson Retires

Former Washington Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson filed his MLB retirement papers today at only age 34 according to several sources.

Nick Johnson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the third round of the 1996 amateur draft and made his major league debut on August 21, 2001 at only age 22. Johnson was traded by the Yankees to Montreal Expos with Randy Choate and Juan Rivera for Javier Vazquez.

Johnson joined the Nationals when the Expos moved to Washington in 2005 and #24 quickly became a fan favorite. In fact, there were still several Johnson jerseys worn at Nationals Park in 2012. Johnson was traded by the Nats to the then Florida Marlins after the all-star break in 2009 for Aaron Thompson.

Unfortunately, after the terrible collision in right field with outfielder Austin Kearns at Shea Stadium on Sept. 26, 2006 that left Johnson with a broken femur, Johnson could never quite get healthy again. After a half season with Marlins, Johnson bounced around from the Yankees to Indians and played last year with the Baltimore Orioles.

He only played 233 games in the big leagues after the 2006 injury, however, the guy could get on base. Since 2001, Nick Johnson has 10th best OBP (.399) among players with 3,000 plate appearances.

Some of the media poked fun of Johnson’s injury history and Sabremetricians hero.

 

 

Thanks for the memories, Nick Johnson.
We wish you all the best.

Former National 1B Nick Johnson at Nats Park, 5/4/2008 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson at Nats Park, 5/4/2008 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson at Nats Park, 6/4/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson at Nats Park, 6/4/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson at Nats Park, 5/21/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson at Nats Park, 5/21/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson sliding back for first base, 4/17/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson sliding back for first base, 4/17/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson sporting a beard, 4/17/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Former National 1B Nick Johnson sporting a beard, 4/17/2009 (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Washington Nationals Announce Exhibition Game Hosting Yankees

WASHINGTON NATIONALS ANNOUNCE 2013 EXHIBITION GAME VS. NEW YORK YANKEES

The Washington Nationals will host the New York Yankees in an exhibition game at Nationals Park on Friday, March 29, 2013 at 2:05 p.m. ET. Details for the team’s 2013 season ticket plans are available online at nationals.com/2013.

Tickets to see the Nationals take on the Yankees are included in all full, half or partial season ticket plans. In addition, tickets will be included in select mini and flex plans to be released in the coming weeks before single game tickets go on sale to the general public. Season ticket plans may be purchased at nationals.com/2013 or by calling 202.675.NATS(6287).

A portion of the proceeds from the Yankees vs. Nationals game will benefit the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization committed to improving the lives of children throughout the Washington Capital Region. For more information on the Dream Foundation or to make a donation, visit nationals.com/dream.

In addition to the exhibition game, the Nationals 2013 regular season schedule includes 81 home dates beginning with Opening Day at Nationals Park on Monday, April 1 vs. Miami. The schedule is highlighted by an attractive slate of weekend visits from the Braves, Cubs, Dodgers, Mets, Phillies and Twins. The Twins, whose lineage began in Washington as the original Senators, return to the Nation’s Capital June 7-9 for the first time since 1971.

The annual Battle of the Beltways Series between the Nationals and Orioles will also continue for an eighth consecutive season, with each club hosting a pair of contests over a four-game span, May 27-30. The two neighbors square off for the first time during a Memorial Day contest at Nationals Park. After two tilts in the District, the teams move north to Oriole Park for the final two matchups of the series.

Nationals Park (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Nationals Park (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

NATS/P-NATS: Potomac Nationals Release 35th Anniversary Team

The Potomac Nationals, the current Class A-Advanced affiliate for the Washington Nationals, play at Pfitnzer Stadium in Woodbridge, Virginia, however, have been tied to several other teams and many elite baseball players over the last thirty five years.

The team released the “35th Anniversary Team” roster (listed below). Adam Kennedy is the only player on the roster to have played for the Washington Nationals, but played for the Prince William Cannons as the St. Louis Cardinals affiliate.

Like any other all-star type of list, there are snubs. Biggest snub here? Joey Votto. He lost out to Albert Pujols. Check back with the 50th Anniversary team to see if Votta takes over the 1B slot.

Cover of August 2012 Potomac Nationals Game Day Program

Potomac Nationals 35th Anniversary Logo

Potomac Nationals Release 35th Anniversary Team

MVPs Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds Highlight All-Time Alexandria/Prince William/Potomac Franchise Best

(WOODBRIDGE, VA) – The Potomac Nationals announced their 35th Anniversary Team last night at Pfitzner Stadium. The team features arguably the best two hitters of this generation in Albert Pujols and Barry Bonds.

The fans voted Jorge Posada as the best catcher in franchise history. A five-time All-Star, Posada played in 17 seasons with the New York Yankees. He hit 275 homers with over 1000 RBI in 1,829 games all with the Bronx Bombers. Posada played in seven World Series winning five World Championships with New York retiring after the 2011 season. In 1993 as a Prince William Yankee, Posada hit .259 with 17 homers and 17 stolen bases in 118 games as a 21-year old.

Three-time NL MVP Albert Pujols beat out 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto to be voted the best first baseman in franchise history. A two-time World Champion, Pujols has been named an all-star nine of his first 12 years in the big leagues. His .325 career average is the best of any current major leaguer and Pujols has recorded 99 or more RBI in each full season while also hitting at least 32 home runs. Playing for the 2000 Potomac Cannons, Pujols hit .284 over 21 games. After just three games in AAA, Pujols earned 2001 NL Rookie of the Year and finished fourth in MVP voting.

In the closest race of any position, current Los Angeles Dodger Adam Kennedy was named the second baseman for the team. A 14-year MLB veteran, Kennedy was part of the 2002 World Champion Anahiem Angels hitting .312 for the Halos in the regular season before being named 2002 ALCS MVP. Kennedy played in 52 games over 1997 and 1998 for the Prince William Cannons as a Cardinal affiliate sporting a .296 average with 34 RBI.

Rafael Belliard barely beat out Jack Wilson to be voted the franchise all-time shortstop. Belliard played in 17 season for Pittsburgh and and Atlanta. He played on six playoff teams with the Braves including the 1995 World Series Champion club. The only Alexandria Duke on the team, Belliard stole 42 bases in 1981 as a 20-year old in the Carolina League.

Six-time All-Star Bobby Bonilla was voted the third baseman. Bonilla was a career .279 hitter for 16 years with nine different teams. He twice finished top 3 in MVP voting and played for six playoff teams including the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins. As a member of the 1985 Prince William Pirates, Bonilla hit .262 in 39 games in his final year of minor league baseball along side Barry Bonds.

Top position player vote getter Bernie Williams patrols center field for the franchise team. Williams was a key cog for four Yankees World Championship teams playing all 16 years in the bigs with New York. He was named to five straight All-Star games from 1997-2001 helping the Yankees to 12 straight playoff appearances from 1995 to 2006. Williams finished his career with 2,336 hits and a .297 average. He played in 121 playoff games and was named 1996 ALCS MVP. In 1988 with the Prince William Yankees, Williams had 113 hits in just 92 games hitting .335 to go along with 29 steals as a 19-year old in the Carolina League.

Considered the greatest left fielder of all-time, Home Run King Barry Bonds is the left fielder for the team. In a career that spanned 22 seasons with Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Bonds set all-time marks in home runs (762), walks (2,558) and intentional walks (688). He also won a record seven NL MVPs while playing in 14 All-Star games earning 12 starts. Bonds holds the all-time single season records in home runs (73, 2001), OBP (.609, 2004), Slugging (.863, 2001), OPS (1.421, 2003), walks (232, 2004) and intentional walks (120, 2004). Bonds also finished his career with 514 stolen bases to be the only member of the 400/400 and 500/500 clubs. Bonds played his first professional baseball game as a 1985 Prince William Pirate. He finished his time in Woodbridge hitting .299 with 13 homers and 15 stolen bases in 71 games.

Recently retired Magglio Ordonez is the lone representative from the Chicago White Sox era as a Prince William affiliate on the team as it’s right fielder. Named to six All-Star teams, Ordonez finished his career of 15 years with the White Sox and Tigers as a .309 hitter. He won the 2007 AL Batting Crown hitting .363 and drove in 100 or more runs in seven years. Ordonez played with the 1995 Prince William Cannons hitting 12 homers over 131 games as a 21-year old.

The team includes two pitchers including leading vote getter Andy Pettitte. Currently back with the Yankees, Pettitte has played in eight World Series (seven with New York, one with Houston) over the course of his 17 year career. The lefty has finished in the top six of Cy Young voting five times and started a record 42 playoff games. His 243 career wins is the most of any active pitcher. Pettitte, pitching primarily to Jorge Posada, won a team-high 11 games sporting a 3.04 ERA for the 1993 Prince William Yankees.

Righty Dan Haren rounds out the All-time team as the second pitcher. A current member of the the LA Angels, Haren has been named to three All-Star games over ten seasons with four organizations. Haren has led the majors in K/BB radio three time while also leading the league in starts three times. As a Cardinals farmhand with the 2002 Potomac Cannons, Haren had a 3.62 ERA over 14 starts striking out 82 batters in 92 innings.

Potomac Franchise 35th Anniversary Team

C – Jorge Posada (1993)
1B – Albert Pujols (2000)
2B – Adam Kennedy (1997-8)
SS – Rafael Belliard (1981)
3B – Roberto Bonilla (1985)
OF – Bernie Williams (1988)
OF – Barry Bonds (1985)
OF – Magglio Ordonez (1995)
P – Andy Pettitte (1993)
P – Dan Haren (2002)

Washington Nationals By the Numbers: Difference between the Nats and Yankees

There’s a lot been written over the weekend about the differences between the upstart Washington Nationals and the “big, bad Yankees,” as Davey Johnson called them before the first-place series showdown that ended in a sweep for the Bronx Bombers. Most writers tried to capitalize on Bryce Harper’s bad day, or the youth and inexperience of the Nats, or the simple “badassness” of the Yankees.

Despite all the words about leadership and intangibles and the like, as with everything else in baseball and real life, the real difference between the Nats and Yankees can be explained with simple numbers. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 64 Review: Nats offense continues to sputter in 4-1 loss to Yankees

It’s been a prevailing theme this series. Really, it’s been a problem all season long: cashing in base runners. Sunday was no different, as the Nats mustered one run– a solo home run at that — and another strong effort by a starting pitcher is wasted as the Washington Nationals fell to the New York Yankees 4-1, before another sellout crowd of 41,442.

The loss completes a three-game sweep by the Bronx Bombers, and drops the Nats record to 38-26. And despite the hand-wringing and hair pulling in some circles about having dropped three in a row to the “big, bad Yankees” as manager Davey Johnson called them before the start of the series, the Nats still lead the N.L. East by four games by owning the N.L.’s second best record — just like before the Yankees came to town. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals don’t need “big, bad Yankees” as litmus test

There are plenty of people — national and local media alike — that are using this weekend’s series between the Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees as a litmus test for the upstart Nats. Every move, every at bat, every pitch; the young Nationals are being compared and contrasted with the veteran, experienced — and expensive — Yankees.

A lot of those media types will blast headlines and concentrate their stories of yesterday’s 14 inning, 5-3 loss to the Yankees on 19-year old Bryce Harper’s rough day, a day in which a player 20 years his senior, a multiple World Series winner, carved him up with slider after slider, en route to an 0-for-7, five strikeout day. [Read more...]

Washington Nationals Game 62 Review: Four-run seventh does in Nats in 7-2 loss to Yankees

“A good throw, [Jeter]‘s out.” Davey Johnson, on Ian Desmond’s throwing error in the seventh inning.

Like most games this season, the Washington Nationals found themselves in a close game heading into the later innings against the New York Yankees Friday night in the first of their three-game set this weekend. Unlike most games this season, however, the Nats didn’t push the right buttons and the Yankees took advantage for four seventh inning runs to blow open a tight game and eventually walk away with a 7-2 win, all before a sell-out crowd of 41,406 at Nats Park. [Read more...]

%d bloggers like this: