The Dog Days of Summer

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IP09Cover

By: Dan Kolko

The baseball schedule can be a grueling one.

This year, the Nationals will play 162 regular season games in 182 days. The road trips are long. The nights in hotel rooms add up quickly. The days off, especially the days off at home, can be few and far between.

That’s why most players rely on their fam­ilies to help get them through the tough times. Parents, siblings, wives, children — they all help to provide a support system, a base that players can lean on during the long season.

And for many Nationals players, that family, that base, isn’t complete without a canine as well.

As fans have noticed over the years, thanks to the Nationals’ popular pet calendar and player Instagram posts, players like Gio Gonzalez, Jayson Werth and Max Scherzer have added dogs to their home setups. In some cases, those pups have gained a bit of a celebrity status of their own.

Werth dog photoWerth’s gigantic Great Dane, Magnus, was even featured in a Nationals Park giveaway this season. The first 20,000 fans that came to the game on June 27 received a figurine of Jayson and Magnus, who is shown standing on his hind legs, nearly looking eye-to-eye with his owner.

When asked if Magnus is aware of his level of popularity in the D.C. area, Werth smiles.

“I’ve told him,” he says. “I think he’s that kind of dog anyways. Whenever somebody comes over, they’re coming over to see him.”

Magnus is one of two dogs the Werths own; the other is a German Shorthaired Pointer named Gunner, who Werth says isn’t nearly as social as his larger counterpart.

Magnus has made a handful of appearanc­es at Nationals Park in the past, though his presence has been less frequent this year.

“I usually save him for when we need him,” Werth jokes. “The old ‘rally dog.’”

2015 Washington Nationals Pet Calendar

Gonzalez’s French Bulldog, Stitch, has become a frequent visitor at the Nation­als’ Spring Training complex, and also sometimes accompanies his owner into the Nats’ home clubhouse in D.C. Every appearance by the dark-coated pup leads to teammates, coaches and team personnel flocking around, making Stitch the center of attention.

“I know the chefs love him. I know that,” Gonzalez says with a laugh. “He hangs out in the kitchen all day long. He’s like, ‘You’ve gotta go to work? I’ve gotta go to work, too! I’m gonna go crush this bacon spread out here.’ But they love him. Everyone that sees him loves him. He snores really loud. He sounds like a little pig running around. He’s real friendly, friendly with kids. Personali­ty-wise, I wouldn’t trade him for any other dog in the world.”

Only recently has Gonzalez added another dog to the mix — another French Bulldog, named Kylo.

“He’s got more of the energy,” Gonzalez says. “He’s a full-time ‘Red Bull’ the whole time. He’s full throttle. And Stitch is more laid-back. But Kylo’s still a puppy.

“Both of them now are in boot camp. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever seen Stitch lay down, stay still, and stay by some­one’s side. You can see this joy in Stitch’s face, this joy where he actually wants to go to these boot camps.”

While Kylo and Stitch are only now going through the boot camp classes, Scherzer’s three dogs — Bo, Rafi and Rocco — have already graduated. Scherzer and his wife, Erica, got the pups (all of which were adopt­ed from shelters) off-leash trained, allowing them to take the trio out and about, even on crowded D.C.-area streets.

2015 Washington Nationals Pet Calendar

“I’m able to go down any major road, and they heel,” Scherzer says. “And I get on a bike and I have them heel and we can march down anywhere. As long as there’s a sidewalk, we can cross anywhere. They know how to sit at stoplights. And once we get to bike paths, dog trails, they know that once I say, ‘Free!’ they can kind of roam and chase anything they want.”

Scherzer is well-known throughout the baseball community for having two differ­ent colored eyes, a genetic anomaly called heterochromia iridum. The condition affects roughly 1-in-500 humans.

In the Scherzer household, however, heter­ochromia iridum affects three of five living creatures. Two of Scherzer’s dogs, Bo and Rocco, have it, as well.

“You wouldn’t believe the number of people who send pictures to me of dogs with two different colored eyes saying I should adopt this one,” Scherzer says. “I get a lot of ’em. So that’s how we found all three of (our dogs).”

Scherzer’s love for dogs, and for pets in general, isn’t just lip service. It led him to take part in charitable work for The Humane Society’s “Pets for Life” program, which helps pet owners in underserved communi­ties get access to affordable pet care.

“A dog will love anybody,” Scherzer says. “As soon as you go up to a dog and pet it on its ears and show it love, it will instantly love you back. They’re incredible creatures. Just how much trust they build with you and understand you, it’s just been awesome having three.”

For Werth, leaving for road trips means not just saying goodbye to his wife and two sons, but also his dogs. And those goodbyes don’t exactly sit well with Magnus.

“Those dogs don’t live that long,” Werth said of Great Danes. “So when I leave for a long road trip, I think it’s longer for him than for anybody else. You can tell he’s the most hurt. He misses me more than anybody else. He’s only going to live for like 7-8 years. So I think the time is different for those dogs.”

The Gonzalez family unit has grown signifi­cantly in the last year. Not only did Kylo get brought home last winter, Gio’s finance, Lea, gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy named Enzo, this spring.

When a long road trip ends, and Gonzalez is able to return home, he says having that support system there to greet him helps bring everything into perspective.

“I think just seeing my entire family around is awesome — Lea, Enzo and the dogs,” Gon­zalez says. “It’s almost like everything you’re worried about at the field, you come home and it’s a weight off your shoulders. You get to smile and just be yourself and relax. And I think that’s the joy of having a family like that. The dogs kind of put the icing on the cake.”

Nationals Game Notes: August 26 vs. Colorado Rockies

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Colorado Rockies (60-67) vs. Washington Nationals (74-53)
RHP Jeff Hoffman [0-1, 13.50] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [8-9, 4.30]
Friday, August 26 l Game #128 / Home #62 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

STATUS CHECK
At 74-53 (.583), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (81-45, .643).

  • Washington also ranks second in MLB with a +139 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+217).
  • Since August 10, the Nationals lead Major League Baseball in runs scored (93) and batting average (.292) while ranking second in on-base percentage (.353) and fifth in slugging percentage (.481).

LEADING MAN
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in batting average (.346), slugging percentage (.610), OPS (.999), multi-hit games (49) and ranks among NL hitters in doubles (T1st, 37), extra base hits (T1st, 66), RBI (2nd, 96), hits (3rd, 156) and on-base percentage (7th, .389) among many other categories.

  • Murphy is tied for first in Major League Baseball with 29 go-ahead RBI and 16 game winning RBI.
  • With 96 RBI this season, Murphy is four RBI short of becoming the sixth player in Nationals history (2005-pres.) to post a 100 RBI season…The last player to do it was 1B Adam Laroche (100 RBI in 2012).

HELLO, MR. HARPER
Since returning to the Nationals’ lineup on Aug. 14, Nationals RF Bryce Harper has hit safely in 10 of his last 12 games and has reached base safely in in all 12, posting a .491 on-base percentage (18 H, 9 BB) along the way…Harper has driven in runs in eight of the 12 contests.

  • He is hitting .391 (18-for-46) with four doubles, two homers, 13 RBI, nine walks, two stolen bases, nine runs scored and a .609 slugging percentage since returning to the lineup… Harper has posted multi-hit efforts in five of his last six games.

Nationals Game Notes: August 25 vs. Baltimore Orioles

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Baltimore Orioles (70-56) at Washington Nationals (73-53)
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez [5-10, 6.94] | RHP Max Scherzer [13-7, 3.05]
Thursday, August 25 l Game #127 / Home #61 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

TREA OF LIGHT
For the second consecutive game Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner recorded a career-high four hits and, in doing so, tied a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) with hits in eight straight plate appearances…Turner went 4-for-4 on Tuesday in Baltimore and followed that with four consecutive hits on Wednesday night, tying the record with a single in the seventh inning…Turner matched the feats of Hall of Famer Andre Dawson (June 4-7, 1983) and Washington’s Dimitri Young (May 31-June 1, 2007) for the record long streak.

  • In 14 games dating to August 10, Turner is hitting .406 (26-for-64) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, two walks, six stolen bases and 17 runs scored.
  • In Tuesday night’s game, Turner initially stole two bases, but both calls were overturned via replay review…Nevertheless, in just 37 games this season, Turner is tied for third among MLB rookies with 14 stolen bases.
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) and is tied for third in stolen bases (14).

NEW ADDITION
The Nationals acquired LHP Marc Rzepczynski and cash from the Oakland Athletics on Thursday in exchange for Minor League INF Max Schrock…Rzepczynski comes to the Nationals with a 1-0 record and a 3.00 ERA in 56 appearances out of Oakland’s bullpen this season…He ranks second in the Major Leagues with a 70.5 percent ground-ball rate.

  • Over the course of his career, Rzepczynski has held left-handed batters to a .225 batting average, a .295 on-base percentage and a .302 slugging percentage…Of the 714 left-handed batters he’s faced in his career, Rzepczynski has allowed just eight HR.

STATUS CHECK
At 73-53 (.584), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (81-45, .643).

  • Washington also ranks second in MLB with a +135 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+217).
  • With Wednesday night’s loss, the Nationals have lost four straight games for the first time since their seven-game losing streak from June 18-25…Washington has lost four or more consecutive games only three times this season.

LEADING MAN
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in batting average (.347), slugging percentage (.611), OPS (1.001), multi-hit games (49) and ranks among NL hitters in doubles (2nd, 36), RBI (2nd, 95), extra base hits (T2nd, 65), hits (3rd, 155) and on-base percentage (7th, .391) among many other categories.

  • Murphy is tied for first in Major League Baseball with 29 go-ahead RBI and 16 game-winning RBI.
  • Murphy has recorded a franchise record (WSH/MON) 22 RBI in 17 Interleague games this season…The previous high of 16 was held by 1B Adam Dunn in 2010.
  • With 95 RBI this season, Murphy is five RBI short of becoming the sixth player in Nationals history (2005-pres.) to post a 100 RBI season…The last player to do it was 1B Adam Laroche (100 RBI in 2012).

Nationals Game Notes: August 24 vs. Baltimore Orioles

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Baltimore Orioles (69-56) at Washington Nationals (73-52)
LHP Wade Miley [7-10, 5.58] | RHP Tanner Roark [13-6, 2.87]
Wednesday, August 24 l Game #126 / Home #60 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

HOME, SWEET HOME
The Nationals return home to continue this week’s Interleague series with the Baltimore Orioles before welcoming the Colorado Rockies to Nationals Park for a three-game series beginning on Friday.

  • Starting with Wednesday’s contest against Baltimore, the Nationals will play 15 of their next 21 games at Nationals Park…Of their remaining 36 regular season games, 21 will at home and 15 will be on the road.

LEADING MAN
Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy leads the National League in slugging percentage (.604), OPS (.993), multi-hit games (48) and ranks among NL hitters in batting average (2nd, .344), doubles (2nd, 36), RBI (2nd, 90), extra base hits (T2nd, 64), hits (3rd, 152) and on-base percentage (9th, .388) among many other categories.

  • Murphy paces Major League Baseball with 29 go-ahead RBI and is tied for first with 16 game-winning RBI.
  • Murphy has recorded a franchise record (WSH/MON) 17 RBI in 17 Interleague games this season…The previous high of 16 was held by 1B Adam Dunn in 2010.

TREA OF LIGHT
Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner recorded a career-high four hits in Washington’s 8-1 loss to Baltimore on Tuesday night…That effort snapped a two-game hitless streak…In 13 games dating to August 10, Turner is hitting 22-for-59 (.373) with five doubles, two triples, two homers, eight RBI, two walks, six stolen bases and 16 runs scored.

  • In Tuesday night’s game, Turner initially stole two bases, but both calls were overturned via replay review…Nevertheless, in just 36 games this season, Turner is tied for third among MLB rookies with 14 stolen bases.
  • Since the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) and is tied for third in stolen bases (14).

Nationals Game Notes: August 23 at Baltimore Orioles

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Washington Nationals (73-51) at Baltimore Orioles (68-56)
RHP Reynaldo Lopez [2-1, 4.37] | RHP Kevin Gausman [4-10, 4.11]
Tuesday, August 23 l Game #125 / Road #66 l Oriole Park at Camden Yards l Baltimore, M.D. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

EDGED OUT
The Nationals opened their four-game home-and-home series with a 4-3 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards on Monday night, edged in the one-run game by the O’s despite a strong outing from spot starter RHP A.J. Cole, as well as home runs from 3B Anthony Rendon and SS Danny Espinosa…Washington is just over halfway through a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that began on Aug. 12…Thus far, the Nationals are 6-5 with BAL (3 games), COL (3 games) and PHI (3 games) remaining before their next scheduled off day (Sept. 1).

  • At 73-51 (.589), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (79-45, .637)…The Nationals and Cubs are the only 70-win teams in the NL…Reaching the 70-win mark in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals earned No. 70 in game No. 113.
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +144 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+212).
  • The Nationals have lost back-to-back games for just the 14th time all season…Washington has only lost three or more consecutive games four times all year, and not since June 25.

INFIELD POP
The Nationals’ offense on Monday night was provided almost exclusively by their infield with 2B Daniel Murphy’s RBI-single driving in CF Trea Turner with the game’s first run, and then 3B Anthony Rendon and SS Danny Espinosa providing the power with solo home runs in the fourth and seventh innings, respectively…For Rendon, it was his 16th home run of the season, and for Espinosa his 19th.

  • The Nationals’ infielders (1B, 2B, SS, 3B) have combined to club 79 home runs this season, the third-most among all infield groups in the National League (eighth-most in the Major Leagues)…With Murphy and Espinosa primarily up the middle, the Nationals’ pivot players lead the Major Leagues with 40 combined home runs.
  • The home run, part of a 1-for-3 evening for Rendon that included a walk, pushed his average to .333 (38-for-114) with 12 doubles, seven homers, 25 RBI, 12 walks, three stolen bases, 21 runs scored, and just 16 strikeouts in 130 plate appearances since July 16…Rendon leads all NL 3B in doubles (30), ahead of CHI’s Kris Bryant (29).

HELLO, MR. HARPER
Nationals RF Bryce Harper has driven in runs in seven of his last nine games and reached base in all nine (.500 OBP).

  • Since returning to the Nationals’ lineup on Aug. 14, Harper is now 12-for-33 (.364) with three doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, nine walks, eight runs scored and two stolen bases.
  • His 11 RBI are tied for fifth in the National League in this stretch, behind only Kris Bryant & Ryan Braun (12), Joey Votto (13), and Adrian Gonzalez (15).

RETURN OF THE Z-MAN
Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman returned from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday (left wrist contusion) and wasted no time making his presence felt…Zimmerman homered on the first pitch he saw, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, and finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

  • Saturday marked Zimmerman’s third three-plus hit game of the season (also May 4 at KC (three hits) and May 28 vs. STL (four hits)).
  • Going 1-for-4 with a double on Monday, Zimmerman is now 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, a home run, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored since his return to the active roster.
  • In 23 career games, Zimmerman is a .307 hitter at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, (27-for-88) with five doubles, a triple, five home runs, and 14 RBI to go with nine walks and just 10 strikeouts in 97 plate appearances.

Frank Howard to be inducted into Nationals Ring of Honor on Friday, August 26

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Frank Howard 2

The Washington Nationals will induct former Washington Senators outfielder Frank Howard into the Ring of Honor at Nationals Park Friday, August 26, before the Nationals play the Colorado Rockies.

“Frank Howard was the favorite player of so many Washington Senators fans until the team moved to Texas after the 1971 season,” said Mark D. Lerner, Vice Chairman and Principal Owner of the Washington Nationals. “Inducting Frank into the Nationals Ring of Honor will be a personal thrill for my entire family and me. We are excited to honor him for all he has contributed to the game of baseball and to celebrate his 80th birthday, which was on August 8th.”

Frank Howard hit 237 of his 382 career home runs during his seven-year tenure with the Washington Senators from 1965-71. No player representing Washington D.C. has hit more home runs than Howard’s 237. Current National Ryan Zimmerman is second on the list with 213. Howard represented the Senators in four All-Star Games (1968-71) and led the American League in home runs twice, clubbing 44 homers in both 1968 and 1970.

During his time in Washington, teammates, media and fans alike marveled at Howard’s tape-measure home runs, many of which taunted cavernous D.C. Stadium’s dimensions, earning him the nicknames “The Capital Punisher,” “The Washington Monument,” and “Hondo.”

We look forward to welcoming him to Nationals Park on Friday!

Nationals Game Notes: August 22 at Baltimore Orioles

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Washington Nationals (73-50) at Baltimore Orioles (67-56)
RHP A.J. Cole [0-0, -.–] | RHP Dylan Bundy [6-4, 3.66]
Monday, August 22 l Game #124 / Road #65 l Oriole Park at Camden Yards l Baltimore, M.D. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

HALFWAY HOME
As the Nationals’ current three-city road trip reaches its final leg, opening a two-game set in Baltimore on Monday night, Washington is halfway through a stretch of 20 games in 20 days that began on Aug. 12…Thus far, the Nationals are 6-4 with BAL (4 games), COL (3 games) and PHI (3 games) remaining before their next scheduled off day (Sept. 1).

  • At 73-50 (.593), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (78-45, .634)…The Nationals and Cubs are the only 70-win teams in the NL…Reaching the 70-win mark in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals earned No. 70 in game No. 113.
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +145 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+208).
  • The Nationals are 4-3 on their current nine-game trip, with an average game time of 3 hours, 29 minutes and a total of 4 hours, 25 minutes in rain delays.

HELLO, MR. HARPER
Going 2-for-5 with three RBI on Sunday afternoon and clubbing his 22nd home run of the season (a three-run shot in the third inning), Nationals RF Bryce Harper drove in at least one run for the seventh time in his last eight games.

  • Since returning to the Nationals’ lineup on Aug. 14, Harper is now 12-for-30 (.400) with three doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, eight walks, and two stolen bases.
  • His 11 RBI are tied for the most in the National League in this stretch, and are tied for the second-most in the Major Leagues, behind only BOS OF Mookie Betts’ 13.

BUMP FROM THE BENCH
The Nationals’ bench continued its strong season on Sunday with Nationals OF Chris Heisey getting the start in left field and posting two hits, including a two-run homer in the sixth…That came on the heels of two strong games (Thursday & Friday) from 1B Clint Robinson, who went 3-for-7 with two RBI, three walks and three runs scored, including the game-winning RBI on Friday night.

  • The Nationals’ are second in the Major Leagues with 11 pinch-hit home runs this season, and second in the NL in slugging percentage (.536)…On the season, the Nationals have 33 pinch hits, with 19 of them going for extra bases (7 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR)…The 11 pinch-hit home runs hit by Washington are already a single-season Nationals record (2005-pres.).
  • Five of WSH’s 11 pinch-hit HRs this season have tied the game or given WSH the lead.
  • Stephen Drew & Heisey are tied for the most WSH pinch-hit home runs (3), as well as the most in a career Nationals history (2005-present)…They are also second in MLB.

WELCOME BACK, ZIM
Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman returned from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday (left wrist contusion) and wasted no time making his presence felt…Zimmerman homered on the first pitch he saw, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, and finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

  • Saturday marked Zimmerman’s third three-plus hit game of the season (also May 4 at KC (three hits) and May 28 vs. STL (four hits)).
  • Going 1-for-4 with a walk on Sunday afternoon, Zimmerman is now 4-for-8 (.500) with a home run, a walk, two RBI and three runs scored since his return to the active roster.

Nationals Game Notes: August 21 at Atlanta Braves

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Washington Nationals (73-49) at Atlanta Braves (44-79)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [8-9, 4.28] | RHP Joel De La Cruz [0-6, 3.72]
Sunday, August 21 l Game #123 / Road #64 l Turner Field l Atlanta, G.A. l 1:10 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

BROOM POTENTIAL
The Nationals will look to finish off a four-game sweep of the Braves on Sunday afternoon, going for their ninth sweep of the 2016 season and potentially their fifth road sweep…Washington won the series with an 11-9 victory over Atlanta on Saturday night, picking up their 11th road series win of the year (21st overall)…The Nationals, who have not lost at Turner Field this season, are 11-1 vs. ATL in 2016…Since the start of the 2015 season, Washington is 25-6 against Atlanta and is outscoring the Braves 183-101.

  • At 73-49 (.598), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (78-44, .639)…The Nationals and Cubs are the only 70-win teams in the National League…Reaching the 70-win mark on Monday, in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals picked up win No. 70 in game No. 113
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +146 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+215).
  • After today’s series finale in Atlanta, the Nationals will travel to Baltimore to open the home-and-home Beltway Series with the Orioles with two games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, before returning home to finish it with two games at Nationals Park.

KEEP THE LINE MOVING
The Nationals’ 11-9 win on Saturday was due, in large part, to a record-setting fourth inning…The frame featured eight runs off nine hits (seven singles, two home runs), one walk, one stolen base, and 12 plate appearances, busting open what had been a 3-1 Braves lead.

  • Nine hits in a single inning set a new Nationals record (2005-present), and were the most in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) since Montreal tallied 13 hits in the top of the sixth inning at San Francisco, May 7, 1997.
  • A solo home run by 2B Daniel Murphy kicked off the inning, followed by a RF Bryce Harper walk and a fly out by C Wilson Ramos…Then came eight consecutive hits (seven singles and a three-run home run by CF Trea Turner)…The eight straight hits were also a Nationals record and, via the Elias Sports Bureau, matched 5/7/97 at SFG as the only times in franchise history the team hit safely in eight straight plate appearances.
  • The eight runs were a new single-inning season high for the Nationals, as were the 12 plate appearances.

WELCOME BACK, ZIM
Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman returned from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday (left wrist contusion) and wasted no time making his presence felt…Zimmerman homered on the first pitch he saw, giving the Nationals an early 1-0 lead in the second inning, and finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.

  • Saturday marked Zimmerman’s third three-plus hit game of the season (also May 4 at KC (three hits) and May 28 vs. STL (four hits)).

SNEAKY POP
Better known for his exceptional speed, Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner hit his fourth home run of the season on Saturday (in 33 MLB games), the biggest swing in that eight-run fourth…It was Turner’s first career HR with runners on base and his third (of 5 career HR) vs. ATL.

  • Turner stole his 13th base of the season on Thursday night…All of Turner’s 13 steals have come since the All-Star break, the third-most stolen bases in MLB in that span.
  • Turner’s 13 stolen bases also rank fourth among all rookies, and all ahead of him on the list have played in 46 games or more…In his last 10 games, Turner is 18-for-47 (.383) with four doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBI, five stolen bases and 14 runs scored.
  • Dating to the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) & ranks third in SB (13).

Nationals Game Notes: August 20 at Atlanta Braves

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Washington Nationals (72-49) at Atlanta Braves (44-78)
RHP Max Scherzer [12-7, 2.95] | RHP Tyrell Jenkins [2-3, 4.89]
Saturday, August 20 l Game #122 / Road #63 l Turner Field l Atlanta, G.A. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ABOUT LAST NIGHT
The Nationals outlasted the Braves, 7-6, on Friday night mixing defensive gems with miscues…1B Clint Robinson played the savior with an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning that scored PR Pedro Severino to break a 6-6 tie…The Nationals, who have not lost at Turner Field this season, are 10-1 vs. ATL in 2016…Since the start of the 2015 season, Washington is 24-6 against Atlanta and is outscoring the Braves 172-92.

  • At 72-49 (.595), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (77-44, .636)…The Nationals, Cubs, Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians are the only 70-win teams in the Major Leagues…Reaching the 70-win mark on Monday, in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals picked up win No. 70 in game No. 113
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +144 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+208).
  • The Nationals’ current three-city trip will continue on Saturday night with the third of four in Atlanta before moving on to Baltimore on Monday.

CATCH OF THE YEAR?
With two outs and the Nationals up, 1-0, in the bottom of the fourth, Nationals CF Ben Revere kept the game scoreless with a home-run-robbing, leaping catch at the right center field wall to steal a longball from Braves 1B Freddie Freeman.

  • According to MLB’s Statcast data, Revere’s first step on the catch came 0.43 seconds after the ball was hit, he reached 19.7 mph at his maximum speed, covering 116.9 feet of ground in the outfield with a 97.5 percent route efficiency…Additionally, with the outfield wall measuring eight feet, four inches high at Turner Field, the 5-foot-9 Revere had to leap more than two-and-a-half feet higher than his own height to secure the ball and rob the homer.

STREAK SNAPPED
For the first time since June 19, Nationals LF Jayson Werth played in a game and did not reach base once…Werth’s 0-for-5 on Friday evening halted his career-best on-base streak at 46 games, tying Rusty Staub for the longest on-base streak in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) and solidifying his Nationals record (2005-present).

  • Since 1913, only 26 National League players have ever posted an on-base streak of 46 games or more…Werth surpassed 1B Ryan Zimmerman, who reached base in 43 consecutive games from April 8 – May 25, 2009, for the Nationals (2005-pres.) record.
  • While Werth’s streak, which began on June 20 at LAD, is confined in one season, Staub’s spanned multiple seasons, from 1969-70.
  • During the 46-game stretch, Werth collected 43 hits (14 2B, 6 HR) & 32 walks (.382 OBP).

AT HIS BEST AGAINST THE BRAVES
Nationals RHP Tanner Roark did not factor into the decision on Friday, but with 6.1 innings of work and just three earned runs allowed, Roark lowered his career ERA vs. ATL to 1.95 (16 ER/74.0 IP)…Among active MLB pitchers with at least 10 starts against the Braves, Roark possesses the lowest ERA, topping a list that includes: NYM RHP Bartolo Colon (2.35), DET RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2.55) and SFG LHP Madison Bumgarner (2.60)…Roark’s 1.95 ERA vs. ATL is his lowest vs. any opponent against whom he’s made four starts or more.

CLOSING TIME
Nationals closer Mark Melancon tossed a scoreless ninth on Friday night to secure his 35th save of the season, his eighth scoreless outing (of nine) since he was acquired by Washington on July 30…Melancon, who ranks tied for second in the National League in saves, has retired 26 of the 31 batters he’s faced in a Nationals uniform, and has not issued a single walk.

Nationals Game Notes: August 19 at Atlanta Braves

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Washington Nationals (71-49) at Atlanta Braves (44-77)
RHP Tanner Roark [13-6, 2.81] | RHP Julio Teheran [3-9, 2.81]
Friday, August 19 l Game #121 / Road #62 l Turner Field l Atlanta, G.A. l 7:35 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

FEELING RIGHT AT HOME
The Nationals opened this four-game set with the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night with an 8-3 victory in their first trip back to Turner Field since Opening Day…The Nationals, who have not lost at Turner Field this season, are 9-1 vs. ATL in 2016…Since the start of the 2015 season, Washington is 23-6 against Atlanta and outscoring the Braves 165-86.

  • At 71-49 (.592), the Nationals boast the second-best record in Major League Baseball, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (77-43, .642)…The Nationals, Cubs, and Rangers are the only 70-win teams in the Major Leagues…Reaching the 70-win mark on Monday, in game No. 117, the 2016 Nationals are the fastest in club history to that total since the 2012 Nationals picked up win No. 70 in game No. 113
  • WSH also ranks second in MLB with a +143 run differential, behind only the Cubs (+209).
  • As a team, the Nationals rank in the top five among National League clubs in home runs (2nd, 159), runs scored (4th, 576), and walks (4th, 418)…Washington’s 903 strikeouts as a club are the second-fewest in the National League.
  • The Nationals’ current three-city trip will continue on Friday night with the second of four in Atlanta before moving on to Baltimore on Monday.

SLIDE OVER, STAUB
With an RBI-double in the fifth inning on Thursday night, Nationals LF Jayson Werth extended his career-best on-base streak to 46 games, tying Rusty Staub for the longest on-base streak in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) and extending his Nationals record (2005-present).

  • Werth is now chasing CIN 1B Joey Votto, who reached base in 48 consecutive games to close the 2015 season (Aug. 11-Oct. 2) and is the most recent NL player with a streak longer than Werth’s…Werth surpassed 1B Ryan Zimmerman, who reached base in 43 consecutive games from April 8 – May 25, 2009, for the Nationals (2005-pres.) record.
  • While Werth’s streak, which began on June 20 at LAD, is currently confined in one season, Staub’s spanned multiple seasons, from 1969-70.
  • During this stretch, Werth has collected 43 hits (14 2B, 6 HR) & 32 walks (.382 OBP)…Werth also clubbed his fourth home run in his last 12 games on Monday and is slugging .630 in that stretch.

LOOK AT MR. LOPEZ
Nationals rookie RHP Reynaldo Lopez struck out 11 Braves over 7.0 innings of work on Thursday, the fourth Major League start of his career…Lopez is just the fourth rookie pitcher in Nationals history to post a double-digit strikeout game and is now tied for second in Nationals history (2005-present) for the most strikeouts in a game by a rookie pitcher…He joins LHP John Lannan (April 17, 2008) and RHP Joe Ross (June 19, 2015) with 11, trailing only RHP Stephen Strasburg’s 14 strikeouts on June 8, 2010.

  • Lopez is the 11th rookie pitcher to strikeout at least 11 Braves in a game since the franchise moved to Atlanta in 1966, the first since NYM RHP Jacob deGrom struck out 11 on 7/8/14.

LARCENY IN HIS VEINS
Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner stole his 13th base of the season on Thursday night, in his 31st Major League game of the year…All of Turner’s 13 steals have come since the All-Star break, the third-most stolen bases in MLB in that span (CIN’s Billy Hamilton is first with 30).

  • Turner’s 13 stolen bases also rank fourth among all rookies, and all ahead of him on the list have played in 46 games or more…In his last seven games, Turner is 14-for-37 (.378) with three doubles, two triples, one home run, four RBI, five stolen bases and 11 runs scored.
  • Dating to the All-Star break, Turner leads MLB lead in triples (6) & ranks third in SB (13).
  • Among players with at least 12 stolen bases this season, Turner is one of only three who hasn’t been caught more than once.
  • Turner’s six triples are already tied for the ninth-most in MLB and lead all rookies.
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