April 2010

Seven things I think I know

Seven things I think I know:


Matt Capps first save.jpg1.     
I think Matt Capps is the Nats’ MVP the first month of the season. He has successfully converted all 10 saves opportunities, something the Nats couldn’t do last year. Just for a comparison, the 2009 Nats didn’t pick up their tenth save until June 17. It took five different pitchers too: Joel Hanrahan, Julian Tavarez, Kip Wells, Joe Beimel and Mike MacDougal. There is nothing more demoralizing than losing the game after leading in the ninth. The Nats are winning close games and that has been the difference in their solid start. They are 4-2 in one run games and 4-1 in two run games.

1. A. I think Matt Capps will be the DHL Delivery Man of the Month for April.

2.      I think Tyler Clippard looks really intimidating with his glasses. “I don’t feel like the glasses are too intimidating,” Clippard said. “I feel like they are kind of dorky. But if they’re intimidating, that’s fine too.” I still don’t know if that has any impact on his pitching but his change-up has been nasty. He is 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 14 appearances.

3.      At 12-10 the Nationals are off to their best start since they moved to the District.

4.      Drew Storen is one step closer to making it to the Majors. He was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse today. Storen converted all four save opportunities and posted a 0.96 ERA in seven appearances with Harrisburg of the Double-A Eastern League. The 22-year-old fanned 11 and walked just one batter in 9.1 innings pitched. Storen posted a .161 (5-for-31) batting average against, including a stingy .059 (1-for-17) against right-handed batters. Storen is 2-1 with 15 saves and a 1.75 ERA in 35 appearances during his two seasons as a professional. He has tallied 60 strikeouts against just nine walks in 46.1 innings, good enough for a 6.7/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 11.7 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.

 


Ryan Zimmerman 1.jpg5.     
I think Ryan Zimmerman is admiring how far he hit the wiffle ball.

6.      The Nats defense isn’t perfect but they seem to be making gravity defying catches each game. They are drastically improved from last season and are sixth in the NL with a .984 fielding percentage–a major improvement after finishing last in 2009.


Strasburg 12.jpg7.     
I think Stephen Strasburg will be joining Storen soon. Strasburg will probably make his final start with Harrisburg on Sunday. The phenom has been just that in his first four professional starts at Double-A Harrisburg and was literally unhittable in his last start.

Strasburg’s first four starts:

Date

OPP

W

ERA

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

4/11

@ALT

1

1.80

5.0

4

4

1

2

8

4/16

NBR

0

0.00

2.1

2

1

0

0

3

4/21

REA

1

0.00

5.0

1

0

0

1

6

4/27

@REA

1

0.00

5.0

0

0

0

0

6

Totals

 

3

0.52

17.1

7

5

1

3

23

 

21 games down… 141 to go


 
Desmond and Morgan c.jpgThe Nats are above .500 once again. This matches their best 21 game start since moving to the District. A win today against the Cubs in Chicago would give them their best 22 game start in the short history of the Washington Nationals. In 2005, they lost game 22 and dropped to 11-11. Of course, the season is young. There are still 141 games left for the Nats and it is tough to make a fair judgment on a team until about June 1, even then it is imperfect. See the 2009 Rockies.

Baseball is like the Masters in one way, you can’t win the green jacket on Thursday but you sure can lose it. Teams can’t win the pennant in April, but they sure can eliminate themselves from contention. That Nats are right where they want to be–sure they would like to have a few more victories–but it is far better than their 5-16 start last season. Not to mention, the Nationals are in the midst of an especially challenging first six weeks of the season. If we use 2009 records, the Nationals square off with winning ball clubs in 31 of the season’s first 40 games.

 

“The team’s had a little bit of adversity, and we’ve bounced back, which is a good sign,” Ian Desmond said. “We’re only getting better every day. I’m only getting better, the team’s only getting better, and we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

 

After 21 games in 2009, there were 16 teams above .500. Yes, that would leave 14 teams below .500. Of the 16 teams above .500, nine of them finished at or above .500. Of the 14 teams below .500, seven of them finished at or above .500. There were 10 teams that were 11-10 last year and only four of them finished at or above .500. The Royals were 11-10 last season and finished 65-97.

What this means is 21 games is a small sample size and only looking at 2009 is even a smaller sample size.

So I expanded the research a little bit–I looked at every team above .500 after 21 games since 2005. There have been 78 teams above .500 after 21 games and 49 of them finished at or above .500–yes, the 2005 Nationals are one of the 49 teams. There have been 72 teams below .500 and of those 72 teams, 30 of them finished at or above .500.

Here are the percentages: Since 2005… 62.8 percent of the teams above .500 after 21 games finished at or above .500. Since 2005… 41.6 percent of the teams below .500 after 21 games finished at or above .500.

What this means is 21 games is a small sample size but being above .500 is always better than being below .500.

Lineups

Dodgers (8-9):

1.    Rafael Furcal – SS

2.    Russell Martin – C

3.    Matt Kemp – CF

4.    James Loney – 1B

5.    Casey Blake – 3B

6.    Ronnie Belliard – 2B

7.    Garret Anderson – LF

8.    Reed Johnson – RF

9.    Chad Billingsley – SP (1-0. 7.07 ERA)

 

* Yesterday, Casey Blake smashed a two-run homer in the 2nd inning in his first career at-bat against Craig Stammen. In the 7th inning, Blake again went deep off Stammen, this time for a solo shot. It was the 9th multi-homer game of Blake’s career and the second of the season for the Dodgers–the other came from Andre Ethier on April 16 vs. San Francisco.

 

 Nationals (9-9):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 3B

3.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Ian Desmond – SS

8.      Justin Maxwell – RF

9.   Scott Olsen- SP (0-1. 11.74)

* Craig Stammen collected his first career multi-hit game yesterday, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Stammen is now 3-for-9 (.333) at the plate this season.

* Washington had no problem getting men on base yesterday. Getting them across home plate proved more difficult. Washington left 15 men on base in yesterday’s 13-inning heartbreaker.

* Ivan Rodriguez’s defensive reputation and presence has ostensibly shut down the running game of Nationals opponents…in Rodriguez’s 13 starts, opponents have attempted just one stolen base.

Good vs. Bad and lineups

Let’s get some bad news out of the way:

1.      It’s looking pretty cloudy outside.

2.      It’s looking pretty cloudy outside.

Thankfully the good news outweighs the bad here in Nationals Park today:

1.       The Nationals won, 5-1, last night.

2.      Adam Dunn hit a pair of homers and drove in three runs in yesterday’s game.

3.      The Nationals can clinch a winning homestand with a win either today or tomorrow. 

Now for the lineups.

Dodgers (7-9):

1.    Rafael Furcal – SS

2.        Russell Martin – C

3.        Andre Ethier – RF

4.        Matt Kemp – CF

5.    James Loney – 1B

6.    Casey Blake – 3B

7.    Xavier Paul – LF

8.    Blake DeWitt – 2B

9.    Clayton Kershaw – SP (1-0. 3.18 ERA)

 

* Despite offense being the name of the game for both teams in recent weeks, the Dodgers had only one player, Ronnie Belliard, with multiple hits last night.

* In the Dodger’s 5-1 defeat last night, the club tied a season low with just five hits.

* The Dodgers have lost 10 of their last 16 games in the District of Columbia.

 

 Nationals (9-8):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Ian Desmond – SS

3.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Justin Maxwell – RF

7.      Wil Nieves – C

8.      Alberto Gonzalez – 3B

9.   Craig Stammen- SP (1-0. 8.16)

* Washington is 5-3 to date on their 10-game homestand.

* Washington ended its five-game, error-free streak last night with a season-high three errors.

* Ivan Rodriguez enters play this afternoon leading the Majors in batting average…Rodriguez is hitting .423 (22-for-52) with seven doubles and eight RBI to date. 

Luis Atilano makes his Major League debut and lineups

The Nationals open a three-game series against the Dodgers tonight. Luis Atilano will make his MLB debut as the starting pitcher, in place of Jason Marquis who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Atilano was called up from Triple-A Syracuse earlier today and last pitched on Sunday. He went 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts at Syracuse.

“Atilano is the hottest guy up there and he really threw well in Spring Training,” GM Mike Rizzo said. “He is on the same rotation as Jason, so we don’t have to move anybody up or back. It’s a smooth transition with him. Plus, he is the guy who deserves the start on Friday out of the guys from Triple-A. We are comfortable with it and that is our short-term solution. We’ll see what happens in the long term.”

Dodgers (7-8):

1.      Rafael Furcal – SS

2.      Garret Anderson – LF

3.      Andre Ethier – RF

4.      Matt Kemp – CF

5.      James Loney – 1B

6.      Ronnie Belliard – 3B

7.      Blake DeWitt – 2B

8.      A.J. Ellis – C

9.      Charlie Haeger – SP (0-1. 7.20 ERA)

*Wednesday night the Dodgers scored in eight of nine innings, only coming up empty in the fourth frame. According to Dave Smith of retrosheet.org, that ties a franchise record also established on three other occasions. A team has scored in all nine innings just three times in history, most recently in 1999 when the Rockies did it to the Cubs at Wrigley.

* Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp leads the Major Leagues with 20 runs scored and is tied for the Big League lead in home runs (7) and RBI (20).

 

 Nationals (8-8):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

3.      Cristian Guzman – SS

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Willie Harris – 3B

8.      Justin Maxwell – RF

9.    Luis Atilano – SP (MLB Debut)

*The Nationals are 5-3 in their last eight games despite playing the Rockies (defending NL Wild Card winner), Brewers (rank 2nd in MLB in runs scored) and Phillies (defending NL Champions).

*The Nationals are tied for the NL lead having been charged with just three unearned runs this season, while last year–through 16 games–Washington had been burdened by 13 unearned runs.

*Ivan Rodriguez enters play tonight tied with the Royals Scott Podsednik for the MLB lead in batting average. Rodriguez is hitting .449 (22-for-49) with 7 doubles and 8 RBI to date.

 

Jimenez vs. Hernandez

If Ubaldo Jimenez and Livan Hernandez pitch today like they have been… this game will last two hours and end 1-0. Jimenez is coming off a no-hitter–he did walk six batters though–and Hernandez is coming off a complete game shutout and hasn’t allowed a run in 16.0 innings. Who will make the first mistake?

 

I bet you are thinking this must be the first time that a pitcher who just pitched a no-hitter is squaring off against a pitcher who just threw a complete game shutoutnot so fast, buddy. According to the people of infinite baseball knowledge at Elias Sports Bureau, this has happened once in the last 90 seasons. It came on May 17, 1996 at Wrigley Field, when the Marlins’ Al Leiter (no-hitter, May 11 vs. COL) and the Cubs’ Jim Bullinger (two-hit shutout, May 12 at NYM) toed the rubber. They both pitched well that afternoon–they allowed just three runs on six hits in 15.0 combined innings–as the Cubs prevailed, 3-1.

 

Ryan Zimmerman is not in today’s lineup after being pulled from last night’s game in the eighth inning with a cramp/strain in his right leg. This might be the only time you see today’s lineup. Zimmerman and Willingham are out. Cristian Guzman is starting in right field and Willie “The home run hitter” Harris is batting third–though he does have a career average of .400 (4-for-10) in the three hole.

 

Today’s starting lineups:

Rockies (7-8):

1.      Carlos Gonzalez – RF

2.      Dexter Fowler – CF

3.      Todd Helton – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Ian Stewart – 3B

6.      Ryan Spilborghs – LF

7.      Miguel Olivo – C

8.      Clint Barmes – 2B

9.      Ubaldo Jimenez – RHP (3-0, 1.29 ERA)

 

Nationals (8-7):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – RF

3.      Willie Harris – LF

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Pudge Rodriguez – C

6.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

7.      Ian Desmond – SS

8.      Alberto Gonzalez – 3B

9.      Livan Hernandez – RHP (2-0, 0.00 ERA)

Bullpen continues to come up big


Tyler Clippard standing.JPGThe Nats 2010 bullpen is becoming a well-oiled machine. It is pretty easy to see they are having fun too. Just watch them warm up once.

Here is a brief recap of the bullpen pitchers warming up on Tuesday. The bullpen pitchers are a team within a team and they are relegated to the right field corner when they warm up, right next to the spot they occupy during the game.

They say no man is an island, but the bullpen pitchers are basically on an island. They are isolated from the rest of the team during the game so it only makes sense to do it during practice too.

They don’t have to worry about BP or taking ground balls, aside from the occasional PFP (pitcher field position) drills. Left alone, they have created other clever ways to warm up. On Tuesday, they pretended they were star NFL receivers and ran deep post-corner and fly routes to the corner of the imaginary end zone, catching high fly balls and always making sure their toes were inbounds.

The next drill was a little more practical than running routes. They simulated hitters. In this one instance: Tyler Clippard pitched, Brian Bruney caught, Sean Burnett batted with his glove and Matt Capps provided commentary and called balls and strikes.

Bruney didn’t have to move his glove once and Capps did his best strike three punch out after each pitch. 

“We’re just having a good time,” Burnett said. “But at the same time, when I am in the box, it lets him visualize the hitter. So, in other words, you’re having a good time, but you’re also working on things.”

Burnett never swung his glove; he knew he never had a chance. Then again, not many batters do.

“I could have got a hit off him because I knew what was coming,” Burnett said with a big smile. “But no, not otherwise. I would probably have a really hard time.”

Clippard then switched spots with Bruney and he quickly revealed why he is a pitcher and not a catcher.

Clippard has been lights outs so far this season. He struck out 7 batters in 3.0 innings against the Mets on April 10. He is 3-0 with a 0.77 ERA and leads NL relievers with 11.2 innings pitched.

You have to be a different breed to be a member of the bullpen. You have to be ready to pitch every day and you have to flip that so called “switch” like a light at times. It helps to have a comedian too–it keeps things loose while watching a game a mile from the action.

“We got a great group of guys,” Burnett said. “We are a bunch of guys that get along and like to have a good time. You’ve got to be a little different in the bullpen or else it gets boring down there. But guys like Tyler Walker and stuff keep it real loose and make us laugh and smile. We have a good time. I think you have to be a close group of guys that help each other out and then battle through things.”

One of the Nats main priorities entering the offseason was revamping the bullpen. They did just that and it has paid immediate dividends.

Last year, the bullpen was a ticking time bomb that seemed to explode every outing. Last April, the bullpen went 0-8 with a 5.40 ERA (73.1 IP/ 44 ER) and blew seven of the ten save opportunities, three of which were in consecutive games against the Marlins in the ninth inning.

This year it is a different story. The bullpen was bolstered during the offseason and only Clippard and Burnett remain from the 2009 season.

We have a veteran group of guys,” Burnett said. “We have guys that have been relievers for awhile and have Big League experience. We have guys who go in there and throw strikes. I think that’s the biggest thing–that guys are going in and throwing strikes.”

The bullpen has been worked vigorously at times as some of the Nationals starters have struggled to hit their spots. It has put them  into some interesting predicaments this season–pitching 9.0 innings on Sunday and 7.0 innings on Tuesday–but they have thus far been able to weather the storm.

The long outings have slightly inflated their ERA to eighth in the NL. They are 4-2 with 4.75 ERA (60.2 IP/ 32 ER) and 7-for-8 in save opportunities. The key stat is Matt Capps is 7-for-7 in save opportunities in the ninth.

Looked at a slightly different way–when the Nats are close, ahead or the starter pitched at least five innings–the bullpen is 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA (19.1 IP/ 4 ER) with 20 strikeouts and a .224 BAA.

The bullpen has come up big in big games, and that has been the difference between 8-7 and 4-11.

The Minority Report: An in-depth look at the Nats’ Minor League system

The
Minor League Report (
Minor League Report.pdf
is a weekly window into the Nationals farm teams, with updated standings, league leaders, team and individual player stats, and the latest team and player news.

 

This Week’s Top Headline

DESTIN-ED TO SUCCEED: OF Destin Hood leads the Single-A South Atlantic League and ranks third in all of Minor League baseball with 22 hits. He ranks among SAL leaders in hitting (3rd, .407), total bases (4th, 29), OPS (8th, .955) and slugging percentage (10th, .537). The 20-year-old has hit safely in 12 of 13 games and is currently riding a seven-game hit streak. Hood, selected in the 2nd round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, opened the 2010 campaign rated as the No. 10 prospect in the Nationals chain according to Baseball America.

 


Chiefs 2.JPGTriple-A Syracuse Chiefs

International League North Division

8-4, 1st Place, 1.0 Game Ahead

 

WEEKEND AT BERNADINA’S: OF Roger Bernadina has hit safely in seven of his eight games, going 12-for-36 (.333) with one double, one triple, one homer, four RBI and four steals. Bernadina had a brief one-game stint with the Nationals earlier this season before being optioned to Syracuse on April 14.

 


072009-072b j.d. martin.JPGJUST DOMINANT: RHP J.D. Martin
is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA (6 ER/ 18.1 IP) in three starts to begin the season. Martin was a 2009 Triple-A International League All-Star and went 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts at the Big League level with Washington last season. Martin is scheduled to make his next start, Saturday vs. Rochester (Twins).

 

THE JOSHUA TREE: RHP Josh Wilkie played collegiately at nearby George Washington University and owns a 1.35 ERA (1 ER/ 6.2 IP) in four appearances. The 25-year-old has limited opponents to a .100 (2-for-24) batting average against. Wilkie signed with the club as a non-drafted free agent on June 14, 2006.

 

SOLID SLATE-N: LHP Doug Slaten has tossed 7.2 scoreless innings in four appearances this season. On Monday vs. Lehigh Valley (Phillies), he struck out five in 2.0 innings of relief and pocketed his first win of the 2010 campaign. For the season, the southpaw has 10 strikeouts and just one walk and lefties are just 2-for-11 (.182) against him. Slaten was claimed off waivers from Arizona on November 4, 2009.

 


senators-new-logo 1.JPGDouble-A Harrisburg Senators

Eastern League Southern Division

5-9, 5th Place, 5.5 Games Back

 

EVEN STEPHEN: Earlier today vs. Reading (Phillies), RHP Stephen Strasburg allowed just one hit and struck out six in 5.0 shutout innings to earn his second win this season. Strasburg is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA (1 ER/12.1 IP) in his first first starts as a professional. The 21-year-old hurler owns a 5.6/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (17 K/3 BB).

 


strasburg 100 c.jpgTHE ‘PEN IS MIGHTIER: 
The Senators’ bullpen has allowed just eight earned runs in 53.2 innings to post a 1.34 ERA through the season’s first 13 games. The seven relievers have combined on a .178 (32-for-179) batting average against.

 

DR. DREW: RHP Drew Storen was Washington’s 2nd selection in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and has posted a 1.42 ERA (1 ER/6.1 IP) and a .085 BAA (2-for-21) in five appearances on the young season. He has successfully converted both of his save opportunities too. In 2009, the Stanford product went a combined 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 28 appearances with Harrisburg, Potomac and Hagerstown.

 

EAZY-E: In 10.0 innings (four appearances) this season, RHP Erik Arnesen has posted a 0.90 ERA (1ER/12.0 IP) and a .132 BAA (5-for-38). Earlier today vs. Reading, Arnesen worked a perfect inning to record his first save of the season. In 2009, Arnesen’s 12 wins finished tied for first among Washington Minor Leaguers, while his 116 strikeouts ranked second. Arnesen was selected by Washington in the 17th round of the 2006 First-year Player Draft.

 

GET OUT OF MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CARR: RHP Adam Carr is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA (1 ER/8.0 IP) in 5 games. The Oklahoma State University product has struck out nine and walked none. Carr has worked at least 2.0 innings in three of his five appearances. The 26-year-old was Washington’s 18th-round selection in the 2006 Draft.

 


potomac nationals 1.JPGSingle-A Potomac Nationals

Carolina League Northern Division

4-8, 4th Place, 4.0 Games Back

 

EVAN ALMIGHTY: In his first start of the season, Sunday at Wilmington (Royals), LHP Evan Bronson tossed 5.0 scoreless innings of two-hit ball to record the win. Bronson is 1-0 with a  3.38 ERA (4 ER/10.2 IP) in four games (one start). The 23-year-old was a short-season Single-A New-York Penn League All-Star with Vermont in 2009.

 

ROB’S FAB: RHP Robinson Fabian has allowed just one earned run over 7.2 innings (1.23 ERA) in two starts with the P-Nats. Fabian, 24, was acquired along with RHP Ryan Mattheus in exchange for LHP Joe Beimel on July 31, 2009.

 


hagerstown suns 1.JPGSingle-A Hagerstown Suns

South Atlantic League Northern Division

6-7, T-4th Place, 2.0 Games Back

 

EVERY ROSENBAUM HAS HIS THORN: LHP Daniel Rosenbaum is 1-0 with a 0.52 ERA (1 ER/17.1 IP) in his first three starting assignments of 2010. The 22-year old southpaw has struck out 18 and walked just three (6.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio) and his .133 (8-for-60) batting average against ranks third in the SAL, while his minuscule WHIP of 0.63 ranks fifth. Rosenbaum was selected in the 22nd round of the 2009 Draft out of Xavier University (OH). 

 


Kobernus.jpgMULTI-HIT MADNESS: 2B Jeff Kobernus
has posted five multi-hit games in 10 starts to begin the season. Kobernus was Washington’s 2nd-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and has yet to commit an error in nine starts at second base.

Strasburg cruises and lineups

Stephen Strasburg continued his impressive start to the season today with a morning game–just the standard 10:30 a.m. start time–against the Reading Phils. So as your coffee was starting to kick in, Strasburg’s fastball was starting to dazzle and baffle Minor League batters. Strasburg’s first pitch was a 98 mph fastball. He picked up his second win and pitched 5.0 scoreless innings, striking out six and surrendering just one walk and a hit. He threw an economical 68 pitchers, 48 for strikes.

 

He is 2-0 with a 0.73 ERA (12.1 IP/ 1 ER) with 17 strikeouts and three walks in three starts.

Date               OPP       W      ERA      IP    H   R    ER  BB  SO      AVG

Apr. 11           @ALT    1        1.80       5.0   4   4      1      2         8     .200

Apr. 16           NBR       0        0.00       2.1   2   1      0      0         3     .222

Apr. 21           REA       1        0.00       5.0   1   0      0      1         6      .063

Totals                           2        0.73       12.1 6   5      1      3         17    .133

 

Here are tonight’s Lineups:

Rockies (7-7):

1.      Carlos Gonzalez – LF

2.      Dexter Fowler – CF

3.      Jason Giambi – 1B

4.      Troy Tulowitzki – SS

5.      Brad Hawpe – RF

6.      Melvin Mora – 3B

7.      Chris Ianetta – C

8.      Clint Barmes – 2B

9.      Jason Hammel – SP (0-1, 11.42 ERA)

 

Nationals (7-7):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – SS

3.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

4.      Adam Dunn – 1B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Willie Harris – RF

7.      Adam Kennedy – 2B

8.      Wil Nieves – C

9.      John Lannan- SP (1-1, 5.74 ERA)

*”The team’s had a little bit of adversity, and we’ve bounced back, which is a good sign,” Ian Desmond said. “We’re only getting better every day. I’m only getting better, the team’s only getting better, and we are definitely moving in the right direction.”

* The Nationals have plated 69 runs through the season’s initial 14 contests and that is the top 14-game run output recorded by the Nationals since MLB returned to DC in 2005. The best 14-game mark prior to this season was 64 runs recorded by both the 2005 and ’06 Nationals.

Capture the Caption

Capture the Caption: A picture is worth a 1,000 words but a caption is worth only 20. We want to hear your best caption for a few of the pictures we captured on Tuesday night. Send your captions to natstown@nationals.com or write them in the comments sections. If we like your caption… We will even send you a NatsTown T-shirt.


Spider man.jpgWhere is Spider-man and what is he doing using a cell phone?


Apolo Ohno.jpgThe most decorated winter Olympian stopped by Nationals Park to deliver the lineup card. Apolo Ohno relaxes by yawning, always puts his left skate on first and compared speed skating to riding a motorcycle around at hockey rink at 40 mph. He is kind of a big deal and that’s why everyone wanted a photo with him.


Morgan Speed skating 2.jpgNyjer Morgan, a former hockey player, just wanted to learn how to speed skate. A little practice in the outfield has him thinking the Olympics in 2014.


Morgan Speed skating 3.jpgSochi, Russia… here I come.


three kids.jpgThree peas in a pod.


Riggleman and the Ump.jpgRiggleman vs. Ump

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