May 2014

Nationals Game Notes — May 31 vs. Texas Rangers

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Game #54: Washington Nationals (26-27) vs. Texas Rangers (28-27) | 12:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Doug Fister (2-1, 3.42 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch (2-0, 2.95 ERA)
Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister’s four career wins over the Texas Rangers (postseason included) have all occurred when pitching at “home” (three at Comerica Park, one at Safeco Field).
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN and MLBNetwork
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

With three  more hits on Friday night vs. the Rangers, Nationals outfielder Denard Span is hitting .367 (18-for-49) in his last 10 games, during which he has registered seven multi-hit efforts. Span also leads the Nationals with 11 extra-base hits (nine doubles, triple, home run) in the month of May.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s match-up:

Nationals (26-27)

7  Denard Span  CF
6  Anthony Rendon  3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
15 Nate McLouth LF
8  Danny Espinosa 2B
59 Jose Lobaton  C
58 Doug Fister P

Rangers (28-27)

17 Shin-Soo Choo LF
1  Evlis Andrus SS
18 Mitch Moreland 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
51 Alex Rios RF
61 Robinson Chirinos C
2 Leonys Martin CF
73 Rougned Odor 2B
23 Nick Tepesch P

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

A means to END (NF)

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by Amanda Comak

It began with a tweet. A simple request: “Pray for me.”

Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond was new to Twitter in 2012 when he saw the tweet come across on an account called Unashamed Athletes. He replied. The person on the other end wrote back. A friendship was born.

Desmond didn’t know anything about Ethan Brown the first time he corresponded with the now-22-year-old.

The first time he prayed for him.

300x400_ianHe didn’t know about his quick wit or his personality bursting with life. And he didn’t know about the Neurofibromatosis that was attacking Ethan’s body, causing tumors to grow along his nerves and forcing his body to belie the bubbly young adult inside.

He didn’t know what Neurofibromatosis was to begin with.

May is Neurofibromatosis Awareness month, and in conjunction with that, Desmond set out this season to honor his friend and bring a voice to those largely without one. Neurofibromatosis is not exceedingly rare. It affects one in every 3,000 births. It doesn’t discriminate based on sex, race or nationality.

It is also mostly unknown – to the public and to the scientific community.

“NF, to me, and to a lot of people, is something you’ve never heard of,” Desmond said at the start of the month as he kicked off an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. “I want to get the word out.”

The campaign, the brainchild of Desmond and a group of fan bloggers known as The Nationals Archive, reached its $10,000 goal in the first five days of the month and is closing in on $30,000 as the end of the month nears. But that was always secondary to the real aim of the campaign: spreading the word about NF.

“There needs to be a cure,” Ethan said in a message when asked the one thing he wanted people to know about NF. “I went from walking and running to being in a wheelchair or crawling (in a short amount of time).”

The first time Desmond met Ethan in person was at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Nationals’ shortstop reached out his hand to shake Ethan’s. With a tumor growing on his hand, Ethan recoiled and screamed as if in pain. Desmond froze. Ethan began to laugh.

“That was when I knew, this kid is something special,” Desmond said. “If you could read our conversations you’d have no idea this kid was going through any kind of life struggle.”

Over the winter, Desmond and Ethan agreed to get matching tattoos of a design they came up with together. Ethan already has his: a crest of blue and green puzzle pieces – blue and green for NF colors and puzzle pieces because the condition remains a mystery – and two bats behind it to represent Desmond. Both of their initials are in the crest, and beneath it is a banner: End NF.

“I never thought in a million years I’d be friends with an MLB player,” Ethan said. “He is like a brother to me.”

Desmond has led and participated in plenty of charitable causes in the past. He did most of those quietly, preferring to fly under the radar. But this one was different.

“It’s just the fact that it was (a cause) that needed it,” Desmond said. “It just needs to be spread. I don’t know if it’s that Ethan’s involved and I have a special place in my heart for Ethan, but it’s also that the Children’s Tumor Foundation was the first place to reach out to him, and to be the first (organization) on the scene speaks volumes about them.

“It was an opportunity to help (CTF) out and to help out people who really don’t have a voice, the people who suffer from NF. It is something I want to do for NF. I want people to know what NF is for all of the people suffering from it.”

For more information, visit nationals.com/endNF

A version of this story first appeared in Inside Pitch.

Nationals Minor League Report

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Welcome back to the 2014 Minor League Report, a comprehensive collection of notes from the Washington Nationals PR staff that highlights the outstanding performers in the Nationals’ Minor League system through the last few weeks.

To view this report on your full screen, please click the icon in the bottom right corner of the notes.

Enjoy!

Previous Minor League reports:

April 23, 2014

Nationals Game Notes — May 28 vs. Miami Marlins

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Game #52: Washington Nationals (25-26) vs. Miami Marlins (27-25) | 1:35 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 3.95 ERA) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.21 ERA)
The Washington Nationals have won seven straight games over the Miami Marlins when right-hander Jordan Zimmermann gets the starting nod, and are 5-0 in games started by Henderson Alvarez (4-0 with Miami, 1-0 with Toronto).
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

The Nationals’ catchers, with a little help from Steve McCatty’s pitching staff, currently rank second in all of the Major Leagues in catching would-be base stealers. The Nationals’ backstops have gunned down 12 of 31 (38.7%) potential base stealers this year (pitcher caught stealings excluded). In all of the Major Leagues, only the St. Louis Cardinals (52%, 13 of 25) have posted a higher percentage this season than Washington.

Last year, the Nationals ranked 29th out of the 30 clubs, throwing out just 14 percent (15 of 110) of potential base stealers.

Here are the lineups for tonight’s match-up:

NATIONALS (25-26)
# PLAYERS POS
2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
40 Wilson Ramos C
20 Ian Desmond SS
19 Kevin Frandsen 2B
15 Nate McLouth (L) LF
27 Jordan Zimmermann RHP
MARLINS (27-25)
# PLAYERS POS
21 Christian Yelich (L) LF
32 Derek Dietrich (L) 2B
27 Giancarlo Stanton RF
9 Casey McGehee 3B
46 Garrett Jones (L) 1B
39 Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S) C
13 Marcell Ozuna CF
3 Adeiny Hechavarria SS
37 Henderson Alvarez RHP

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

 

Nationals honor members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors on Memorial Day

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In honor of our nation’s service members, the Washington Nationals hosted the second game of their 2014 Patriot Series on Monday, Memorial Day, against the Miami Marlins.

The festivities included mini American flags handed out to the first 20,000 fans, presented by SAIC, as well as more than 200 tickets donated by SAIC to members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and their loved ones.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, U.S. Air Force Headquarters. The lineup card was delivered by Bonnie Carroll, the President and Founder of TAPS. The National Anthem and God Bless America were sung beautifully by Lieutenant Colonel Rose-Ann Lynch, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. Children and military mentors from TAPS served as the Nationals’ starting eight, and the Play Ball announcement was said by Nazzic Keene, the SAIC Sector President.

Here are a few more highlights from the day:

 

Nationals Game Notes — May 26 vs. Miami Marlins

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Game #51: Washington Nationals (25-25) vs. Miami Marlins (26-25) | 1:35 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Tanner Roark (3-2, 3.42 ERA) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-2, 3.41 ERA)
Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark has faced 224 right-handed hitters in his brief career and allowed just eight extra-base hits, all doubles. In 11 career games (five starts) at Nationals Park, Roark is 5-1 with one hold and a 0.78 ERA.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN and WUSA
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

When he hits his next home run, Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will pass Adam Dunn and assume second place on the Nationals’ all-time home run list. Ryan Zimmerman is the leader:

RK PLAYER (SEASONS IN DC)                         HR AS A NATIONAL
1. Ryan Zimmerman (2005-present) …………………………….. 181
T2. Ian Desmond (2009-present) …………………………………….76
T2. Adam Dunn (2009-10) ……………………………………………….76
4. Michael Morse (2009-12) …………………………………………..67
5. Adam LaRoche (2011-present)……………………………………61

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

Nationals Game Notes — May 20 vs. Cincinnati Reds

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Game #45: Washington Nationals (23-21) vs. Cincinnati Reds (20-23) | 7:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Doug Fister (0-1, 4.76 ERA) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (4-2, 1.25 ERA)
Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister makes his D.C. debut as a member of the Nationals, while Cincinnati Reds righty Johnny Cueto comes into the match-up with seven quality starts in eight career assignments against the Nationals. Cueto is averaging eight innings per start this season and allowing an average of 1.1 runs per game.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

The Washington Nationals’ relievers lead all Major League bullpens in ERA at 2.08 (34 Earned Runs in 147.1 Innings Pitched). Only the bullpens of the San Diego Padres (2.18 ERA) and San Francisco Giants (2.21 ERA) join the Nationals with sub-2.50 ERAs.

Todd Frazier‘s two-run home run in the 15th inning on Monday night ended a 27.1 consecutive scoreless innings streak by the Nationals ‘pen. However, the 27.1 scoreless established a new team record (2005-present), eclipsing the previous mark of 23.3 innings (from Sept. 11 – 17, 2011).

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

 

Nationals visit Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

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On the heels of Armed Forces day, a group of Washington Nationals visited the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday morning, spending time with wounded veterans who were undergoing physical therapy and joining active duty service members for lunch in the new USO center that recently opened on the base.

The visit, which is one the players look forward to each year, is always a humbling experience. This year’s was no different.

Nationals Game Notes — May 19 vs. Cincinnati Reds

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Game #44: Washington Nationals (23-20) vs. Cincinnati Reds (19-23) | 7:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Stephen Strasburg (3-3, 3.48 ERA) vs. RHP Mike Leake (2-3, 3.09 ERA)
Both Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg (No. 1 overall, San Diego State) and Cincinnati Reds’ right-hander Mike Leake (No. 8 overall, Arizona State) were Top 10 picks in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

The Washington Nationals have received more home runs from their middle infielders (15) than any other team in the Major Leagues. The Colorado Rockies rank second with 14.

Here’s the breakdown:

Second basemen: 7
Danny Espinosa: 6, Anthony Rendon: 1
Shortstops: 8
Ian Desmond: 7, Zach Walters: 1

Here are tonight’s game notes, courtesy of the Washington Nationals PR department. Enjoy!

Stephen Strasburg stars in ‘This is SportsCenter’ ad

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Washington Nationals’ right-hander Stephen Strasburg stars in a brand new ‘This is SportsCenter’ ad, which debuted on Sunday night.

The ad, which was filmed in January, features the Nationals’ ace hanging out in the lunchroom at the ESPN headquarters while D.C.-area native Bram Weinstein searches the freezer frantically for his lean cuisine.

We won’t give away any more, just take a look for yourself:

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