Nationals Game Notes: April 22 vs. Minnesota

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Minnesota Twins (5-11) vs. Washington Nationals (11-4)
RHP Kyle Gibson [0-2, 3.57] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [0-0, 0.69]
Friday, April 22 l Game #16 / Home #7 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C.
Television: MASN / WUSA9 l Radio: 99.1 WDCH & Nationals Radio Network

4222016lineup.jpgSIGN ‘O’ THE TIMES
At 11-4 (.733), the Nationals have the second-best record in baseball and their 11-4 start matches the best start in Nationals history (2005-pres.)…The 2012 Nationals were also 11-4 through the first 15 games of the season.
The 11-4 start matches the best start of any D.C. based club…The 1913, 1925, 1930 and 1932 Washington Senators all started 11-4.
Only the 1981 Expos (12-3) posted a better record through 15 games in Nationals/Expos history.

THE ARMS OF ORION
Through the season’s first 15 games, the Nationals’ starting pitching staff has worked to a 2.31 ERA, behind only the Chicago Cubs (2.19) for the best in Major League Baseball.
Nationals’ starters also rank among MLB staffs in average against (2nd, .214), opp. slugging percentage (2nd, .310), hits per nine innings (2nd, 6.85), WHIP (4th, 1.09), home runs per nine innings (4th, 0.58) and opp. OBP (5th, .287).

I WANNA BE YOUR “GOLD” (G)LOVER
The Nationals, along with the New York Mets, have committed the fewest errors (4) in Major League Baseball and their .993 team fielding percentage is the best in MLB…The Nationals also rank tied for third in the National League with 18 double plays.
According to Baseball Prospectus, the Nationals rank third (.741) in the National League in “Defensive Efficiency” (the rate at which balls put into play are converted into outs) behind only the Chicago Cubs (.753) and Los Angeles Dodgers (.749)…In comparison, the 2015 Nationals ranked 21st in MLB in Defensive Efficiency at .700.

LET’S GO CRAZY
Nationals RF Bryce Harper leads Major League Baseball in OPS (1.255), RBI (22) and slugging percentage (.849) and his eight home runs are tied with COL SS Trevor Story for the MLB lead.
Harper extended his RBI-streak to a career-best eight games with solo home run on Thursday afternoon…The eight-game streak is tied for the second-longest in Nationals history (2005-pres.) behind Ryan Zimmerman’s nine-game streak, Sept. 3-12, 2012.
Harper is making his opportunities with runners on base count in a big way thus far this season…He is 8-for-15 (.533) with eight extra-base hits (four home runs, four doubles) and six walks (2 intentional) when he steps to the plate with men on…During his 2015 NL MVP campaign, Harper batted .336 in those situations, which ranked fifth in MLB (min: 200 such PA), per the Elias Sports Bureau.

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