Archive for the ‘ Author – Amanda Comak ’ Category

Nationals Magazine Preview: Kevin Frandsen; His Brother’s Keeper

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

The following is an excerpt from the August/September issue of Nationals Magazine. To read the full story, visit nationals.com/publications to find out how you can subscribe. The August/September issue of Nationals Magazine is on sale now, can be purchased at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park and is also available inside Nationals Park on gamedays.

by Amanda Comak

frandsen magFriends and family often tell Kevin Frandsen that it feels like yesterday that their world was shattered. That it seems as though hardly any time has passed since his older brother, DJ, retired from his 19-year battle with kidney cancer.

But this September it will be 10 years. And the Washington Nationals utility man has felt every second of DJ’s absence.

“If you told me it’s closer to 20 years, that’s what it’s felt like,” Frandsen said in late June. “Because when you lose your best friend (you feel it). Every day I talk to him, every single day.”

Frandsen paused and glanced at his surroundings. He sat on the edge of the dugout at Wrigley Field, a baseball cathedral, playing for a team that he calls “the winner you dream about being on,” and talked about how much he wishes DJ were here to see him now.

“Ten years,” Frandsen said. “It’s nuts.”

Frandsen’s memories of DJ are so vivid, so present in his mind. He smiles when he talks about the day he got drafted by the San Francisco Giants, and about how DJ cheered him up when the wait to hear his name languished past the 11th round. Frandsen had retreated to the batting cage their dad, Dave, had built in their backyard. Over the years, it’d become Kevin’s sanctuary. When he couldn’t be with the rest of his family at the hospital with DJ, he’d hit.

“DJ had just gotten back from another round of chemo and I was getting frustrated because I hadn’t been drafted yet and it was the eighth or ninth round,” Frandsen recalled. “I went into the cage to get away and at the end of the 11th round he was like, ‘You need to come back in. It’s time. You’re going to get drafted.'”

With the 29th pick in the 12th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, the Giants called Frandsen’s name.

“They give the number, and then they said ‘Frandsen, Kevin,'” Frandsen said. “And DJ, he could barely run. Walking was tough. But he was running outside with his shirt off.”

That year, as Frandsen began his professional career, DJ and Dave surprised him and showed up at his first game. The last time DJ ever saw Kevin play, he went 4-for-4 with two doubles. Later that season, Frandsen was playing a ground ball at second when the runner on first collided with him and broke his collar bone.

The injury was crushing. But it was also a blessing. In the final seven weeks of DJ’s life, the injury allowed Kevin to spend each day with his big brother — who is three years, five days older, Kevin is quick to point out.

DJ passed away on Sept. 16, 2004. He was 25. He’d fought cancer off and on since he was six.

In the years since DJ’s passing, Frandsen and his family have ensured that he would be a part of their everyday life, and that families going through what theirs did might have a slightly easier road. They set up “19 for Life” in DJ’s honor, and the foundation has become exactly the type of shining light they’d hoped it would.

Mag3_CoverTo continue reading “His Brother’s Keeper” on Nationals utility man Kevin Frandsen, along with more great content from Nationals Magazine, please visit nationals.com/publications, or pick up a copy at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park, as well as inside Nationals Park on gamedays.

Nationals Game Notes — Aug. 22 vs. San Francisco

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 127: Washington Nationals (73-53) vs. San Francisco Giants (67-59) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Doug Fister (12-3, 2.20 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (8-9, 3.03)
Both Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister (9th, 1.61/1) and San Francisco Giants right-hander Tim Hudson (2.33/1) rank among the top 10 among current National League pitchers in ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN and MLBNetwork
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • The Nationals are on a 10-game winning streak, which is tied for the longest streak in team history. Of the 10 consecutive victories, seven have been of the one-run variety, five were comeback wins, and five were walk-off wins. During the 10-gamer, Washington has outscored its opponents, 46-23, and is batting .275 with 10 homers, but the keys have been pitching (1.82 team ERA, 1.34 ERA from starting staff) and defense (seven errorless games).

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

NATIONALS (73-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
58 Doug Fister (L) RHP

GIANTS (67-59)

16 Angel Pagan (S) CF
8 Hunter Pence RF
28 Buster Posey C
48 Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
38 Michael Morse LF
12 Joe Panik (L) 2B
45 Travis Ishikawa (L) 1B
35 Brandon Crawford (L) SS
17 Tim Hudson RHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — Aug. 19 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 124: Washington Nationals (70-53) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (53-72) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Stephen Strasburg (9-10, 3.53 ERA) vs. RHP Chase Anderson (7-4, 3.16)
With a National League-leading 194 strikeouts, Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg appears likely to eclipse his current career high of 197, set in 2012.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Nationals have won three straight games despite trailing in the eighth inning or later for just the second time in their 10 seasons representing The District. In 2006, from Aug. 21 – Sept. 3, the Nationals won four straight games while overcoming late (8th inning or later) deficits. Coincidentally, three of those four comeback wins in 2006 came during a three-game home sweep of the Diamondbacks, Sept. 2-3.

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

NATIONALS (70-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
59 Jose Lobaton (S) C
37 Stephen Strasburg RHP

Diamondbacks (53-72)

5 Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2 Aaron Hill 2B
6 David Peralta (L) RF
15 Mark Trumbo LF
26 Miguel Montero (L) C
31 Jordan Pacheco 1B
19 Jake Lamb (L) 3B
1 Didi Gregorious (L) SS
57 Chase Anderson RHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — Aug. 18 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 123: Washington Nationals (69-53) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (53-71) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-5, 2.92 ERA) vs. LHP Vidal Nuno (0-3, 3.92)
Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann entered this month with a 3.94 career ERA in August, but is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three August starts thus far this season.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • The Nationals swept both the Mets (3-0 at Citi Field) and Pirates (3-0 here in DC) last week, and in doing so, pieced together consecutive series sweeps for the first time since June 8-13, 2012 (3-0 at Boston, 3-0 at Toronto)

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

NATIONALS (69-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
27 Jordan Zimmermann RHP

Diamondbacks (53-71)

5 Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2 Aaron Hill 2B
6 David Peralta (L) RF
15 Mark Trumbo LF
26 Miguel Montero (L) C
31 Jordan Pacheco 1B
19 Jake Lamb (L) 3B
1 Didi Gregorious (L) SS
54 Vidal Nuno (L) LHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — Aug. 17 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 122: Washington Nationals (68-53) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-59) | 5:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Doug Fister (12-3, 2.34 ERA) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (10-7, 3.67)
Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister got the nod and earned the win with 7.0 scoreless innings in Washington’s lone victory (W5-2, May 25) during a four-game visit to PNC Park in late May.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN2
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • The Nationals enter tonight’s series finale with a chance to do something they’ve never done: take the season series from the Pirates in spite of losing the first three match-ups between the teams. In 10 seasons in Washington, the Nationals have never won a seven-game season series after dropping the first three games to an opponent. 

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

NATIONALS (68-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
18 Michael A. Taylor RF
58 Doug Fister (L) RHP

PIRATES (64-59)

25 Gregory Polanco (L) RF
5 Josh Harrison SS
18 Neil Walker (S) 2B
55 Russell Martin C
24 Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
6 Starling Marte CF
23 Travis Snider (L) LF
15 Ike Davis (L) 1B
36 Edinson Volquez RHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — Aug. 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 121: Washington Nationals (67-53) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-58) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-9, 4.00 ERA) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (4-3, 3.98)
Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 3.28 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates, and his clubs are a perfect 4-0 (3-0 as a National, 1-0 as an Athletic) in those games.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN and WUSA9
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • The Nationals lead the National League (3rd in the Major Leagues) in run differential at +90 (504 for, 414 against). MLB’s top four teams in run differential: Oakland Athletics (+163), Seattle Mariners (+94), Washington Nationals (+90), Los Angeles Angels (+87).

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

NATIONALS (67-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
19 Kevin Frandsen LF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
8 Danny Espinosa 2B
47 Gio Gonzalez LHP

PIRATES (64-58)

5 Josh Harrison SS
25 Gregory Polanco (L) RF
55 Russell Martin C
6 Starling Marte CF
17 Gaby Sanchez 1B
24 Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
27 Jayson Nix 2B
23 Travis Snider (L) LF
49 Jeff Locke LHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — August 15 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 120: Washington Nationals (66-53) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (64-57) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Tanner Roark (11-7, 2.86 ERA) vs. RHP Charlie Morton (5-1, 3.62)
Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark, who faces the Pirates for the first time, has allowed one earned run or fewer in 13 of his last 20 starts, dating to Apr. 21.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • Ian Desmond is one of just nine shortstops the last 40 years (1974 – present) to hit at least 20 home runs (exclusively as a shortstop) in at least three consecutive seasons:
    Cal Ripken Jr., 1982-1991
    Alex Rodriguez, 1996-2002
    Nomar Garciaparra, 1997-1999
    Rich Aurilia, 1999-2001
    Miguel Tejada, 1999-2006
    Hanley Ramirez, 2007-2010
    Troy Tulowitzki, 2009-2011
    JJ Hardy, 2011-2013
    Ian Desmond, 2012-2014

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

NATIONALS (66-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
18 Michael A. Taylor RF
57 Tanner Roark RHP

PIRATES (64-57)

5 Josh Harrison SS
25 Gregory Polanco (L) RF
55 Russell Martin C
18 Neil Walker (S) 2B
6 Starling Marte CF
23 Travis Snider (L) LF
15 Ike Davis (L) 1B
24 Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
50 Charlie Morton RHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — August 12 at New York Mets

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 117: Washington Nationals (63-53) at New York Mets (57-62) | 7:10 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Doug Fister (11-3, 2.49 ERA) vs. RHP Rafael Montero (0-2, 5.40)
Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA (7 ER/35.0 IP) in five starts this season when pitching on “extra rest” (more than the standard four days).
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN@
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • Anthony Rendon’s team-leading 81 runs are tied for second in the Major Leagues behind only Minnesota’s Brian Dozier (83). Rendon is on pace to score 100 runs in a single season, a threshold only met three times by a National: Alfonso Soriano(119 in 2006), Ryan Zimmerman (110 in 2009) and Nick Johnson (100 in 2006).
    Denard Span ranks second among MLB leadoff hitters with 71 runs scored (St. Louis’s Matt Carpenter, 74).

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

NATIONALS (63-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
18 Michael Taylor RF
58 Doug Fister RHP

METS (57-62)

3 Curtis Granderson (L) RF
28 Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
5 David Wright 3B
21 Lucas Duda (L) 1B
15 Travis d’Arnaud C
6 Matt den Dekker (L) LF
12 Juan Lagares CF
4 Wilmer Flores SS
22 Eric Young Jr. (S) LF

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

Nationals recall OF Michael A. Taylor, place OF Steven Souza Jr. on 15-day DL

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

by Amanda Comak

In need of outfield reinforcements, the Washington Nationals recalled top outfield prospect Michael A. Taylor from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday afternoon and placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on the 15-day Disabled List with a left shoulder contusion.
Taylor, 23, joins the Nationals after hitting .315 with 20 doubles, 22 home runs, 63 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 102 Minor League games this season, spread across Double-A Harrisburg (98 games) and Triple-A Syracuse (four games). Taylor, who will wear No. 18, awaits his Major League debut.
Taylor, who entered the 2014 season ranked as the Nationals’ No. 6 overall prospect by Baseball America and the organization’s “Best Athlete,” was drafted as a shortstop in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He shifted to the outfield in 2011 and quickly earned a reputation as an elite defender.
Promoted to the Triple-A level for the first time on Monday, Taylor went 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles, a triple, two RBI and four walks in four games for the Chiefs. Before leaving Harrisburg, Taylor hit .313 with 41 extra-base hits (17 doubles, two triples, 22 home runs), 61 RBI, 50 walks and 34 stolen bases. His .935 OPS currently ranks second among all qualified Double-A players this season. Last month, Taylor represented the Nationals in MLB’s Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Souza Jr. has played in 13 Major League games for the Nationals, going 1-for-12 at the plate. He collected his first big league hit, a single off Dan Jennings, on April 15 at Marlins Park.

Nationals Game Notes — August 7 vs. New York Mets

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

Game No. 113: Washington Nationals (61-51) vs. New York Mets (54-60) | 12:35 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.00 ERA) vs. RHP Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.77)
Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has not allowed a home run at Nationals Park in nine starts (55.0 innings). The last home run hit off him in this ballpark was off the bat of Miami’s Derek Dietrich on April 9.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM  and also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: Today’s game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • The Nationals have played error-less baseball in 41 of their last 53 games, dating to June 7. In that eight-plus week span, the Nationals pace the Major Leagues with a .992 fielding percentage. The Seattle Mariners (.992) and Baltimore Orioles (.990) rank second and third, respectively. The Nationals’ monthly error totals: Mar./Apr. (26), May (20), June (8), July (10), Aug. (2).

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

NATIONALS (61-51)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 2B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
59 Jose Lobaton (S) C
27 Jordan Zimmermann RHP

METS (54-60)

3 Curtis Granderson (L) RF
28 Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
5 David Wright 3B
21 Lucas Duda (L) 1B
12 Juan Lagares CF
4 Wilmer Flores SS
20 Anthony Recker C
48 Jacob deGrom (L) RHP
22 Eric Young Jr. (S) LF

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 549 other followers