Archive for the ‘ Signature Moments ’ Category

Today in Nationals’ History: Nationals officially sold to Lerner family

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Lerners

May 3, 2006 – Major League Baseball officially sold the Nationals to a group led by Theodore N. Lerner, a Maryland-based real estate developer, for $450 million. In 2002, the 29 other big league owners collectively bought the Montreal Expos for $120 million, and then moved the franchise to Washington, D.C. in 2005. The Lerner family has owned and operated the Washington Nationals ever since this date 10 years ago.

Today in Nationals’ History: Bryce Harper makes his MLB debut

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April 28, 2012Bryce Harper made a memorable MLB debut at Dodger Stadium. In an intense contest, Harper went 1-for-3 with a seventh-inning double off Chad Billingsley and one RBI, which came via a go-ahead sac fly in the ninth inning. However, the Dodgers tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth and won it in the 10th on Matt Kemp’s solo blast, his team-record 11th April homer.

April 28, 2015 – Dan Uggla’s towering three-run home run off Atlanta closer Jason Grilli capped Washington’s 13-12 come-from-behind win at Turner Field. Trailing 9-1 and 10-2 at different points in the game, the Nationals mounted the largest comeback win in Nationals history (2005-pres.). A.J. Cole made his MLB debut, but only lasted two innings before giving way to the Nationals’ bullpen.

Today in Nationals’ History: Soriano becomes first National with 3-homer game

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Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

 

April 21, 2006 – After a two-hour, 18-minute rain delay at the start of the game, Alfonso Soriano blasted three home runs in Washington’s 7-3 home win vs. Atlanta. Soriano, thus, became the first National (2005- ) to hit three homers in a single game, and the first to hit more than one homer in a game at RFK Stadium.

April 21, 2015 – Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the 10th inning, Yunel Escobar took the first pitch he saw from Carlos Villaneuva and deposited it in the St. Louis Cardinals’ bullpen to propel the Nationals to the 2-1 win. Gio Gonzalez spun 6.0 shutout innings but was not able to record the win, as the Cardinals tied the game in the ninth, sending the game into extras.

Today in Nationals’ History: Major League Baseball returns to D.C.

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April 14, 2005 – In the first Major League game played in Washington D.C. since September 30, 1971, the Nationals beat the Diamondbacks at RFK Stadium, 5-3. President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch after receiving the ball from Joe Grzenda, the former Washington Senators reliever who threw the final pitch in Senators’ history. Livan Hernandez earned the win, allowing three earned runs on three hits in 8.1 innings of work. Vinny Castilla hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning.

Ryan Zimmerman: Still Mr. Walkoff after all these years

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by Amanda Comak

Ryan Zimmerman is used to this by now. Ninth inning, 10th inning, game on the line, standing at home plate. He’s used to hearing his bat crack, watching the flight of the ball, moving his way toward first base, thrusting that right arm in the air. He’s used to flipping his helmet away and diving into a pile of waiting, happy teammates.

He’s used to it, because, quite frankly, since he hit his first walk-off home run on June 18, 2006 — in the 88th game of his career — no one in the Major Leagues has done it more.

Zimmerman’s latest walk-off home run, a two-run shot that clanked off the right field foul pole and into the home team’s bullpen at Nationals Park on Tuesday night, was the 10th of the first baseman’s career. Ten. Some players — good players — go entire careers without hitting one. Zimmerman has hit 10.

“Pretty special, isn’t it?” Nationals Manager Matt Williams said after Tuesday’s game. “You don’t realize things like that until it’s pointed out. It just means he knows what he’s doing.”

Zimmerman is now in some heady company. The most walk-off home runs hit in National League history? He’s third on a list that starts with Stan Musial (12) and Tony Perez (11), and tied on that list with Mike Schmidt (10), Albert Pujols (10), and Barry Bonds (10). Among active players, only Pujols (11) and David Ortiz (11) have hit more walk-off home runs in their careers than Zimmerman. Pujols is in his 15th season. Ortiz is in his 19th.

So, as this is the Nationals’ 10th-Anniversary season, let’s take a walk down memory lane and check out each and every one of Zimmerman’s 10 walk-offs.

May 19, 2015 — Nationals vs. Yankees, tied 6-6, bottom of the 10th vs. LHP Andrew Miller:

July 26, 2013 — Nationals vs. Mets, tied 1-1, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP LaTroy Hawkins:

August 19, 2011 — Nationals vs. Phillies, tied 4-4, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Ryan Madson (walk-off Grand Slam):

July 31, 2010 — Nationals vs. Phillies, behind 4-5, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Brad Lidge:

July 6, 2010 — Nationals vs. Padres, tied 5-5, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Luke Gregerson: 

September 6, 2009 — Nationals vs. Marlins, behind 3-4, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo:

March 30, 2008 — Nationals vs. Braves, tied 2-2, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Peter Moylan:

May 12, 2007 — Nationals vs. Marlins, tied 3-3, bottom of the ninth vs. Jorge Julio (walk-off Grand Slam):

July 4, 2006 — Nationals vs. Marlins, down 3-4, bottom of the ninth vs. Joe Borowski:

June 18, 2006 — Nationals vs. Yankees, down 1-2, bottom of the ninth vs. Chien-Ming Wang:

Signature Moments: Last Man Standing —

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During the marathon of a 162-game baseball season, there are thrilling moments that highlight the successes of every club, from the front runner to the cellar dweller. The 2014 Washington Nationals are no exception, as they have sparked excitement throughout The District while returning to postseason play for the second time in three years.

Prior to Jordan Zimmermann’s no-hitter on the final day of the regular season, perhaps no single-game “Signature Moment” was more prominent than Adam LaRoche’s effort in an extra-inning win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 3.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the ninth inning and with LaRoche expecting to miss the game while resting a sore back, the first baseman was called upon to pinch-hit. All he did was belt a game-tying, two-run homer. Two innings later, he gave the Nationals a lead with a two-run single, and later beat out a fielder’s choice grounder to give the Nationals the lead yet again. Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera punctuated the victory with a long blast of his own, and Washington skipped out of LA with an 8-5 win — along with the season tie-breaker over the Dodgers in the quest for home-field advantage in the NL playoffs.

LAST MAN STANDING | 9.3

 

Adam LaRoche tied a Major League record with five RBI in a game in which he entered in the ninth inning or later.

Signature Moments: Rally Pigeon — August 24

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During the marathon of a 162-game baseball season, there are thrilling moments that highlight the successes of every club, from the front runner to the cellar dweller. The 2014 Washington Nationals are no exception, as they have sparked excitement throughout The District while returning to postseason play for the second time in three years.

After trailing 5-0 in their contest of the San Francisco Giants, the Nationals’ bats came alive in a huge, 14-6 victory. Ten consecutive batters reached safely in a six-run sixth inning, turning a 6-2 deficit into an 8-6 lead, all while a friendly pigeon viewed the action from a patch of grass in shallow left-center field. The comeback, which helped the Nationals go 9-1 in a 10-game, late-August homestand, earned a spot in our top “Signature Moments” of the 2014 regular season.

RALLY PIGEON | 8.24

 

Down 5-0 to the San Francisco Giants, the Nationals rallied for a huge win — with the help of a feathery friend.

A day of celebration

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by Mike Feigen

For 20 teams throughout the major leagues, the day after the conclusion of the regular season is often a time for reflection, a chance to digest a year of ups and downs, of wins and losses, of hopes dashed and chances blown. For 10 others, it is an opportunity to look forward to the postseason, to dream of a magical championship run yet to be scripted.

The Washington Nationals are one of those fortunate 10 — but the looking forward part can wait, at least for one day.

Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014, a picturesque afternoon in the nation’s capital, brought a sense of history to a town built upon extraordinary achievements. Jordan Zimmermann, the stoic leader of a dominant pitching staff, entered Game No. 162 of the regular season looking to log a few innings of work as a tune-up for the playoffs.

Instead, he threw the first no-hitter in Nationals history.

the Washington Nationals playt the Miami MarlinsZimmermann, 28 years old with the number 27 on his back, turned in a performance worthy of the history books. The right-hander struck out 10 Miami Marlins, walked just one and needed just 104 pitches to complete his effort. He became the third D.C.-based hurler to record a no-hitter, following in the footsteps of Hall of Famer Walter Johnson (July 1, 1920) and the less-heralded Bobby Burke (Aug. 8, 1931).

He also needed help from his defense.

Rookie outfielder Steven Souza Jr., inserted by manager Matt Williams into left field in the top of the ninth inning with the Nationals still clinging to a 1-0 lead, made one of the finest game-ending catches in Nationals history. The 6-foot-4, 224-pound thoroughbred reacted quickly as Marlins leadoff hitter Christian Yelich drove a 2-1 fastball deep toward the gap in left-center, turning and galloping back and to his left as the ball hurtled through the air. Gaining ground on the deep liner, Souza Jr. left his feet, glove on his left hand outstretched, his open right hand ready to protect the ball, his body nearly horizontal to the ground.

The crowd of 35,085, standing and roaring throughout the final inning, briefly fell silent. Zimmermann, whose head dropped upon contact, turned to watch the final few feet of the flight of the ball — and the final few feet of Souza Jr.’s leap.

Then, bedlam.

Zimmermann raised both arms high, Souza Jr. raised his glove in the air, ball secure in its webbing, as teammates rushed toward the center of the diamond. For a surreal 30 seconds, Nationals Park became a deafeningly loud sea of high-fives, with families sharing memories and strangers hugging red-clad strangers, beneath the canopy of a perfect, blue, late-September sky.

It was an immaculate ending. It could be a beautiful beginning. October awaits.

Signature Moments: NAT10NALS — August 12-21

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During the marathon of a 162-game baseball season, there are thrilling moments that highlight the successes of every club, from the front runner to the cellar dweller. The 2014 Washington Nationals are no exception, as they have sparked excitement throughout The District while returning to postseason play for the second time in three years.

Beginning with a three-game sweep of the Mets in New York and concluding with seven straight home wins over the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks, the Nationals went on a 10-game winning streak for the ages. The streak included a remarkable seven one-run victories, including five walk-offs in a six-day span. Collectively, the 10 victories easily made our list for the top “Signature Moments” of 2014.

NAT10NALS | 8.12–8.21

 

With victories in 10 straight games, including five walk-offs in six days, the Nationals took complete control of the National League East.

Signature Moments: Bryce’s Blast — August 7

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During the marathon of a 162-game baseball season, there are thrilling moments that highlight the successes of every club, from the front runner to the cellar dweller. The 2014 Washington Nationals are no exception, as they have sparked excitement throughout The District while returning to postseason play for the second time in three years.

Bryce Harper’s 2014 season was an up-and-down affair, as the third-year outfielder suffered a thumb injury in late April and missed two months of action. When he returned to the lineup, his teammates caught fire, but Harper was still searching for his swing entering the final game of a three-game series against the New York Mets. In the bottom of the 13th inning of that Aug. 7 contest, Harper crushed a fastball into the left-field seats, breaking his slump and jumpstarting his production at the plate, while certainly providing one of the “Signature Moments” of the 2014 campaign.

BRYCE’S BLAST | 8.7

 

Bryce Harper’s walk-off home run sparked a big stretch run from the Nationals’ left fielder.

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