2016 was an exciting season for the Nationals. Not only did we win 95 games and our third division title in five years, but the season was filled with several personal milestones for our players! Today we’re taking a look back at the 2016 season through a few of those milestone numbers:
20 (SCHERZER) – Nationals RHP Max Scherzer joined an exclusive club on May 11th vs. the Detroit Tigers as he became just the fourth pitcher in Major League history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game, joining Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood and Roger Clemens in the elite club. Scherzer and Johnson are now the only pitchers in MLB history to have a no-hitter and a 20-strikeout game on their resume. Scherzer’s 20 K’s are a franchise record (Nationals/Expos) and the most in D.C.-baseball history since Tom Cheney struck out 21 batters on Sept. 12, 1962 at Baltimore, but in a 16-inning performance. Fourteen of his 20 K’s were swinging strikeouts and, per ESPN Stats & Information, his 33 swings-and-misses were the second-most in a game in any of the past 15 seasons, tying Jeremy Bonderman (2004) and just behind Clayton Kershaw (2015). In addition, Scherzer’s complete-game win over Detroit gave him at least one win over all 30 teams in Major League Baseball, joining RHP John Lackey as the only active pitchers to accomplish the feat.
In addition, Scherzer recorded his 20th victory on the season’s final day against the Miami Marlins. With the win, RHP Max Scherzer became the first right-handed pitcher in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to win 20 games in a season.
20 (SEVERAL PLAYERS) – RHP Max Scherzer was not the only National with a ‘20’ milestone during 2016. 2B Daniel Murphy (25), RF Bryce Harper (24), SS Danny Espinosa (24), C Wilson Ramos (22), LF Jayson Werth (21), and 3B Anthony Rendon (20) all hit at least 20 home runs this season, making the Nationals one of four teams in the Major Leagues with at least six 20+ homer players (Baltimore: 6, Toronto: 6, St. Louis: 6). The 2016 Nationals are officially the most powerful team in franchise history (Nationals/Expos), as they clubbed 203 home runs this season — the most hit by any team in franchise history. The 2012 Nationals hit 194 home runs and the 2000 Expos hit 178.
184 (MURPHY) – With 184 hits over the course of the season, 2B Daniel Murphy equaled the Nationals (2005-Pres.) single season record owned by OF Denard Span (184, 2014). In the process, Murphy also tied Ryan Zimmerman’s record (2006) for doubles in a season with 47, which led the NL. Murphy also led the NL in slugging (.595) and OPS (.985).
100 (HARPER & GONZALEZ) – Through his first 99 career major league home runs, Nationals RF Bryce Harper had yet to hit a grand slam. However, Harper changed that on April 14 and became the first player in Major League history whose 100th career home run and first career grand slam came on the same swing. At 23 years, 181 days old, Harper became the eighth-youngest player in MLB history to reach the 100-homer mark, joining some esteemed company such as Mel Ott, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, and Johnny Bench (via the Elias Sports Bureau). Additionally, Harper joined Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond as the only players to reach the 100 HR-100 double mark while playing with Washington.
Also, LHP Gio Gonzalez earned his 100th career win with an 8-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies on August 26. Gonzalez joined RHP Max Scherzer, RHP Jason Marquis, and RHP Livan Hernandez as the only pitchers to record their 100th career wins as members of the Washington Nationals.
.342 (TURNER) – INF/OF Trea Turner finished the season with a .342 average, the highest by a rookie with at least 290 at-bats since Ichiro Suzuki hit .350 for SEA in 2001 (per Baseball Reference). With 105 hits in 73 games, Trea Turner is the first rookie in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to post more than 100 hits in fewer than 100 games. According to Baseball Reference, Turner is the only rookie in MLB history (since 1900) to record at least 13 home runs, 33 stolen bases and hit at least .340 in no more than 73 games during his rookie campaign. Lastly, Turner’s 33 stolen bases this season are the most by a rookie in Nationals history (2005-pres.) and fourth-most by a rookie in franchise history (WSH/MON), trailing only Tim Raines (71, 1981), Larry Lintz (50, 1974) and Delino DeShields (42,1990).
Turner earned plenty of hardware for his efforts. He was named the National League Rookie of the Month for both August and September/October, becoming just the fifth Rookie of the Month winner in team history (2005-present). Turner joined OF Bryce Harper (May and Sept./Oct. 2012), and Ryan Church (May, 2005) as the only Nationals rookies ever to take home the monthly award.
46 (WERTH) – From June 20 to August 18, OF Jayson Werth reached base in 46 consecutive games. The streak was a Nationals (2005-Pres.) record, breaking Ryan Zimmerman’s previous streak of 43 consecutive games. It also tied Rusty Staub’s franchise (Nationals/Expos) record on-base streak of 46 games, but Werth’s streak was confined to one season, whereas Staub’s spanned two seasons, from 1969-70. During the 46-game stretch, Werth collected 43 hits (14 2B, 6 HR) & 32 walks (.382 OBP).
5/15 (ESPINOSA) – Over the course of the Nationals’ four game series from June 30th to July 3rd against the Cincinnati Reds, SS Danny Espinosa hit five home runs, one from each side of the plate on Thursday as well as Sunday and included a grand slam in each, and drove in 15 RBI, which set a new franchise record. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since RBI became an official statistic (1920), only three other players have matched Espinosa’s totals in homers and RBI in a series of no more than four games. With the fifth multi-homer game of his career (second of 2016), Espinosa joined DET’s Victor Martinez as the only players to post multi-homer games from different sides of the plate twice this season, and also became the first player in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to do so. Espinosa was named the National League Player of the Week, his first such honor, after hitting .423 (11-for-26) with two doubles, five home runs, 17 RBI, one hit by pitch, four walks and eight runs scored.
18/12 (ROARK) – During the 2016 season, RHP Tanner Roark tossed 7.0 innings or more 18 times and recorded 12 starts where he lasted at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer. In addition, in six of his final seven starts, Roark allowed two runs or fewer and recorded a 2.16 ERA during those seven starts.
13 (STRASBURG) – Nationals All-Star RHP Stephen Strasburg tossed 8.0 innings of three-hit, one-run baseball against the Pirates to secure his 13th victory of the season and improve his record to 13-0 on the year. By doing so, Strasburg became just the eighth starting pitcher in Major League history to begin a season 13-0, and the first since teammate RHP Max Scherzer opened the 2013 season 13-0 for the Detroit Tigers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scherzer and Strasburg were the first set of teammates (at any point in their careers) to begin a season 13-0 since Hall of Famers “Iron Man” Joe McGinnity and Rube Marquard, who played together on the 1908 New York Giants.
Congratulations to all our players on their accomplishments and we wish them all good luck during the 2016 Postseason!
October 3, 2015 – During a 2-0 win over the New York Mets, RHP Max Scherzer turned in one of the most historic pitching performances in baseball history, striking out 17 batters in his second no-hitter of the season. The only batter to reach base was via a throwing error in the 6th inning. Scherzer became just the sixth pitcher in Major League history to throw two no-hitters in the same season, and just the fifth to throw two in the same regular season. His 17 strikeouts (then a career-high) tied Hall-of-Famer RHP Nolan Ryan for the MLB record for K’s in a no-hitter. That record had stood since Ryan struck out 17 vs. Detroit in 1973, in what was also the second of Ryan’s two no-no’s that year.
September 28, 2014 – On the final day of the 2014 regular season, RHP Jordan Zimmermann tossed the first no-hitter in Washington Nationals’ history (2005-present). He struck out 10 batters while walking just one, a 3-2 pitch that home plate umpire Alan Porter determined was just a bit low. OF Steven Souza Jr.’s diving, over-the-shoulder catch of a line drive off the bat of OF Christian Yelich made the final out of what was certain to be an extra-base hit. In a moment of pure emotion not usually shown by the stoic Zimmermann, he dropped his head, put his hands on his hips and watched as Souza Jr. tracked the ball. To make the catch, Souza Jr. dove backward, almost parallel to the ground and when he landed he reached his glove to the sky.
September 23, 2007 – The 41-year-old RFK Stadium, one-time home to the NFL’s Washington Redskins and the American League’s Washington Senators, hosted its 1,047th and final Major League Baseball game as the Washington Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-3. On the final pitch, closer RHP Chad Cordero fittingly struck out former Phillie and current National OF Jayson Werth. When the District’s team moved to Texas to become the Rangers in 1972, the 56,000-seat facility lost baseball until the Montreal Expos arrived in D.C. to become the Nationals in 2005.
September 20, 2012 – RHP Drew Storen struck out the side in order in the ninth to close out the Nationals’ 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and secured D.C.’s first postseason baseball berth since 1933. LHP Ross Detwiler earned his 10th win, allowing just one run on three hits in 6.0 stellar innings as INF Ryan Zimmerman posted the game-winning RBI via a third-inning double. After the game, the Nationals celebrated their first postseason berth with a private Champagne toast.
The Nationals’ magic number to clinch the 2016 NL East crown currently sits at 5.
September 16, 2014 – With a 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, the Washington Nationals clinched the 2014 National League East Division title. INF Ian Desmond’s mammoth two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning provided the Nationals all the cushion they would need to claim their second NL East title in three years. RHP Tanner Roark struck out four over 7.0 shutout innings, while RHP Drew Storen threw seven pitches, all strikes, to close the game out for his seventh save of the season.
Today, the Nationals celebrated a cornerstone of our community, D.C. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier.
Before the team played the Atlanta Braves, the Nationals recognized Lanier’s impact on the city of Washington, D.C. with a farewell celebration during pregame ceremonies. Several members of the Metropolitan Police Department took part in pregame ceremonies, and nearly one hundred police officers took the field to celebrate Lanier’s more than nine years of service as chief of police in Washington.
In a special moment, Chief Lanier handed the ball to Jaydan Stancil to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jaydan was critically injured as a nine-year-old when he was shot in the head in October 2014. A responding MPD officer drove him to the hospital in his police car, where doctors told his mother he could die within an hour. Jaydan has since made a miraculous recovery, and with Chief Cathy Lanier’s diligence, the alleged shooter has been indicted.
We sincerely thank Chief Lanier for being a valued partner and wish her the best of luck in her next adventure!
Please enjoy photos from today’s event below.
September 5, 2012 – Washington launched six homers, including a pair from OF Bryce Harper, during a 9-1 home win over the Chicago Cubs. The Nationals, who also homered six times the night prior, became the first team in MLB history to hit six or more homers in two straight home games. LHP Gio Gonzalez struck out nine and blanked Chicago for 7.0 innings to run his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 16.0. Gonzalez also matched RHP R.A. Dickey for the Major League lead with 18 wins.
September 2, 2015 – INF Ryan Zimmerman starred in the Nationals’ 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, going 3-for-4 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored. Zimmerman’s second home run of the night was the 200th homer of his career, and also coincidentally came on the 10-year anniversary of his first Major League hit. With the homer, Zimmerman became the first Nationals player (2005-pres.) to reach the 200-HR mark exclusively with Washington. He is currently one of just 42 active MLB players to club 200 or more home runs in their career.
September 1, 2005 – With the September roster expansion, INF Ryan Zimmerman was promoted to the majors, becoming the first player drafted and developed exclusively by the Washington Nationals to reach the Major League level. Zimmerman, drafted fourth overall in the first round, was also the first player from his draft class (2005) to reach MLB.