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Nationals Enjoy Visit to Diabetes Care Complex

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by Matt Laux

On June 5, 2013, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation celebrated with Children’s National Health System as the ribbon was cut for the Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex.

Washington NationalsBefore Friday’s game, Nationals Manager Matt Williams, All-Star pitcher Tyler Clippard, outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Screech returned to the world-class pediatric complex to spend time with children living with diabetes.

Williams, who has often discussed his love for cooking, was stationed in the teaching kitchen. While preparing diabetic-friendly snacks, he talked to the kids about the importance of healthy eating. On the menu for the day were gluten-free pigs in a blanket, trail mix and tasty “Quick Pickles.” Each item prepared by Chef Williams was limited in carbohydrates but still allowed the children to enjoy ballpark-type fare.

Down the hall in one of the educational classrooms, Clippard sat down with the patients, discussing the importance of a healthy lifestyle and how it has played a role in his success. Having the unique opportunity to ask anything of a Major League baseball player, many of the kids were eager for advice on how they could become better athletes.

“It’s fun to have the opportunity to motivate them and offer advice that they can hopefully carry forward with them,” Clippard said after the visit.

Souza Jr., who played in a rehab game with Single-A Hagerstown the night before, joined the children in a circuit of fun and fitness. The exercise rotation was designed to keep kids fit and active while still monitoring their blood sugar levels. The highlight of the session came when Souza Jr. was defeated in a competitive game of Wii Baseball when Emma, a patient at the complex, hit a walk-off home run. When asked later if she was feeling well, Emma responded emphatically, “Of course! I just beat a pro baseball player!”

Washington NationalsThe Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex provides patients with the highest quality diabetes care through state-of-the-art equipment and a focus on developing lifestyles that includes proper nutrition and physical activity.

“The Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex offers a multi-disciplinary approach to supporting children with diabetes that helps us further our mission of helping kids and their health,” said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, one of the Nationals Principal Owners and Chair of the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. “The whole family approach and the one-on-one attention of the dedicated staff is truly inspirational.”

The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation is committed to community partnerships that improve the lives of children and families with the core focus on children’s education, health and recreation.

●●

Want to try one of the recipes at home? Here’s the rundown for “Quick Pickles.”

“Quick Pickles”

Ingredients:

4 kirby cucumbers, cut into  1-inch slices on an angle

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 rounded teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 teaspoon salt

1 clove cracked garlic

1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped

1 bay leaf

 

Instructions:

Heat small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.

Nationals Magazine Preview: Doug Fister; Rapid Fire

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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 Mike Feigen

In a game built upon one-on-one confrontations set at a methodical pace, Nationals starter Doug Fister has made an up-tempo style the centerpiece of his attack on the pitcher’s mound.

rapid fire fisterDoug Fister bounded off the mound toward the Nationals’ first base dugout, his work complete after eight masterful innings. The Nationals Park crowd of 40,677 roared in approval, standing to applaud its newest difference-making right-hander. Fister let the cheers wash over him, doffing his cap to the masses before receiving a hero’s welcome from this teammates.

It may have been just one game in the course of a long, 162-game season, but the 3-0 shutout of the rival Atlanta Braves on June 21 offered a breath of fresh air. The Nationals needed no reminder that they entered that night struggling against their divisional counterparts, but on this night, their 6-foot-8 sinkerballer breezed through a lineup that had given them fits in recent months.

The victory gave the Merced, Calif. native a perfect 4-0 record in his first four home starts with his new club, including wins over the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies in late May and early June. Fister’s early success energized the team, justifying the move Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made to fortify the rotation with a veteran starter who had past postseason success.

Before he made his Nationals debut in early May, following a minor back ailment, Fister used the first six weeks of the season to assimilate himself into the Nationals’ clubhouse. He brought with him an impressive resume, with three straight division titles and three postseason victories to his name — one more than the entire Nationals franchise can boast in its brief nine-plus years of existence.

“So far, everything’s been good,” Fister said in late June. “The biggest thing for me is just being a teammate — the baseball side will take care of itself. I feel like I’m one of the 25 guys here, and it’s a great place to be.”

Mag3_CoverTo continue reading “Rapid Fire” on Nationals right-hander Doug Fister, 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. 20 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

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Game No. 125: Washington Nationals (71-53) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (53-73) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Tanner Roark (12-7, 2.93 ERA) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (3-8, 4.68)
Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark is 4-0 with a 0.56 ERA in five career games (four starts) against NL West competition, including seven one-run (unearned) innings against the Diamondbacks in the 2013 season finale.
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 won a season-high eight consecutive games, the longest current winning streak in the Major Leagues. Of their eight straight wins, five have been of the one-run variety, five were comeback victories, and three were walk-off wins. Only one winning streak in Nationals history has lasted longer than their current eight-game stretch, a 10-game run from June 2-12, 2005.

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

NATIONALS (71-53)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
19 Kevin Frandsen 3B
57 Tanner Roark RHP

Diamondbacks (53-73)

5 Ender Inciarte (L) CF
4 Cliff Pennington (S) 3B
6 David Peralta (L) RF
15 Mark Trumbo LF
26 Miguel Montero (L) C
2 Aaron Hill 2B
17 Alfredo Marte LF
1 Didi Gregorious (L) SS
35 Trevor Cahill RHP

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

Nationals Game Notes — August 15 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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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!

A letter from Bill Taft

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Dear Nationals fans,

The last time I was back home in Cincinnati, it was during “Bill and Teddy’s Executive Adventure” in February of 2013. So you could imagine my excitement when I found out the Reds were interested in bringing me and the rest of the Racing Presidents to town for the Nationals series this July!

I couldn’t wait to get on the road. The rest of the guys and I boarded the NatMobile at 6 a.m. on the morning of July 24 and headed west. It was about a nine hour drive, and we pulled into Great American Ball Park around 4 p.m. and got settled in at what would be our home for the weekend.

The following evening, during the first game of the series, I wanted to give my fans a real show — I just had to win! I could feel the adrenaline rushing as I took the field for our first race. As we neared the turn, it was just Teddy and me, and you may have seen what happened next. Teddy got a little too close, so he had to be taken out. Victory was mine!

10489655_10152527110045189_3456278069507952577_nSaturday morning, I decided to swing out to my boyhood home before the game. I was lucky enough to be greeted by Paula Marett from the National Park Service. I met Paula last year during the “Executive Adventure” and it was great to be able to reconnect with her. Even my bobblehead checked out the house, getting all kinds of pictures, which you may have seen posted on my Twitter account, @NatsBigChief27.

After two more successful races (and two Nationals wins in three games), we headed back home to Washington. Looking back, it was great to meet so many new friends and see old ones I had lost touch with. We met with many local fans and Nationals fans alike, and it was really impressive to see all the Nats fans that traveled to watch their favorite team and favorite Presidents. The trip confirmed that even though I have a lot of history in Cincinnati, my heart is here with the Washington Nationals.

I would also like to send a heartfelt thank you to the Cincinnati Reds organization for inviting us out and showing us what Midwest hospitality is all about! I look forward to visiting them again soon!

Sincerely,

“Bill”

P.S. Don’t forget to get your tickets now for MY bobblehead day, on Aug. 17 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first 25,000 fans in attendance will get one!

In the meantime, you can also win my bobblehead, along with tickets to that game, as part of our Facebook contest! Click here for details!

Contest rules

Nationals and Harris Teeter host annual food drive

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by Matt Laux

harristeeter01The Washington Nationals and Harris Teeter teamed up to host their annual Food Drive at Nationals Park on Aug. 2 and 3, benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB). Over the two-day span, the Food Drive collected a record total of 8,331 lbs. of food for the CAFB, which assists roughly 500,000 children, seniors and families struggling with hunger in the Washington metro area each year.

The first day of the Food Drive began extra early as the team accepted donations prior to the Nationals Season Plan Holder Event. As volunteers opened for business, they eagerly anticipated the possibility of surpassing last year’s 3,854-pound first-day total. The exceptional turnout aided in the 4,879 pounds donated. The event’s success continued on Day Two, as the Nationals and Harris Teeter received another 3,452 pounds in donations.

Fans who contributed three or more non-perishable food items earned two tickets to one of two future Nationals games, while supplies lasted. Additionally, the first 1,000 fans to donate three or more Harris Teeter Private Label canned goods each day of the drive were rewarded with $5 in Nats Bucks.

The campaign began in earnest on July 8, when relief pitchers Jerry Blevins and Craig Stammen worked with the Jubilee Housing Teen Renaissance at CAFB’s Kid’s Cafe. Blevins, Stammen and the children made “1-2-3 Salsa,” a healthy, budget-friendly snack, while raising awareness for the August Food Drive.

harristeeter02The annual Food Drive is just one of the many contributions Harris Teeter makes to the local community.

On top of the Food Drive, fans were able to donate at their local Harris Teeter stores. While this year’s total is still being counted, Harris Teeter raised an additional 2,145 pounds last year. Harris Teeter is also a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project, as well as the Together In Education program.

Nationals visit DC Public Libraries

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The Washington Nationals are honored to sponsor the DC Public Library’s Summer Reading program. And as part of that sponsorship, Denard Span, Drew Storen, Scott Hairston and Matt Williams were at local libraries on Saturday morning to read to kids.

The Nationals are honored to be a part of this program, and Span, Storen, Hairston and Williams were thrilled to participate. Here are a few photos from the events:

UPDATED – Social Fan Event No. 3: #InstaNats Photo Hunt

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By Kyle Mann

We are thrilled that our third Social Fan Event of the season is nearly upon us, adding to the already palpable excitement of the day: Brewers-Nationals offers a match-up of two first-half first place teams, and Austin Mahone takes the NatsLive stage after the game for a FREE concert. We couldn’t think of a better backdrop to offer our most loyal Instagram fans some unique photography challenges and Nationals-related prizes and experiences!

If you’ve been to one of our previous Social Fan Events, you know we go all out on the prizes, so be on the lookout for batting practice passes and an opportunity to join the Nationals players on the field as part of the Starting 9!

Gates open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, so be sure to stop by our table at Section 105 as soon as you arrive to give yourself the first crack at the best prizes. If you haven’t already, you can buy tickets that include $6 added value for use throughout the park here.

Throughout the game, you’ll be tasked with completing an #InstaNats Photo Hunt of creative Nationals and Austin Mahone-themed pictures for the opportunity to win even more great prizes. Here’s how it works:

  • You’ll receive your photo assignment shot sheet, comprised of five different “themes,” when you check in at our table at Section 105. We’ll also update this post with the shot sheet shortly before gates open on Saturday.
  • Explore the ballpark and snap your most creative pictures that match each theme.
  • Post your photos on Instagram and be sure to use the specific hashtag for each theme (you’ll find that on the shot sheet), #InstaNats and tag @nationals.
  • OFFICIAL RULES>>

 IMPORTANT: You must include #InstaNats, the specific theme hashtag AND @nationals in your post for it to be eligible.

At the end of the night, we will pick three finalists from those fans who post photos for all five themes (and use the proper hashtags and tag @nationals). All three winners will win experience prize packages at our fourth Social Fan Event on September 8, including the opportunity to deliver the Lineup Card, shout “Play Ball”, or watch batting practice from the field.

Remember, you must post all five photos and include #InstaNats, the specific theme hashtag and @nationals with each photo to be eligible for selection as one of the three finalists. 

Starting Monday, July 21, we’ll announce the three finalists’ and post their photo galleries at nationals.com, where all fans will have 48 hours to vote for their favorite. We’ll announce the winners as determined by the fan vote on Wednesday, July 23.

As always, keep your eye on the NatsHD scoreboard throughout the night where your #InstaNats photos may also appear.

To get your creative juices flowing, we’re proud to unveil the #MyNLEast Instagram video YOU helped produce back in June during the Braves series. Enjoy, and we can’t wait to see you and your best photos on Saturday!

UPDATED – Saturday, 7/19 at 4:15 pm

As promised, here is the official shot sheet for tonight’s #InstaNats Photo Hunt. Don’t forget to tag each of your photos with its specific hashtag (listed below) as well as @nationals and #InstaNats.

1. Our Racing Presidents have been known to wander around Nationals Park. Tag your picture with #RacingPresContest with your favorite one!

2. There are a lot of Curly Ws around Nationals Park. Show us your coolest Curly W shot and tag it with #CurlyWContest.

3. Today’s NatsLive FREE Postgame Concert performer @AustinMahone’s favorite dessert is ice cream. Here at Nationals Park, we have many delicious desserts. Post your best picture with your favorite dessert and tag it with #IceCreamContest.

4. This is your chance to be really creative. Post your coolest and most exciting pic from the ballpark tonight and tag it with #FansChoiceContest.

5. Post your best picture from @AustinMahone’s NatsLive free postgame concert and tag it with #NatsLiveContest.

Running Men: A Nationals coaching staff routine

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by Amanda Comak

Nationals Manager Matt Williams, left, and third base coach Bobby Henley at the tail end of one of their runs this season.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams, left, and third base coach Bobby Henley at the tail end of one of their runs this season.

Inside the visitors’ clubhouse at AT&T Park, the music blared. High-fives and fist bumps were exchanged all over the room. Positive energy pumped through the locker stalls.

A long west coast trip had gotten off to a terrific start for the Washington Nationals with five wins in their first six games, including three straight against the San Francisco Giants — who came into the series playing better than any team in the National League.

Inside the manager’s office, Matt Williams smiled, and then groaned. Mere hours separated the Nationals from their next game, a 12:45 p.m. start locally, and then the next city on the trip beckoned.

“We have to run tomorrow,” Williams said late that night, massaging his left calf. “We’re killing ourselves.”

The “we” to which the Nationals’ manager referred was the coaching staff. And the runs, between 30-40 minutes or three to four miles of torture, well, they’ve become quite a routine among the Nationals’ coaches.

“It’s entirely superstitious,” Williams said in early July. “If we take a day off and we don’t win, then we definitely have to run the next day. If we run and we play like we did (in a 13-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs on July 5), then we have to run the exact same route.”

Williams, who used to run with the Diamondbacks coaching staff in previous years, brought the daily runs to the Nationals when he took over as manager. They’re all named, and folks of all fitness levels are welcome. They won’t leave any man behind, Williams said, but “we keep it sane, too.”

In D.C., they have three main runs: The River Run, featuring views of the Anacostia and the Potomac Rivers, the Capitol Run, which is up to and around the Capitol Building, and the Power Run, a jaunt to the Capitol Building, by the Supreme Court and past the Library of Congress.

It’s not hard to see how that one got its name.

“That’s the power of our country, right there,” Williams said.

But the road trips provide opportunities for other routes. Williams ticks them off with obvious enjoyment.

Attachment-1In San Francisco, they have the Embarcadero Run. In San Diego, it’s the Midway Run or the Airport Run (“Depending on how we’re feeling,” the manager explains). In Philadelphia, they leave from the hotel and do the Rocky Run. In Miami, the South Beach Run. St. Louis features the Arch Run, and in Milwaukee, from Miller Park, it’s the Graveyard Run. The list goes on. And everywhere the Nationals visit, they’ll have at least one running route to tour.

Williams, while the most enthusiastic about the runs, said the coaches have mostly jumped on board. It’s a time for them to build camaraderie and bond, while also (hopefully) bettering their own health.  Williams singled out third base coach Bobby Henley as one who has really taken to the runs and improved. Plus, there’s the aforementioned superstitions.

“They don’t gripe,” Williams said, smiling. “I hear little snippets, but no griping. Secretly I think they like it.”

But do they really?

“I absolutely hate ‘em,” said bench coach Randy Knorr. “But I go.”

Nationals reinstate Bryce Harper from DL, option Xavier Cedeno to Triple-A

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by Amanda Comak

For the first time since Opening Day, the Washington Nationals’ lineup will come complete on Monday afternoon.

Bryce Harper is back, returning from the 15-day Disabled List and rejoining the Nationals after missing 57 games with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

And as they get set to begin the mathematical second half of their season, the Nationals are whole again.

During a rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg last week, Harper played in five games and hit .643 (9-for-14) with one double, four home runs, 11 RBI, five walks, seven runs scored, two stolen bases and just one strikeout. He posted a .737 on-base percentage and a 1.571 slugging percentage.

Saturday night, playing in Akron for Double-A Harrisburg, Harper hit home runs in three of his five at-bats.

The Nationals (43-48), who welcome the Colorado Rockies on Monday night  (incidentally Harper’s bobblehead night), have watched as seven members of their starting lineup or rotation have gone to the Disabled List at least once early this season — amounting to 231 total games missed.

In the meantime, the Nationals have done exceptionally well to stay afloat, opening Monday 0.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Prior to heading to the Disabled List, Harper hit .289 (24-for-83) with a .352 on-base percentage and a .422 slugging percentage. In 22 games, Harper hit one home run, four doubles and two triples, and drove in nine runs.

In parts of three Major League seasons, the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year is a career .273 hitter with a .353 on-base percentage and .476 slugging percentage. In 279 games, Harper has hit 43 home runs and 111 extra-base hits, while driving in 126 runs and scoring 177.

Cedeno, 27, appeared in one game in his third Major League stint of the season, tossing a scoreless inning in the second game of the Nationals’ doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. On the season, Cedeno has not allowed a run in 3.1 IP. He has allowed four hits and struck out one batter.

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