Dear Nats fans,
As we make our final preparations for Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers this Friday, I wanted to take a few minutes to express the gratitude my family and I have for all of the hardworking members of our organization, our great fans and this wonderful community.
For the third time in five years, our Nationals are the National League East Division Champions! This is an incredible feat, and my family and I are so proud of Mike Rizzo, Dusty Baker and their staffs, and our players. The 2016 season has been an exhilarating one, and we look forward to playing deep into the month of October as we seek to bring a World Series Championship back to D.C.
We would not be here without our fans and our surrounding community. Since our journey began in 2006, you have been alongside us every step of the way, and we could not be more grateful for your support.
We do this all for you. Since we were selected as stewards of the organization in 2006, an honor we have never taken lightly, we have worked tirelessly to make this organization one that our city can be proud of. From the food to the entertainment, and of course the product on the field, we always strive to ensure attending a game at Nationals Park is a first-class experience.
I hope to see you here, packing Nationals Park on Friday and Saturday, and cheering us on! We are encouraging fans to plan ahead, arrive early and enjoy special discounts on food and merchandise. Don’t forget to wear your red and make signs to show your support. Trust me – our players really appreciate it when you are loud and proud. It does not go unnoticed, in fact, it makes a huge difference.
So I want you to stand up and cheer when we get two strikes on a Dodgers’ batter. Stand up and cheer for our players by name. Stand up for the entire game if that’s what it takes!
I believe we have the best fans in baseball, and I look forward to seeing you here this weekend.
Keep checking back here, at the Curly W Live blog, as we will keep you up-to-date with all of the essential information you’ll need for the Postseason.
Thanks again for your support. Go Nats!
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!
For the third time in five years, the Washington Nationals are headed to the Postseason! The Nationals announced today several initiatives to help build excitement for the return of October baseball to Washington, D.C., including a Postseason Ticket Scavenger Hunt throughout the city.
Various buildings and businesses throughout the area will support the Nationals leading up to the 2016 Postseason by lighting up red or displaying their Nationals pride. Participating buildings include the Newseum, the Capital Wheel, Arena Stage, 9:30 Club Tower and the National Geographic Museum.
In addition to buildings and businesses displaying support for the team, the Nationals are encouraging fans to wear red for all NLDS games at Nationals Park, an initiative the club is calling #RedAllOver.
Nationals fans are also invited to participate in the following activities around the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia region throughout the week leading up to the beginning of the NLDS:
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3
- Postseason Kickoff Party: The Nationals will host a Postseason Kickoff Party at the Capital Wheel at National Harbor, Md., tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. The wheel will be lit up with a Curly W and there will be exciting activities for fans, including a Wiffle Ball home run derby, Racing Presidents photo ops, a DJ, tailgate games, giveaways and a trivia contest. The Racing Presidents will also stage a special race down the pier!
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3 – THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
- Postseason Ticket Scavenger Hunt: Fans who tune in to the Nationals Snapchat channel beginning today will have the chance to find Postseason tickets around the city. Through Thursday, October 6, the Nationals will reveal clues as to the whereabouts of the tickets on the team’s Snapchat channel (username: ‘nationals’). Hint: all locations begin with the letter ‘W.’
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5
- Postseason Pep Rally: The Nationals and 106.7 The Fan are partnering for a Postseason Pep Rally on Wednesday at the 106.7 studios, located at 1015 Half St. SE. The event, which will include a panel discussion and a preview of the NLDS, will be hosted by 106.7’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, and will take place from noon to 2:00 p.m. Nationals broadcasters and special guests are scheduled to participate. For more information, visit TheFanDC.com/events.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6
- Racing Presidents Mega Market Visit: The Racing Presidents will visit the Mega Market at Welburn Square in Ballston, Va., on Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to take photos with the Racing Presidents, and there will be giveaways, games and contests!
Game times for the NLDS have not been established by the league, but will be shared with fans as soon as they are available.
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.
Miami Marlins (79-81) vs. Washington Nationals (94-67)
RHP Tom Koehler [9-13, 4.15] | RHP Max Scherzer [19-7, 2.82]
Sunday, October 2 l Game #162 / Home #81 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 3:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network
GAME NO. 162
The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins will conclude the 2016 regular-season slate on Sunday afternoon with the season series hanging in the balance…Washington and Miami have split the first 18 games between the clubs this season, 9-9.
- At 49-31 (.613), the 2016 Nationals could become just the third team in club history (2005-present), and only the eighth team in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to reach 50 wins at home…Dusty Baker’s club currently possesses the third-best home winning percentage for any Nationals club, behind the 2014 (.630) and 2012 Nationals (.617).
- The Nationals completed their 2016 regular-season road slate on Sept. 25, topping the Pirates, 10-7, to finish with a 45-36 record away from Nationals Park…Their .556 winning percentage matches the 2014 Nationals as the second-best mark for any team in club history (2005-present), behind only the 2012 iteration (48-33, .593).
READY FOR OCTOBER
The Nationals sewed up home field advantage in the National League Division Series on Saturday as they beat the Marlins, 2-1, and the Los Angeles Dodgers fell to the San Francisco Giants, 3-0…Washington will open the 2016 NLDS on Friday, Oct. 7, at Nationals Park, where Game No.’s 1 & 2, and, if necessary, Game No. 5, will be played.
- At 94-67 (.584), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (102-58, .638).
- The Nationals have scored 753 runs this season, the most in Nationals history (2005-pres.) as well as franchise history (Nationals/Expos).
TURN ON THE AFTER BURNERS
Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner went 2-for-3 with a homer, a stolen base, two runs scored, a walk and an RBI on Saturday, bringing his season totals with one game remaining to: .342 AVG, 104 H, 14 2B, 8 3B, 13 HR, 39 RBI, 53 runs, 12 BB and 32 SB…With 104 hits in 72 games, 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, 32 stolen bases and hit at least .340 in no more than 72 games during his rookie campaign.
- Since the All-Star break, Turner ranks among NL hitters in triples (1st, 8), total bases (2nd, 169), stolen bases (2nd, 32), hits (2nd, 101), runs scored (T5th, 53), and batting average (5th, .340)…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three rookies in MLB history have hit as high as .340 with as many as 13 home runs after the All-Star break: Hal Trosky (CLE, 1934: .349, 19 HR post-ASB), Ted Williams (BOS, 1939: .345, 19 HR) and Willie McCovey (SFG, 1959: .354, 13 HR).
- Now batting .342 this season, Turner’s average is the highest by a rookie with at least 290 at-bats since Ichiro Suzuki hit .350 for SEA in 2001 (per Baseball Reference).
- Turner’s 32 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): Tim Raines (71, 1981), Larry Lintz (50, 1974) and Delino DeShields (42,1990)…In addition, his 32 SB are third-most in club history behind only Alfonso Soriano (41 in 2006), Nyjer Morgan (34 in 2010).
Miami Marlins (79-80) vs. Washington Nationals (93-67)
LHP Wei-Yin Chen [5-4, 5.02] | RHP Tanner Roark [15-10, 2.86]
Saturday, October 1 l Game #161 / Home #80 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 4:05 P.M.
Television: MASN 2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network
HOME STRETCH AT HOME
The 2016 National League East champion Washington Nationals will continue their final homestand of the regular season on Saturday afternoon, continuing a three-game set against the Miami Marlins.
- At 48-31 (.608), the 2016 Nationals currently possess the third-best home winning percentage in club history (2005-present), behind the 2014 Nationals (51-30, .630) and the 2012 Nationals (50-31, .617).
- The Nationals completed their 2016 regular-season road slate on Sunday, topping the Pirates, 10-7, to finish with a 45-36 record away from Nationals Park…Their .556 winning percentage matches the 2014 Nationals as the second-best mark for any team in club history (2005-present), behind only the 2012 iteration (48-33, .593).
At 93-67 (.581), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (102-57, .642).
- Washington’s “magic number” to clinch home field advantage in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is currently one.
- The Nationals have scored 751 runs the season, the most in Nationals history (2005-pres.) as well as Nationals/Expos history.
HOMERS ON HOMERS ON HOMERS
2B Daniel Murphy (25), RF Bryce Harper (24), SS Danny Espinosa (23), C Wilson Ramos (22), LF Jayson Werth (21), and 3B Anthony Rendon (20) have 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).
- For approximately twenty minutes following Rendon’s home run Friday night, the Nationals were just the third team in National League history to boast six players with at least 20 home runs (1965 Milwaukee Braves and 2003 Atlanta Braves)…STL OF Matt Holliday then hit his 20th home run of the season for the Cardinals.
- The 2016 Nationals are officially the most powerful team in franchise history (Nationals/Expos), as they have clubbed 201 home runs this season — the most hit by any team in franchise history, and this in just 160 games…The 2012 Nationals hit 194 home runs in 162 games and the 2000 Expos hit 178 in 162 games.
Miami Marlins (78-80) vs. Washington Nationals (93-66)
RHP Andrew Cashner [5-11, 5.13] | RHP A.J. Cole [1-2, 5.09]
Friday, September 30 l Game #160 / Home #79 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN 2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network
The Washington Nationals extend their deepest sympathies to the Miami Marlins, and the family and friends of Jose Fernandez…Fernandez was a truly amazing talent, as we saw first-hand many times…But it was his effervescent personality, the joy with which he played, and his passion and love for life that we will remember most…He is gone far too soon, and will be missed by all.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Washington earned a series split with a 5-3 win on Thursday over Arizona thanks to the efforts of some of the younger players on the roster…C Pedro Severino (23 years old) and 2B Wilmer Difo (24 years old) each clubbed home runs while RF Michael A. Taylor (25 years old) went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI…RHP Reynaldo Lopez (22 years old) earned the win with 3.2 innings of solid relief.
At 93-66 (.585), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (101-57, .639).
- Washington’s “magic number” to clinch home field advantage in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is currently two.
ON THE MARK
Nationals closer RHP Mark Melancon secured his 15th save in a Nationals uniform and his 45th of the season on Thursday afternoon…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Melancon is the first Major League player to save 15 games for a team after having 30 saves for another team earlier that season.
Arizona Diamondbacks (66-92) vs. Washington Nationals (92-66)
LHP Robbie Ray [8-14, 4.77] | RHP Joe Ross [7-5, 3.48]
Thursday, September 29 l Game #159 / Home #78 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network
At 92-66 (.582), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (101-57, .639).
- Washington’s “magic number” to clinch home field advantage in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is currently three.
TURN-ING THE TABLES
Since the All-Star break, Nationals INF/OF Trea Turner ranks among NL hitters in triples (T1st, 7), total bases (2nd, 160), stolen bases (T2nd, 29), hits (3rd, 97), runs scored (T5th, 51), and batting average (9th, .338).
- According to Baseball Reference’s Play Index, Turner is the rookie in baseball history (since 1900) to record at least 12 home runs, 29 stolen bases and hit at least .340 in fewer than 68 games during his rookie campaign.
- Now batting .340 this season, Turner’s average is the highest by a rookie with at least 290 at-bats since Ichiro Suzuki hit .350 for SEA in 2001 (per Baseball Reference).
- Turner’s 29 stolen bases this season are the most by a rookie in Nationals history (2005- pres.) and the fourth-most by a rookie in franchise history (WSH/MON) behind Tim Raines (71 in 1981), Larry Lintz (50 in 1974) and Delino DeShields (42 in 1990).
Arizona Diamondbacks (65-92) vs. Washington Nationals (92-65)
RHP Shelby Miller [2-12, 6.47] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [11-10, 4.51]
Wednesday, September 28 l Game #158 / Home #77 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network
At 92-65 (.586), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League, trailing only the Chicago Cubs (101-56, .643).
- Washington’s “magic number” to clinch homefield advantage in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers is currently four.
ALL OF THE STRIKEOUTS
With a strikeout of RF Mitch Haniger in the sixth inning Tuesday night, RHP Max Scherzer recorded his career-best 277th strikeout of the season, setting a new Nationals record (2005-present) and passing the 276 strikeouts he recorded in 2015.
- With 276 in 2015 and 277 this season, Scherzer is the only active pitcher with more than two seasons of at least 276 strikeouts.
- In Tuesday’s win, Scherzer struck out 10 batters, notching his MLB-leading 13th game of 10+ strikeouts this season…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scherzer has recorded 24 starts with at least 10 strikeouts since the start of the 2015 season…It is the most such starts over a two-season span since the 2001 and 2002 seasons (LHP Randy Johnson, 37 and RHP Curt Schilling, 27).
3B Anthony Rendon saved his 500th career hit for one of great significance…With the Nationals trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday night, Rendon clubbed a three-run home run into Arizona’s bullpen to give Washington the 4-2 lead…Rendon’s home run was his 19th of the season and he is now two shy of his career-high of 21 in 2014.
- Since the All-Star break, Rendon ranks third in the National League with 51 RBI.
- Rendon has recorded 22 RBI in the month of September, the most in any month of his career.
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.