Nationals Game Notes: July 17 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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Pittsburgh Pirates (46-45) vs. Washington Nationals (56-36)
RHP Chad Kuhl [1-0, 6.08] | RHP Max Scherzer [10-6, 3.03]
Sunday, July 17 l Game #93 / Home #45 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:35 P.M.
Television: MASN/WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

GOING STREAKING
The Washington Nationals shutout the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night, 6-0, to run their current winning streak to five games and move 20 games over .500 for the season…Since snapping their season-long seven-game losing streak on June 26 at Milwaukee, the Nationals are 13-4 (.765) — the best record in the Major Leagues in that 17-game stretch — and are outscoring opponents 94-48…The Nationals’ current seven-game lead in the National League East is the second-largest lead of any first-place team in baseball, behind only the Chicago Cubs, who hold an eight-game advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.

  • The Nationals have picked up right where they left off before last week’s All-Star festivities, as their 54 wins before the break were the most in team history (2005-present) and matched the 1994 Expos for the most in franchise history before the Midsummer Classic.
  • With win No. 2 of the second half secured, the Nationals’ 56-36 (.609) record is good for the third-best record in the Major Leagues, behind only the Chicago Cubs (55-35, .611) and San Francisco Giants (57-35, .620).

NO TACKLING TANNER
Shining in the Nationals’ seventh shutout victory of the season on Saturday night was RHP Tanner Roark, who tossed 8.0 innings and allowed just five hits and a walk while striking out five…Roark, who improved to 9-5 with a 2.82 ERA in the win, owns the 11th-lowest ERA in the National League.

  • Saturday’s outing was the 12th time (in 19 starts this season) that Roark has pitched at least 7.0 innings…Only LAD LHP Clayton Kershaw (14), CWS LHP Chris Sale (13), and SFG RHP Johnny Cueto (13) (all of whom were NL All-Stars) have pitched at least 7.0 innings more than Roark this season.
  • No one has thrown 7.0 (or more) shutout innings more often than Roark, who has done it six times this season…Second on that list is CHI RHP Jake Arrieta (5).

BUMP FROM THE BENCH
Nationals 2B Stephen Drew continued to show the strength of Washington’s bench as he stepped into the starting lineup on Saturday and clubbed a single-game career-high three doubles…Drew’s extra-base bonanza came one day after 1B Clint Robinson joined the starting lineup on Friday and went 2-for-4, including the game-tying RBI, and CF Michael A. Taylor added a two-run home run when he got the start in the outfield on Friday as well.

  • For Robinson, the RBI-single marked the seventh time in his last 10 starts that he has contributed an RBI, and in 21 starts this season he has collected 17 RBI.
  • Taylor has hit safely in 21 of his last 24 starting assignments, going 28-for-99 (.283) in that stretch with eight doubles, four homers, nine RBI, six walks, six stolen bases and 16 runs.
  • With the three doubles on Saturday, 15 of Drew’s 25 hits this season have gone for extra bases (eight doubles, seven home runs).

Nationals Game Notes: July 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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Pittsburgh Pirates (46-44) vs. Washington Nationals (55-36)

RHP Gerrit Cole [5-4, 2.77] | RHP Tanner Roark [8-5, 3.01]

Saturday, July 16 l Game #92 / Home #44 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.

Television: MASN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

LIKE THEY NEVER LEFT

The Washington Nationals opened the second “half” of the 2016 season on Friday night with a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Nationals’ fourth straight win — dating to before the All-Star break…The Nationals seemed to pick up right where they left off, as their 54 wins before the break were the most in team history (2005-present) and matched the 1994 Expos for the most in franchise history tallied before the Midsummer Classic.

  • With win No. 1 of the second half secured, the Nationals’ 55-36 (.604) record is good for the third-best record in the Major Leagues, behind only the Chicago Cubs (54-35, .607) and San Francisco Giants (57-34, .626).

STRASBURG SHINES IN LUCKY NO. 13

Nationals All-Star RHP Stephen Strasburg tossed 8.0 innings of three-hit, one-run baseball on Friday night to secure his 13th victory of the season and run his record to 13-0 this season…Strasburg’s streaks continue to forge his way into history:

  • Strasburg is 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 are 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…McGinnity went 14-0 for the New York Giants in 1904, while Marquard started 19-0 for the Giants in 1912 (18-0 as a starting pitcher)…While Strasburg and Scherzer figure to remain teammates for quite some time, McGinnity and Marquard were teammates only briefly with NYG in 1908.
  • Strasburg’s personal winning streak now sits at 16 games (dating to Sept. 15, 2015), a franchise best (Nationals Expos)…The streak trails only that of RHP Firpo Marberry (17 G, 6/23/30-7/25/31) for the longest by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history.
  • Strasburg is also just the third National League starting pitcher ever to open a season with a 13-0 record, first since Marquard’s in 1912…He also now owns the sixth-longest streak to open a season in MLB history, tied with Scherzer & LHP Ron Guidry (1978)…Via Elias:

Rk Name Year Streak

1 Rube Marquard (NYG) 1912 18

T2 Dave McNally (BAL) 1969 15

T2 Johnny Allen (CLE) 1937 15

T2 Jim McCormick (CHC) 1886 15

5 Roger Clemens (BOS) 1986 14

T6 Max Scherzer (DET) 2013 13

T6 Ron Guidry (NYY) 1978 13

T6 Stephen Strasburg (WSH) 2016 13

BUMP FROM THE BENCH

Nationals 1B Clint Robinson stepped into the starting lineup on Friday evening and went 2-for-4, including the game-tying RBI…Meanwhile, CF Michael A. Taylor got the start in the outfield and added a two-run homer to give the Nationals’ some cushion in the seventh.

  • For Robinson, the RBI-single marked the seventh time in his last nine starts that he has contributed an RBI, and in 20 starts this season he has collected 17 RBI.
  • Taylor has hit safely in 21 of his last 24 starting assignments, going 28-for-99 (.283) in that stretch with eight doubles, four homers, nine RBI, six walks, six stolen bases and 16 runs.

Nationals Game Notes: July 15 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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Pittsburgh Pirates (46-43) vs. Washington Nationals (54-36)
LHP Francisco Liriano [5-8, 5.15] | RHP Stephen Strasburg [12-0, 2.62]
Friday, July 15 l Game #91 / Home #43 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN / WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

HALFWAY HOME
The Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates will open the second “half” of the 2016 season Friday night at Nationals Park, kicking things off after the All-Star break with a three-game set…The Nationals will be looking to pick up where they left off, as their 54 wins before the break were the most in team history (2005-present) and matched the 1994 Expos for the most in franchise history tallied before the Midsummer Classic…Washington’s 54-36 (.600) record is tied for the third-best record in the Major Leagues (along with Texas), and behind only the Chicago Cubs (53-35, .602) and San Francisco Giants (57-33, .633).

IMMEDIATE IMPACT
Nationals All-Star 2B Daniel Murphy is making quite a case for the best free agent signing of the offseason as he enters the second half leading the Major Leagues with a .348 batting average…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Murphy is just the second player in the last 50 seasons to lead MLB in batting average at the All-Star break in his first year with a team…Murphy joins former Nationals catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who hit .369 and led MLB at the break in 2004 with the Detroit Tigers (after leaving the Marlins as a free agent).

  • Murphy’s tremendous first half was due in part to his outstanding performances against his former team, the New York Mets…In 13 games against the Mets this year, Murphy has hit .423 with seven home runs and 21 RBI, while collecting at least one hit in every game…According to Elias, his seven HR and 21 RBI are each the most ever for a player at the All-Star break against the team for which he played the previous season…In fact, not since Roger Maris drove in 27 runs for NYY against OAK in 1960 has any player driven in as many as Murphy’s 21 in their first season vs. their old team…Also via Elias, no player since Willie Stargell (7) in 1966 has hit as many as seven home runs against the Mets in the season’s first half…Additionally, Murphy joins Tony Gwynn as the only players with a hit in each of his first 13 career games against the Mets.
  • In addition to batting average, Murphy also leads all National League second basemen in doubles (25), home runs (17), RBI (66), and slugging percentage (.598).

STREAKING STRAS
Nationals All-Star RHP Stephen Strasburg takes the mound on Friday night looking to extend both of his impressive winning streaks:

  • His personal winning streak sits at 15 games (dating to Sept. 15, 2015), a franchise best (Nationals Expos)…The streak trails only that of RHP Firpo Marberry (17 G, 6/23/30-7/25/31) for the longest streak by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history…It is tied with RHP General Crowder (15 G, 8/2/32-4/12/33) for the second-longest streak.
  • Strasburg is the first National League starting pitcher to begin a season 12-0 since 1913…Via Elias, Strasburg is the fourth pitcher in MLB history to go 12-0 or better before the All-Star break, joining BAL LHP Dave McNally (13-0, 1969), PIT RHP Roy Face (12-0, 1959) & CIN RHP Brooks Lawrence (12-0, 1956).
  • The Nationals are currently the only team in the National League with two 10-game winners, RHP Max Scherzer (10) and Strasburg (12).

Today in Nationals’ History: Bryce Harper finishes second in 2013 HR Derby

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July 15, 2013 – During MLB’s All-Star festivities at Citi Field in New York, NY, with his dad pitching to him, OF Bryce Harper finished second to Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes in the Home Run Derby. Selected to represent the National League by New York’s David Wright, Harper had 24 total home runs, hitting eight in each of the event’s three rounds. Cespedes finished with 32 total home runs, nine of which came in the final round.

Today in Nationals’ History: Ryan Zimmerman represents Nationals in 2009 All-Star Game

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July 14, 2009 – At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, INF Ryan Zimmerman became the first third baseman to represent Washington, D.C. in an All-Star Game since Harmon Killebrew in 1959 at Forbes Field. Zimmerman is just the franchise’s third All-Star third baseman, as Tim Wallach represented the Expos in five Mid-Summer Classics (‘84, ‘85, ‘87, ‘89, ‘90) and Larry Parrish was the first with Montreal in 1979.

Spotlight on San Diego: A closer look at the Nationals’ 2016 All-Stars

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Last week, five Washington Nationals players were named 2016 Major League All-Stars, with OF Bryce Harper, 2B Daniel Murphy, C Wilson Ramos, RHP Max Scherzer and RHP Stephen Strasburg all awarded the annual mid-season honor.

This is the first time in Nationals history (2005-present) that the club will send five representatives to the Midsummer Classic. Washington previously had four All-Star players in 2012. The Nationals’ five honorees are second-most in the National League, behind only the Chicago Cubs, who will send seven players to San Diego.

In anticipation of tonight’s game, we thought it would be fitting to take a look at our All-Stars and some of the amazing stats they’ve put up through the season’s first “half.”

OF Bryce Harper – Harper will start in the National League outfield for the third time in his career. The 23-year-old earned his fourth career All-Star selection by garnering 2,865,095 fan votes, the highest vote total among all NL outfielders. The 2015 National League MVP, Harper currently leads the Major Leagues in walks (70) and intentional walks (16). He ranks fifth in the National League in on-base percentage (.400), while his 19 home runs are tied for fifth among all NL outfielders, and his OBP leads that group. Harper joins Hall of Famers Gary Carter (4) and Andre Dawson (3) as the only players in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to earn at least three fan elections to the All-Star Game.

2B Daniel Murphy – For Murphy, who signed a three-year contract with Washington this past offseason, this is the second All-Star selection of his career (also 2014). The Nationals’ second baseman leads the National League in batting average (.348), hits (117), and multi-hit games (38). The 31-year-old, a players’ selection to the NL squad, also leads all NL second basemen in doubles (25), home runs (17), RBI (66), and slugging (.598).

C Wilson Ramos – This is the first All-Star nod for Ramos, who currently leads all qualified Major League catchers in batting average (.330), on-base percentage (.382), RBI (48) and slugging percentage (.536). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, after hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos is the only player in MLB to increase his average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 plate appearances in 2016 / 500 plate appearances in 2015). Ramos was elected via player vote.

RHP Max Scherzer – Scherzer is an All-Star for the fourth consecutive season. The 31-year-old leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts (164), ranks second in the National League in strikeouts-per-nine-innings (11.56) and is tied for the second-best WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) in the NL (0.96). Scherzer earned his 10th win of the season on Saturday night, tossing 7.0 innings of three-hit ball. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the fourth consecutive season in which Scherzer has won at least 10 games before the All-Star break. Only two other pitchers reached double digits in wins prior to the break in each of four consecutive seasons over the last 20 seasons: RHP Greg Maddux (1997-2001) and RHP Roy Halladay (2005-11). Scherzer was selected to replace teammate Stephen Strasburg on the 2016 All-Star team by National League manager Terry Collins.

RHP Stephen Strasburg – For Strasburg, the only remaining qualified starting pitcher in MLB not to suffer a losing decision, the All-Star nod is the second of his career (also 2012). At 12-0 with a 2.62 ERA, Strasburg is the first National League starting pitcher to begin a season 12-0 since 1913. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Strasburg is the fourth pitcher in MLB history to go 12-0 or better before the All-Star break, joining BAL LHP Dave McNally (13-0 in 1969), PIT reliever RHP Roy Face (12-0 in 1959) and CIN reliever RHP Brooks Lawrence (12-0 in 1956). On Friday, he extended his personal winning streak to 15 games (dating to Sept. 15, 2015). He was selected to the 2016 All-Star team by National League manager Terry Collins.

Good luck to all the Nationals representatives tonight in the 2016 Major League All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego!

Nationals Game Notes: July 10 at New York Mets

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Washington Nationals (53-36) at New York Mets (47-40)
LHP Gio Gonzalez [4-8, 4.79] | LHP Steven Matz [7-4, 3.34]
Sunday, July 10, 2016 l Game #90 / Road #48 l Citi Field l New York, N.Y. l 1:10 P.M.
Television: MASN / TBS l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

RECORDS TO BREAK BEFORE THE BREAK
2B Daniel Murphy went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, four RBI, a walk and one run scored as the Nationals topped the Mets, 6-1, on Saturday night…Washington closes out the first “half” of the 2016 season this afternoon at Citi Field against the New York Mets…At 52-36 (.596), the Nationals possess the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (56-33, .629) and the Chicago Cubs (52-35, .598).

  • With 53 wins, Washington has recorded its highest win total prior to the All-Star break in team history (2005-pres.)…The 2005 Nationals went 52-36 (.591) in the season’s first “half.”
  • With one more win today, Washington would match the 1994 Expos (54-33, .621) for the most wins prior to the All-Star break in franchise history.
  • The Nationals run differential sits at +104, second-best in MLB behind the Cubs (+138).

10 AGAIN
RHP Max Scherzer earned his 10th win of the season on Saturday night, tossing 7.0 innings of three-hit ball…He allowed just one unearned run while walking two and striking out nine… According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the fourth consecutive season in which Scherzer has won at least 10 games before the All-Star break…Only two other pitchers reached double digits in wins prior to the break in each of four consecutive seasons over the last 20 seasons: RHP Greg Maddux (1997-2001) and RHP Roy Halladay (2005-11).

  • The Nationals are the only team in the National League with two 10-game winners, Scherzer and RHP Stephen Strasburg (12).

Today in Nationals’ History: Back-to-back HRs in back-to-back innings & Wily Mo Pena sets defensive record

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WilyMoPena

 

July 10, 2013INF Anthony Rendon and C Wilson Ramos hit back-to-back solo shots in the fifth inning, then INF Ryan Zimmerman and OF Jayson Werth did the same in the sixth, as the Nationals powered past the Phillies for a 5-1 road win. The Nationals hit at least four home runs for the 9th time in 2013.

 

July 10, 2008OF Wily Mo Pena recorded 11 putouts to establish a Nationals (2005-pres.) single-game record for outfielders in an 11-inning 7-5 loss against the Diamondbacks. The Major League record for an outfielder in a 9-inning game is 12.

Nationals Game Notes: July 9 at New York Mets

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Washington Nationals (52-36) at New York Mets (47-39)

RHP Max Scherzer [9-6, 3.21] | RHP Logan Verrett [3-5, 4.01]

Saturday, July 9, 2016 l Game #89 / Road #47 l Citi Field l New York, N.Y. l 7:15 P.M.

Television: FOX l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

RECORD TO BREAK BEFORE THE BREAK

At 52-36 (.591), the Nationals possess the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (55-33, .625) and the Chicago Cubs (52-34, .605).

  • With one more win, the Nationals would record their highest win total prior to the All-Star break in team history (2005-pres.)…The 2005 Nationals went 52-36 (.591) in the season’s first “half.”
  • With two more wins, Washington would match the 1994 Expos (54-33, .621) for the most wins prior to the All-Star break in franchise history.
  • The Nationals run differential sits at +99, second-best in MLB behind the Cubs (+144).

BAT HOARDER PROVIDES THE PUNCH

1B Clint Robinson clubbed his second home run in as many nights as the Nationals topped the Mets, 3-1, Friday night…His two-run blast in the second inning off RHP Noah Syndergaard provided Washington with the separation it would need.

  • Robinson has homered in three of his last four starts and has driven in at least one run in five of his last seven…He is hitting .308 (8-for-25) with one double, three homers, seven RBI two walks and five runs scored in those last seven starts.

STREAKING STRAS

RHP Stephen Strasburg extended both of his impressive winning streaks with Friday night’s win over the New York Mets.

  • He extended his personal winning streak to 15 games (dating to Sept. 15, 2015)…The 15 game streak is a franchise best (Nationals Expos) and trails only RHP Firpo Marberry (17 G, 6/23/30-7/25/31) for the longest streak by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history…He is tied with RHP General Crowder (15 G, 8/2/32-4/12/33) for the second-longest streak.
  • Strasburg is now 12-0 to start the season and in doing so, is the first National League starting pitcher to begin a season 12-0 since 1913…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Strasburg is the fourth pitcher in MLB history to go 12-0 or better before the All-Star break, joining BAL LHP Dave McNally (13-0 in 1969), PIT reliever RHP Roy Face (12-0 in 1959) and CIN reliever RHP Brooks Lawrence (12-0 in 1956).

Nationals Game Notes: July 8 at New York Mets

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Washington Nationals (51-36) at New York Mets (47-38)
RHP Stephen Strasburg [11-0, 2.71] | RHP Noah Syndergaard [9-3, 2.41]
Friday, July 8, 2016 l Game #88 / Road #46 l Citi Field l New York, N.Y. l 7:10 P.M.
Television: MASN/MLBN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

POWER HOUR
The Nationals and Mets combined for eight home runs last night as Washington fell, 9-7, to New York…The eight combined homers were the most in a game the Nationals have been involved in in team history (2005-pres.) and were the most ever hit in a game at Citi Field.

  • For the 11th time this season, the Nationals hit back-to-back home runs with 1B Clint Robinson and 3B Anthony Rendon going deep in the fourth inning…The 11 back-to-backs are a Nationals (2005-pres.) and a franchise (WSH/Mon) record.
  • On the season, Washington leads the National league with 121 home runs.

WHERE THINGS STAND
At 51-36 (.586), the Nationals possess the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (54-33, .621) and the Chicago Cubs (52-33, .612).

  • The Nationals run differential sits at +97, second-best in MLB behind the Cubs (+148).

ROSTER MOVE
The Nationals recalled OF Michael A. Taylor and INF/OF Trea Turner from Triple-A Syracuse, placed 1B Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 7) with a left rib cage strain and optioned RHP Lucas Giolito to Triple-A Syracuse on Friday.

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