Nationals recall OF Michael A. Taylor, place OF Steven Souza Jr. on 15-day DL

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by Amanda Comak

In need of outfield reinforcements, the Washington Nationals recalled top outfield prospect Michael A. Taylor from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday afternoon and placed outfielder Steven Souza Jr. on the 15-day Disabled List with a left shoulder contusion.
Taylor, 23, joins the Nationals after hitting .315 with 20 doubles, 22 home runs, 63 RBI and 35 stolen bases in 102 Minor League games this season, spread across Double-A Harrisburg (98 games) and Triple-A Syracuse (four games). Taylor, who will wear No. 18, awaits his Major League debut.
Taylor, who entered the 2014 season ranked as the Nationals’ No. 6 overall prospect by Baseball America and the organization’s “Best Athlete,” was drafted as a shortstop in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. He shifted to the outfield in 2011 and quickly earned a reputation as an elite defender.
Promoted to the Triple-A level for the first time on Monday, Taylor went 5-for-13 (.385) with three doubles, a triple, two RBI and four walks in four games for the Chiefs. Before leaving Harrisburg, Taylor hit .313 with 41 extra-base hits (17 doubles, two triples, 22 home runs), 61 RBI, 50 walks and 34 stolen bases. His .935 OPS currently ranks second among all qualified Double-A players this season. Last month, Taylor represented the Nationals in MLB’s Futures Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Souza Jr. has played in 13 Major League games for the Nationals, going 1-for-12 at the plate. He collected his first big league hit, a single off Dan Jennings, on April 15 at Marlins Park.

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 Game Notes — August 7 vs. New York Mets

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Game No. 113: Washington Nationals (61-51) vs. New York Mets (54-60) | 12:35 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.00 ERA) vs. RHP Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.77)
Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann has not allowed a home run at Nationals Park in nine starts (55.0 innings). The last home run hit off him in this ballpark was off the bat of Miami’s Derek Dietrich on April 9.
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 played error-less baseball in 41 of their last 53 games, dating to June 7. In that eight-plus week span, the Nationals pace the Major Leagues with a .992 fielding percentage. The Seattle Mariners (.992) and Baltimore Orioles (.990) rank second and third, respectively. The Nationals’ monthly error totals: Mar./Apr. (26), May (20), June (8), July (10), Aug. (2).

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

NATIONALS (61-51)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 2B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
59 Jose Lobaton (S) C
27 Jordan Zimmermann RHP

METS (54-60)

3 Curtis Granderson (L) RF
28 Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
5 David Wright 3B
21 Lucas Duda (L) 1B
12 Juan Lagares CF
4 Wilmer Flores SS
20 Anthony Recker C
48 Jacob deGrom (L) RHP
22 Eric Young Jr. (S) LF

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

Nationals Game Notes — August 6 vs. New York Mets

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Game No. 112: Washington Nationals (60-51) vs. New York Mets (54-59) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68 ERA) vs. LHP Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24)
Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister  has walked one batter or fewer in 14 of his last 18 starts. Fister’s walk rate (1.20/9.0 inn.) would pace the National League and rank fourth in the Major Leagues if he qualified. 
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 & MASN2
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • Washington Nationals catchers (Wilson Ramos, Jose Lobaton & Sandy Leon) pace the Major Leagues having gunned down 23 of 65 (35.4%) would-be basestealers this year (pitcher caught stealings excluded). The Cardinals (19 of 56, 33.9%) currently rank a close 2nd behind the Nationals. In ‘13, the Nationals ranked 29th in the Major Leagues, throwing out 14 percent (15 of 110) of would-be basestealers.

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

NATIONALS (60-51)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 2B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
34 Bryce Harper (L) LF
8 Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
59 Jose Lobaton (S) C
58 Doug Fister RHP

METS (54-59)

3 Curtis Granderson (L) RF
28 Daniel Murphy (L) 2B
5 David Wright 3B
21 Lucas Duda (L) 1B
15 Travis d’Arnaud C
9 Kirk Nieuwenhuis (L) LF
12 Juan Lagares CF
11 Ruben Tejada SS
49 Jonathon Niese (L) LHP

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

Nationals acquire LHP Matt Thornton

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by Amanda Comak

In a move that bolsters the left side of their bullpen with a veteran arm, the Washington Nationals acquired left-handed reliever Matt Thornton on a waiver claim from the New York Yankees on Tuesday.

Thornton, 37, joins the Nationals after going 0-3 with 12 holds and a 2.55 ERA in 46 appearances in his lone season in New York. In his 24.2 innings with the Yankees, Thornton has not allowed a home run, walked just six and struck out 20 (7.3 strikeouts per nine innings).

In 11 Major League seasons that included stops with the Mariners, White Sox, Red Sox and Yankees, Thornton is 32-45 with 182 holds, 23 saves and a 3.49 ERA in 652 games/one start. When facing left-handed batters, Thornton’s career batting average against is .233 and his opponents’ on-base percentage against is .297.

Boston Red Sox v New York YankeesThornton’s 411 strikeouts the last seven seasons (2008 – present) are the most in baseball among left-handed relievers. He’s also recorded at least 20 holds in five consecutive seasons (2008 – 2012), including a career-high 26 for the White Sox in ’12.

The 37-year-old Thornton, in his only career postseason experience, worked 3.1 scoreless innings for the White Sox in the 2008 American League Division Series against Tampa Bay.

Thornton was the Mariners first-round selection (22nd overall) in the 1998 First-Year Player Draft.

Additionally, right-hander Taylor Jordan was transferred to the 60-day Disabled List.

Nationals recall C Sandy Leon, place C Wilson Ramos on Paternity List

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by Amanda Comak

Miami Marlins v Washington NationalsWith Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos and his wife, Yely, expecting their first child, the Nationals placed Ramos on the Paternity List on Tuesday afternoon and recalled catcher Sandy Leon from Triple-A Syracuse.

Leon, 25, rejoins the Nationals for his third Major League stint of the season. The switch-hitting catcher is batting .212 (25-for-118) in 34 games with Syracuse this season, with eight doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI.

In 28 games behind the plate for the Chiefs, Leon has caught 65 percent of attempted base stealers (11-of-17).

Ramos, 26, is hitting .290 (54-for-186) with a .340 on-base percentage, eight doubles, three home runs and 25 RBI in 49 games this season.

Nationals Game Notes — August 4 vs. Baltimore Orioles

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Game No. 110: Washington Nationals (60-49) vs. Baltimore Orioles (62-48) | 7:05 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Tanner Roark (11-6, 2.74 ERA) vs. RHP Kevin Gausman (5-3, 3.70)
Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark owns the second-longest string of consecutive starts with a decision (14, 9-5 record) among Nationals pitchers since 2005 (Gio Gonzalez, 18 in 2012). 
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 & MASN2
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

  • In Sunday’s 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, Stephen Strasburg (7.0 scoreless innings) combined with Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano (1.0 scoreless inning each) to complete the team’s 13th shutout of the season, which matched the Nationals (2005 – present) single-season team mark, set initially during the 2012 National League East Championship campaign.

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

NATIONALS (60-49)

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

ORIOLES (62-48)

21 Nick Markakis (L) RF
13 Manny Machado 3B
10 Adam Jones CF
23 Nelson Cruz LF
19 Chris Davis (L)
2 J.J. Hardy SS
3 Ryan Flaherty (L) 2B
36 Caleb Joseph C
39 Kevin Gausman (L) RHP

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

Jayson Werth named National League Player of the Month for July

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by Amanda Comak

After a second consecutive torrid month of July, Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth was named the National League Player of the Month on Monday by Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball made the announcement this afternoon.

Werth hit .337 (28-for-83) in July with 11 doubles, six home runs, 24 RBI, 17 runs scored and 14 walks to earn the second monthly citation of his 13-year Major League career.

Coincidentally, Werth earned the first Player of the Month award of his career in July of 2013 (.367 average, seven home runs, 22 RBI).

This July, the 35-year-old Werth led the National League in doubles, RBI, extra-base hits (17) and game-winning RBI (6). Werth also ranked among the National League’s best in slugging percentage (second, .687), on-base percentage (third, .446) and batting average (fifth).

With his Player of the Month honors in 2013, Werth became the first Nationals position player to be named NL Player of the Month since the club’s DC arrival in 2005. He remains the only position player to have earned the award.

Pitchers Chad Cordero (June, 2005), Stephen Strasburg (April, 2012), Gio Gonzalez (May, 2012) and Jordan Zimmermann (July, 2012) have all nabbed National League Pitcher of the Month honors in years past.

Nationals recall OF Steven Souza Jr., place OF Nate McLouth on 15-day DL

Twitter: @Nationals | Facebook: Nationals | Instagram: @Nationals

by Amanda Comak

Washington Nationals vs Houston AstrosThe Washington Nationals recalled outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from Triple-A Syracuse on Monday afternoon and placed outfielder Nate McLouth on the 15-day Disabled List (retroactive to Aug. 2) with right shoulder inflammation.

Souza, who rejoins the Nationals for his second Major League stint of the season, currently leads the International League in batting average (.354), on-base percentage (.435), slugging percentage (.601) and OPS (1.036).

In 91 games with Syracuse this season, Souza, 25, has collected 43 extra-base hits, including 23 doubles, two triples and 18 home runs. He has stolen 24 bases and been caught seven times.

During his first call-up this season, Souza was 1-for-8 (.125) with a walk and three strikeouts in nine plate appearances spanning eight games (one start).

McLouth, 32, is 24-for-139 (.179) in 79 games (33 starts) this season. The Nationals’ primary left-handed bat off the bench has six doubles, one home run and seven RBI this season. He’s walked 16 times and stolen four bases.

Nationals Game Notes — August 3 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Game No. 109: Washington Nationals (59-49) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (49-62) | 1:35 p.m. ET | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Up: RHP Stephen Strasburg (7-9, 3.55 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (6-5, 2.55)
Washington Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg (West Hills HS) and Philadelphia Phillies lefty Cole Hamels (Rancho Bernardo HS), both natives of San Diego, match up for the fourth time. In the first three match-ups, Strasburg has posted a 1.37 ERA.
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:

  • Denard Span has reached base safely via a hit or a walk in 28 straight games, dating to June 28. He’s gone 40-for-109 (.367) with four doubles, five RBI, 18 walks, 22 runs scored and eight stolen bases without being caught in that stretch. His 28-game on-base percentage: .453.
    Span’ 28-game run is currently the longest such streak in the Major Leagues, the 10th-longest in MLB this year, and is tied for the fifth-longest in Nationals history. Here are the others:
    1. Ryan Zimmerman …………….43 games Apr. 8 - May 25, 2008
    2. Alfonso Soriano ……………….30 games Aug. 27 - Sept. 29, 2006

    T3. Denard Span ……………………29 games Aug. 17 - Sept. 19, 2013

    T3. Ryan Zimmerman …………….29 games July 22 - Aug. 23, 2011
     
    T5. Denard Span ……………………28 games June 28, 2014 - present
    T5. Michael Morse …………………28 games July 6 - Aug. 9, 2011

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

NATIONALS (59-49)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 2B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
7 Scott Hairston LF
3 Asdrubal Cabrera (S) 2B
59 Jose Lobaton (S) C
37 Stephen Strasburg RHP

PHILLIES (49-62)

2 Ben Revere (L) CF
11 Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
26 Chase Utley (L) 2B
6 Ryan Howard (L) 1B
3 Marlon Byrd RF
24 Grady Sizemore (L) LF
21 Wil Nieves C
25 Cody Asche (L) 3B
35 Cole Hamels (L) LHP

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

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