Stephen Strasburg kicks off DC Public Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Program

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To celebrate the beginning of the DC Public Library’s 2016 Summer Reading Program sponsored by the Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg visited Hearst Elementary School on Monday to read to and interact with local students.

The 2016 Summer Reading Program is the largest program in the District that addresses the “summer slide,” or the loss of learning that children and teens experience when they do not read during summer vacation. Comprised of several age-specific initiatives, the program encourages summer reading by offering local youth various incentives, including a Nationals/DC Public Library soft baseball (kids up to the age of five), a Nationals Activity Book (ages six through 12) and tickets to select Nationals games for students (ages six through 18) who reach their summer reading goal.

“The DC Public Library Summer Reading Program is a wonderful merger of opportunities,” said Gregory McCarthy, Vice President of Community Engagement for the Nationals. “DCPL has wonderful community-based programs at its 26 branches throughout the District and the Nationals can provide a great platform to motivate parents and their children to sign up for summer reading.”

The Nationals’ three-year commitment to the DC Public Library’s Summer Reading Program includes annual contributions of tickets, merchandise, program collateral and other support.

Since the Nationals became involved in the program, the number of participants has increased more than 100 percent, doubling since summer 2013, when 13,000 participants were registered. Last summer, 27,000 youth participated.

More information can be found at nationals.com/summerreading. To sign up for the program, visit dclibrary.org/summerreading.

“Baseball is a powerful tool to promote learning and healthy lifestyles among children,” said McCarthy. “The program allows our team to reach thousands and thousands of young people.”

Nationals Game Notes: June 14 vs. Chicago Cubs

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Chicago Cubs (43-19) vs. Washington Nationals (40-24)
RHP John Lackey [7-2, 2.63] | LHP Gio Gonzalez [3-5, 3.93]
Tuesday, June 14 l Game #65 / Home #31 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/MLBN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ROLLING RIGHT ALONG
The Nationals have won four in a row, seven of their last eight, and 11 of their last 14 games, playing at a .786 clip since May 29, and have built a National League East division lead from zero games to 5.0 games in that span…During this stretch, Washington is averaging 6.4 runs per game and is outscoring opponents, 89-53…The Nationals’ 89 runs scored in this span are tied for the National League lead with the Cincinnati Reds, and tied for second in Major League Baseball behind only the Baltimore Orioles (91).

  • At 40-24 (.625), the Nationals have posted their best record through 64 games in club
    history (2005-pres.), and matched the 1994 & 1979 Expos for the best record in franchise history (Nationals/Expos).
  • The Nationals also boast the second-best record in the Major Leagues this season, behind only the visiting Chicago Cubs (43-19, .694).

ESPI-POWER
Nationals SS Danny Espinosa continued his power surge on Sunday afternoon, sending his 11th home run of the season to left center field in the second inning…Espinosa has now hit eight home runs in his last 16 games (dating to May 26), the second-most in Major League Baseball in that span, behind only Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez and Reds OF Adam Duvall (9)…Eight of Espinosa’s last 16 hits have been home runs.

  • From May 26 to June 10, the Nationals homered in a team record (2005-pres.) 14 consecutive games…It was the second-longest streak in franchise (Nationals/Expos) history behind the 16 game run the 1999 Expos put together from May 18-June 5 of that season…The 14-game streak was the second longest home-run streak in Major League Baseball this season (BOS – 22 games – 4/29-5/22).

MLB Network’s ‘Intentional Talk’ comes to Nationals Park

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During this week’s series against the Cubs, MLB Network’s popular show Intentional Talk is on site at Nationals Park. Hosted by longtime MLB broadcaster Chris Rose and 2004 World Series champion Kevin Millar, the shows airs Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Before the game yesterday, the hosts previewed the upcoming series, interviewed special guests Ryan Zimmerman and Ben Revere, tasted food available at various concession stands around Nationals Park and were joined by the Racing Presidents.

Be sure to check out these behind-the-scenes pictures from yesterday, and tune in to MLB Network for the second episode of Intentional Talk live from Nationals Park today at 5 p.m. ET!

Nationals 2016 Dream Gala netted more than $400,000 for Dream Foundation

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On Saturday evening, Nationals players, coaches and guests from around the region celebrated the “Power of Baseball” at the 11th annual Dream Gala, held at the Marriott Marquis Washington DC. As the primary fundraiser for the Nationals Dream Foundation, the 2016 Dream Gala netted more than $400,000 for the Foundation’s initiatives focused on academics, the arts, nutrition and sports for children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region.

The event featured a cocktail reception and silent auction, as well as a dinner program and a live auction hosted by Nationals radio broadcaster Charlie Slowes. Live auction items included memorabilia from Max Scherzer’s two no-hitters in 2015, and an autographed watercolor painting of 2015 National League MVP, Bryce Harper. Experiences included a trip to Hawaii, spending the day with the Nationals Baseball Operations team and General Manager Mike Rizzo, as well as the once-in-a-lifetime experience to travel with the team to Citi Field in July when they face the New York Mets.

A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Dream Foundation is committed to improving the lives of children and teens in the Washington, D.C. region through community partnerships. Enjoy the above photos, and to find out more information on the Dream Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.nationals.com/dream.

Nationals Game Notes: June 13 vs. Chicago Cubs

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Chicago Cubs (43-18) vs. Washington Nationals (39-24)
RHP Kyle Hendricks [4-5, 2.90] | RHP Max Scherzer [7-4, 3.57]
Monday, June 13 l Game #64 / Home #30 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/ESPN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SWEEP = SEALED
The Nationals’ 5-4 walk-off win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday evening secured Washington’s sixth series sweep of the season and the Nationals’ third within the confines of Nationals Park…LF Jayson Werth stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth, the Nationals trailing by a run, and sent the 34,294 fans in attendance home happy with a two-run walk-off single…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was just the second time in Werth’s MLB career he’s produced a walk-off RBI after coming to the plate with his team trailing…The first? That happened in 2010, when Werth hit a two-run home run off former Nationals RHP Drew Storen that sealed a 7-6 Philadelphia Phillies victory.

  • Thanks to their sweeping ways, the Nationals have won 10 of their last 13 games…During this stretch, which dates to May 29, Washington is averaging 6.5 runs per game and is outscoring opponents, 85-52…The Nationals’ 85 runs scored lead the National League and rank third in Major League Baseball behind Baltimore (91) and Seattle (88).
  • At 39-24, the Nationals have posted their best record through 63 games in club history (2005-pres.), and matched the 1994 & 1979 Expos for the best record in franchise history (Nationals/Expos).
  • The Nationals also boast the second-best record in the National League, behind the Chicago Cubs (43-18, .705) (who visit Nationals Park for three games starting Monday)…Washington is tied with the Texas Rangers for the second-best record in Major League Baseball.

ALL-STAR CASES TO BE MADE
The next round of National League All-Star balloting updates aren’t expected until Wednesday, but Washington boasts several position players building strong cases for consideration:

  • 2B Daniel Murphy leads Major League Baseball in batting average (.369)…He leads the National League and ranks among MLB hitters in multi-hit games (2nd, 28), OPS (2nd, 1.018), slugging percentage (2nd, .609) and hits (3rd, 86) while his .409 on-base percentage is ninth in MLB and sixth in the National League…Murphy’s 3.0 Wins Above Replacement (per FanGraphs.com) is tied with CHI OF Dexter Fowler and 3B Kris Bryant for second in the National League, behind only COL 3B Nolan Arenado (3.1).
  • C Wilson Ramos has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games, posting a .364 (12-for-33) avrage with two doubles, three homers, 10 RBI, four walks and 10 runs scored during that span….Just shy of qualifying for league leaders (3.1 PA/Team Game) Ramos leads all Major League catchers (min. 180 PA) in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.383), slugging percentage (.548) and fewest strikeouts (23)…Ramos also leads MLB catchers with 34 RBI and his nine home runs are tied for first with HOU’s Evan Gattis, KCR’s Salvador Perez and MIL’s Jonathan Lucroy….After hitting .229 in 2015, Ramos is the only player in MLB to have increased his batting average at least 100 points from last year to this year (min. 100 PA in 2016 / 500PA in 2015), per the Elias Sports Bureau.
  • RF Bryce Harper was second among all NL outfielders in voting as of the most recent update (June 8) with 1,119,168 fan votes to date…Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, ranks second in MLB in walks (52), first in intentional walks (13) and seventh in OBP (.412).

ESPI-POWER
Nationals SS Danny Espinosa continued his power surge on Sunday afternoon, sending his 11th home run of the season to left center field in the second inning…Espinosa has now hit eight home runs in his last 15 games (dating to May 26), the second-most in Major League Baseball in that span, behind only Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (9)…Eight of Espinosa’s last 15 hits have been home runs.

  • From May 26 to June 10, the Nationals homered in a team record (2005-pres.) 14 consecutive games…It was the second-longest streak in franchise (Nationals/Expos) history behind the 16 game run the 1999 Expos put together from May 18-June 5 of that season…The 14-game streak was the second longest home-run streak in Major League Baseball this season (BOS – 22 games – 4/29-5/22).

Today in Nationals’ History: Joe Ross earns first career win

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2015 Washington NationalsJune 13, 2015 – Making his second career start, RHP Joe Ross spun 8.0 innings of two-run ball, allowing seven hits while striking out eight. He earned his first career win as the Nationals topped the Brewers, 7-2. Ross set a Nationals record (2005-present) for the most batters faced (51) before issuing a walk to start a career. He walked Adam Lind with two outs in the eighth inning. The win began a stretch of 12 wins in 16 games for the Nationals through the end of June.

 

Nationals Game Notes: June 12 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Philadelphia Phillies (29-33) vs. Washington Nationals (38-24)

LHP Adam Morgan [1-5, 6.70] | RHP Joe Ross [5-4, 2.92]

Sunday, June 12 l Game #63 / Home #29 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 4:05 P.M.

Television: MASN 2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

WINNING WAYS

Thanks to Saturday’s 8-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, the Nationals have won nine of their last 12 games…During this stretch, dating to May 29,Washington has averaged 6.7 runs per game and has outscored opponents, 80-48…The 80 runs scored leads the National League and ranks third in Major League Baseball behind Seattle (84) and Baltimore (82).

  • With yesterday’s win, the Nationals are 38-24, matching their best record through 62 games in team history (2005-pres.) and franchise history (Nationals/Expos)… The 2012 Nationals, 1994 Expos and 1979 Expos were also 38-24…Only the 1994 and 1979 Expos improved to 39-24.
  • At 38-24 (.613), the Nationals boast the second-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (42-18, .700) and are tied with the Texas Rangers for the second-best record in Major League Baseball.

HOME RUN STREAK SNAPPED

From May 26 to June 10, the Nationals homered in a team record (2005-pres.) 14 consecutive games…It was the second-longest streak in franchise (Nationals/Expos) history behind the 16 game run the 1999 Expos put together from May 18-June 5 of that season…The 14-game streak was the second longest home-run streak in Major League Baseball this season (BOS – 22 games – 4/29-5/22).

HIT THE BALL…

The Nationals, as a team, lead the National League in home runs (85) and are fifth in the NL in runs scored (287)…They also rank tied for fifth in walks (215) and their 472 strikeouts are the third-fewest in the National League.

  • At +75, the Nationals rank second in the National League in run differential behind the Chicago Cubs (+151) and third in MLB behind the Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles (+88).

…AND PITCH IT

Washington’s pitching staff leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts (591) and strikeouts-per-nine-innings with 9.50…The Nationals staff also ranks among MLB leaders in ERA (3rd, 3.22), strikeout-to-walk ratio (3rd, 3.40), WHIP (3rd, 1.14) and hits per nine innings (3rd, 7.48).

Nationals Game Notes: June 11 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Philadelphia Phillies (29-32) vs. Washington Nationals (37-24)

RHP Aaron Nola [5-4, 2.65] | RHP Tanner Roark [4-4, 3.21]

Saturday, June 11 l Game #62 / Home #28 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 12:05 P.M.

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

POWER HOUR

The Nationals kicked off this weekend set with the Philadelphia Phillies with a 9-6 win last night…Trailing 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Nationals clubbed back-to-back home runs thanks to solo homers from C Wilson Ramos and 3B Stephen Drew.

  • It was the eighth time the Nationals have gone back-to-back this season and the third time Drew has been involved in back-to-back home runs.
  • According to Stats, LLC., the eight back-to-backs are tied (w/2013 Nationals) for second most in team history (2005-pres.) behind the 2012 Nationals (9) and are second-most in Major League Baseball behind the Baltimore Orioles (10).
  • SS Danny Espinosa added his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot in the sixth inning… He has now homered in seven of his last 14 games and his seven home runs are tied for third in MLB over that stretch.

PERFECT 10 OR LUCKY 13…BOTH WORK

RHP Stephen Strasburg improved to 10-0 and extended his winning streak to 13 games (dating to Sept. 15, 2015) last night…The 13-game winning streak matched RHP Stan Coveleski (5/9/1925 – 7/26/1925) and RHP Walter Johnson (7/15/1924 – 9/22/1924) for the third-longest winning streak by a starting pitcher in D.C.-baseball history…The 13-game streak is the longest in franchise (Nationals/Expos) history.

  • According to ESPN Stats and Information, Strasburg is the first National League starter to begin a season 10-0 since SDP’s RHP Andy Hawkins went 11-0 in 1985.

HIT THE BALL…

The Nationals, as a team, lead the National League in home runs (85)…Nationals hitters also rank fifth in the NL in walks (213) and their 466 strikeouts are the third-fewest in the NL.

…AND PITCH IT

Washington’s pitching staff leads the Major Leagues in strikeouts (581) and strikeouts-per-nine-innings with 9.50…The Nationals staff also ranks among MLB leaders in ERA (3rd, 3.27), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4th, 3.38), walks/hits per innings pitched (3rd, 1.14) and hits per nine innings (3rd, 7.49).

Nationals Game Notes: June 10 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Philadelphia Phillies (29-31) vs. Washington Nationals (36-24)
RHP Jeremy Hellickson [4-3, 3.80] | RHP Stephen Strasburg [9-0, 2.85]
Friday, June 10 l Game #61 / Home #27 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 7:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

HOME COOKIN’
The Nationals arrived home from their three-city, nine-game, 11-day trip in the wee hours of Friday morning and open a brief six-game homestand against the Phillies and Cubs Friday evening…Washington plays just 10 games inside the confines of Nationals Park in the month of June, as the Nationals will head back out on the road on June 16 when they open another three-city trip in San Diego…Thus far this season the Nationals are 15-11 (.577) at home.

STRAS, YOU’RE GRAND
With a strikeout of Dan Straily in the fifth inning on Saturday at Cincinnati, Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg became the first pitcher in Nationals history (2005-present) to tally 1,000 strikeouts with Washington…LHP Gio Gonzalez struck out his 1,000th batter in a Nationals uniform, but 511 of his first 1,000 K were with the Oakland Athletics…Strasburg is the 40th active pitcher to notch 1,000 strikeouts in his career, the 488th in baseball history.

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Strasburg reached the 1,000 strikeout mark in the fifth-fewest innings in Major League history:

      PITCHER IP AT TIME OF 1K
1. Billy Wagner 757.2 IP
2. Octavio Dotel 820.1 IP
3. Francisco Rodriguez 827.1 IP
4. Kerry Wood 853.0 IP
5. Stephen Strasburg 855.0 IP
6. Chris Sale 872.0 IP
7. Tim Lincecum 896.1 IP

  • While taking a no-decision on Saturday, Strasburg kept intact his franchise record (Nationals/Expos) 12-game winning streak, dating to Sept. 15, 2015…The record, which is among starting pitchers, surpassed the 11-game winning streaks of RHP Livan Hernandez (4/4-7/1/05) and RHP Dennis Martinez (5/9-7/29/89).
  • In addition, Strasburg’s 9-0 record to start a season topped the 1997 8-0 start of Hall of Fame RHP Pedro Martinez (4/15-5/23/97) for a new franchise record (Nationals/Expos).

10-SPOT
The Nationals recent road trip featured three straight games scoring 10 runs or more (6/5 at CIN, 6/7 at CWS, 6/8 at CWS), making the 2016 Nationals just the second team in club history (2005-present) to post 10 or more runs in three straight games (also 6/26-28, 2012 at COL).

  • The Nationals had four batters with three-hit nights on Wednesday at CWS (CF Ben Revere, LF Jayson Werth, RF Bryce Harper, and SS Danny Espinosa)…It was just the fifth time in Nationals history (2005-present) the team had four or more players with three or more hits…That many Nationals had not posted three or more knocks in the same game since five WSH players collected at least three apiece at San Francisco on Aug. 13, 2012.

NATIONALS ADD THREE ON DRAFT’S FIRST DAY
The Nationals selected prep SS Carter Kieboom out of Walton (GA) High School with the 28th-overall pick in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft on Thursday evening, and followed that selection with collegiate RHP Dane Dunning out of the University of Florida at No. 29…In the second round, Washington tabbed 3B Sheldon Neuse out of the University of Oklahoma.

  • Kieboom, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder is considered one of the best prep hitters in the draft, posting a .366 (37-for-101) average with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, 37 RBI, 24 walks, seven stolen bases and 39 runs scored…He is the younger brother of Nationals C Spencer Kieboom.
  • Dunning is 5-3 with two saves and a 2.50 ERA (19 ER/68.1 IP) in 29 games (five starts) for Florida…He has struck out 78 batters and walked just 11…Dunning will continue to pitch for the top-seeded Gators in the Super Regional Round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
  • Neuse hit .369 (73-for-198) with 15 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 48 RBI, 39 walks, 12 stolen bases and 42 runs scored in 55 games for Oklahoma…He led the Big 12 in SLG (.646), T1st in triples (5) and ranked among leaders in OBP (4th, .465), HR (T4th, 10), BB (T4th, 39), AVG (5th, .369), RBI (7th, 48) & SB (T8th, 12).
  • The Draft resumes at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, when selections for Rounds 3-10 will be made.

2016 First-Year Player Draft – Day 2

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The second day of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft kicks off at 1:00 P.M. ET with rounds 3-10. The Nationals  will have the 17th pick in the third round (No. 94 overall) and the 18th pick in each round the rest of the way.

Stay tuned to Curly W Live for a running blog of the picks throughout the day!

The Nationals kicked off today’s action by selecting prep left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo out of Stoneman Douglas High Schoool in Parkland, Fla. Luzardo is rated as the No. 45 draft prospect in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft, per Baseball America and the No. 77 prospect according to MLB.com. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound lefty went 4-0 with a 0.66 ERA (2 ER/21.0 IP) in four starts in 2016. He underwent “Tommy John” ligament replacement surgery (Dr. James Andrews) on March 22, 2016. Prior to the 2016 season, Luzardo was named a Rawlings/Perfect game preseason first-team All-American and Louisville Slugger preseason first-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

In the fourth round, the Nationals selected Nick Banks, an outfielder from Texas A&M University. Banks is hitting .289 (66-for-288) with 13 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 49 RBI, 22 walks, seven stolen bases and 47 runs scored. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound junior was named MVP of the 2016 SEC Tournament and will continue to play for the Aggies as they advance to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament. As a sophomore in 2015, Banks earned American Baseball Coaches Association third-team All-America honors and was named second-team All-SEC He ranked fourth in the SEC in batting average (.364), fifth in on-base percentage (.450), and sixth in hits (87).

The Nationals selected outfielder Daniel Johnson, the 2016 Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year, in the fifth round. The 5-foot-10, 185 pound lefty led the league in batting average (.416), slugging percentage (.720), home runs (8), hits (52), total bases (90), runs (36) and stolen bases (15) during conference play. On the season, he hit .382 (94-for-246) with 11 doubles, seven triples, 12 homers, 50 RBI, 18 walks, 29 stolen bases and 67 runs scored in 57 total games. Johnson began his career at Northeast Oklahoma A&M Junior College before transferring to New Mexico State.

In the sixth round, Washington selected Tres Barrera a 6-foot, 215-pound catcher from the University of Texas. Barrera hit .289 (61-for-211) with 17 doubles, six homers, 37 RBI, 28 walks and 35 runs scored in 57 games as Texas’ primary backstop in 2016. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 following the season.

The Nationals selected the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, Jacob Noll, in the seventh round. The 6-foot-1 righty led the conference in nearly every offensive category, hitting .367 (87-for-237) with 20 doubles, two triples, 12 homers, 61 RBI, 20 walks, nine stolen bases and 58 runs scored.  In addition to player of the year honors, Noll was also named a second-team All-American by Baseball America and a Louisville Slugger second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Noll was second-team Atlantic Sun in 2015 and in 2014, he was named the Louisville slugger National Freshman Player of the Year, Louisville Slugger third-team All-American, NCBWA 2014 Freshman All-American,  Atlantic Sun Freshman of the Year and first-team Atlantic Sun.

In the eighth round, the Nationals selected right-handed pitcher A.J. Bogucki from the University of North Carolina. Bogucki went 5-5 with a 2.86 ERA (16 ER/50.1 IP) in 28 appearances for the Tar Heels in 2016. He struck out 53, walked 25 and surrendered 39 hits.

Washington selected Joesph Harris, a catcher from Gonzaga (WA) University, with their ninth round pick. Harris, a senior, hit .274 (38-for-154) with 10 doubles, two homers, 22 RBI, 22 walks and 38 runs scored in 47 games for the Bulldogs. As a junior in 2015, Harris was West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year after finishing the regular season second in nation with 28 runners caught stealing and .509 caught stealing percentage.

In the tenth and final round of the day, the Nationals selected shortstop Paul Panaccione from Grand Canyon (AZ) University. He hit .363 (53-for-146) with nine doubles, one triple, four homers, 26 RBI, 25 walks and 36 runs scored in 41 games during his senior season.

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