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.

Nationals Game Notes: July 7 at New York Mets

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Washington Nationals (51-35) at New York Mets (46-38)
RHP Lucas Giolito [0-0, 0.00] | RHP Bartolo Colon [7-4, 2.87]
Thursday, July 7 l Game #87 / Road #45 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

FOUR MORE FOR THE ROAD
The Nationals’ conclude the season’s first “half” this weekend at Citi Field where they will play a four-game set against the New York Mets…Following these four, Washington, like the rest of baseball, will embark on the All-Star break from Monday-Thursday…The Nationals will open the second “half” with a nine-game homestand where they will welcome Pittsburgh, Los Angeles (NL), and San Diego to Nationals Park.

  • At 51-35 (.593), the Nationals possess the third-best record in the National League, behind only the San Francisco Giants (54-33, .621) and the Chicago Cubs (52-32, .619).
  • The Nationals run differential sits at +99, second-best in MLB behind the Cubs (+149).

TONIGHT’S MATCHUP
Washington’s starter tonight, RHP Lucas Giolito, was born on July 14, 1994…RHP Bartolo Colon, who starts for New York, was in his first professional season in 1994, playing for the Burlington Indians of the rookie-level Appalachian League.

  • According to researchers Cory Schwartz and Bryan Evans of MLB, Colon made a start for Burlington on July 13, 1994, the day before Giolito was born.

POWER HOUR
Washington went 7-3 on its most recent homestand, clubbing 36 extra-base hits (18 doubles, three triples and 16 home runs) as well as a .475 team slugging percentage along the way.

  • The Nationals avoided the sweep on Wednesday topping the Brewers 7-4 behind home runs by RF Bryce Harper (3-R), C Jose Lobaton (solo) and 1B Ryan Zimmerman (2-R).

SUMMER HEAT
Since June 1, Washington ranks among all National League squads in OPS (1st, .800), onbase percentage (1st, .341) , runs scored (2nd, 177), slugging percentage (2nd, .459), HR (2nd, 48), walks (2nd, 116), doubles (T2nd, 62), and batting average (4th, .270).

  • Since June 1, SS Danny Epinosa is third in the NL with a .718 slugging percentage…He paces the Nationals and ranks tied for second in the NL with 12 HR, while his 29 RBI are a team-high, and rank tied for fourth in the NL.
  • LF Jayson Werth leads Nationals hitters and ranks fifth in the National League with a .432 on-base percentage since June 1…His 25 walks since June 1 are third-most in the NL.

Expert Advice: How to care for your Bryce Harper Chia Pet

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After 20,000 lucky fans received Bryce Harper Chia Pets at last night’s game, we thought a few “best Bryce Harper Chia Pet practices” would be useful for everyone to have.

So, we turned to our in-house grounds crew expert, John Turnour. John is the director of field operations for the Nationals, and is responsible for maintaining the pristine field at Nationals Park. Since John has been in the business for years, we knew he could provide us with some valuable advice to help our Bryce Harper Chia Pets flourish.

Here are John’s tips for growing your Bryce Harper Chia Pet:

  • Be sure to evenly distribute the chia seeds in the desired areas. Upon distributing them, immediately spray or mist the Bryce Harper Chia Pet with water for best results.
  • Allow for maximum sunlight whenever possible. If possible, place the Bryce Harper Chia Pet near a window or outside on a patio or table during daylight hours.
  • Keep the chia seeds moist throughout the day. Once your Bryce Harper Chia Pet starts to fill in with grass, you can cut back on the watering needs. A simple water bottle that sprays out a mist is ideal for keeping the seeds moist.
  • When you feel it’s time to trim your Bryce Harper Chia Pet, a pair of small scissors is the best tool to use.

Happy growing!

Nationals Game Notes: July 6 vs. Milwaukee Brewers

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Milwaukee Brewers (37-46) vs. Washington Nationals (50-35)
RHP Matt Garza [1-1, 3.74] | RHP Tanner Roark [7-5, 2.93]
Wednesday, July 6 l Game #86 / Home #42 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C l 4:05 P.M.
Television: MASN2 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

STATUS CHECK
The Nationals’ conclude their longest homestand of the season to date (10 games) as well as the first-half home slate this afternoon…Washington will travel to New York for four games before the All-Star break, but will open the second half with a nine-game homestand vs. Pittsburgh, Los Angeles (NL), and San Diego.

  • At 50-34 (.588), the Nationals possess the third-best record in the National League, behind only the Chicago Cubs (52-31, .627) and the San Francisco Giants (53-33, .616).

ALL-STARS AMONG US
Major League Baseball announced the 2016 All-Star teams Tuesday evening and the Washington Nationals will have four representitves in San Diego next week.

  • RF Bryce Harper will start in the National League outfield for the third time in his career, his fourth career All-Star selection by garnering 2,865,095 fan votes, the highest vote total among all NL outfielders…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 will appear in his second All-Star Game (also 2014)…Murphy leads all NL second basemen in doubles (23), RBI (56), and slugging percentage (.581), while his 14 home runs rank second…He is a players’ selection to the NL squad.
  • This is the first All-Star nod for C Wilson Ramos, who currently leads all qualified Major League catchers in batting average (.335), on-base percentage (.390), slugging percentage (.554), RBI (46), home runs (T1st, 13), and fewest strikeouts (35).
  • RHP Stephen Strasburg, a San Diego native, earned the second All-Star nod of his career (also 2012)…He is 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA through 15 starts this season.
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