During the marathon of a 162-game baseball season, there are thrilling moments that highlight the successes of every club. The 2014 Washington Nationals are no exception, as they have sparked excitement throughout The District while returning to postseason play for the second time in three years.
Over the course of the regular season, though there were so many great moments, nine “Signature Moments” stood out above the rest — from Opening Day until the day the Nationals clinched the NL East in Atlanta.
Before the National League Division Series begins in earnest on October 3, we will chronicle those Signature Moments here on Curly W Live — fittingly beginning with the Nationals’ first victory of the 2014 season. Enjoy!
CARDIAC NATS | 3.31
The Nationals, led by Denard Span and Anthony Rendon, used a late rally to defeat the Mets on Opening Day in New York.
by Kyle Brostowitz
On Wednesday, three of the Washington Nationals’ minor league affiliates will kick off the 2014 postseason. Here’s a brief preview of each series:
Syracuse Chiefs (81-62), Northern Division Champion
Pawtucket Red Sox (79-65), Wild Card
Season Series: 8-8
Series Scoring: 66-56 (Syracuse)
Game Three starter, RHP Mitch Lively, stymied the Red Sox late in the season, going 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA (4 ER/11.0 IP) with 17 strikeouts and just four walks in his final two starts of 2014. In his final outing, on Aug. 30, Lively struck out a career-high 11 batters to propel the Chiefs to the division-clinching 6-2 victory over the Red Sox.
Former Nationals outfielder Corey Brown will face off against his former teammates in this best-of-five series. Brown went 10-for-33 (.303) with two doubles, four homers, six RBI, three walks and 5 runs scored in nine games against Syracuse in 2014. Brown played 357 games for the Chiefs from 2011-2013.
Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 3 at Pawtucket, 7:05pm: RHP Taylor Hill vs. LHP Edwin Escobar
Game 2: Thursday, Sept. 4 at Pawtucket, 7:05pm: RHP Scott McGregor vs. RHP Matt Barnes
Game 3: Friday, Sept. 5 at Syracuse, 7:00pm: RHP Mitch Lively vs. LHP Henry Owens
Game 4: Saturday, Sept. 6 at Syracuse, 7:00pm: LHP Aaron Laffey vs. TBD **If necessary**
Game 5: Sunday, Sept. 7 at Syracuse, 1:00pm: RHP Paolo Espino vs. TBD **If necessary**
Potomac Nationals (78-58), Northern Division Champion
Lynchburg Hillcats (68-71), Wild Card
Season Series: 12-7 (Potomac)
Series Scoring: 96-90 (Potomac)
Potomac enters the postseason having won 14 of its last 19 games to finish out the season. Moreover, the Nationals have won four straight against Lynchburg, including a three-game sweep of the Hillcats, Aug. 19-20.
P-Nats second baseman Tony Renda claimed the Carolina League batting title, hitting .307 with 21 doubles, four triples, 47 RBI, 19 stolen bases and 75 runs scored. In 13 games against Lynchburg, Renda went 16-for-49 (.327) with a double, two RBI, three stole bases, four walks and 12 runs scored.
Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 3 at Potomac: LHP Hector Silvestre vs. TBD
Game 2: Thursday, Sept. 4 at Potomac: RHP Brian Rauh vs. TBD
Game 3: Friday, Sept. 5 at Potomac: RHP Ian Dickson vs. TBD
South Atlantic League
Hagerstown Suns (87-53), Second Half Northern Division Champion
Greensboro Grasshoppers (87-53), First Half Northern Division Champion
Season Series: 6-5 (Hagerstown)
Series Scoring: 69-66 (Hagerstown)
RHP Reynaldo Lopez enters the postseason having allowed just one earned run in his last 39.2 South Atlantic League innings pitched, going 4-1 with a 0.23 ERA, with opponents batting just .115 against him. In his lone start against Greensboro on Aug. 19, Lopez fired 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing two hits while walking one and striking out four.
South Atlantic League MVP, INF Wilmer Difo, hit .460 (23-for-50) with a double, three triples, two homers, 10 RBI, two walks, three stolen bases and 13 runs scored in 11 games against Greensboro in 2014.
Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 3 at Hagerstown: RHP Wander Suero vs. Domingo German
Game 2: Friday, Sept. 5 at Greensboro: RHP Reynaldo Lopez vs. LHP Chris Sadberry
Game 3 Saturday, Sept. 6 at Greensboro: RHP Nick Pivetta vs. RHP Kyle Fischer
by Kyle Mann
As the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (WNYBA) enters its second year of core programming, the organization is looking for qualified volunteers from the community to support its academic enrichment programs.
The commitment for mentors is two hours, one day per week, and it is important that mentors are able to commit each week so they can become role models for the program’s scholar-athletes. These mentors will build a rich community that exposes young scholars to new perspectives and many forms of support. Mentors, in turn, are rewarded with the experience of making a dramatic and clear impact on the lives of young people.
Those who are interested, please see below, or visit the WNYBA website to apply. Applications received by September 5 will receive priority consideration.
The WNYBA is located at 3675 Ely Place SE. Street parking is available, and a shuttle is provided from the Stadium-Armory Metro (Orange/Blue/Silver lines) at 5:30 pm.
Creative programming, based on nationally acclaimed models, will help boys and girls:
• Develop a passion for and skill in the game of baseball.
• Improve English Language Arts, Science and Mathematics outcomes.
• Be physically active, learn about nutrition and how to cook healthy foods.
• Grow through the years with an organization committed to their success.
Teaching Mentors Commitment:
What: Teach a small group of third, fourth, or fifth graders in a core academic subject: Math (STEM), English Language Arts, or BrainFood (only available Thursdays) using provided baseball-themed lessons.
When: One night per week: (Tuesdays: 6:00 – 7:45 pm; Wednesdays: 6:00 – 7:45 pm; Thursdays: 4:00- 6:00 pm or 6:00 – 7:45 pm (as a Brain Food Assistant!)) plus 1 hour of lesson preparation per week.
Mentors do not need to have any prior teaching experience to be a mentor and the curriculum is pre-developed and highly-structured. All we ask of you is your time and your energy. You will be a role model to your scholars, and you will play an important part in their lives as you develop relationships with them.
• Ability to make an academic year long commitment, September to May.
• Ability to lead engaging activities and lessons.
• Complete an interview, background check process, and TB Test.
• Flexibility and willingness to learn and attend all required trainings.
The following qualities are preferred but not required:
• Experience working with youth.
• Experience with curriculum and instruction.
• A working knowledge of the rules of baseball/softball.