Nationals Game Notes — June 4 vs. Philadelphia Phillies

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Game #57: Washington Nationals (28-28) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (24-32) | 7:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Stephen Strasburg (4-4, 3.15 ERA) vs. RHP AJ Burnett (3-4, 3.79 ERA)
Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA (1 ER/17.0 IP) in a pair of home starts (one BB, 19 SO in 17.0 inn.) against the Philadelphia Phillies last season.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN and WUSA
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

With Ryan Zimmerman in the starting lineup this season, the Nationals are 7-4 and average 6.3 runs per game (69 runs, 11 contests). In 45 games wihout Zimmerman, the Nationals have averaged 3.6 runs per game (160 runs, 45 games) and are 21-24.

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

NATIONALS (28-28)

2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
11 Ryan Zimmerman LF
40 Wilson Ramos C
20 Ian Desmond SS
8 Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
37 Stephen Strasburg RHP

PHILLIES (24-32)

11 Jimmy Rollins (S) SS
26 Chase Utley (L) 2B
3 Marlon Byrd RF
6 Ryan Howard (L) 1B
51 Carlos Ruiz C
9 Domonic Brown (L) LF
17 Reid Brignac (L) 3B
2 Ben Revere (L) CF
34 A.J. Burnett RHP

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

Nationals Magazine Preview: Ian Desmond; The People’s Captain

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The following is an excerpt from the June/July issue of Nationals Magazine. To read the full story, visit nationals.com/publications to find out how you can subscribe. The June/July issue of Nationals Magazine is on sale now, can be purchased at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park and is also available inside Nationals Park on gamedays.

by Mike Feigen

The most coveted emblem in sports is not a logo on a cap or a dollar sign on a contract. Instead, it is the captain’s ‘C’ on a player’s chest, symbolizing not just their play on the field, court, or ice, but the respect they earn off it. Currently, no baseball players don a ‘C’ on their jerseys — only three are designated as team captains at all — but Ian Desmond, with the encouragement of his most devoted fans, could one day join that exclusive company. 

Mag2_cover_webThe evening of April 17, 2014 proved to be one of the toughest of Ian Desmond’s career. He’d shown up at the ballpark hoping to lead the Nationals to a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, but instead found himself in front of his locker answering questions after a difficult 8-0 loss. The two-time Silver Slugger Award-winner wasn’t just bothered by the defeat, but by his fielding mishaps — a pair of errors that led to four Cardinals runs.

Always honest and forthright about his performances, good and bad, Desmond made sure he was available to the media late that night.

“As bad as I want to run and hide… (I’ve) got to stand here and answer the questions, and be a man about it,” Desmond told reporters. “This is something I’ve done to myself. I can’t blame anybody else or anything. I’ve been here before — I’ve proved to people I can play, and I’ve proved to myself I can play. I’m going to do it again. The errors in the past have made me who I am today. These are going to make me a better man, too. I’ve just got to keep fighting through it.”

Make me a better man. Those words are seldom heard in a clubhouse, where machismo and defiance usually follow tough defeats. Desmond is an exception to that rule, offering fans and reporters an introspective into his psyche on the bad nights and heaping praise on his teammates on the good ones.

Just a week earlier, Desmond deflected credit after he hit a game-clinching grand slam to give the Nats a 7-1 lead, saying middle reliever Aaron Barrett came through more than he did by getting a key strikeout when the score was still 2-1. It’s just part of who he is.

Desmond’s regard for others extends far beyond the walls of Nationals Park.

He supports as many charitable causes as he can, the vast majority of which are behind the scenes, with no fanfare. He prefers it that way. Causes he has publicly backed include the campaign to end Neurofibromatosis (NF), which generated more than $30,000 in donations during the month of May, and the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy (YBA), which opened in March. (For more details on Desmond’s quest to End NF click here.)

As a 28-year-old professional ballplayer with a wife and two small children, Desmond could not be faulted if he simply opened his checkbook for various causes and left the work of managing them to others. Instead, he voluntarily became the face of the End NF campaign and serves on the Youth Baseball Academy board of directors, going out of his way to provide more than just financial support.

Rarely do athletes take that kind of approach, but Desmond has a deep appreciation for where he came from and what it took to reach this point.

Mag2_300x390To continue reading “The People’s Captain” on Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, along with more great content from Nationals Magazine, please visit nationals.com/publications, or pick up a copy at the Main Clubhouse Team Store at Nationals Park, as well as inside Nationals Park on gamedays.

Nationals reinstate Ryan Zimmerman from DL, option Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse

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by Amanda Comak

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated third baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the 15-Day Disabled List on Tuesday, and optioned infielder/outfielder Tyler Moore to Triple-A Syracuse.

Zimmerman, 29, returns to the Nationals after missing 44 games due to a right thumb fracture, suffered April 12 at Atlanta. He rejoins the active roster after hitting .357 (5-for-14) in four rehab games with Single-A Potomac.

He will start for the Nationals on Tuesday night, playing left field for the first time in his Major League career.

Through the first 10 games of the season, before his injury, Zimmerman hit .364 with a .405 on-base percentage and .636 slugging percentage. He clubbed two home runs and three doubles, walked three times and drove in six runs.

Hitting in the middle of the Nationals’ lineup, Zimmerman was an integral part of the Nationals’ early-season offense.

During his time in the lineup, the Nationals averaged 5.27 runs per game – the second-highest average of any team in the National League (Colorado led with 5.50). The Nationals are currently averaging 4.04 runs per game.

Moore, 27, hit .225 (9-for-40) in this latest stint with the Nationals, including one double, one home run, four walks and eight RBI. Moore is hitting .214 (15-for-70) on the season with three home runs, two doubles, seven walks and 11 RBI.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams reaches out to DCPS baseball coaches

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by Amanda Comak

It wasn’t long after Matt Williams was named the Washington Nationals manager last fall before he began to figure out where his help might be needed most in the D.C. community. Little more than a month after he was appointed as the fifth field manager in Nationals history, Williams found himself enjoying lunch at the Red Porch on a cool day among men with whom he shared an interest: teaching the game of baseball.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams with DCPS coaches.

Nationals Manager Matt Williams with DCPS coaches.

Williams welcomed a group of District of Columbia Public Schools varsity baseball coaches to Nationals Park that day, and talked with them about the challenges they face in trying to foster the game in the District.

A few months later, each coach received a letter from Williams.

“As a leader of a team, I am aware of the challenges that you face as a coach,” Williams wrote to each coach. “While neither I, nor the Washington Nationals, will have a solution to all of your struggles, I am interested in helping you achieve success.

“One of the challenges that resonated with me during our question-and-answer session was your need for baseballs. Therefore, I’d like to give you 30 practice baseballs for your team’s use during the remainder of this season. Hopefully these baseballs will be of help to you and your kids.”

Last week, as a follow-up to that first meeting, a group of those same coaches enjoyed the Nationals game against the Marlins.

Washington Nationals Manager Matt Williams greeted a group of DCPS baseball coaches before the Nationals' game against the Marlins on May 28.

Washington Nationals Manager Matt Williams greeted a group of DCPS baseball coaches before the Nationals’ game against the Marlins on May 28.

“They’re teaching our young baseball players how to play the game and it’s hard for them to have support,” Williams said last week. “There’s very little funding. They work long hours. They have to find places to practice and they have to find baseballs, so I’m helping them do that. I just want to help them coach and help them teach.”

Williams, who made good on his promise and donated 30 practice baseballs to each team, welcomed the coaches onto the field during batting practice. He set each coach and an assistant up with tickets to the game, and offered each $20 in Nats Bucks to use within the ballpark that night.

“At times, coaching may feel like a thankless job,” Williams wrote. “However, as mentors to student-athletes, you have a sizable impact on these kids’ lives. I am incredibly grateful for the time and energy that you commit to the youth in our community.”

Nationals Game Notes — June 1 vs. Texas Rangers

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Game #55: Washington Nationals (27-27) vs. Texas Rangers (28-28) | 1:35 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Tanner Roark (3-3, 3.47 ERA) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (4-2, 2.35 ERA)
Washington Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark was a 25th-round selection of the Texas Rangers in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, part of a class that included first baseman Justin Smoak, left-hander Robbie Ross and right-hander Joe Wieland, among others. Roark was dealt to the Nationals on July 31, 2010 in exchange for shortstop Cristian Guzman.
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

In seven at-bats dating to the seventh inning on Friday night, Anthony Rendon is 6-for-7 with five singles and a solo home run. He entered this hot stretch mired in a 5-for-43 slump. Rendon paces the Nationals with 21 extra-base hits (11 doubles, four triples, six home runs) and slugging percentage (.441) among qualified Nationals.

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

Nationals (27-27)

7  Denard Span  CF
6  Anthony Rendon  3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche 1B
3   Wilson Ramos C
20 Ian Desmond SS
15 Nate McLouth LF
8  Danny Espinosa 2B
57 Tanner Roark P

Rangers (28-28)

19 Daniel Robertson LF
1  Evlis Andrus SS
51 Alex Rios RF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
16 Donnie Murphy 1B
2 Leonys Martin CF
60 Chris Gimenez C
3  Luis Sardinas 2B
11 Yu Darvish P

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

Nationals Game Notes — May 31 vs. Texas Rangers

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Game #54: Washington Nationals (26-27) vs. Texas Rangers (28-27) | 12:05 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Doug Fister (2-1, 3.42 ERA) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch (2-0, 2.95 ERA)
Washington Nationals right-hander Doug Fister’s four career wins over the Texas Rangers (postseason included) have all occurred when pitching at “home” (three at Comerica Park, one at Safeco Field).
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN and MLBNetwork
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

With three  more hits on Friday night vs. the Rangers, Nationals outfielder Denard Span is hitting .367 (18-for-49) in his last 10 games, during which he has registered seven multi-hit efforts. Span also leads the Nationals with 11 extra-base hits (nine doubles, triple, home run) in the month of May.

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

Nationals (26-27)

7  Denard Span  CF
6  Anthony Rendon  3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche 1B
20 Ian Desmond SS
15 Nate McLouth LF
8  Danny Espinosa 2B
59 Jose Lobaton  C
58 Doug Fister P

Rangers (28-27)

17 Shin-Soo Choo LF
1  Evlis Andrus SS
18 Mitch Moreland 1B
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
51 Alex Rios RF
61 Robinson Chirinos C
2 Leonys Martin CF
73 Rougned Odor 2B
23 Nick Tepesch P

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

A means to END (NF)

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by Amanda Comak

It began with a tweet. A simple request: “Pray for me.”

Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond was new to Twitter in 2012 when he saw the tweet come across on an account called Unashamed Athletes. He replied. The person on the other end wrote back. A friendship was born.

Desmond didn’t know anything about Ethan Brown the first time he corresponded with the now-22-year-old.

The first time he prayed for him.

300x400_ianHe didn’t know about his quick wit or his personality bursting with life. And he didn’t know about the Neurofibromatosis that was attacking Ethan’s body, causing tumors to grow along his nerves and forcing his body to belie the bubbly young adult inside.

He didn’t know what Neurofibromatosis was to begin with.

May is Neurofibromatosis Awareness month, and in conjunction with that, Desmond set out this season to honor his friend and bring a voice to those largely without one. Neurofibromatosis is not exceedingly rare. It affects one in every 3,000 births. It doesn’t discriminate based on sex, race or nationality.

It is also mostly unknown – to the public and to the scientific community.

“NF, to me, and to a lot of people, is something you’ve never heard of,” Desmond said at the start of the month as he kicked off an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the Children’s Tumor Foundation. “I want to get the word out.”

The campaign, the brainchild of Desmond and a group of fan bloggers known as The Nationals Archive, reached its $10,000 goal in the first five days of the month and is closing in on $30,000 as the end of the month nears. But that was always secondary to the real aim of the campaign: spreading the word about NF.

“There needs to be a cure,” Ethan said in a message when asked the one thing he wanted people to know about NF. “I went from walking and running to being in a wheelchair or crawling (in a short amount of time).”

The first time Desmond met Ethan in person was at Turner Field in Atlanta. The Nationals’ shortstop reached out his hand to shake Ethan’s. With a tumor growing on his hand, Ethan recoiled and screamed as if in pain. Desmond froze. Ethan began to laugh.

“That was when I knew, this kid is something special,” Desmond said. “If you could read our conversations you’d have no idea this kid was going through any kind of life struggle.”

Over the winter, Desmond and Ethan agreed to get matching tattoos of a design they came up with together. Ethan already has his: a crest of blue and green puzzle pieces – blue and green for NF colors and puzzle pieces because the condition remains a mystery – and two bats behind it to represent Desmond. Both of their initials are in the crest, and beneath it is a banner: End NF.

“I never thought in a million years I’d be friends with an MLB player,” Ethan said. “He is like a brother to me.”

Desmond has led and participated in plenty of charitable causes in the past. He did most of those quietly, preferring to fly under the radar. But this one was different.

“It’s just the fact that it was (a cause) that needed it,” Desmond said. “It just needs to be spread. I don’t know if it’s that Ethan’s involved and I have a special place in my heart for Ethan, but it’s also that the Children’s Tumor Foundation was the first place to reach out to him, and to be the first (organization) on the scene speaks volumes about them.

“It was an opportunity to help (CTF) out and to help out people who really don’t have a voice, the people who suffer from NF. It is something I want to do for NF. I want people to know what NF is for all of the people suffering from it.”

For more information, visit nationals.com/endNF

A version of this story first appeared in Inside Pitch.

Nationals Minor League Report

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Welcome back to the 2014 Minor League Report, a comprehensive collection of notes from the Washington Nationals PR staff that highlights the outstanding performers in the Nationals’ Minor League system through the last few weeks.

To view this report on your full screen, please click the icon in the bottom right corner of the notes.

Enjoy!

Previous Minor League reports:

April 23, 2014

Nationals Game Notes — May 28 vs. Miami Marlins

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Game #52: Washington Nationals (25-26) vs. Miami Marlins (27-25) | 1:35 p.m. | Nationals Park
Pitching Match-Ups: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (3-2, 3.95 ERA) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 3.21 ERA)
The Washington Nationals have won seven straight games over the Miami Marlins when right-hander Jordan Zimmermann gets the starting nod, and are 5-0 in games started by Henderson Alvarez (4-0 with Miami, 1-0 with Toronto).
Radio: 106.7 FM / 1500 AM, also on nationals.com (for subscribers to MLB.tv)
TV: The game will be televised on MASN
Live Statsnationals.com

Of note:

The Nationals’ catchers, with a little help from Steve McCatty’s pitching staff, currently rank second in all of the Major Leagues in catching would-be base stealers. The Nationals’ backstops have gunned down 12 of 31 (38.7%) potential base stealers this year (pitcher caught stealings excluded). In all of the Major Leagues, only the St. Louis Cardinals (52%, 13 of 25) have posted a higher percentage this season than Washington.

Last year, the Nationals ranked 29th out of the 30 clubs, throwing out just 14 percent (15 of 110) of potential base stealers.

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

NATIONALS (25-26)
# PLAYERS POS
2 Denard Span (L) CF
6 Anthony Rendon 3B
28 Jayson Werth RF
25 Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
40 Wilson Ramos C
20 Ian Desmond SS
19 Kevin Frandsen 2B
15 Nate McLouth (L) LF
27 Jordan Zimmermann RHP
MARLINS (27-25)
# PLAYERS POS
21 Christian Yelich (L) LF
32 Derek Dietrich (L) 2B
27 Giancarlo Stanton RF
9 Casey McGehee 3B
46 Garrett Jones (L) 1B
39 Jarrod Saltalamacchia (S) C
13 Marcell Ozuna CF
3 Adeiny Hechavarria SS
37 Henderson Alvarez RHP

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

 

Nationals honor members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors on Memorial Day

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In honor of our nation’s service members, the Washington Nationals hosted the second game of their 2014 Patriot Series on Monday, Memorial Day, against the Miami Marlins.

The festivities included mini American flags handed out to the first 20,000 fans, presented by SAIC, as well as more than 200 tickets donated by SAIC to members of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and their loved ones.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Lt. Gen. Samuel D. Cox, Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services, U.S. Air Force Headquarters. The lineup card was delivered by Bonnie Carroll, the President and Founder of TAPS. The National Anthem and God Bless America were sung beautifully by Lieutenant Colonel Rose-Ann Lynch, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. Children and military mentors from TAPS served as the Nationals’ starting eight, and the Play Ball announcement was said by Nazzic Keene, the SAIC Sector President.

Here are a few more highlights from the day:

 

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