Results tagged ‘ Nationals Park ’
This Sunday, June 9 the Nationals will host a baseball equipment drive before they take on the Minnesota Twins at 1:35 p.m. at Nationals Park. The drive will take place at the Center Field Gates from when gates open at 11:00 am until the end of the third inning. During this time, fans are encouraged to donate new and used baseballs, softballs, bats, batting gloves, catcher’s equipment, youth batting helmets, bases, baseball pants and cleats. All equipment donated will benefit youth baseball in Washington, D.C. and will specifically help the Capitol Hill Little League.
The drive will be hosted in conjunction with The Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which will provide a $5,000 grant to Capitol Hill Little League. The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is a combined effort between Major League Baseball and its players to promote and help fund baseball and softball.
Ian Desmond is again serving as the player ambassador for this initiative for the second season in a row. Desmond has a history of supporting youth baseball and has previously visited Capitol Hill Little League. Desmond will be on hand for Sunday’s pregame ceremonies as the Baseball Tomorrow Fund presents its check to Capitol Hill Little League.
New York Mets (22-32) vs. Washington Nationals (28-29)
RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.74) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-3, 2.37)
After coming off a series loss in Atlanta, the Nationals look to turn things around at home with their most consistent starter on the mound. Jordan Zimmermann has paced the Nats pitching staff with a solid start this season and has not lost at home in his last 17 Nationals Park outings, dating back to May 17, 2012 vs. Pittsburgh. Jayson Werth returns to the lineup after over a month on the Disabled List with a hamstring injury and is joined by call-ups Anthony Rendon and Ian Krol. In nine games with High-A Potomac, Werth went 9-for-16 with two walks, a double and two home runs.
1. Span CF
2. Werth RF
3. Zimmerman 3B
4. LaRoche 1B
5. Desmond SS
6. Bernadina LF
7. Lombardozzi 2B
8. Suzuki C
9. Zimmermann RHP
The Nationals are 21-5 when scoring first in ‘13 and their corresponding .808 winning percentage ranks second among National League entries behind only the Braves (24-3, .889).
‘TWAS A MERRY MAY
Despite barely sleeping in their own beds (18 of 28 road contests in May) and being burdened by an overpopulated Disabled List, the Nationals somehow went 15-13 in May. The Nationals winning May was especially impressive considering the weighted winning percentage of the their nine opponents on the month was .517 (using records at close of play on May 31). Dating to September of 2011, the Nationals have played winning baseball in eight of their last nine months.
GOOD WOOD, SLICK LEATHER
Ian Desmond has hit safely in seven straight games, notching a .308 clip (8-for-26) with a walk, two doubles, a homer, three runs scored and 2 RBI over that stretch. Defensively, Desmond has played 38 consecutive errorless games (153 total chances) since last committing an error on April 21 at New York.
Baseball is a funny game to write about. Conclusions can be drawn from every minute action, but almost none of them are warranted. Those who have pontificated on Washington’s 3-0 start, or the Nationals ensuing ebbs or flows that have rendered them anywhere from five games over .500 (7-2) to a game under the break-even mark (13-14) since then have probably overreacted in both directions. As Davey Johnson loves to say, you’re never as good as you look when you win and never as bad as you look when you lose.
To that end, many of those who cover this game – and especially the Nationals – from afar were quick to jump to the conclusion this season that Stephen Strasburg was no longer the ace of Washington’s talented rotation. Never mind the fact that neither Strasburg nor the Nationals ever held him on such a pedestal above the rest of the staff. And certainly not to take anything away from Jordan Zimmermann, who has been arguably the most consistent starter in the game for the first two months of the season, but Strasburg’s dominance has slowly reemerged atop the rotation.
Ever since pitching in his hometown of San Diego two weeks ago, Strasburg has looked like a different pitcher on the mound. He tossed a career-long eight innings in that start, matching that workload again in front of 39,033 at Nationals Park on Sunday. Over his last four outings, the righty has allowed just three earned runs on 18 hits and eight walks in 28 innings (good for a 0.96 ERA) while fanning 27.
Only three times in his excellent 2012 campaign did Strasburg work seven full frames with nine or more strikeouts and no walks, in a loss April 28 at Los Angeles and in wins over the Braves on June 2 in D.C. and over the Mets July 25 in New York.
“It’s all about making adjustments,” said Strasburg of his game. “I didn’t start the year where I wanted to be, but all that matters is how you finish.”
The Nationals are certainly hoping Strasburg’s return to elite form can help guide their own rise. To that end, after being shut out by Cole Hamels through six frames, the offense scored five runs in the seventh, the team’s highest single-inning output since September 24 of last year. If the Washington bats can heat up with the weather, and Strasburg’s newfound dominance continues, it could be a lethal combination for NL East opponents.
Ian Desmond, who has been in The District ever since Strasburg’s heralded arrival in 2010, spoke the most telling words about the rise of the Nationals ace.
“This is probably the best we’ve seen him since he got to the big leagues,” said Desmond, despite noting his early high-strikeout performances.
The staff as a whole has already posted the third-lowest ERA in the league this month at 3.10, its ever-improving ace leading the charge.
Saturday morning, Nationals coaches held a youth baseball clinic, presented by Medstar Health, at Nationals Park in an effort to continue enhancing youth baseball programs in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia region. The Nationals coaching staff provided major league instruction for children from King Greenleaf Recreation Center, USO Metropolitan Washington and MVP members of the Jr. Nats club.
The group kicked off the clinic with warm-up and stretching exercises that mirror those of the Nationals players, and took full advantage of the stadium’s facilities through various baseball drills. From taking batting practice in the batting cage and fielding balls in the outfield to working on pitching techniques in the bullpen, the young athletes took full advantage of their time at the ballpark.
The event wrapped up with lunch as well as a meet-and-greet and autographs with Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina.
Check out a photo gallery from the event below.
Flex your creative muscles and come up with a caption for the series of photos below from Nationals Magazine, Issue 1 featuring Tyler Moore and Jordan Zimmermann. Leave your response in the comments and we’ll feature our favorites in print in Issue 2, available at Nationals Park beginning in June!
The Washington Nationals wish to announce that all fans who purchased tickets for Tuesday night’s postponed game with the Detroit Tigers will be guaranteed their same seats for Thursday’s scheduled 4:05 p.m. makeup game, or will retain the option to exchange their tickets – as they have in the past – for any remaining regular or value home game during the 2013 season, subject to availability. Due to increased attendance at Nationals Park, “rain check” ticket holders are encouraged to contact the Nationals ticket office by phone or online to better ensure seating for those games. The Nationals apologize for any inconvenience.
Tickets for Tuesday’s game may be exchanged at the Nationals Park Box Office for any Regular or Value game during the 2013 regular season. Exchanged tickets will be issued from available inventory in the closest pricing category of equal or lesser value to the original seats.* For more information on exchanging tickets purchased through nationals.com or the Nationals telephone charge line, please call 888.632.NATS(6287).
On game days, the Nationals Park Box Office is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. until 30 minutes after the end of the game, and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until 30 minutes after the end of the game. Box office hours on non-game days are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
*Subject to availability. Available game dates subject to change.
“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”
Alright everyone, time for some perspective.
If all you read about the Nationals season so far were the comments left on various social media forums, you would probably surmise that the world had tilted off its axis, sending Nationals Park hurtling into an alternate universe where Bryce Harper was fighting off an alien invasion with nothing more than a bag of bats. At the very least, you’d think the District Nine were off to some frighteningly horrible start through their first 20 games – perhaps a league-worst 5-15 mark, or something of the like.
But no, through 20 games – during which the team has openly admitted it has not played its best baseball – the Nationals are 10-10. Through 20 games last season, they were 14-6 (before dropping to 14-9). While that 20-game sample may seem significantly better, it’s really just four games in the standings.
Conversely, there are signs this team is starting to improve its play. After averaging an error per game through the first 18 contests, the Nationals have played error-free ball the last two nights, over which their numbers four and five starters have combined with the bullpen to allow just five runs in 18 innings (2.50 ERA) against one of the top offenses in the National League. All they need is for the bats to get going, an adjustment they also needed to make early last season.
Still, through 20 games this season, the Nats have scored 74 runs. Through 20 games last year, they had scored 71.
Now, let’s put the opening of the season in some greater historical perspective. Here are the records of the last five World Series Champions through 20 games:
2012 San Francisco Giants: 10-10
2011 St. Louis Cardinals: 11-9
2010 San Francisco Giants: 12-8
2009 New York Yankees: 10-10
2008 Philadelphia Phillies: 10-10
Sensing a trend? Great, stay with us – it only gets better. We caught up with Yahoo! Sports Baseball Columnist Jeff Passan on Tuesday morning about what he thought of Washington’s start.
“A team’s last 20 games tells you a lot more than their first 20,” he explained. “By June 1, you should have a pretty decent idea of how good (the Nationals) are, and I think they’ll be right where everyone expects them to be.”
Passan picked the Nationals to go to the World Series. Last year. He’s been following the rise of the team for quite a while, and is not the least bit worried. However, even his deadline may be a bit premature. Here were the five eventual 2012 MLB Division Champions records (other than the Nationals) entering play on June 1 last season:
New York Yankees: 27-23
Detroit Tigers: 23-27
Oakland Athletics: 22-29
Cincinnati Reds: 28-22
San Francisco Giants: 27-24
Yes, that’s right. The other five Division Champions were a combined two games over .500 on June 1 (127-125), a full 30 additional games past the point where your Nationals sit today.
Baseball is a long season. It is not football. Every game does not make or break you. It seems we forget this each year, when baseball flows away from our conscious, hibernating in its cave until the earth defrosts again and spring arrives. We seem to take our frantic sense of football urgency with us into the beginning of the baseball season, to overvalue both wins and losses in dramatic fashion.
Last year’s Nationals lost three or more consecutive games eight times. They lost five in a row twice. There’s a pretty good chance this year’s team will endure similar stretches as the season goes on. These Nationals have also shown they’re capable of winning streaks, such as their resounding 3-game sweep to start the season. There’s every reason to believe that there are many more of those runs to come.
But for now, Nationals fans, it’s still just April 24 and your team is 10-10, sharing second place in the NL East. Sit back and enjoy the ride, we’ve still got quite a long ways to go.
The Racing Presidents are off and running again in the 2013 season, with new addition Bill joining the daily scamper from the center field wall to the home dugout at Nationals Park. However, there was another participant present at one of the first races of the young season, marking the race’s first venture into Vice Presidential territory.
Over the weekend prior to the Nationals-White Sox series, Teddy announced that the Racing Presidents would run their first relay race of the season since the field expanded to five. When George and Tom partnered up, then Abe and Bill formed their own pact, the lovable Teddy was left to his own devices to find a running mate. Searching online, he asked around for suggestions for #TeddysRunningMate, and offers flowed in from around the interwebs.
As luck would have it, Teddy found someone perfectly suited to run with – Selina Meyer, the fictional Vice President from HBO’s “VEEP.” The two were spotted around Washington in the days leading up to the race, and seemed primed for victory as Teddy stormed out to an early lead in the Tuesday night race.
But given Teddy’s less than illustrious history, combined with Selina’s propensity for finishing second, it should have come as little surprise that the two were unable to collaborate on a victory. They fumbled their baton exchange, leaving Selina with a ton of ground to make up in the race’s second half. And while she made a valiant effort, per the usual, she finished second.
That left Teddy – along with rival Bill – still winless for the 2013 campaign, as both continue to search for new and inventive ways to break the tape first…or at least ensure their counterpart’s defeat.
Every year on April 15, at ballparks across the country, young baseball fans will look down at the field and notice something different. Each and every member of both teams wearing the same number on the backs of their jerseys. Inevitably, those who do not know the reason will ask, ‘Why is every player wearing the number 42?”
Perhaps this year, the question will have already been answered.
With the feature film “42” opening in theaters nationwide last weekend, the story of Jackie Robinson has taken center stage. His stellar, 10-year, Hall-of-Fame career transcended the field of play, impacting society in a way that no other athlete has in recent memory. Deservedly, Jackie Robinson’s iconic number 42 jersey is the only one retired across the game of baseball.
“I see him as transformative, the way that he continued to advocate outside of baseball,” said Kendra Gaither, a volunteer and chair of the Mid-Atlantic Scholar Advisory Committee of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. “The integration of baseball and the transformation that Jackie Robinson helped to bring about in baseball was really a larger measurement of what was happening in our own society. That’s why I think the story of Jackie Robinson continues to grow.”
Gaither brought a group of scholars to the Nationals-Braves game on Saturday, after which they departed for a screening of the film. While the Nationals unfortunately do not play at home on Monday, they honored Robinson Saturday and will do so again on the road in Miami, as the entire sport dons Robinson’s 42 for tonight’s games.
The Nationals own Bryce Harper, a proud student of the game’s history, has listed Robinson as one of his personal heroes. Harper, of course, took home the Jackie Robinson Award as the top rookie in the National League last season. The award was named after Robinson, who won it himself in 1947, overcoming immense social and cultural pressures to help lead the Brooklyn Dodgers all the way to the World Series in his very first season.
“It’s incredibly moving to see all the players wearing 42,” said Gaither, who has taken part in Jackie Robinson Day at Nationals Park for the past two seasons. “To be able to come to Nationals Park and see how much it also means to the players and the fans that are here, it’s incredibly inspiring.”
The Jackie Robinson Foundation was founded by Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, and has thrived for over 40 years, helping more than 1,400 students with a better than 99 percent graduation rate. To learn more about the Jackie Robinson foundation, please visit www.jackierobinson.org.
Atlanta Braves (8-1) vs. Washington Nationals (7-2)
RHP Julio Teheran (0-0, 9.00) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (0-0, 0.00)
The Nationals take on the division-rival Braves for the first time in 2013 after finishing off their second consecutive home sweep to key a 6-0 record so far at Nationals Park. Washington went 10-8 vs. Atlanta last season, including a 5-4 mark at home.
1. Span CF
2. Werth RF
3. Harper LF
4. Zimmerman 3B
5. LaRoche 1B
6. Desmond SS
7. Espinosa 2B
8. Suzuki C
9. Detwiler LHP
During the Nationals three-game sweep of the White Sox, the top three hitters in Davey Johnson’s lineup – Denard Span, Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper – combined to hit .471 (16-for-34) with a double, two home runs, seven RBI, four walks, two stolen bases and 11 runs scored.
Denard Span’s .475 on-base percentage is noteworthy beyond the fact that it ranks fourth among all MLB leadoff hitters. As recently as 2011, Washington ranked dead last in MLB with a .285 OBP from the leadoff slot. Last year, the Nationals improved to 18th in MLB with a .325 OBP from those batting first in Davey Johnson’s batting order.
GRAND-IOSE OCCASION ON THE HORIZON
Ryan Zimmerman has played in 999 career games. Zimmerman will become the first National to play in 1000 games in tonight’s series opener vs. Atlanta.