Results tagged ‘ Nationals Park ’

What to Watch for: 6.23.13

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Colorado Rockies (38-38) vs. Washington Nationals (37-37)

 LHP Jorge De La Rosa (7-4, 3.21) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (2-5, 3.34) 

The Nationals saw their three-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday, but still have the chance to take three-of-four from the Rockies and win the series in the finale. The matinee start will pit Ross Detwiler in another battle of southpaws, after he helped Washington beat Colorado lefty Jeff Francis in Denver last Thursday to win that series.


1. Kobernus CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. Desmond SS

6. Marrero 1B

7. Suzuki C

8. Lombardozzi LF

9. Detwiler LHP


Anthony Rendon is batting .367/.397/.533 with a home run and seven doubles in the 15 games since his return to the big leagues. He has hit safely in 13 of those contests, racking up seven multi-hit performances. His overall batting average (.329) and on-base percentage (.387) rank second among Major League rookies, trailing only Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.


The Nationals have gone 11-8 against left-handed starting pitchers so far this season, compared to a 26-29 against righties. Conversely, the Rockies are just 10-16 when opposed by a southpaw.


Adam LaRoche has hit safely in 18 straight games at Nationals Park, going 27-for-65 (.415) with six walks, two doubles, two triples, three homers, 16 runs scored and 13 RBI over that span.

What to Watch for: 6.20.13

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Colorado Rockies (37-36) vs. Washington Nationals (35-36)

RHP Roy Oswalt (0-0, -.–) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 2.44) 

Coming off a rousing, extra-inning win to close their recent nine-game road trip Wednesday night, the Nationals return home to face a familiar foe in Colorado, just one week after finishing a series against the Rockies in Denver. Washington took two of three in that matchup, but the club is just 4-12 against the Blake Street Bombers in 16 contests between the two at Nationals Park.


1. Span CF

2. Rendon 2B

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Werth RF

6. Desmond SS

7. Lombardozzi LF

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP


Jayson Werth’s RBI-single with two outs in the ninth inning sent Wednesday night’s game to extra innings and Ian Desmond’s first career grand slam ended it in the 11th as the Nationals rallied to top the Phillies, 6-2. Desmond’s slam rendered his seventh game-winning RBI, tying him for the Major League lead among shortstops in this category with Troy Tulowitzki.


Desmond’s 11th-inning grand slam was the first hit by a visiting player in extra innings in Philadelphia in over 73 years, since Reds right fielder Ival Goodman turned the trick, also in the 11th inning, on May 17, 1940 at Shibe Park.


In 12 games/40.0 innings dating to the June 8 series opener vs. Minnesota, Jim Lett’s bullpen is 4-3 with four holds, three saves (zero blown saves), 40 strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA (8 ER/40.0 IP). In that span, the bullpen has lowered its season ERA from 4.06 to 3.67.

It’s Time to Vote Nats

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Did you know that Ian Desmond has played 52 straight games at arguably the game’s toughest position without making an error, and that he’s batting .344 with four homers in June?

How about the fact that Bryce Harper still leads the club with 12 homers, and that his .973 OPS would rank third among all qualifying players in the National League?

Are you aware that Adam LaRoche put together a career-high 16-game hitting streak in May, a month in which he batted .330 with seven homers and 19 RBI?

Did you realize that Ryan Zimmerman is in the top five in the National League in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs, home runs and RBI, despite having played in just 57 games?

There are plenty of reasons to Vote Nats before the All-Star balloting is over. Your last day to vote in-park is June 25, and the last day to vote online is July 4. Vote early, vote often, and always Vote Nats.

Read more about this year’s candidates in this homestand’s Inside Pitch, available now at Nationals Park.


A Whole New Yearbook

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The 2013 Nationals Yearbook has arrived and is now available at Nationals Park. See the cover below, and be sure to pick up a copy the next time you’re at a game!


Uniting Through Baseball

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A momentous event took place among the crowd of 36,155 at Nationals Park last Wednesday night. While most fans settled in for just another evening of baseball along the Anacostia, some of the most powerful members of our government convened not to draft or debate policy, but to come together in a relaxed setting to get to know each other as human beings and take in a ballgame.

Partisan politics can hinder progress in Washington sometimes, which is why Representatives David B. McKinley (R – W.Va.) and Diana DeGette (D – Colo.) decided to try to bridge the two sides of the aisle through baseball. Admittedly, they didn’t know what kind of response they would receive for the first-ever Congressional Night at Nationals Park, but they were pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Congressman McKinley (second from left) and Congresswoman DeGette (third from left) spearheaded the bipartisan effort.

Representatives McKinley (second from left) and DeGette (third from left) spearheaded the bipartisan effort.

More than 100 Members of Congress RSVP’d for the event, along with more than 450 of their staffers. While Democrats and Republicans will face off against one another in the annual Congressional Baseball Game tonight, Thursday, June 13 at Nationals Park, this event gave both sides a chance to come together, as colleagues instead of adversaries, to enjoy America’s game.

As evidenced here, baseball brings people together in a special way like nothing else can. We sat down with representatives McKinley and DeGette as they arrived at the ballpark to discuss how this all came about, and what they think they may be able to accomplish through the common ground of baseball.

Curly W Live: What was the genesis of this whole thing? How did it start and whose idea was it?

Congressman David B. McKinley: We just thought we ought to get together. I think too often the American public doesn’t think we know each other, and I think we can do a better job of it; I don’t think we get along very well either. So, we figured let’s get together and break down those walls. Because it’s hard (to disagree) after you have a drink with someone, or have a hamburger, once you get to know them a little bit. This was a positive step and (Congresswoman DeGette) was our first choice. That’s who I wanted as the co-chair (for this event). And we’re going to have over 100 congressmen and 400 staffers, so we’ll have over 500 people here on our first effort.

DeGette: We’re on the same committee together (the Energy and Commerce Committee). It’s his second term, my ninth term, and we’ve been sitting there for a couple years thinking — and there are probably people on both sides thinking — there’s a lot we could do together if we only got to know each other better. So when Dave came up to me on the floor and said, ‘Hey, will you co-chair this game?’ it was really perfect. And, he didn’t know this, but I’m a huge baseball fan and I’m a Colorado Rockies season ticket holder.

A few of the attending Congressmen gathered in front of Nationals Park.

A few of the attending Members of Congress gathered in front of Nationals Park.

CWL: How did the specific idea for baseball come up?

McKinley: I think it’s just a good time, you get to be outdoors here and it’s convenient for Congress. We want our Congressmen to get to talk to each other.

DeGette: And, you know, baseball’s our national sport, so of course it’s the logical choice.

CWL: How long in the making has this event been?

McKinley: Probably a couple of months.

DeGette: And the Nationals have been very, very helpful to us.

CWL: This is a first-time event, but what do you hope to build off this to bring back to the Hill?

McKinley: (We want to) start to break down barriers, just so we talk to each other, because we don’t do that. There are not functions where Congress gets together. This is a beginning. DeGette and I first met when we went over to Normandy on D-Day to place a wreath there, and we realized that we can have a conversation. We don’t have to be adversaries. What we want to do is get more people doing the same thing.

DeGette: And, you know, we can’t agree on everything, but we have enough trust in each other now. When we disagree, we don’t have to beat around the bush. We can say, ‘Hey, you know, I can’t do that, but maybe we can do it this other way.’ I’ve found that in all my years in Congress that actually can be really beneficial.

CWL: Does the ballpark provide a safe haven where you can check that at the door and everybody can get along?

DeGette: Oh, absolutely.

McKinley: I think so. But again, I’m just so delighted. This morning, we had 101 guaranteed tickets of congressmen and at least 400 staffers. How many thought we would have over 500 people on the first time?

DeGette: For our first one! So what we hope is that word will get around about how great this is, and then next year we’ll have 1,000 people.

What to Watch for: 6.9.13 – Game 1

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Minnesota Twins (27-31) vs. Washington Nationals (29-31)

LHP Scott Diamond (4-4, 4.66) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (8-3, 2.16) 

The Nationals will play the second and third/final games of this series as part of a split doubleheader, with Game 1 beginning at 1:35 p.m. Washington will send Jordan Zimmermann to the hill, still in search of his ninth victory of the season after a loss and a no decision in his last two outings. The Nationals need wins in both games to secure a winning homestand before hitting the road for nine games, beginning Tuesday.


1. Kobernus CF

2. Lombardozzi LF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Desmond SS

7. Rendon 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Zimmermann RHP


Anthony Rendon has reached base safely in seven straight big leagues games, going 8-for-23 (.348) with five walks, two doubles and two runs scored. The seven-game surge spans a pair of stints with Washington. Incidentally, in between the big league stints, Rendon combined to hit .316 (25-for-79) with 18 walks, eight doubles, two triples, four home runs, 11 runs scored and 17 RBI in 22 games for Double-A Harrisburg (19 games) and Triple-A Syracuse (three games).


Ian Desmond has hit safely in 10 straight games at a .308 clip (12-for-39) with a walk, three doubles, two homers, four runs scored and four RBI. Desmond now has five career double-digit hit streaks to his credit, two this season (also a 10-gamer, April 24-May 3). He is currently a game shy of matching the longest hit streak (11 games, June 5-17, 2011) of his career. Meanwhile, defensively Desmond has played a career-high 41 consecutive errorless games (164 total chances) since last committing a miscue on April 21 at New York (NL). This is currently the longest streak of its kind among big league shortstops. The longest previous string of errorless games during Desmond’s career was 39 straight games, May 5-June 21, 2011.


Jordan Zimmermann has been particularly strong within the confines of Nationals Park, where he has not lost since May 17 of last season, a span of 18 starts. Zimmermann is 10-0 over that stretch at home, and the Nationals have not lost a game he has started in his last 12 outings in D.C.

Desmond Driving Donations

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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.

What to Watch for: 6.4.13

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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).


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.


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.

The Reemerging Ace

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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.

Strasburg has been a man on a mission since his return home to San Diego.

Strasburg has been a man on a mission since his return home to San Diego.

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.”

Teammate Ian Desmond thinks Strasburg may be better than ever before.

Teammate Ian Desmond thinks Strasburg may be better than ever before.

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.

Clinically Speaking

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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.

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