Results tagged ‘ Ryan Zimmerman ’

Nationals Game Notes: May 29 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

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 St. Louis Cardinals (26-24) vs. Washington Nationals (29-21)
RHP Michael Wacha [2-5, 5.04] | RHP Stephen Strasburg [8-0, 2.79]
Sunday, May 29 l Game #51 / Home # 26 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:35 P.M.
Television: MASN/WUSA9 l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

SHIPPING OUT

Sunday afternoon marks the Nationals’ final home game until June 10 as they’ll wrap up this four-game set with the Cardinals and depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • The trek is the longest (by days) the Nationals will make this season, matching the final regular-season trip of the year, to Atlanta, Miami, and Pittsburgh.

SHOW OF POWER

Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman turned in the 11th four-hit game of his career on Saturday night, clubbing two home runs, adding two singles and continuing his solid month of May at the plate…Zimmerman matched a career high with the 4-for-4 evening and picked up the 16th multi-homer game of his career (his second this season)…It was the first time the Nationals’ first baseman has posted a four-hit game since July 5, 2014 vs. the Chicago Cubs.

  • Zimmerman now has seven home runs in May after clubbing just one in April.
  • Since the start of the season’s second month, Zimmerman is hitting .263 with a .324 on-base percetnage and a .547 slugging percentage…He’s hit six doubles to go with his seven home runs, walked eight times, driven in 17 runs, scored 14, and stolen one base…Seven of those 17 RBI have given the Nationals the lead.

IT’S OFFICIAL: MAY IS MURPHY’S MONTH

With a single in the second inning on Saturday night, Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy set a new Nationals record (2005-present) for hits in one calendar month with 41…The previous mark of 40, reached by several players, was last attained by Denard Span in August of 2014…The franchise record (Nationals/Expos) for hits in one month is 47, held by OF Al Oliver (August, 1982) and OF Marquis Grissom (June, 1994).

  • During May, Murphy is 41-for-101, with seven doubles, five home runs, two walks, 15 runs scored and 19 RBI…The 41 hits are also a career high in a single month for Murphy, who posted 40 hits in July, 2011.
  • Murphy currently leads Major League Baseball in multi-hit games (24), batting average (.390) and hits (T1st, 70)…He also ranks among MLB hitters in OPS (3rd, 1.028), slugging percentage (4th, .604), on-base percentage (5th, .423) and doubles (T13th, 14).
  • Having played in 48 of the Nationals’ 50 games, Murphy has at least two hits in half of the games he’s played in…He has also hit safely in 24 of his last 28 games, going 44-for-109 (.403) with seven doubles, five homers, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored.

ALL GOOD THINGS…

Nationals relievers did not allow a single inherited runner to score from May 9 through May 28, a span in which they inherited 24 runners and kept them all on the bases…That streak ended in the eighth inning on Saturday night vs. STL…No other team in MLB inherited 12 or more runners in that stretch without any scoring…Only the Brewers (11 IR, 0 IRS) relievers joined the Nationals in keeping all of their inherited runners since May 9 from crossing the plate.

  • Nationals relievers have posted a 1.47 ERA (8 ER/49.0 IP) since May 9 (18 games)…In that time, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.73 batters per nine innings, posted a 4.42 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just nine extra base hits (6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: KCR, 1.94)

Nationals Game Notes: May 25 vs. New York Mets

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New York Mets (26-19) vs. Washington Nationals (28-18)
LHP Steven Matz (6-1, 2.81) | RHP Tanner Roark [3-3, 2.89]
Wednesday, May 25 l Game #47 / Home # 22 l Nationals Park l Washington, D.C. l 1:05 P.M.
Television: MASN/MLBN l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ABOUT LAST NIGHT
The Nationals blasted five home runs and RHP Stephen Strasburg cruised to his eighth victory of the season on Tuesday night as Washington topped the New York Mets, 7-4…The Nationals continue this seven-game homestand Wednesday afternoon with the finale vs. the Mets, and the St. Louis Cardinals (four games) come to town this weekend…Washington will then depart on a three-city, nine-game, 11-day road trip to Philadelphia, Cincinnati and Chicago (White Sox).

  • At 28-18 (.609), the Nationals have the second-best record in the National League behind the Chicago Cubs (30-14; .682) and possess the third-best record in MLB.
  • The Nationals’ 28-18 record matches the best mark in team history (2005-pres.) through 46 games, joining the 2012 Nationals (28-18).
  • The Nationals have posted a +53 run differential, the second-best mark in the National League (CHI: +118) and third-best in Major League Baseball (CHI: +118; BOS: +71).

HOMER HAPPY
The Nationals’ five home runs on Tuesday night (hit by 1B Ryan Zimmerman, 3B Anthony Rendon, 2B Daniel Murphy, CF Ben Revere, and C Wilson Ramos) were a new season high and matched the second-most home runs hit in a game this year league-wide…STL, NYM and BAL have each had a six-homer game this season.

  • Zimmerman and Rendon went back-to-back with their blasts in the fourth inning, the third time the Nationals hit back-to-back home runs this season.
  • Entering Tuesday’s game, the Mets were the only Major League team not to allow more than two home runs in a game this season.
  • The benefactor of all that run support, RHP Stephen Strasburg, improved to 8-0, joining RHP Pedro Martinez (April 15-May 23, 1997) and LHP Kirk Reuter as the only starting pitchers in franchise history (Nationals/Expos) to begin a season 8-0…The Nationals have now won each of Strasburg’s past 14 starts, a franchise record.

BULLISH ON THE ‘PEN
Despite allowing two runs in the ninth on Tuesday, Nationals relievers have posted a miniscule 0.93 ERA (4 ER/38.2 IP) since May 9 (14 games)…In that stretch, the Nationals’ ‘pen has struck out 9.8 batters per nine innings, posted a 3.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and surrendered just five extra base hits (4 2B, 1 HR)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: MIL, 1.74).

  • Nationals relievers have also not allowed a single inherited runner to score during this run (22 IR, 0 IRS)…No other team that’s inherited 10 or more runners in that span has kept all of them from scoring…Only the Brewers (6 IR, 0 IRS) relievers have joined the Nationals in keeping all of their runners inherited since May 9 from crossing the plate.

Nationals Game Notes: May 21 vs. Miami Marlins

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 Washington Nationals (26-16) at Miami Marlins (21-20)

RHP Joe Ross [3-3, 2.63] | RHP Jose Fernandez [5-2, 3.21]

Saturday, May 21 l Game #43 / Road #24 l Marlins Park l Miami, F.L. l 7:15 P.M.

Television: FOX l Radio: 106.7 The Fan & Nationals Radio Network

ROLLING ALONG

The Nationals reached the approximate quarter pole of the season this week and sealed the best start in Nationals history (2005-present) through the season’s first 42 games…No previous Nationals team won as many as 26 of its first 42 games (2015 & 2012 teams went 25-17)…The 1996 Montreal Expos went 27-14.

NO FEAR OF FISH HERE

With his home run in the second inning Friday night, Nationals 1B Ryan Zimmerman upped his career home run total vs. the Marlins to 28…The gaudy home run total for Zimmerman, who has homered three times already this season vs. MIA, trails only Chase Utley (30) and Ryan Howard (39) among active players against the Marlins.

  • In his career, Zimmerman has hit .304 vs. the Marlins, with 37 doubles, six triples, 28 home runs, 88 RBI, 66 walks and 99 runs scored.

TRADING PLACES

When the Nationals opened this road trip in New York on Tuesday, they did so with a slight tweak to manager Dusty Baker’s lineup…Baker swapped two-hole hitter 3B Anthony Rendon and No. 6 hitter LF Jayson Werth in the lineup, putting Werth at No. 2 and Rendon sixth…Since that switch, Werth is 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles and is reaching base at a .500 clip while Rendon is 8-for-14 (.571) with two doubles, four RBI and a .625 on-base percentage.

  • The Nationals have scored 20 runs in this four-game stretch with Werth scoring four, while Rendon has scored three and driven in four.

BULLETPROOF BULLPEN

Since May 9, the Nationals bullpen has posted a 0.62 ERA (2 ER/29.0 IP), 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and has surrendered just three extra base hits (3 doubles)…That is far-and-away the best bullpen ERA in MLB in that stretch (2nd: NYM, 1.93).

  • Nationals relievers have also not allowed a single inherited runner to score during this run (19 IR, 0 IRS)…Since May 9, no team in MLB has inherited as many runners without allowing one to score.

SPOTLESS SHAWN 

Nationals RHP Shawn Kelley is one of only two relievers in MLB who has pitched at least 10.0 innings and is yet to allow an earned run…Kelley, who signed a three-year contract with Washington this offseason, is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 19 appearances (15.0 IP) this season…He has struck out 21 batters against just two walks (one of which was intentional) and surrendered 10 hits…SDP RHP Fernando Rodney (16 G, 16.0 IP, 10 SV) is Kelley’s only company.

Legacy Fields: Field Renovation Program Starts with Ryan Zimmerman Field

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Although it was rainy and cold, this past Saturday D.C. Little Leaguers and their families gathered with Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser and Under Armour for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Ryan Zimmerman Field at Randall Recreation Center in Southwest D.C.

Ryan Zimmerman Field is the first “Legacy Field” of the Nationals’ new field renovation program. Located just a few blocks from Nationals Park, the field will serve the surrounding community by hosting Capitol Hill Little League games and other D.C. youth sports games throughout the year.

Spring Training Preview: Infielders

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SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW – INFIELDERS

This spring, 63 players — each member of the Nationals’ 40-man roster, plus 23 additional non-roster invitees — will vie for the 25 spots on Dusty Baker’s Opening Day ball club. Over the course of this week, we are introducing these players in their position groups, continuing today with the infielders.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

March 5 – Starting Pitchers

March 6 – Relief Pitchers

March 7 – Catchers

March 8 – Infielders

March 9 – Outfielders

CHRIS BOSTICK

2015 Season Totals: N/A

A speedy, versatile defender, Bostick was added to Washington’s 40-man roster following the 2015 season. After being acquired from the Texas Rangers along with right-handed pitcher Abel de Los Santos on December 11, 2014, Bostick led Nationals Minor Leaguers with a career-high 31 stolen bases while hitting .258 with 22 doubles, eight triples, 12 home runs, 58 RBI, 31 walks and 57 runs scored between High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.

WILMER DIFO

2015 Season Totals: .182/.182/.182, -9 wRC+, 0.0% BB rate, 18.2% K rate, -0.1 fWAR

Difo, a switch-hitting middle infielder with speed, enters 2016 rated as the No. 6 prospect in Washington’s system, per Baseball America. He was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg on May 19, making his MLB debut and notching his first MLB hit that night vs. the New York Yankees. Difo hit .286 with 39 extra-base hits, 30 stolen bases and 61 runs scored in 106 games between Single-A Potomac and Harrisburg.

STEPHEN DREW

2015 Season Totals: .201/.271/.381, 76 wRC+, 8.6% BB rate, 16.6% K rate, 0.2 fWAR

A veteran left-handed bat with the ability to play shortstop, second base and third base, Drew signed a one-year deal with Washington on January 6, 2016. He clubbed 17 home runs in his first full season with the New York Yankees in 2015, tied for third among MLB second basemen. It was his largest power output since 2008, when he hit 21 home runs with Arizona. Drew appeared in 123 games (94 starts) at second base, 15 games (10 starts) at shortstop and four games (one start) at third base.

DANNY ESPINOSA

2015 Season Totals: .240/.311/.409, 94 wRC+, 8.0% BB rate, 25.7% K rate, 2.3 fWAR

One of Major League Baseball’s best and most versatile infielders, Espinosa will likely see an increased role at shortstop in 2016. A season ago, he clubbed 13 home runs, his most since 2012, and slugged .409, his highest figure since 2011. If qualified, he would have ranked first in UZR/150 (18.4) and third in defensive runs saved among MLB second basemen (10). He earned starts at second base (74), third base (9), shortstop (5), first base (5) and left field (2) during the 2015 season.

TYLER MOORE

2015 Season Totals: .203/.250/.364, 61 wRC+, 5.5% BB rate, 22.5% K rate, -0.9 fWAR

A power hitter who adds defensive versatility to Washington’s roster, Moore saw action at first base (39 games/23 starts), left field (20 games/13 starts), and right field (one game) and as a pitcher (one game/0.2 IP). He posted career highs in games played (97), at bats (187) and doubles (12) in 2015 while ranking second on the club with five hits as a pinch hitter. He became the second Nationals position player to pitch in a game, and the first at Nationals Park, August 5 vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks.

DANIEL MURPHY

2015 Season Totals: .281/.322/.449, 110 wRC+, 5.8% BB rate, 7.1% K rate, 2.5 fWAR

A 2015 postseason hero with the New York Mets, Murphy signed a three-year deal with the Nationals on January 6, 2016. He garnered NLCS MVP honors after clubbing four home runs during New York’s four-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs, also becoming the first player in MLB history to hit a home run in six consecutive postseason games. He hit a career-high 14 home runs in 2015, adding 38 doubles and 73 RBI. He proved to be the toughest batter to strike out in MLB, fanning once every 14.2 plate appearances.

SPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

ANTHONY RENDON

2015 Season Totals: .264/.344/.363, 97 wRC+, 10.1% BB rate, 19.7% K rate, 0.9 fWAR

A versatile infielder and one of the top young hitters in Major League Baseball, Rendon looks to bounce back from an injury-plagued 2015 campaign. After suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee in Spring Training, Rendon made his 2015 debut on June 14 before returning to the DL on June 25 with a left quad strain. His best stretch of the season came from August 22–September 17, when he hit .356 (37-for-104) with four doubles, four home runs, 16 runs batted in, 12 walks and 25 runs scored.

CLINT ROBINSON

2015 Season Totals: .272/.358/.424, 115 wRC+, 10.5% BB rate, 14.8% K rate, 0.4 fWAR

Robinson joined the Nationals on a Minor League deal with an invite to 2015 Spring Training, and would end up making his first Opening Day roster. In his first full MLB season, Robinson ranked among NL rookies in on-base percentage (3rd, .358), walks (3rd, 37) and slugging percentage (10th, .424). Robinson finished strong, hitting .284 with three homers, nine RBI and 10 walks in 27 September games. On May 12 at Arizona (1.0 IP, H, SO), Robinson became the first-ever Nationals position player to pitch in a game.

TREA TURNER

2015 Season Totals: .225/.295/.325, 72 wRC+, 9.1% BB rate, 27.3% K rate, 0.1 fWAR

The No. 2 prospect in Washington’s system per Baseball America, Turner was acquired from the San Diego Padres on June 14 to complete an offseason trade between the teams. He had his contract selected from Triple-A Syracuse on August 21 and made his Major League debut that night vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, entering the game as a defensive replacement. In 116 Minor League games in 2015, Turner hit .322 with 24 doubles, seven triples, eight homers, 54 RBI, 29 stolen bases and 68 runs scored.

RYAN ZIMMERMANSPRING TRAINING NATIONALS

2015 Season Totals: .249/.308/.465, 107 wRC+, 8.5% BB rate, 20.3% K rate, 0.6 fWAR

A former Gold Glove third baseman, Zimmerman made the transition across the diamond to first base in an injury-shortened 2015 campaign. He hit .249 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs, 73 RBI, 33 walks and 43 runs scored in 95 games, including .311/.372/.652 after returning from plantar fasciitis in his left foot on July 28. He clubbed his 200th career home run during an 11-game span from August 23–September 2, in which he collected 23 RBI — the most over 11 games in franchise history (Nationals/Expos).

 

 

NON-ROSTER INVITEES

JASON MARTINSON2010 fifth-round pick enters his first training camp on the Major League side.

BRENDAN RYANDefensive wizard and veteran of nine big league seasons competing for a utility role.

SCOTT SIZEMOREVirginia Beach native and VCU alum got off to a fast start in Grapefruit League play.

MATT SKOLENationals 2012 Minor League Player of the Year hit 20 homers in the Minors in 2015.

 

Nationals reinstate outfielder Jayson Werth and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman

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By Kyle Brostowitz

The Washington Nationals returned from rehab and reinstated outfielder Jayson Werth from the 60-day disabled list and first baseman Ryan Zimmerman from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. To make room, the Nationals optioned outfielder Matt den Dekker to Triple-A Syracuse and outrighted infielder Emmanuel Burriss to Triple-A Syracuse.

WerthZim

Getty Images

Werth, 36, returns to the Nationals’ active roster after missing 61 games with a left wrist contusion. He appeared in 12 Minor League rehab games with Single-A Potomac (6) and Triple-A Syracuse (6), hitting .333 (12-for-36) with two doubles, one home run, eight RBI, five walks and three runs scored between the two stops.

Prior to suffering the injury on May 15 at San Diego, Werth had hit safely in 10 of his previous 14 games, going 14-for-53 (.264) with two home runs, eight RBI, seven walks, and 13 runs scored. He had appeared in 27 games prior to the injury. In five seasons with the nationals, Werth has hit .278 with 110 doubles, five triples, 68 home runs, 265 RBI, 46 stolen bases, 271 walks and 297 runs scored.

Zimmerman, 30, appeared in 56 games for the Nationals before being placed on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis in his left foot on June 11. He missed 49 games due to the injury. Zimmerman appeared in five Minor League rehab games with Double-A Harrisburg, collecting one hit in 15 at bats.

Zimmerman is Washington’s all-time leader (2005-present) in runs scored (712), hits (1370), doubles (307), home runs (189), RBI (744) and games played (1254).

Ryan Zimmerman: Still Mr. Walkoff after all these years

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by Amanda Comak

Ryan Zimmerman is used to this by now. Ninth inning, 10th inning, game on the line, standing at home plate. He’s used to hearing his bat crack, watching the flight of the ball, moving his way toward first base, thrusting that right arm in the air. He’s used to flipping his helmet away and diving into a pile of waiting, happy teammates.

He’s used to it, because, quite frankly, since he hit his first walk-off home run on June 18, 2006 — in the 88th game of his career — no one in the Major Leagues has done it more.

Zimmerman’s latest walk-off home run, a two-run shot that clanked off the right field foul pole and into the home team’s bullpen at Nationals Park on Tuesday night, was the 10th of the first baseman’s career. Ten. Some players — good players — go entire careers without hitting one. Zimmerman has hit 10.

“Pretty special, isn’t it?” Nationals Manager Matt Williams said after Tuesday’s game. “You don’t realize things like that until it’s pointed out. It just means he knows what he’s doing.”

Zimmerman is now in some heady company. The most walk-off home runs hit in National League history? He’s third on a list that starts with Stan Musial (12) and Tony Perez (11), and tied on that list with Mike Schmidt (10), Albert Pujols (10), and Barry Bonds (10). Among active players, only Pujols (11) and David Ortiz (11) have hit more walk-off home runs in their careers than Zimmerman. Pujols is in his 15th season. Ortiz is in his 19th.

So, as this is the Nationals’ 10th-Anniversary season, let’s take a walk down memory lane and check out each and every one of Zimmerman’s 10 walk-offs.

May 19, 2015 — Nationals vs. Yankees, tied 6-6, bottom of the 10th vs. LHP Andrew Miller:

July 26, 2013 — Nationals vs. Mets, tied 1-1, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP LaTroy Hawkins:

August 19, 2011 — Nationals vs. Phillies, tied 4-4, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Ryan Madson (walk-off Grand Slam):

July 31, 2010 — Nationals vs. Phillies, behind 4-5, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Brad Lidge:

July 6, 2010 — Nationals vs. Padres, tied 5-5, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Luke Gregerson: 

September 6, 2009 — Nationals vs. Marlins, behind 3-4, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo:

March 30, 2008 — Nationals vs. Braves, tied 2-2, bottom of the ninth vs. RHP Peter Moylan:

May 12, 2007 — Nationals vs. Marlins, tied 3-3, bottom of the ninth vs. Jorge Julio (walk-off Grand Slam):

July 4, 2006 — Nationals vs. Marlins, down 3-4, bottom of the ninth vs. Joe Borowski:

June 18, 2006 — Nationals vs. Yankees, down 1-2, bottom of the ninth vs. Chien-Ming Wang:

Daily Wrap: Live BP wraps up, fundamentals get attention, & more

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by Kyle Brostowitz

Prior to the final live batting practice session of Spring Training, infielders and outfielders worked on a crucial part of the game: fundamentals. Team drills focused on cutoffs and relays from the outfield to second base, third base, and home plate.

The outfielders and cutoff men worked on delivering strikes to each respective base, while the other infielders and catchers focused on receiving the throw and applying a perfect tag. Pitchers are tasked with backing up the correct base. As you can imagine, not one detail is overlooked in this process, and manager Matt Williams is focused on making sure every aspect of it is done correctly.

Fundamental work continued after the workout when Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman took extra time to work on the first leg of a 3-6 double play. Zimmerman practiced his footwork at first base while Desmond got work on receiving throws from Zimmerman – something that he hasn’t had to do much over the years. Desmond explained to Zimmerman where he would like to receive the throw so he can transfer the ball as quickly as possible and deliver a strike back to first base.

News of the Day: Live batting practice concludes

Today was the final day of live batting practice sessions for the Nationals. Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister, Gio Gonzalez and several other pitchers took the hill for the first time and faced off against their teammates.

Williams gave a report on the day of work put in by the pitching staff:

“Gio’s velocity was really good. Curveball was good,” Williams explained. “Zim was typical Zim, in that he was down in the zone with the exception of one fastball that Clint Robinson got on the leg. Other than that, they were really good.”

Williams added that, although this was the final scheduled day of live batting practice, depending on each pitcher’s evaluation of where they were at, they could throw another live session privately if they’d like before they see game action.

Social Media of the Day:

Think warm thoughts, DC! #Nats #SpringTraining

A photo posted by @nationals on

Quote of the Day:

“Just going with a fastball in. It went a little too far in. A grazing shot, I guess. I didn’t really square him up too bad.”– Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann on accidentally hitting Clint Robinson during live batting practice.

Daily Wrap: Live BP gets underway, SportsCenter visits Nationals camp & more

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by Amanda Comak

VIERA, Fla. — It was a very busy day here at Nationals camp as Photo Day overtook the morning, and the first live batting practice session of the Spring overtook the afternoon. All the while, ESPN’s SportsCenter was broadcasting live from the Nationals’ workout with sit-down interviews with Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Mike Rizzo and Drew Storen, along with Matt Williams and Ryan Zimmerman.

News of the Day: Live Batting Practice sessions commence

It’s usually about this time of the spring when bullpens and fielding drills leave everyone wanting a little bit more. And that’s when live batting practice arrives. Live BP, while still practice for everyone, does usually provide a bit more in the way of entertainment and evaluation. The pitchers are always ahead of the hitters, but it’s good for both to see one another on opposite ends once again.

The highlight on Sunday was Max Scherzer throwing his first live batting practice as a member of the Nationals.

Scherzer looked sharp, though few Nationals hitters offered at his pitches as it was their first time seeing live pitching in quite some time. He did, however, entertain.

After finishing his bullpen warm-up, Scherzer and Nationals Manager Matt Williams removed their caps and hummed the Star Spangled Banner. Then Scherzer got to work.

“It’s part of Max’s thing,” Williams said later Sunday afternoon. “He always takes that break for the national anthem when he prepares to start a game. He wanted to take the break, so we hummed it for him. (We) made him feel comfortable in that regard so he could go out and start BP.”

Images of the Day

 

Social Media of the Day

Your 2015 #Nats starting pitchers. #aces

A photo posted by @nationals on

#TonyTwoBags showed off his pro flow at photo day this morning. #Nats #SpringTraining

A photo posted by @nationals on

 

Video Highlights of the Day

 

Quote of the Day

You have to simulate it like it’s a real game. It’s all about the little things.” — Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer on humming the national anthem before live batting practice, which he says he does before every live BP session he’s thrown. 

From the Desk of Mark D. Lerner: Back in the swing of spring

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Good afternoon!

I am writing to you from my office at Space Coast Stadium on another picturesque day in Viera. Sorry, I know you’re all facing some pretty tough weather back in D.C. We just wrapped up Day 4 of our Pitchers and Catchers workouts and the full squad is just about complete. The position players will all report by this evening, get their physicals tomorrow, and on Thursday we’ll get them all out on the field together for the first time.

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Danny Espinosa’s mustache is something.

— Spring Training is one of my favorite times of year. It’s always so great to see everyone after the long winter. I truly enjoy hearing what our players did in the offseason, how their families have grown – some got married, or had children – or any of the interesting things they did in the time they were away. It’s a little like the first day of school. But way more fun.

I ran into Ryan Zimmerman in the hall outside the clubhouse just this morning. He looks great and is truly enjoying preparing to be our first baseman.

It’s also always fun to see who has worked hard all winter to grow their hair out – Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond are leading this category right now – or who has been experimenting with a new facial hair look. You’ve all seen Danny Espinosa, right? Yosemite Sam, as we call him — just one of the names they’ve come up with in the clubhouse.

— We’ve now seen the pitchers all go through two rounds of bullpen sessions. And all that’s done for me is solidify how excited I am to see these guys compete this season. To stand in the bullpen and watch Max Scherzer throwing next to Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez throwing next to Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen side-by-side with Matt Thornton – I could go on all day. It’s tantalizing to watch, and to think about what is to come.

2015-WNBC-Heath-Bell-03

It was great to see Heath Bell taking a little family time after a workout this weekend. (Photo by Paul Kim)

It’s also been great to see guys like Dan Uggla and Heath Bell in camp. That these players, with such accomplished resumes, are here in our camp as Non-Roster Invites speaks to our depth. Both players have arrived in tremendous shape – Heath Bell told me he’s lost 40 pounds and participated in two triathlons this winter – and I look forward to seeing what they will do during the Grapefruit League season. You never know how much of an impact their veteran presence can have on a club. We’re happy to welcome them to our team.

— I know I’m not the only one enjoying these workouts. It’s been wonderful to see so many of our fans lining the fences and taking the front-row-seat offered to them at Spring Training. The turnout has been fantastic and there really aren’t many better pro sporting experiences. The access for fans during Spring Training

Photo by Donald Miralle

Photo by Donald Miralle

workouts is really unparalleled. There’s no better opportunity to see these guys up-close-and-personal, and no better opportunity to get that autograph you’ve been seeking. Our guys have been signing each day after the workout. Nothing like the smile on a young fan’s face after they’ve received a prized autograph. There’s still plenty of time to plan a quick trip down here!

— Another part of Spring Training I really enjoy is that it’s a great time for me to catch up on all the movies I’ve missed. I enjoyed watching Aaron Barrett and Jerry Blevins battle it out on Twitter over their Oscars predictions earlier this week, and I got a chance to see American Sniper myself last night. Bradley Cooper was tremendous. I highly recommend it.

I also want to give a shoutout to our great staff at our complex here at Space Coast Stadium. They do a tremendous job, and we’re very lucky to have such wonderful people working for us and working to make the experience for everyone here so positive.

— We are thrilled that we’ll be welcoming ESPN’s SportsCenter here on Sunday morning, and really looking forward to them broadcasting LIVE from our camp all day. I know how eager our fans back in D.C. are to see these guys and for us to get back up north, so hopefully this will help make a cold Sunday morning that much warmer! Be sure to tune in!

Photo by Donald Miralle

Photo by Donald Miralle

— I want to personally congratulate our manager, Matt Williams, on having his option picked up for the 2016 season. Matt has done a tremendous job thus far and we are honored to have him guiding our players. The pride he takes in playing the game the right way and in helping our players reach their full potential is outstanding. I am really looking forward to watching him as he continues to lead.

Well, that’s about all for now. Don’t forget that single-game tickets are already on sale. While I’m already looking forward to the Grapefruit League opener on March 5, Opening Day will be here before we know it!

Until next time,
Mark

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