Results tagged ‘ Steve Lombardozzi ’

Give Thanks With The Lombardozzis

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As you know by now, we’re all about showing gratitude for your NATITUDE. That’s why, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are teaming up with Steve Lombardozzi Jr. and Sr. to help collect supplies for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Plus, we’re giving you some extra incentive to join us. Share photos of your Thanksgiving NATITUDE with us on Instagram from now through Tuesday night (6 p.m. ET) for a chance to win a Steve Lombardozzi autographed bat or ball! Just tag your photos with #NATITUDE for your chance to win.

Win a Steve Lombardozzi-signed bat or ball in our Instagram contest.

Looking for great photo ideas? Why not join the Lombardozzis at the Nationals Clubhouse Team Store at Tysons Corner Center on Saturday from 1–2 p.m. with your donations? The father-son duo will be available for photos with fans who donate items to the drive, a joint effort between the Lombardozzis, the Nationals, JK Moving Services – the team’s Official Mover – and Our Lady of Good Counsel High School. In addition, all those who contribute donations will receive 15% off their purchase on full price merchandise at any of the Nationals Clubhouse Team Store locations.

The Lombardozzis will head out to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, MD from 3–4 p.m. They will then join JK Moving Services in delivering the items using a donated 35-foot long JK truck to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside, N.J., on Tuesday, November 20.

Click here for a list of items to bring, and see below for all drop-off times this weekend. Now get out there and Ignite Your Thanksgiving NATITUDE!


Tysons Corner

Nationals Clubhouse Team Store

1961 Chain Bridge Rd., Suite E-5U, VA

Fri.-Sat. (Nov. 16 & 17): 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Sun. (Nov. 18): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Dulles Town Center

Nationals Clubhouse Team Store

21100 Dulles Town Circle, Suite 156, Dulles, VA

Fri.-Sat. (Nov. 16 & 17): 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Sun. (Nov. 18): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

17301 Old Vic Blvd., Olney, MD

Fri. (Nov. 16): 8 a.m.–3 p.m. in the front office, 3 p.m.–6 p.m. in the Kane Center Gym

Sat.-Sun. (Nov. 17 & 18): 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Kane Center Gym

A Different Kind Of Lombo Support

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Nationals fans were introduced to Steve Lombardozzi in September of 2011, but they truly got to know the rookie as a clutch performer this last season. In 2012 he hit .305 with men on base, .327 with two outs, and a whopping .600 (!) with 12 of his 27 RBI coming with the bases loaded. Now, Lombardozzi and his father, Steve Sr., who hit .427 in leading the Minnesota Twins to the 1987 World Series Championship, are coming through for their neighbors in a time of need. The Lombardozzis are teaming up with the Nationals and JK Moving Services, the team’s Official Mover, to support relief and recovery efforts in the areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy and they are asking for your help as well.

Steve Lombardozzi Sr. (left) and Jr. (third from left) are teaming up for Superstorm Sandy relief efforts.

Whether you live in D.C., Virginia, or Maryland, you are encouraged to bring whatever items you can to one of our drop-off locations this week. Locations include the Nationals Clubhouse Main Team Store at Nationals Park from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Friday (November 13-16). Nationals Clubhouse Team Stores at Tysons Corner Center and Dulles Town Center will also be accepting donations from 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. today through Saturday (November 13-17) and from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday (November 18). Plus, all those who donate items will receive 15% off their purchase on full price merchandise at any of the Nationals Clubhouse Team Store locations, a little gratitude from us for your NATITUDE.

The most-needed items at this time include the following:

–       Canned foods including soups, stews, chili, tuna, peanut butter and canned milk (pop-top preferred, but please avoid glass containers)

–       Bottled water – One liter or smaller bottles for easier transport

–       Powdered milk, baby formula and bottles

–       Personal care items including disposable diapers, soap, wipes, toilet paper, first aid kits and feminine products

–       Household items including garbage bags, zip lock bags, paper plates and cups, plastic utensils, duct tape, matches, batteries, flashlights, disinfectant and cleaning materials

–       Disposable charcoal grills and charcoal

–       New blankets and sleeping bags

Items will also be collected at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Maryland, where Steve Sr. serves as Head Baseball Coach, in the front office and in the Kane Center Gym Lobby today through Sunday (November 13-18). The Lombardozzis and JK Moving Services will then deliver the collected items in a donated, 35-foot long JK truck to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside, N.J. on Tuesday, November 20.

In addition to these efforts, MLB and MLBPA jointly contributed $1 million to organizations helping communities devastated by Superstorm Sandy. Additional information is available at

Here are the full addresses and hours of operation for all drop-off locations:

Nationals Clubhouse Main Team Store

Nationals Park Center Field Gate at Half & N Streets, SE, Washington, DC

Tuesday, Nov. 13 to Friday, Nov. 16: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.           

Nationals Clubhouse Team Stores – Tysons Corner Center & Dulles Town Center

1961 Chain Bridge Rd. Suite E-5U, Tysons Corner, VA  & 21100 Dulles Town Circle, Suite 156 Dulles, VA

Tuesday, Nov. 13 to Saturday, Nov. 17: 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 18: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Our Lady of Good Counsel High School

17301 Old Vic Blvd., Olney, MD

Tuesday, Nov. 13 to Friday, Nov. 16: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Front Office; 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Kane Center Gym Lobby

Saturday, Nov. 17 & Sunday, Nov. 18: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Gym Lobby

What to Watch For: 9/26

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Washington Nationals (93-61) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (78-76)

LHP John Lannan (3-0, 4.43) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (10-11, 3.89)

The Nationals send the second of three consecutive southpaws against the Phillies as John Lannan takes the mound at Citizens Bank Park opposite Kyle Kendrick. Washington has alternated wins and losses over its past eight games after dropping the series opener last night.


From manager Davey Johnson on Steve Lombardozzi getting a shot to start at second base tonight for the first time in a while after starting regularly earlier in the year:

“He was probably playing as good as anybody. His playing time has diminished, but he can play.”


1. Werth RF

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Desmond SS

7. Lombardozzi 2B

8. Suzuki C

9. Lannan LHP


The Nationals currently pace the Major Leagues in run differential. MLB’s top 3: Washington (+139), Texas (+118) and New York (AL) (+106). The Nationals have allowed the fewest runs (556) in MLB.


Washington is 13-10 in September and remains MLB’s only team to have played winning baseball every month this year: August (19-10), July (17-9), June (15-10), May (15-13), April (14-8). Including a 17-10 mark in Sept. ’11, Washington has posted six straight winning months.


Just two RBI shy of the century mark, Adam LaRoche looks to become just the third player to record a 100-RBI season in a Nationals uniform, joining Ryan Zimmerman (‘06, ‘09) and Adam Dunn (‘09-10)…the Nationals mark for RBI in a season was accomplished when Zimmerman drove home 110 as a rookie in 2006. Ryan Zimmerman needs just 6 to reach the 100-RBI plateau. After a slow start offensively, he has tallied 72 of his 94 RBI in his last 82 contests (beginning June 24).


Not So Minor Accomplishments

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The Nationals announced their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year Awards prior to Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs, and the names should come as no surprise to those who follow the Washington farm system closely. Infielder Matt Skole – who tore up the South Atlantic League before a late-season promotion to Potomac – and right-handed pitcher Nathan Karns, who largely did the same, took home the honors.

Matt Skole put up prolific numbers all season.

Skole was tremendous all season long, batting .292 with 28 doubles, a league-leading 27 home runs, 83 runs scored, 104 RBI and a .438 on-base percentage in just 118 games for Low-A Hagerstown while playing third base. After we profiled him here on Curly W Live, he went on to win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, despite his mid-August promotion to the Carolina League. He continued to show his abilities at the next level, posting a slash line of .324/.356/.500 including seven multi-hit performances in 17 games heading into Monday’s season finale.

Karns, meanwhile, posted an organizational-best 2.17 ERA and an 11-4 record in 24 games (18 starts) for the Suns and P-Nats. His promotion came earlier in the season, after just 11 games with Hagerstown, that saw him go 3-0 with a 2.26 mark. He continued to impress at Potomac, twice winning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week honors. Karns led all Nationals farmhands with 148 strikeouts, and posted an eight-game winning streak over a nine-start span, logging a 0.94 ERA from June 15 to August 2.

Skole follows Tyler Moore (’10) and Steve Lombardozzi (’11) as a recipient of this award. Other notable former Minor League Pitchers of the Year include John Lannan (’07) and Jordan Zimmermann (’08). The pair will be honored for their accomplishments during an on-field ceremony prior to Friday’s 7:05 p.m. contest against Miami.

A Leader Down the Stretch

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All season long, the Nationals have been content to defer the spotlight. As Showtime selected the revamped division-rival Miami Marlins to feature in their reality series The Franchise, the Nationals quietly went about winning ballgames and building a lead in the National League East. With all the focus on the return of Stephen Strasburg, starter Jordan Zimmermann set out his slow and steady path towards a breakout year. And despite all the attention paid to Bryce Harper’s debut season, fellow rookies Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi have played their own, integral roles in the club’s success thus far.

Jackson seems to have only gotten stronger as the season has gone along.

And so, it is only fitting that Washington’s best pitcher of late has gone largely unnoticed, quietly dominating under the radar of the national spotlight. After his latest masterpiece – an eight-inning, 10-strikeout, 122-pitch performance against the same Cardinals team he helped to a World Series title last year – Edwin Jackson has emerged as one of the strongest arms in the rotation heading down the stretch. After struggling with his command in the middle of the season, Jackson has been more aggressive of late, throwing his mid-90s fastball, low-90s cutter and hard, diving slider for strikes.

“It’s just a matter of being comfortable with it at the end of the day,” Jackson said on Friday of his willingness to attack the zone the night before. “You just have to go out and pitch with confidence.”

Jackson has plenty to be confident about. After touching the double-digit strikeout plateau five times in his first nine years as a professional, he has achieved the feat in each of his last two home starts, mixing in eight K’s in the road start between them. All told, the right-hander has fanned 29 batters in his last 21.0 innings pitched, allowing only 13 hits over that span. In the month of August, during which he went just 2-3, he punched out 49 in a span of just 37.2 frames. He also eclipsed 100 pitches in all six of those outings, and has done so eight straight times he has toed the rubber for the Nats, proving his durability time and time again.

When Jackson throws all three of his pitches for strikes, as he did Thursday night, he is hard to beat.

In fact, after the Nationals dragged into extra innings against the Houston Astros on consecutive nights August 6 and 7, Jackson was made available to come out of the bullpen the next day, if need be. On August 20, as Washington battled into the 13th inning against Atlanta. With relief options already exhausted, Jackson trotted down to the bullpen to warm up for the top of the 14th, just over 48 hours after he threw 103 pitches against the New York Mets. On a team full of young players, he is setting the example, through his late-season play as much as his warrior mentality, of what it takes to be a champion. As for the credit, he leaves that for others to worry about.

“Whoever (the media) wants to put in the spotlight, that’s their prerogative,” he says. “As far as we’re concerned in here, on your day, everybody has to be a superstar. All we want to do is go win games any way we can.”

Jackson has shown his willingness to do just that – make sure the team wins by any means necessary. If the rest of the Nationals can follow his lead, it should be an exciting September and beyond.

Down on the Farm: Zach Walters

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One of the names flying under the radar a bit in the Nationals Minor League system is switch-hitting infielder Zach Walters. Rated as the organization’s 12th-best prospect by entering the season, Walters was acquired straight up from Arizona for right-hander Jason Marquis shortly before the 2011 non-waiver trade deadline. Originally a ninth-round selection from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft by the Diamondbacks, the infielder had not played above the Low-A Midwest League until coming over to the Nationals organization. That didn’t stop Washington from immediately promoting Walters to High-A Potomac, where he finished out the year with solid numbers, earning himself a call to the Arizona Fall League prospect showcase.

Walters had moved up two levels in the Nationals system this year.

That performance earned him a couple of auditions as an extra man, joining the big league club for a few Spring Training games this March. On one notable occasion, Walters accompanied the club on a trip to St. Lucie to play a night game against the New York Mets. After entering the game off the bench in the late innings, Walters made a highlight-reel diving stop up the middle, capturing the attention of the press corps. However, shortly afterward he broke the hamate bone in his right hand, costing him the end of his spring and the first couple weeks of his season.

“It’s been a struggle,” explained Walters of the injury that stalled him early in the year. “Being hurt, you want to get back on the field as quickly as possible, even when you aren’t ready sometimes.”

The Cheyenne, Wyoming native got off to a slow start as he rehabbed from the injury, opening the year just 1-for-22 with 10 strikeouts at Potomac. But he recovered nicely and had a nine-game hitting streak going when he was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg in mid-June. The infielder continued to produce with the Senators, posting a .293/.326/.518 slash line with 21 of his 48 hits going for extra bases in his 43 games played, all at shortstop. That was enough to earn him a second in-season promotion to Triple-A Syracuse, where he is currently playing. Once he processed his time on the Disabled List, Walters was able to make the most out of the experience.

Walters’ versatility compares to Steve Lombardozzi, while his athleticism is reminiscent of Ian Desmond.

“I feel like it was a blessing in disguise,” he says of his early-season speed bump. “I got a chance to go over some little things and really appreciate being out here on the field.”

Still just 22 years of age, Walters does not have any one particular skill that jumps off the page, but he is solid across the board. Standing an athletic 6’2” and just under 200 pounds, the University of San Diego product’s best trait might be his maturity, both on and off the field. While his skill set and versatility profile more like Steve Lombardozzi’s, his build and athleticism are more evocative of that of current Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond. That combination of a solid work ethic, combined with an appreciation for his new organization have helped Walters move quickly through the system and raise his stock as a prospect.

“I’ve been thankful for everything this year,” said Walters. “It hasn’t been ‘work’ at all.”

What to Watch For: 8/15

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Washington Nationals (72-45) vs. San Francisco Giants (64-53)

RHP Stephen Strasburg (13-5, 2.90) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (6-12, 5.35)

The Nationals and Giants are slated for a marquee rubber game on Wednesday afternoon after splitting the first two matchups. Hard-throwing righties Stephen Strasburg and Tim Lincecum go head-to-head as Washington looks to close an impressive road trip on a winning note.


1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Suzuki C

9. Strasburg RHP


The Nationals are 4-2 in rubber games this year, having won 8-4 on July 1 at Atlanta, 5-2 on June 21 vs. Tampa Bay, 2-1 May 3 vs. Arizona and 4-0 April 11 at New York (NL). However, Washington is 0-2 all-time in rubber games at AT&T Park (L, 1-3 in ‘11, L, 4-5 in ‘10). The Nationals have not lost a road series since the O’s took two-of-three at Oriole Park from June 22-24. Washington is 5-0-2 (win-loss-split) in seven road series since.


California native Stephen Strasburg will toe the rubber for the first time at AT&T Park later this afternoon. His only other career start against the Giants came on July 9, 2010 when he outpitched Matt Cain, working 6.0 strong innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out eight to earn the win. Strasburg is looking for his third win in a row after claiming victories over Miami on 8/5 and at Arizona on 8/10.


The Nationals rank 2nd in MLB with 31 home runs from their middle infielders (Ian Desmond 17, Danny Espinosa 12, Steve Lombardozzi 2). Only the Yankees (34) have more.


What to Watch For: 8/14

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Washington Nationals (72-44) vs. San Francisco Giants (63-53)

RHP Jordan Zimmermann (9-6, 2.35) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (12-7, 3.08)

The Nationals set an AT&T Park record by rapping out 21 hits in a 14-2 series-opening victory over the Giants on Monday night to move to 7-1 on their current 10-game road swing. Jordan Zimmermann squares off against Madison Bumgarner tonight in a matchup of two the brightest young pitchers in the National League.


1. Espinosa SS

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. Werth RF

5. LaRoche 1B

6. Moore LF

7. Flores C

8. Lombardozzi 2B

9. Zimmermann RHP


After his offensive brethren put up eight earned runs in 2.2 innings against Ryan Vogelsong last night, Zimmermann now boasts a National League-leading 2.35 ERA. Tonight, he will look to win his second game in a row after fanning 11 against the Houston Astros last Thursday. Jordan is 3-0 in his last three starts against the Giants including a victory on July 3, when he spun 6.0 innings of one-run ball. 


In the first eight games of the Nats current 11-game road trip, Steve Lombardozzi is 13-for-36 (.361) with a double, triple, three walks and seven runs scored. He has hit safely in six of the eight tilts, including multi-hit efforts in four of the last five. Lombo has more hits on the road (46) than he does at Nationals Park this season (43).


The Nationals 5.5-game lead in the NL East matches the club’s largest in eight years in D.C. The 2005 Nationals held 5.5-game advantages at the completion of play on both July 2 and 3. Note that this is also the largest lead of the season for the Nationals, topping their previous 5.0 game advantage on June 13. In addition to the 5.5 game cushion, the Nationals have matched their zenith at 28 games above .500. The ‘33 AL Nationals (99-53) were the last DC-based club to climb as many as 28 games above the break-even mark.


From the Desk of Mark Lerner: Envious No More

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Just about every night, I remind myself, be careful what you wish for.

For years now, we watched with silent envy as teams played meaningful games late into the season. We were thrilled to play a role — any role — in the season’s outcomes, to affect the standings from the outside.

Some call it playing the “spoiler.” Whatever they called us, it fit at the time.

But when everyone went home at night, all we could do was picture and dream what a pennant race was like from the inside.

Well no longer. Friends, we are in the midst of a real pennant race. And, bonus, this one appears to have started a bit earlier than most.

Honestly, my early impression is that it is equal parts pleasure and agony.

As if the late innings of a tight game are not grueling enough, let me tell you that I literally cringe every night about 7:10 p.m. upon checking the out-of-town scoreboard for the first time. Not much changes either during my 62 subsequent glances, as I wait for the scores to flip or turn over at inning’s end.

The man known as “Kurt Klutch” has already made his presence felt with the Nationals.

Honestly, this is so fun and much more invigorating than I imagined during all those blank nights. This is daily drama that only our sport can provide.

The ups and downs … they are amazingly addictive, but as we all know, the nightly outcomes cannot always work in our favor.

And it is in those moments that I remind myself … be careful what you wish for.

*It has been a busy week with the additions of Kurt Suzuki and Cesar Izturis. Suzuki has made an immediate impression in the clubhouse — he is so upbeat and personable, it is as if he’s been with us for 3-4 years, not 3-4 days. I know he’s still feeling his way, trying to learn about our pitchers and their various strengths. But our fans should feel comfortable with not only his talents behind the plate, but also in a one-on-one setting.

*A little bit was made about the Suzuki acquisition being some sort of commentary on the play of Jesus Flores, especially since Wilson Ramos went down in early May. I can assure everyone that Mike Rizzo does not feel this way. This was an opportunity to acquire another front-line catcher. Mike was understandably nervous about the worst case scenario: losing Flores to injury. This trade makes us better and deeper. And as we’ve seen all season long, our depth is a big part of what has set us apart.

Danny Espinosa has played the hero role lately, with the Nationals rookies in support.

*I know I wrote about the agony that comes with a pennant race, but one recent high point was Saturday night’s big comeback win over the Marlins. That was as loud as I have heard our ballpark. The only other moment that could potentially stack up was Ryan Zimmerman’s game-ending homer to open up Nationals Park on March 30, 2008. As up-to-the-task as Danny Espinosa was in Saturday night’s critical at-bat, I genuinely believe that the fans primarily fueled that six-run eighth inning. We’ll need much more of this in the next 2 months.

*I do not think it is any exaggeration to think that Adam LaRoche should be a part of any NL MVP discussion. At the very least, he is the NL Comeback Player of the Year. He carried us in April and has never let up. He leads all big league first basemen in home runs with 23. Yep, that’s one more than even Albert Pujols (22).

*I’d also like to welcome Jayson Werth back to the active roster. And he is not just back and working himself into shape. Rather, he is helping us win games. Wrist injuries are probably the most disruptive ailments that can plague hitters, and for him to come back and to have already raised his batting average above the .300 mark? It is a remarkable testament to his will and determination. His body’s ability to heal quickly is something to behold.

Bryce Harper continues to dazzle with the bat and the glove.

*I’d be remiss if I did not mention the many contributions of our rookies: Bryce Harper, Steve Lombardozzi and Tyler Moore. Go back to Saturday. Bryce, Steve and Tyler accounted for half of the runs in the aforementioned six-run eighth inning. Some say the best thing about rookies is that they become second-year players. Well, in my mind, the best thing about these rookies is that they are not going anywhere any time soon.

I hope to see everyone during our next homestand. Remember, the next homestand includes a big 3-game series against the Braves. I’ve had friends tell me that this might be the biggest baseball series in D.C. since the 1933 Fall Classic. This is what it’s all about.

What to Watch for: 8/5

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Miami Marlins (49-59) vs. Washington Nationals (64-43)

RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-10, 4.90) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (11-5, 3.12)

The Nationals rallied from two runs down with a six-run, two-out rally in the eighth inning to take a 10-7 victory and a 2-1 series lead over the Marlins going into Sunday’s finale. Washington starter Stephen Strasburg – who is 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in starts following those in which he has given up four or more runs – is coming off his worst start of the year, in which he yielded six tallies.


1. Lombardozzi 2B

2. Harper CF

3. Zimmerman 3B

4. LaRoche 1B

5. Morse LF

6. Werth RF

7. Espinosa SS

8. Flores C

9. Strasburg RHP


Danny Espinosa and Bryce Harper hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to cap a six-run uprising in Washington’s 10-7, comeback victory over Miami on Saturday night at Nationals Park. The six runs matched the club’s season high for a single inning, matching the total scored in the 10th inning of the Nationals 8-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field on July 23, just 12 days earlier. 


Michael Morse has hit safely in a career-high 13 straight games, going 18-for-54 (.333) with two walks, three doubles, three homers, nine runs scored and 10 RBI. Morse’s 13-game run is the second-longest current hitting streak in the National League (Miami’s Jose Reyes is riding a 23-game hitting streak). Morse is currently tied with Steve Lombardozzi, who recorded a 13-gamer from June 29-July 20, for the longest hit streak posted by a National this season.

Adam LaRoche leads all MLB first baggers with 23 homers (Albert Pujols ranks second with 22). Among Nationals (2005-present), LaRoche’s 23 home runs are already tied for third with Nick Johnson (2006) on the single-season list among left-handed hitters. Adam Dunn occupies the top two spots on that list, as he hit 38 long balls in both 2009 and ‘10.


Following today’s series finale, the Nationals embark on a three-city, ten-game roadtrip that includes visits to Space City (Houston, four games), The Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, three) and the City by the Bay (San Francisco, three). At 33-21 (.611), Washington owns the best road winning percentage in MLB (Atlanta 2nd: .600). The Nationals have won eight of 11, twelve of 17, and nineteen of their last 27 road contests. Washington is 11-4-2 in series play on the road this season.