May 19, 2013
Nearly a quarter of the way into the season, the Washington Nationals are hovering just two games above .500. It's not exactly where the Nationals or their fans thought they'd be after winning the NL East last year at 98-64, the best record in baseball. “We have not been very consistent,” third baseman Ryan Zimmerman said after the Nationals lost 13-4 to San Diego on Sunday as the Padres salvaged a split of their four-game series. “Part of that has been injuries, but you have to get past that.
October 7, 2012
Rookies in the postseason, the Washington Nationals played like poised veterans. The Nationals escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning, Tyler Moore blooped a two-out, two-run single in the eighth and Washington beat the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 Sunday in an NL playoff opener. They have just four players with postseason experience on the roster. But they have the lead. “Not many people have probably watched too many Nationals games, but we have a great starting rotation and a great bullpen,” said Ian Desmond, who singled for his third hit in the go-ahead rally.
October 2, 2012
A smile crept across Adam LaRoche's face while he rounded the bases Tuesday night after hitting his career-high 33rd homer to become the third Nationals player with 100 RBIs in a season, another celebratory moment for NL East champion Washington during a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. When the Nationals Park gates opened, early-arriving fans in the crowd of 33,546 were treated to a video montage of alcohol-spraying and general mirth-making from a night earlier, when the home team clinched its first division title since moving from Montreal in 2005.
September 20, 2012
The Washington Nationals brought postseason baseball back to the nation's capital for the first time since 1933, earning a playoff spot Thursday night with a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Nats Clinch” flashed on the scoreboard as Washington ensured at least an NL wild-card spot behind Ross Detwiler's six strong innings and Ryan Zimmerman's RBI double. A crowd of 30,359 stood and cheered in the ninth inning, then got even louder when Drew Storen struck out Hanley Ramirez to end it. Manager Davey Johnson saluted the fans as he left the field and the team wore caps acknowledging the playoff berth.
September 12, 2012
John Lannan pitched 5 2-3 shutout innings in his first start since replacing Stephen Strasburg in Washington's starting rotation, and the Nationals lowered their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to six with a 2-0 win over the punchless New York Mets on Wednesday night. Ryan Zimmerman homered in the fourth off rookie Matt Harvey (3-5) and Ian Desmond connected off Jon Rauch in the eighth, helping the NL East leaders complete a three-game sweep and close in on the capital's first postseason baseball berth since the original Washington Senators in 1933.
August 21, 2012
Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 and allowed one run in six innings for his 15th win in what could be one of his final starts of the season as the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 4-1 on Tuesday night. For weeks, the impending shutdown of Strasburg has been the talk of baseball. Though the Nationals haven't said exactly what their limit for the star right-hander is, it's thought to be between 160 and 180 innings. After this start, his fourth straight win, when he allowed four hits and walked one, he has thrown 145 1/3 innings.
August 17, 2012
Michael Morse hit a grand slam, Bryce Harper also homered and the Washington Nationals became the latest team to tag a struggling Johan Santana in their 6-4 victory over the New York Mets on Friday night. Ross Detwiler tossed six solid innings and the Nationals sent Santana to his fifth loss in the last five starts. Handed a 2-0 lead, the two-time Cy Young Award winner was perfect through three innings. But the NL East leaders strung together four consecutive hits in the fourth, capped by Morse's 12th homer.
July 28, 2012
Wisconsin-native Jordan Zimmermann pitched his first game against Milwaukee, and his teammates hit three home runs in the Washington Nationals' 4-1 victory over the Brewers on Saturday night. Zimmermann (8-6) struck out six and gave up five hits in six innings. The right-hander, who was born in Auburndale and played at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, has not allowed more than one earned run in each of his last seven starts. Drew Storen and Sean Burnett each threw an inning of relief and Tyler Clippard pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
July 25, 2012
Stephen Strasburg gave a sneaky grin and a confident “yeah” when asked whether he was being more aggressive on the mound. He knew what the question was in reference to, and he appeared to have been waiting five days to answer it. After the righty's previous start, manager Davey Johnson said, “He really doesn't know who he is at times.” Strasburg knew who he was Wednesday, all right: Dominant. The 24-year-old ace struck out 11 in seven innings, Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa hit consecutive homers and the Washington Nationals completed a sweep of the free-falling New York Mets with a 5-2 victory.
April 12, 2012
Standing on third base with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Ryan Zimmerman still was bummed about the two plays he failed to make in the field earlier Thursday for the Washington Nationals. Knowing that the Cincinnati Reds' relievers are prone to throwing “dirtballs,” Zimmerman was aware that Alfredo Simon might very well miss his mark. Sure enough, Simon threw a wild pitch, and Zimmerman raced home, helping the Nationals extend their best start since moving to Washington with a 3-2 victory over the Reds.