All posts tagged: Washington Nationals

Baseball is boring. Then suddenly it isn’t.

I know I’m going to jinx them. I just know it. As soon as you start talking about the Nationals this year, they do a face plant and fall back off the pace. Again. Their bullpen implodes. Again. They remind you that Mike Rizzo isn’t a genius when it comes to constructing bullpens or picking managers. Again. Nonetheless, I’m going to take a chance. And I’m doing so because Max Scherzer is worth it. Who breaks their nose (in a freak bunting accident, no less), then 24 hours later goes out with said broken nose and amazing black eye and punches out 10 Phillies (boo Bryce Harper) via strikeouts? Then five days later throws one-hit shutout ball — again with 10 strikeouts — against the Marlins? Finally, yesterday, in his first return to Detroit since signing with the Nats as a free agent, Max — still with a discolored eye and broken nose — goes 8 innings and has 14 strikeouts in a 2-1 win that brings the Nats home for July 4th with a …

Yes, The Playoffs Are Beginning Without Us

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted very much on the baseball season since the All-Star game.  For those watching the Nats’ season fall apart, the reason will be obvious.  And now that the local nine have wrapped up a miserable year, we get to begin speculation here in D.C. on where Bryce will land next year.  Frankly, I’ve read about all the ink I care to on Harper.  I just hope he makes up his mind early and doesn’t drag this out all year.  Robles and Soto are two excellent young (and cheap) outfielders, so it isn’t like we’d have chopped liver out there in the outfield But let’s move on to the teams still playing.  The team with the top record, the Boston Red Sox, look good, but I think they have a tough row to hoe to win it all. To cut to the chase, here are my picks/hopes: First in the American League: I hope the A’s (now Claire’s team since she lives in Oakland) use their “new pitcher every …

Baseball at (or just past) the Break

NOTE:  This was a post I meant to finish a week ago.  Then life intervened. In the past three weeks I’ve checked two items off my baseball bucket list and saw the most amazing comeback in my 40+ years of watching this always fascinating sport.  We’re now a little more than a week past the all-star break, the traditional midway point of the baseball season, so it seems appropriate to unleash a few thoughts on you, dear readers, in reverse chronological order to the way they happened. The All-Star Game is Great Fun:  Washington hosted the 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park earlier this month. Almost by a fluke Andrew and I scored great seats.  A colleague—who is British—was given two tickets by a former colleague of his from National Geographic. (Remember that Nat Geo is now owned by FOX, which was televising the game.)  Not caring a great deal for the American pastime, he offered them up to me. For free! Which is how Andrew and I landed in section 133 in fantastic …

What a Wonderful Washington Weekend!

It is a great weekend to live in Washington… Stanley Cup Celebrations Continue — From bars in Arlington to today’s game at National Park to the Georgetown Waterfront, the Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals are having a great time celebrating the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship with the hometown fans.  While I was across the country when they clinched on Thursday evening, I could hear the city explode from Phoenix. We’re ALL CAPS here in D.C. It was an especially satisfying run, given 1) that they weren’t expected to go very deep due to losses of players to the expansion draft, and 2) that they got through a couple of perennial stumbling blocks:  John (Torts) Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets and—most significantly—the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Too bad Martin St. Louis—who was always a playoff pest—no longer plays for Tampa Bay. If you want another thrill, watch the highlights from the cup-clinching game. Pride 2018 Celebration — Thousands have descended on DC this weekend for the annual Pride celebration.  Andrew almost always makes it to Pride, but because of …

The Coming of Winter (Part 2)

I’ve had a few days to stew on the Nats Game 5 loss to the Cubs…enough to see the Cubs completely tank against the Dodgers, who are now headed to the World Series.  All “Joe Maddon is a genius” comments have to be walked back a bit after some of the ways his team played in the NLCS. Nonetheless, the Cubs were there and the Nats weren’t. Let’s get to a few things about the Nats and that Game 5 loss, and then I’ll turn to thinking a bit about the games this week (and the games ahead). First, if you want to read sharp commentary on the Nationals, go to the blog Nationals Baseball.  Harper regularly provides the best clear-eyed and unsentimental analysis of this ball club (so much better than the Washington Post crew), and the comments are first-rate (how often do you read that on the internet?).  Read his Game 5 analysis at the link above when you get the chance.  Much of what I’d say, especially about how bad Matt Wieters …

Winter Has Come

Well, that will leave a bruise. I’m at a board meeting for work, so will have to wait until later for a longer reflection on the Nats 2017 campaign, but oh my…the bad taste from that last game is going to linger for a while.  I was sitting in the only television room in the place, watching the game alone until 1 o’clock in the morning.  At least I resisted the temptation to pull out a beer or have a glass of wine to drown my sorrows. Gio does his Gio thing and melts down under pressure.  Max and Wieters pick the worst possible time to play sandlot ball.  Dusty’s loyalty bites us in the behind.  Harp isn’t always Mr. Clutch.  Instant replay can be correct and yet wrong for the game. Oh…and for those Chicago Cubs fans who are itching to tell you how your team blew it…you’ve now become just like the insufferable Red Sox and Yankees fans.  Is that what you really want?  Memo to self…if the Nats ever do win a …

Clinch!

You never know when you draw a September day at the park in the season ticket package if the game you pick will be meaningful.  But around Friday, I realized that today’s game could be the one where the Nats clinch the 2017 National League East Division title. I had tickets for Sunday at Nationals Park.  Nats vs. the Phillies.  And the magic number of National wins or Marlins losses was two!  Woo hoo! Sarah, a colleague from work, joined me, and we laughed when we both  showed up in our 2012 East Division champions gear.  I told Candice as I left for the ballpark that I was wearing my hat for good luck, since I bought it the night they clinched that year when we were both at the park.  Candice replied, “Well good.  At least you won’t have to buy a new hat.”  She needn’t worry…I’m not buying any new playoff/championship gear until we get to a World Series. Today sure was a fun day at the park.  Stephen Strasburg was brilliant through …