NL East/Wild Card Update

Take a look, even with two wins in a row going 5-5 in their last 10 games definitely did not help the Nats out.

NL Wild Card

NL East Standings

Game 132-In case you missed it…Nats win 5-3

Strasburg’s second start after coming back from injury.

Wieters with a bomb

Eaton adds more in the 6th

Overall Strasburg pitched well

Miller with the save in the 9th and that’s all she wrote for Game 1.

Next Game:

Today at 7:05 PM ET

Scherzer (16-6, 2.13 ERA) vs. Nola (15-3, 2.13 ERA)

MLB.com has Tanner Roark as the Nats “Most Overlooked Player”

Really? Tanner Roark? He of the terrible June and July? Don’t get me wrong, Roark has had a SICK August, but most overlooked? How about most forgettable/boring?

Roark is…fine. He’s a solid 4/5 guy in the rotation who will give you between 4.50-5.00 ERA and 10-12 wins a season.

I still think a guy like Rendon gets overlooked on a yearly basis for the production/glove he brings.

THIS is Tanner at his very best:

 

Barry Svrluga Writes Piece on Re-signing Bryce

Here is a link to the piece

As we try and do, if you have run out of free views on Washington Post articles here are some of the highlights:

On Scott Boras (Bryce’s agent): 

Only one team can talk to Harper about his 2019 destination, and that’s Washington. Yes, we know Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, typically prefers to take his clients all the way to free agency so he can engage 30 potential bidders, not just one. But two quick reminders: Boras works for Harper, not the other way around. And the Nationals already did a prior-to-free agency extension with one Boras client, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, so they have navigated territory that’s uncharted by most front offices and ownership groups.

On the possibility of forgoing the re-signing:

To be clear, this isn’t a no-brainer from the team’s perspective. There are front office executives and scouts for other clubs who believe the Nationals could roll out a 2019 outfield of Juan Soto in left, Victor Robles in center and Adam Eaton in right — with Michael A. Taylor around should uber-prospect Robles stumble — and compete for a division title. It’s a viable — and incredibly cheap — outfield, and that would allow the Nationals flexibility to pursue their other obvious 2019 needs: a catcher, a second baseman, starting pitching and bullpen help.

On Harper’s Body of Work:

Look, too, not just at this season, but at the body of work. Since 2012, when Harper came up as a 19-year-old, he has a .900 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, a figure that encompasses an MVP season and some swoons. But as a whole, here are the active players in that time with at least 2,000 plate appearances who outpace him: Mike Trout (.998), Joey Votto (.961), Miguel Cabrera (.940), Paul Goldschmidt (.938), Giancarlo Stanton (.923) and Kris Bryant (.906). Every single one of those players is older than Harper.

The fan’s pitch to Bryce:

There’s a way to appeal to Harper right now, and it’s this: We need you and we want you, Bryce. We’re going to win a World Series right here. Here’s a 10-year deal worth $280 million. That trails only Stanton in total sum, but it trumps him in average annual value. We’ll include a no-trade clause so you know you can raise your family here, but we’ll also throw in opt-outs — after, say, years four and five — so you could reenter free agency if money continues to flow into the sport and you perform as we believe you will. And that’s MVP-caliber, Bryce. We think you’re a Hall of Famer, and you’ll go in wearing that Curly W.

This will definitely be discussed pretty much every day until we find out what Bryce is going to do.

Monday Morning DC Sports Roundup 8/27/18

Time to go back to work, hopefully we can help distract you for a bit before you start on those emails.

Redskins

Adrian Peterson’s debut went well.

Twitter Reactions to AP

As for the Skins as a whole, preseason is preseason. Some good, some bad.

Broncos Beat Redskins in Preseason Week 3-recap

Nationals

Highs and lows last week, this weekend started off terrible with back-to-back shutout losses

Game 129

Game 130

But FINALLY, after 32 consecutive innings, the Nats pulled off not only scoring a run but also demolished the Mets.

Game 131

Still not looking great playoff-wise.

Wizards

Nothing super eventful. We dropped a few Wall blogs.

John Wall Summer of Separation Vid

John Wall-Supernova

Capitals

Just waiting to kick off the hunt for back-to-back Cups.

Other Notes

Shout-out to the Mystics!!

Be sure to check out the debut of our podcast (should already be on iTunes, or will be soon)

Episode 1

Happy Monday Party People.

Game 131-In case you missed it…Nats win 15-0

What in the world just happened….

Jefry gave the Nats a great start.

The Nats scoreless streak ended at 32 innings.

Herrera pitched in the 9th and left early due to injury running to first after fielding a ground ball.

Didn’t need all 15, but a win is a win. It would be nice to string a few more of these together…

Next Game:

Tomorrow 7:05PM ET

Strasburg (6-7, 4.23 ERA) vs. Eflin (9-4, 3.93 ERA)

Game 130-In case you missed it…Nats lose 3-0 (yes…it happened again)

This team just doesn’t score anymore, period.

7 hits, no runs.

THIS is the only good Nationals thing to happen today

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 1:10 PM ET

Rodriguez (1-1, 5.16 ERA) vs. Matz (5-10, 4.55 ERA)

Adrian Peterson Twitter Reactions

Game 129-In case you missed it…Nats lose 3-0

Nats get SHUT OUT by Vargas and the Mets. Unbelievable.

Gio pitched alright, and gutted it out after getting nailed by a comebacker.

Literally nothing exciting to talk about, Nats only got 4 hits, what a bad loss to take here in pretty much a must-win series (every series is basically must win from here on out).

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 4:05ET

Roark (8-12, 4.05 ERA) vs. Wheeler (8-6, 3.63 ERA)

Capital City Go-Go Expansion Roster Selections

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Take a look, if you are into that sort of thing.

POS

NAME

HT

WT

SCHOOL/LAST TEAM

PREVIOUS RIGHTS

F/C

Lavoy Allen

6-9

260

Temple/Northern Arizona Suns

Northern Arizona Suns

F

Quinton Chievous

6-6

225

Hampton/Santa Cruz Warriors

Santa Cruz Warriors

C

Michael Cobbins

6-8

230

Oklahoma State/OKC Blue

OKC Blue

G

Will Cummings

6-2

185

Temple/Darussafaka Basketbol Istanbul

OKC Blue

F

Alex Davis

6-9

210

Fresno State/CEZ Nymburk

Northern Arizona Suns

F/C

Will Davis

6-8

220

UC Irvine/Windy City Bulls

Windy City Bulls

G

Kellen Dunham

6-4

205

Butler/ Okapi Aalstar

Iowa Wolves

F

Duje Dukan

6-10

220

Wisconsin/Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Fort Wayne Mad Ants

G

Alonzo Gee

6-6

220

Alabama/Sioux Falls Skyforce

Sioux Falls Skyforce

F

Luke Harangody

6-8

245

Notre Dame/Ratiopharm Ulm

Delaware Blue Coats

G

*Tyler Harvey

6-4

185

Eastern Washington/Antibes

Stockton Kings

G

Pe’Shon Howard

6-3

185

USC/Reno Bighorns

Stockton Kings

F

Vince Hunter

6-8

208

UTEP/Memphis Hustle

Wisconsin Herd

C

Stephen Zimmerman

6-11

259

UNLV/South Bay Lakers

South Bay Lakers

Good ol’ Pe’Shon Howard from Maryland. Gee and Allen “bigger” names as well.

Go Go-Go.

 

Shout-out to the Mystics for pummeling LA

Always feels good to crush a team from LA. Mystics won 96-64.

Off to Atlanta for the semi’s, Sunday at 1pm.

Could the Mystics add another title to the new home of champions Washington DC??

The Athletic Unable to Poach Washington Post Writers

sports

You can read the article here

Deadspin wrote up a piece regarding The Athletic, the subscription region-based digital sports website that has been notorious of late of snagging sportswriters left and right.

DC is the next target, but apparently, things have not gone as planned.

Some key quotes from the story are below.

On the failed execution of the plan:

A variety of reporters at the Washington Post and in the D.C. area, who spoke to Deadspin about The Athletic’s efforts, described a failure to execute an audacious plan to pillage one of the last good sports desks at an American newspaper (even as the newsroom within which that desk is situated goes to war with its cartoon plutocrat owner), an inability to entice other notable reporters with roots in the area, and a failure to either notice or care that a ready-made operation with deep local connections was right there, ready to be absorbed. The end result is that The Athletic’s entrance into the nation’s capital, one of the biggest sports markets in the county, has stalled before it even started. 

On the reporters approached:

Sources at the Washington Post say the Athletic has approached, and failed to hire, sports editor Dan Steinberg, Capitals reporter Isabelle Khurshudyan, Redskins reporter Kimberley Martin, columnist Barry Svrluga, Nationals reporter Jorge Castillo (who recently announced he was going to the Los Angeles Times), soccer writer Steven Goff, and college sports, tennis, and WNBA reporter Ava Wallace. It’s unclear whether Nationals reporter Chelsea Janes and Wizards reporter Candace Buckner have talked to The Athletic and if they are considering—or have accepted—jobs at The Athletic. (Update: Sources familiar with the situation say Janes and Buckner were also approached by The Athletic. They are both staying at the Washington Post.)

The story goes on to discuss the connection with Bezos and how that may have played into the ability to thwart the poachers. It also discusses the other digital sports media competitions that already have footholds in the area.

The Athletic’s mission is to destroy newspapers as we know it. For now it seems, the DC Sports Newspaper scene is safe. We’ll see how this evolves as The Athletic grows.

By the way, hey The Athletic, our talents are for sale!!!

Andruw Monasterio debuted last night for Potomac

Monasterio, the piece the Nats got back for Murphy, started for Potomac last night.

His line: 1 for 3, 2 BB’s, 1 RBI

We’ll see how he turns out, seems like a solid bat with above-average speed and fielding ability.

Here is his player evaluation:

https://2080baseball.com/reports/andruw-monasterio/ 

Game 128-In case you missed it…Nats lose 2-0

Pitchers DUEL!

Max’s final line: 7 innings, 2 hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 10 K’s

Nola’s final line: 8 innings, 5 hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K’s

I think those guys are pretty good at pitching.

Top 7th Herrera broke the seal

Nats squandered plenty of opportunities, one key one came late. Bottom of the 8th, two on with two out for Bryce Harper…and the strikeout to end the inning

Not a lot to say about this one. You knew going in that one or two key plays would define this game, and a 2-Run bomb will count for that. Time to go sweep the Mets.

Next Game:

Tomorrow 7:10 ET @ New York Mets, Gio (7-10, 4.51 ERA) vs. Vargas (3-8, 7.67 ERA)

Is Krystal Koons MLB Draftable?

Every now and then we like to check in on the MLB prospects list for future Nationals acquisitions.

Today’s prospect: #1 Krystal Koons, RHP/Catcher, Koons.Com

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Haven’t heard a lot about Koons so I went and checked out her film. Let’s go ahead and break it down.

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A Wilson gal, old-school. Pitches out of the stretch (Strasburg-style).

 

img_9343
Tends to lead with her two-seam fastball, slightly non-standard grip.

 

img_9346
Not afraid to play in front of big crowds. Also goes with the Under Armor 3/4 sleeves, a solid look.

 

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One of the biggest knocks against Koons is many scouts feel her form/motion is not MLB-ready. Glove elbow rises up, knee is not full 90 degrees. This could cause a lot of issues down the road.

 

img_9348
Many think that catching is Koons’ ticket to the bigs. The question, of course, is her bat, her line in the Koons.Com league last season was .276 AVG, 3 HR, 55 RBI with 11 steals.

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For now, Koons needs a few more seasons under her belt before we are talking Potomac Single-A.

Fangraph’s has this to say about Koons:

Arm: B, Bat: B+, Pitching: C+, Catching: A-

Krystal Koons does it all. She can give you three or four innings on the mound and follow it up with a few behind the dish. We think in the long run most MLB teams will look at her as a Catcher. Our best player comparisons: Buster Posey and Wilson Contreras.

We’ll keep an eye out as she enters Winter Ball for Koons.Com, gotta think someone will take a chance on her maybe in next year’s draft.

 

Tired of the NL East? Let’s Check in on the NL Wild Card Race

underpressure

The Phillies may be faltering lately, but the Braves seemingly can’t stop winning. So the likelihood of the Nats finding a route to the postseason within the division is slim. BUT baseball allows two teams the opportunity to sneak into the playoffs via the Wild Card.

Still a long shot, but let’s look at the teams ahead of the Nats.

Wild Card Spot #1 

St. Louis Cardinals-71-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games

This team is RED-hot. They have taken eight straight series, they’ve got guys like Kolton Wong making plays like this:

Matt Carpenter is still hitting dingers (34 for the season). They’ve had solid pitching of late, and now they have our old boy (technically THEIR old boy) Matt Adams.

St. Louis will be tough to dethrone, they are also still in the mix in the NL Central (as is Milwaukee). Likely at LEAST St. Louis will make the postseason besides the Cubs in the Central.

Next games for Cardinals: Rockies, Pirates, Reds, Nats, Tigers, Pirates, Dodgers, Braves, Giants, Brewers, Cubs (That could be a very significant series)

Wild Card Spot #2

Milwaukee Brewers-71-58, 5-5 in their last 10 games

These guys are just having a blast. Adding Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain turned out to be great moves, Moustakas fits in as well, Brewers are cruising this season.

Christian Yelich is currently batting .314 with 21 HR and 64 RBI. Guy is straight up killing it.

Milwaukee can pitch, steal bases (2nd in the league), and is one of those teams that will sneak up on you. NL Central is balling this year, but the Nats do have some games coming up against them. A great chance to climb. Also, the hope is, there is a lot of NL Central clashes coming up, somebody will rise to the top.

Next Games for the Brewers: Pirates, Reds, Nats, Cubs, Giants, Cubs, Pirates, Reds, Pirates, Cardinals, Tigers

0.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Colorado Rockies-69-57, 8-2 in their last 10 Games

Another team that doesn’t draw a ton of attention, but is sneaky good.

Arenado is making a case for MVP

Arenado’s line for the year: .309, 30 HR, 87 RBI and impeccable defense.

Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, even our old pal Ian Desmond are all having strong years.

NL West is a battle as well, Arizona leads Colorado by 1.5 games and has won 3 in a row.

Again what is working in the Nats favor is some of these other teams having pretty tough schedules coming up.

Next Games for the Rockies: Cardinals, Angels, Padres, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Giants, Dodgers, D-Backs, Phillies, Nats

1.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Philadelphia Phillies-68-58, 3-7 in their last 10 Games

We don’t need to talk about the Phillies. You know them, you hate them, we beat them last night. Huzzah

3.5 Games Back of Wild Card

Los Angeles Dodgers-67-61, 3-7 in their last 10 Games

I never know what to make of the Dodgers.

They clearly have the talent, and yet they never get it done. Jansen is struggling, they have had trouble lately with the Cardinals and the Giants, and yet you look at that lineup (with Machado in their now too) and you scratch your head.

Another team that is victim to a really tough division this year.

Next Games for the Dodgers: Padres, Rangers, D-Backs, Mets, Rockies, Reds, Cardinals, Rockies, Padres, D-Backs, Giants

 

The biggest takeaway with all this is: The NL East has basically become a one-team race, the other two divisions not so much. IF the Nats can continue handling their business, and let everyone else beat up each other, then there is a chance.

There’s…A…Pulse…

I posted yesterday about how the Nats may screw it all up and earn a postseason berth, and sure, some of it was reaching BUT last night was a game the Nats were destined to lose.

-Fall behind 3-0 early

-battle back and tie 4-4 and then give up runs late

-two quick outs in the 9th

For the Nats, they DON’T win games like this. Not this season.

We won’t let two games get to our heads but…Max is pitching today…Mets are next… there’s…a…pulse…

Game 127-In case you missed it…Nats walk it off 8-7

Strasburg’s glorious return, not so much.

Back to back strikeouts to start the game until former Marlin Justin Bour smacks an RBI double and then Franco follows with a two run #dinger

Rendon gave the Nats their first run, driving in Bryce (reached on a bunt against the shift).

Bryce later added a double to drive in Trea in the 3rd and Soto drove him in.

All tied up after Wieters knocks in the Nats 4th run.

Phillies move ahead and don’t look back until…

Some notes:

-A ton of fuss on Twitter regarding Strasburg’s velocity being way down. Definitely was relying heavily on the slower stuff

(Final line for Stras: 4 innings, 7 hits, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s)

-Harp continues to be red hot 🔥 🔥 🔥 average is up to around .252

-Soto has slowed down a ton, 3 K’s tonight BUT a huge at bat late

-Difo gets a double and a triple #difo>Murphy

-Nats cannot stop making key errors

Next Game:

Tomorrow at 1:05 ET, Nola (14-3 2.24 ERA) vs. Max (16-5 2.11 ERA)

Nats Hilariously Double Book First Pitch on 106.7 The Fan Night, Screw Over Radio Stud Chad Dukes

It’s August. The Nats are openly tanking. It’s a Wednesday. A team has to do what it can to drive fans to the ballpark.

The Nats opted for a double promotion (not super unusual) and had both “Swim Night” and “106.7 The Fan Night” scheduled.

106.7 is the Flagship radio station for Nats baseball, and one of the local afternoon hosts Chad Dukes has been entertainingly discussing his first pitch for the past few days.

Funny tweet, good bit, and great Rich Garces reference.

The only problem was there happens to be a different athlete in the house tonight…

Chad took the initial news in stride, great tweet, all is well.

THEN things took a turn for the worse…

Dukes opened his show today at 2 PM with an epic rant regarding the pitch (pun) for him to throw out the ball alongside Katie Ledecky. A 5-Time Olympic Gold Medalist AND a midday radio host with sub named after him at Jerry’s Subs & Pizza.

Dukes was understandably upset and against the idea of being juxtaposed alongside Ledecky.

Audio Here: https://omny.fm/shows/bits-stuff/chad-dukes-wont-be-throwing-out-the-first-pitch

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter:

2019 Nats Schedule Released

It is August of 2018 right now so no need to dissect this too much yet.

But some initial notes:

-Nats play in Detroit for the first time in since 2013

-Final series of the season is vs. Indians

-As Kolko said above, final seven games of the season will be at Nats Park

Again, let’s let this season finish first. But with the way things are going, it is hard to not already dream of next year…

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Crushes the Nats

bryce-harper-tri

Read the Article Here

I’m not here to argue with Passan, in fact, I’m going to highlight some of his best points in the piece:

On the Lerner Letter:

Between talking about how “the actions we are taking now will strengthen the franchise and keep us in the position of being a perennial contender” and shouting out general manager Mike Rizzo while not bothering to mention manager Dave Martinez by name, Lerner saw the abnormality of the Nationals’ 2018 season and happily raised it. Every day, it seems, brings a new twist to a team that entered the season with championship aspirations and finally brandished the white flag Tuesday, with 125 games of sub-.500 baseball under their belts.

On Rizzo and Kintzler:

There may not be another general manager who would trade a player because he falsely believed him to be a source in a critical story, but then Rizzo is one of a kind and Brandon Kintzler is headed to the playoffs with the Cubs, so there’s that.

On Possibly a Bright Future:

The ills that plague the Nationals are more bacterial than viral, solvable so long as the proper prescription is handed out. There can be, as Lerner alluded to in his letter, a bright future in Washington. Max Scherzer is under contract long-term. Juan Soto is a star. Anthony Rendon is around for another year. Trea Turner is the shortstop of the present and future. Stephen Strasburg, when healthy, is a solid No. 2 starter. Adam Eaton is a nice part of any core. Victor Robles is on the come. There are pieces.

On Davey:

The easiest target is Martinez, a first-year manager whose fortunes pale next to his neophyte contemporaries: the Red Sox’s Alex Cora, the Yankees’ Aaron Boone and the Phillies’ Gabe Kapler. Even worse for Martinez is that the man he replaced, Dusty Baker, had won a pair of division titles, gone 192-132 and engendered great faith among players in his two seasons with the Nationals. As one person who values managerial dynamics put it: “Managers are generally overrated until they aren’t. On teams with big stars, the manager needs to be better than most, bigger than most, more skilled than most or those stars only shine for themselves.”

Again, no argument. The pieces are there, the execution was not. Blame Davey, Blame Rizzo, Blame Lerner, you can make a case for each and for all (let’s not forget the players too).

I do still go back to the Kintzler situation and question the rationale being a little extreme. Rumors fly from the clubhouse, Rizzo assumes/decides that Kintzler was involved, Kintzler pleads “on his children” that it wasn’t him, Rizzo ships him out anyway.

This was/is a weird, weird, season…

Watch the Nats Screw This Up and Make the Damn Playoffs

We’ve seen the standings, we know the odds, but wouldn’t it be very “DC” of the Nats to go ahead and sneak into the playoffs anyway?

Here’s how the rest of the schedule shapes up:

@Mets, @Philly, Vs. Milwaukee, Vs. St. Louis (Matt Adams Return), Vs. Chicago (Daniel Murphy’s Return), @ Philly, @ Atlanta, @ Miami, Vs. Mets, Vs. Miami, @ Colorado

Current Teams in Front of them for the 2nd WC spot: Milwaukee, Colorado, Philly, Dodgers

These are the current odds via Fangraphs

Win Div      Win WC    Make Playoffs   Win World Series

Nats Playoffs

I’m not SAYING it is going to happen…but again it would be very DC of them to make the playoffs after obviously giving up on the season…

Strasburg is back, which we will see tonight, some nice home series opportunities with the Mets and Marlins…

Don’t get me wrong, this team has shown all season that they can’t handle their business whatsoever and win games we think they will easily win.

But I’m a dreamer, and until the math no longer can add up…

There’s always a chance…

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Andrew Stevenson had an Interesting Night

What a whirlwind.

First, you find out that your team is shipping off key assets left and right including their star 2nd baseman.

Then you find out they are bringing you back up.

Then you have to drive down to DC on a Tuesday, in the rain, to show up for a game that conveniently has a long rain delay.

THEN you hit your first major league tater.

Baseball man…baseball…

Game 126-In case you missed it…Nats win 10-4

First game since Operation self-destruction.

Before the game the Nats activated Adrian Sanchez and Andrew Stevenson, and pulled Kelvin Herrera off the disabled list.

Roark helped himself early and brought in the first run of the game before the skies opened up.

Grace entered after the break and got his FIRST MLB HIT in the bottom of the 5th.

Roman Quinn hits his first career home run in the top of the 6th.

The damage continued as Grace gave up back to back hits following a Trea error, 2-1 Phillies.

Cordero entered the game and immediately gave up another hit/run.

Franco added another on a groundout. This team loves wasting opportunities on offense and turning them into immediate scoring for their opponents.

BUT because the Nats enjoy teasing the fanbase, recently called up Stevenson hits a two-run bomb, followed by a Wilmer Difo tater.

Some more RBI’s, including a Zim dinger, and the Nats had enough cushion to come away with the W.

Davey did use a lot of arms, we’ll see how that plays out.

Next Game:

Tonight 7:05ET Eflin (9-4 3.70 ERA) vs. Strasburg (6-7 3.90 ERA)

So…what now?

Murphy off to Chi-Town, Adams back to St. Louis, Harper is staying…

So…what now?

Well, besides the fact that the rest of the season was pretty much already in the toilet, let’s look at these moves a little closer.

Daniel Murphy to Chicago Cubs

What the Cubs Get:

-A guy who missed a lot of the season due to injury, but is batting .340 since the All-Star Break with six bombs and 29 RBI.

-A chance to move a struggling Addison Russell out of the lineup

-A guy who hits .413 at Wrigley

What the Nats Get:

-21-year-old Andruw Monasterio.

-He is hitting .263/.359/.336 with three bombs and ten steals for High-A Myrtle Beach

-Cash, and a PTBNL

-Shedding some of that Murph salary

-A chance for Wilmer Difo to have the starting 2nd baseman job for the rest of this season, and battle with Howie Kendrick for the spot next year.

Look, the fans are always going to want more, especially for a guy like Murph. Rizzo’s intentions seem to be to start shedding as much salary as possible (probably in preparation for a monster Bryce deal)

Matt Adams to the Cardinals

What the Cardinals Get:

-A chance to bring back an old friend

-a lefty power bat off the bench they were searching for (St. Louis currently is 17th in baseball against right-handers by wRC+

What the Nationals Get:

I loved the Matt Adams pickup when the Nats originally signed him. The guy did pretty well this season, and having a power bat like that in the lineup is lethal when Zim was struggling.

Not sure what Rizzo’s plans will be the first base position moving forward. Do they stick with Zim? Do they move Bryce over there to free up the outfield a bit?

Still a TON of questions remain, but for now we can thank Murphy and Matt for some fun moments, let the weirdest Washington Nationals season yet continue…

#MurphWatch?

Talks continue heating up regarding the Nats and Murph, with an “unknown team” claiming him on waivers on Sunday.

In layman: That team has 48 hours to negotiate a trade with the Nats. IF no trade happens, the Nats can send Murph out and not have to carry that salary weight, OR keep him until the end of the season.

Some teams that have been thrown around as possibles:

-Cubs (not likely)

-D-Backs (possible)

-Rockies (possible)

-Astros (not likely)

-A’s (possible)

With Murph’s shabby defense, especially of late, you gotta think this would be an intriguing option for any team wanting a solid DH bat, or even putting him at 1st.

For the Nats, I am always in favor of getting value back for a guy rather than let him go for nothing. Get some arms, get SOMETHING.

We’ll keep an eye on this today, for the latest updates follow our twitter @thedccrossover

Remember This Guy?

Victor Robles was Juan Soto before Juan Soto.

Potential outfield next year if Bryce doesn’t resign: Soto, Eaton, Robles.

Keep an eye on this guy, may get called up before the season ends.

Interesting Mike Rizzo stories in latest Wash Post article

Click here for article

Chelsea Janes has a piece released today regaling Rizzo and the recent bullpen disasters moves. For the record, Janes is a great follow on Twitter @chelsea_janes

Some of the most interesting quotes for those who don’t feel like reading the piece or have run out of free Washington Post article views:

In regards to the Kintzler move:

Soon, a different narrative emerged, one in which Kintzler’s willingness to speak his mind became an inspiration for the deal. A day earlier, a Yahoo Sports story emerged in which an anonymous source called the Nationals clubhouse “a mess.” Kintzler was not the source, he and the writer, Jeff Passan, insisted later.

But in the aftermath of that story, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation, Rizzo delivered a message to his clubhouse that warned against spreading misinformation.

Kintzler heard about that message, and went to Rizzo before he left Nationals Park, according to people familiar with their exchange. He promised him he wasn’t the source. He had already admitted to being one of the sources for a July 19 Washington Post story outlining relievers’ concerns about Manager Dave Martinez’s handling of the bullpen. He went to Rizzo, in person, to be forthright about that. So when he heard that Rizzo had told his teammates to pipe down, Kintzler worried a misconception had ended his Nationals tenure. He swore to Rizzo, on his children, he hadn’t been the source.

On Shawn Kelley:

Rizzo headed down to the clubhouse and confronted Kelley, according to people familiar with the situation. The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange. Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further, but Rizzo’s frustration was not isolated.

Scherzer and Madson also faced up Kelley that night to express their disapproval of the outburst. Not long after, Rizzo told Kelley he would be designating him for assignment, then issued his “if you’re not in, you’re in the way” proclamation to reporters the next day. The Nationals traded Kelley to Oakland, where he has yet to allow a run in four appearances, and remains disappointed with the way his two-and-a-half year Nationals tenure ended.

“I hate to be seen as a guy that was showing up his manager or selfish because I’ve played 10 years and I’ve never been that guy. So I don’t think I’d start now,” Kelley said when reached by phone after the deal. “It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances but it is what it is so I’ll move on and make the best of it.”

Pretty fascinating stuff.

By the way this is your Shawn Kelley update:

Was Davey Not Ready?

This was the series that was going to turn around the season.

It had been said before, multiple times. Perhaps back on July 9th, headed into a road stretch against Pittsburgh and the Mets, a great opportunity to gain some ground. Maybe even as recent as the end of July, playing Milwaukee and those bottom-feeding Marlins. It has been said multiple times this season: THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track.

Game 1: Max Scherzer, loud grunts and all, gives another herculean effort on a muggy Friday night. He grinds through six innings, striking out seven Marlins and only surrendering five knocks. A few dingers from Wieters and Zimm, some aggressive baserunning from Harper and company, a win and the start of something…anything…

THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track. 

Yet…they can’t. 

The blame can never fall fully onto the manager, he isn’t taking cuts at the dish or giving signs to the reliever, but there ARE things that one CAN blame the coach for. Overthinking in-game matchups, lineup decisions, substitutions, and above all else: getting your guys motivated.

One can see fully on display the difference between a Veteran managerial presence, despite the flaws that can bring too, and a young upstart, finally given the keys to the kingdom. Did Dusty get set in his ways? Sure. Did Dusty make mistakes? Of course. But Dusty had seen a lot, won a lot, and was never going to get flustered.

Game 2: An Adam Eaton homerun just climbs over the right field wall to give the Nats hope. We are STILL alive! The young Rodriguez gave the Nats a solid start. JT Riddle continues to dominate…WHO? And like that, in the top of the 10th the Nats “closer” Koda Glover gives up two and sends a confused crowd home. 

THIS is the series where the Nats get back on track.

Yet…they can’t

The camels, god please don’t bring up the camels. Any new manager is going to try to make an impact in camp. Davey opted for the silly route. It seemed forced.

Every decision, every pitching change, scrutinized to the 100th degree. That’s the job. Like it or not. Maddon is no longer there. Its a little different riding the camel instead of closely following behind.

Game 3: Simply put, disaster. Jose Urena pitches a gem. Marlins bats open up the floodgates. Gio continues to pitch terribly. How is this happening? WHO THE F*** IS JT RIDDLE? 

THIS was the series where the Nats got back on track. 

Yet…they didn’t.

 

Last Week Tonight burns Dwight Howard

Expected, but still, ouch.

Dwight will always be an easy target for zingers but hopefully this season we will be reading a ton of stories like:

The Career Revival of Dwight Howard

How Dwight Found Happiness in DC

Howard named NBA Comeback Player of the Year

Instead of:

Wall and Howard have to be separated at the end of the 4th Quarter 

Monday Morning DC Sports Roundup 8/20/18

Time to go back to work, hopefully we can help distract you for a bit before you start on those emails.

Redskins

It was a running back carousel over the weekend, Skins met with Veteran Jamaal Charles and worked out Orleans Darkwa. Darkwa appears to be seeking a starting spot, so unlikely to be a good fit.

The bigger news was announced about who is visiting today.

Skins fan reactions on Twitter seem to be 60/40 against signing AP. I’m definitely intrigued.

Follow us on Twitter @thedccrossover today for news about AP’s visit as it breaks

Nationals

It was the perfect opportunity for the Nats. The Braves are losing games, the Phillies are losing games, it was a series versus the last place Marlins. Instead, they screwed themselves royally.

Friday night was the highlight of the series as they won 8-2 behind Mad Max and HR’s from Zim and Wieters. The other two games were awful. Saturday night was an extra innings loss 7-5 and Sunday was a dumpster fire as Jose Urena tossed a two-hitter and the fish won 12-1

Nats are currently 7 games back in the division and 6.5 back in WC. You can go back and review the game recaps right here on the site.

Sunday’s Game

Saturday’s Game

Friday’s Game

Wizards

Nothing to report, just waiting for it to be basketball season.

We put out a few pieces:

Do We Want Courtney Lee?

5 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Wizards this season

Otto Porter: The Key to DC Basketball

Capitals

You still have our hearts Caps, the only team to be proud of. The good brother in a family of screw-ups.

Ovie had a baby, cute.

Just remember…THE CAPS ARE THE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!

That’s your weekend in a nutshell folks.

Pro tip of the day: the more windows/tabs you have up on your computer, the busier you can appear

Game 125-In case you missed it…Nats lose 12-1

Gio cruised through the 1st, capped off by a sick catch by every baseball movie’s villain Adam Eaton.

In the top of the 2nd JT Riddle continued crushing Nats pitching with a double into the rightfield corner off of Gio. Who the HELL is JT Riddle??

First blood from Miami in the top of the 3rd with a Starlin Castro bloop after two walks by Gio. Followed by a ball over Bryce’s head to get two more.

The rest of Gio’s start was an absolute dumpster fire:

4.2 innings: 10 hits, 8 Runs (all earned), 4 walks, 5 K’s. Up to 4.51 ERA on the season.

The Nats spent the rest of the day giving up more runs and letting Urena pitch all over them.

Urena’s final line:

9 innings, 2 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 4 K’s. Just straight up dominated the Nats bats.

Terrible game, terrible series, terrible season.

Next game:

7:05PM ET Tuesday, Velasquez (8-9, 4.13 ERA) vs. Roark (8-12, 4.13 ERA)

Quick reminder: Jose Urena is a clown

I don’t care about Atlanta, but plunking a guy for hitting dingers is just plain clown behavior. The unwritten baseball rules are confusing and ridiculous enough, but any sort of “rule” that penalizes a guy for playing the game really well is bananas.

Urena is appealing his suspension, hence why he is allowed to pitch today. But the guy has the pitch for the Marlins so that is punishment enough.

Do we want him?: Courtney Lee

Of course my favorite Wizards/Courtney Lee connection is:

https://www.sbnation.com/nba/2017/1/19/14333224/courtney-lee-coach-on-the-court-wizards-vs-knicks

OKC is hot on the trail as well, and looking to give up ALOT. This seems like an unnecessary move from Washington, as really the only spot left needed to fill is perhaps another backup PG.

But with question marks surrounding Jodie Meeks after barely performing, is Lee a good option?

Let’s take a look:

One more year for Lee but slightly better numbers than Meeks in 3P% and PPG as well as some other areas.

The bigger question is what would the Wizards give up? Selling off Mahimni would leave an injury-prone Jason Smith to back up Dwight, likely a veteran big man contract would have to follow that move.

And as for Rivers, yes it is a huge contract, BUT he also gives the Wiz a bit of attitude and chip on the shoulder play that really only Wall and Keef bring every night. I want to keep him.

My opinion: let’s see what this group has for this season. Let OKC sell the farm for an aging Lee.

Game 124-In case you missed it…Nats lose 7-5 in extras (10)

Confusion today regarding different roster moves ended with Jefry Rodriguez making the start instead of Milone, but the right-hander gave the Nats a decent start: 5 Innings, 5 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 3 walks, and 3 K’s.

Derek Dietrich struck first with a MOONSHOT (his 15th) in the Top of the 2nd.

Trea responded with his 15th #dinger of the season as well

We hadn’t seen Tim Collins since the St. Louis series, but he had a short and sweet appearance in this one: one batter, one K.

Davey looked to fireballer Jimmy Cordero in the 6th in a 2-2 game, he struck out Dean with the bases loaded before giving up a two RBI single to JT Riddle #natskiller. Also of note: Murph with a HUGE error on an easy double play ball. This team loves to make big mistakes.

Quick shout-out to Krystal Koons. She’s still causing young Nats MASN watchers nightmares every game

Matty Adams stepped into the box with bases loaded and 0 outs in the bottom of the 7th and was so intimidating that the Marlins reliever Guerrero physically threw up via wild pitch and got a run in before popping up to the infield.

Trea with a dink and dunk to centerfield and the game was all tied up at 4-4.

Riddle struck again in the 9th, as he finished his day with:

RBI Double in the 5th

2 RBI Single in the 6th

Solo homer in the 9th

Adam Eaton (Spanky per his player’s weekend jersey) hit a #dinger solo shot in the 9th to tie the game back up.

In extra innings Koda faced bases loaded with two outs…and gave up a two run RBI single to .250 Isaac Galloway…

Nothing doing in the 10th as the Marlins shut the door and handed the Nats the loss.

Next Game:

1:35PM tomorrow, Urena (3-12 4.74 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (7-9 4.12 ERA)

D.C. Washington is the GOAT

Obviously Aretha gets her props, but locally, D.C. Washington straight crushes it every time.

Good timing, tempo, energy, name, voice, the guy is a five-tool player.

He plays big in the key moments, and always brings it on the field. Put him in the bullpen, he can’t be any worse than Trevor Gott.

UPDATE:

With so many injuries at RB, Skins might as well look at this child.

Shorter limbs mean less length to injure. It’s just science.

5 Reasons to Pay Attention to the Wizards this Season

I know its August but there are still a few reasons to be hyped for the starts of the 2018-2019 season for Wizards fans.

1) A Healthy, Full-Strength Lineup

The above is sad. Only 30 games with the “best” starting five on the floor last season. Only 41 games with Wall even playing at all.

This year’s starting five should be: Wall, Beal, Porter Jr., Morris, and Howard. Hopefully we can get 50+ games of this group and see the benefits.

2) A Better Bench

Okay, maybe not “better”, but at least more interesting. Ernie finally did something right and made some moves that made sense. The bench is as follows:

PG-Tomas

SG-Rivers and Meeks

SF-Oubre Jr. and Troy Brown Jr.

PF-Green, Smith, and Devin Robinson

C-Mahinmi and Bryant

Still would like to see maybe a third string PG, but for now this is good. Rivers adds some depth at guard behind Wall and Beal. Meeks is a giant question mark, we haven’t seen enough of his play.

Oubre will get his and Troy Brown will be fun to watch.

Overall, I’ll take it.

3) LeBron-less East

Are the Celtics really really good? Yes. Are the Sixers and Raptors still really really good? Yes.

But LeBron is finally gone which means the Wizards have a SHOT!

4) Troy Brown Jr. is a really solid rookie

This pick may have gone overlooked by most, but the kid can ball. Great steal/defense numbers in college, third-highest defensive rebounding rate among high-major freshmen that were also 6’7 or shorter, and a 63% finishing rate at the rim.

He can pass, he can play D, that’s all the Wizards really need from him in his rookie season.

5) We have John Wall

Simple enough, the guy is entertaining every single time he steps onto the court. Now he has a legit big-man in Dwight to feed lobs to, a healthy Beal to rack up assists, and hopefully some strong enough role players in Otto and Keef.

Let’s get these boys back on the court!

Little Leaguer throws bat after walk-off, Jose Urena ready to bean him.

Gotta love the swagger here. Callback to when our boy Bryce made the Derby his bitch.

The League is always watching…

The funny thing is, I wouldn’t put it past the NFL to actually think this ESPN stat was real:

Game 123-In case you missed it…Nats win 8-2

Despite the two-run 7th, the Nats got back above .500 with a strong pitching performance from Mad Max (5 inn, 6 hits, 7 k’s) and a few taters from Zimmerman and Wieters.

A solid win no doubt, but still it’s the god damn Marlins.

Other noteables:

-Max grabs another double to add to his tally for the year (2, and now batting .296)

-Harp goes 3 for 4 with 2 RBI #Heatingup

-In Trevor Gott’s two appearances since June he has given up 3 earned runs, including 2 tonight

Next game:

7:05pm tomorrow, Chen vs. Milone