2014 Washington Nationals: Captain America's Team

JimRiceHOFer

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Current roster for the 2014 Nationals:

Starting Lineup:
C  - Wilson Ramos
1B - Adam Laroche
2B - Asdrubal Cabrera
SS - Ian Desmond
3B - Anthony Rendon
LF - Bryce Harper
CF - Denard Span
RF - Jayson Werth

Bench: Jose Lobaton, Kevin Frandsen, Nate Schierholtz, Scott Hairston, Danny Espinosa

SP - Stephen Strasburg
SP - Gio Gonzalez
SP - Jordan Zimmerman
SP - Doug Fister
SP - Tanner Roark
Closer - Rafael Soriano

Bullpen - Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Jerry Blevins, Matt Thornton

AAA Shuttle/Backups/DL:
P - Taylor Jordan, Matt Purke (DL-60), Xavier Cedeno, Erik Davis (DL-60), Sammy Solis, Ross Ohlendorf (DL-60), Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia, Aaron Barrett, Blake Terinen
OF - Jeff Kobernus, Eury Perez, Michael Taylor, Nate McLouth (DL-15), Steven Souza, Jr. (DL-15)
IF -  Ryan Zimmerman (DL-15), Tyler Moore
C - Jhonaton Solano, Sandy Leon
 
Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees:
P - Manny Delcarmen, Clay Hensley, Chris Young, A.J. Cole, Luis Ayala, Mike Gonzalez
C - Chris Snyder, Brian Jeroloman, Koyie Hill
IF - Jamey Carroll, Will Rhymes, Mike Fontenot
OF - Brian Goodwin

Departures:
Corey Brown - traded to the Oakland A's for cash considerations
Ian Krol - traded to Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister
Steve Lombardozzi - traded to Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister
Robbie Ray - traded to Detroit Tigers for Doug Fister
Nathan Karns - traded to Tampa Bay Rays
Koyie Hill - traded to Philadelphia Phillies
Zach Walters - traded to Cleveland Indians
 
Arrivals:
Doug Fister - trade from Detroit Tigers for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol & Robbie Ray
Matt Williams - signed as manager
Jose Lobaton - trade from Tampa Bay for Nathan Karns
Asdrubal Cabrera - trade from Cleveland Indians for Zach Walters
 

NomarRS05

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The Sports Junkies, one of the local radio shows on 106.7 the Fan in the D.C. area, were saying that Bryce maxes out at 325 on bench (2 reps) then does two sets of 225 (20 reps). I'm not sure how that compares to most other non-roided up outfielders but suffice to say he's a freak. 
 

jose melendez

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I was going to come up and rant about how they didn't improve their anemic offense at all, but this being SoSH, I actuall bothered to look it up and was stunned to find that they weren't actuall that bad last year.  They scored a bit above the NL average in runs and their team OPS+ was 94, exactly at the NL average.  None of their starters had an OPS+ below 94, with Spann the lowest at 94.  
 
I guess they could actuall win with this lineup.  The problem is if anyone gets hurt.  Last year their bench was epicly terrible.  No one with 50 PAs had an OPS+ above 69, and many were much, much worse.  They're basically going in to the year with a very similar bench.
 
I'm vaguely suprised they didn't take a run at brining Michael Morse back.  Yeah, he's injury prone, but he's got a power bat, good clubhouse guy and can play a few position, albeit poorly.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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NomarRS05 said:
The Sports Junkies, one of the local radio shows on 106.7 the Fan in the D.C. area, were saying that Bryce maxes out at 325 on bench (2 reps) then does two sets of 225 (20 reps). I'm not sure how that compares to most other non-roided up outfielders but suffice to say he's a freak. 
 
in an interview someone asked him how much weight he benches. 
 
and he said something along the lines of, "I don't know, I don't really... that's sort of for looks... I do functional strength... lots of dead-lifts and such."
 

JimRiceHOFer

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jose melendez said:
I was going to come up and rant about how they didn't improve their anemic offense at all, but this being SoSH, I actuall bothered to look it up and was stunned to find that they weren't actuall that bad last year.  They scored a bit above the NL average in runs and their team OPS+ was 94, exactly at the NL average.  None of their starters had an OPS+ below 94, with Spann the lowest at 94.  
 
I guess they could actuall win with this lineup.  The problem is if anyone gets hurt.  Last year their bench was epicly terrible.  No one with 50 PAs had an OPS+ above 69, and many were much, much worse.  They're basically going in to the year with a very similar bench.
 
I'm vaguely suprised they didn't take a run at brining Michael Morse back.  Yeah, he's injury prone, but he's got a power bat, good clubhouse guy and can play a few position, albeit poorly.
 
Nats are certainly still looking to upgrade their bench.  They are considering Jeff Baker for a spot: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/was/jeff-bakers-bat-off-bench-interests-nationals?ymd=20140128&content_id=67211632&vkey=news_was
 

ForceAtHome

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JimRiceHOFer said:
Closer - Rafael Soriano

Bullpen - Tyler Clippard, Craig Stammen, Drew Storen, Ross Ohlendorf, Ryan Mattheus, Christian Garcia

AAA Shuttle/Backups/DL:
P - Matt Purke, Nathan Karns, Xavier Cedeno, Jerry Blevins, Erik Davis, Taylor Jordan, Tanner Roark, Sammy Solis
 
I'm pretty sure Blevins doesn't even have options. Regardless, he'll be on the major league roster if healthy. There's a reason they went out there and traded for him. Plus, he's their only lefty option (unless Cedeno is also on the roster).
 

B H Kim

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jose melendez said:
I was going to come up and rant about how they didn't improve their anemic offense at all, but this being SoSH, I actuall bothered to look it up and was stunned to find that they weren't actuall that bad last year.  They scored a bit above the NL average in runs and their team OPS+ was 94, exactly at the NL average.  None of their starters had an OPS+ below 94, with Spann the lowest at 94.  
 
I guess they could actuall win with this lineup.  The problem is if anyone gets hurt.  Last year their bench was epicly terrible.  No one with 50 PAs had an OPS+ above 69, and many were much, much worse.  They're basically going in to the year with a very similar bench.
 
I'm vaguely suprised they didn't take a run at brining Michael Morse back.  Yeah, he's injury prone, but he's got a power bat, good clubhouse guy and can play a few position, albeit poorly.
 
It almost seems like too easy of an explanation, but their offense improved considerably after they replaced their hitting coach on July 22.  (They had a team OBP of .300 and scored 3.7 runs per game through July 22 and had a team OBP of .331 and scored 4.6 runs per game after July 22 (the 2013 NL average was around 4 runs per game).)  For whatever reason, whether it was overconfidence or something else, they just started horribly last year.  But they did turn it around and actually had one of the best record in baseball for August and September.  If they can score runs at close to a 4.6 per game clip for the whole season, they should be in great shape with that rotation.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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Nats resign former Expo/National 9 years later...

http://www.masnsports.com/nationals_pastime/2014/02/nats-sign-luis-ayala-to-minor-league-deal.html

The Nationals have signed right-handed reliever Luis Ayala to a minor league deal with an invitation to big league spring training, a source confirmed late this morning.

Ayala, 36, spent the 2013 season with the Orioles and Braves, posting a 3.27 ERA in 39 games. He struck out 22 and walked 13 over 33 innings of work.

This marks Ayala's second stint with the Nationals organization; he played for the Expos from 2003-2004 and then came over with the organization in its move to D.C. in 2005.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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Nationals acquire Catcher Jose Lobaton, and prospects, from Rays

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/was/washington-nationals-acquire-catcher-jose-lobaton-from-rays?ymd=20140213&content_id=67727994&vkey=news_was

VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals acquired the backup catcher they had been seeking, acquiring Jose Lobaton, outfielder Drew Vettleson and left-hander Felipe Rivero from the Rays for right-hander Nathan Karns, who was seen packing his clothes in the Nats' clubhouse Thursday morning. Washington and Tampa Bay had been talking for at least a month about a trade for Lobaton.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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JimRiceHOFer

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Nats add Kevin Frandsen: http://curlyw.mlblogs.com/2014/03/26/nationals-sign-kevin-frandsen/
 
The 31-year-old has appeared defensively at six positions during his career (first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, right field). Manager Matt Williams has said this spring that when it comes to his bench he prefers to have options. Frandsen’s ability to play multiple positions provides that.
 
Last season, Frandsen paced all of the Major Leagues with 14 pinch hits despite starting 52 games (35 at third base, 13 at second base, four at third base) and being hit by 11 pitches in what was ultimately his final season with Philadelphia.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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JimRiceHOFer said:
Nats add Kevin Frandsen: http://curlyw.mlblogs.com/2014/03/26/nationals-sign-kevin-frandsen/
 
The 31-year-old has appeared defensively at six positions during his career (first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, right field). Manager Matt Williams has said this spring that when it comes to his bench he prefers to have options. Frandsen’s ability to play multiple positions provides that.
 
Last season, Frandsen paced all of the Major Leagues with 14 pinch hits despite starting 52 games (35 at third base, 13 at second base, four at third base) and being hit by 11 pitches in what was ultimately his final season with Philadelphia.
 
Probably means bad news for Danny Espinosa..welcome back to Syracuse!
 

ForceAtHome

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JimRiceHOFer said:
 
Probably means bad news for Danny Espinosa..welcome back to Syracuse!
 
I don't think that's the case. The current casualty is likely Tyler Moore.
 
Based on your current projected lineup in the original post, I would say that there are two differences assuming everyone stays healthy. Moore won't be on the Opening Day roster while Espinosa will. (Frandsen will mainly back up the corners while Espinosa will backup middle infield.) Also, I don't think Roark* will be in the bullpen, but instead starting in Syracuse. Aaron Barrett will start in the bullpen for the Nats instead.
 
* - I am assuming that Taylor Jordan gets the SP5 slot. If Roark gets it, then I expect Jordan to be starting in Syracuse.
 

TheYaz67

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Gah - the bullpen is the one weak area on this team, and after showing signs last year, it is becoming apparent that Tyler Clippard is quickly turning into a pumpkin.....
 

B H Kim

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TheYaz67 said:
Gah - the bullpen is the one weak area on this team, and after showing signs last year, it is becoming apparent that Tyler Clippard is quickly turning into a pumpkin.....
 
I actually think the bullpen looks better than I expected, at least so far.  In Clippard's two "bad" outings he's given up a total of 2 hits and 2 walks in 3 innings; not ideal, but not a disaster.  And I don't know what signs you're talking about from last year; he walked a few too many, but had a very good year overall (37 hits and 73 strikeouts in 71 innings).  The rest of the bullpen has looked great so far.  Blevens gave up a home run on opening day, but Stamen, Storen, Barrett, Detwiler and Soriano have given up a total of two hits and no runs in 10 innings.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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Nats acquire Asdrubal Cabrera from Indians for Zach Walters

http://www.masnsports.com/nationals-pastime/2014/07/nats-acquire-infielder-asdrubal-cabrera-from-indians-for-zach-walters.html
 
The Nats have acquired Cabrera and cash considerations from the Indians in exchange for Walters.
 
Cabrera hasn't played second base since 2009, but he's a versatile piece on the infield. The Nats will likely slide him in at second base, allowing Anthony Rendon to continue to play third while Ryan Zimmerman recovers from a strained right hamstring.
 

JimRiceHOFer

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McLouth to DL, Souza called up

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2014/08/04/nationals-place-nate-mclouth-on-disabled-list-call-up-steven-souza-jr/
 
Nationals reserve outfielder Nate McLouth landed on the 15-day disabled list after he underwent an MRI exam Monday morning on his ailing right shoulder. The Nationals knew McLouth would require a disabled list stint regardless of the test’s outcome, and they summoned outfield prospect Steven Souza Jr. from Class AAA Syracuse to take his roster spot.
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Souza has blossomed into one of the Nationals’ top prospects. This season at Syracuse, he leads the International League in hitting, on-base percentage and slugging with a .354/.435/.601 batting line. He’s also tied for the league lead with 70 RBI in 91 games and has smashed 18 homers.
 
With Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Denard Span entrenched in the outfield, Souza will join the Nationals’ bench. He can play all three outfield positions, but he fits best in the corner spots.
 

pedro1918

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Jayson Werth can't drive 55. Hell, he can't drive 100.

Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth was pulled over in early July and charged with reckless driving for going 105 mph in a 55-mph zone, according to a case file on the Fairfax County General District Court Web site.
Werth was charged with a misdemeanor for the incident, which occurred July 6, according to the file. Werth originally had a hearing scheduled for Aug. 8, but the case has been continued until Nov. 12.
http://www.washingto...county/?hpid=z3
 

JimRiceHOFer

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dcmissle

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Nice walk off win after a sloppy game. But Soriano likely will eventually kill them in the playoffs.
 

dcmissle

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Yes, and a very welcome break from still more RGIII nonsense.

Nats have a nice problem -- what to do when Ryan Zimmerman comes back.
 

ForceAtHome

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dcmissle said:
Yes, and a very welcome break from still more RGIII nonsense.

Nats have a nice problem -- what to do when Ryan Zimmerman comes back.
 
I think there's enough ABs to go around. In a given set of seven games, something like the following split may work to spread things around:
 
Catcher: Ramos 5, Lobaton 2
First base: LaRoche 5, Zimmerman 2
Second base: Cabrera 5, Espinosa 2
Third base: Rendon 7
Shortstop: Desmond 7
Left field: Harper 4, Zimmerman 3
Center field: Span 6, Harper 1
Right field: Werth 6, Harper 1
  • At catcher, Ramos gets the bigger chunk, but Lobaton gives him regular rest. No need to change things up there down the stretch unless the Nats get into a need-to-win scenario, in which case Ramos ramps up his workload.
  • LaRoche starts around 5 of 7 games, sitting predominantly against lefties.
  • Zimmerman gets 1B against lefties, and also a few games in LF per week to give him around 5 starts a week. If he's hitting well and healthy, it's easy enough to get him to 6 games a week by taking one of Desmond or Rendon down to 6 games.
  • Cabrera starts 5 at 2B, with Espinosa getting a couple starts there per week. Espinosa is also the backup shortstop, of course, and could help to spell Desmond when needed and during blowouts.
  • Rendon becomes/stays the every day 3B. If needed, Frandsen/Zimmerman can spell him.
  • In the OF, each of the regulars get 6 start out of 7. Span and Werth each start 6 of 7 in their regular positions, with Harper getting 4 in LF and relieving Span/Werth for a game per week. Zimmerman picks up his 3 games per week in LF.
Games played (per 7 games):
Ramos: 5
Lobaton: 2
LaRoche: 5
Cabrera: 5
Espinosa 2
Rendon: 7
Desmond: 7
Zimmerman 5
Harper: 6
Span: 6
Werth: 6
 
If the Nats can continue to maintain a large divisional lead, they can rest veterans like Werth a bit more down the stretch, and only have Rendon/Desmond playing 6 of 7 to give guys like Frandsen, Taylor, or whoever more ABs.
 

dcmissle

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Another walk off win.

"Look at them go. Ten in a row. And now our kids are ..."
 

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While the big league club is rolling, it's AA affiliate Harrisburg is 49-83 and mercifully ends its home season today. I can honestly say I don't think I've ever seen such a bad pro team.
 

Mloaf71

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Down 5-0.  Win 14-6.
 
Crowd was electric today.  This team is something special even when Strauss throws a dud.
 

TheYaz67

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TheYaz67 said:
Gah - the bullpen is the one weak area on this team, and after showing signs last year, it is becoming apparent that Tyler Clippard is quickly turning into a pumpkin.....
 
Like I was saying....
 

dcmissle

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Yes. Updating my post, I don't know that Soriano will kill them in the playoffs -- cause he may not have the chance to.

5 blown saves in second half alone.
K rate down.
 

TheYaz67

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Yeah, I don't trust Soriano AT ALL.
 
Clippard and Storen are "good" according to their stats, but I think they both have PTSD from Game 5 in 2012 when they both absolutely shat themselves on the mound, and as such I don't trust them under pressure in the postseason.  I was hoping they would bring in some new arms this year, but they pretty much stayed with what they had.
 
Its not even the actual blown saves and losses this bullpen has taken - they make way too many games interesting, where a 6-2 game heading into the 8th gets won 6-4 or 6-5 instead.  Hopefully Williams will ride the starters as long as possible this postseason, b/c of the days of rest you get if you win in less than 5 or 7 games....
 

dcmissle

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WRT your second par, Soriano's ERA is sky high. Puts lots of guys on base; almost every game is interesting.

Bobby Cox could not get through numerous postseasons with starters alone, and the Braves may well have left a couple of rings on the table because of pen problems.

Game 5 against the Cardinals in 2012 casts a giant shadow over this team.
 

B H Kim

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Except for one or two bad outings, Clippard and Storen have been great all year.  I think it's more the fans than the pitchers who still have holdover angst from Game 5 of the Cardinals' series in 2012 (I was at the game and I still haven't gotten over it).  Soriano, on the other hand, has really turned into a pumpkin.  The game last night may actually turn out to help the team, if it convinces Williams to remove Soriano as closer.  Ideally, I'd like to see them move Storen into the 9th inning slot and some combination of Treinen, Barrett and Thornton into Storen's 7th inning slot.  (And Soriano completely off the post-season roster, which I know they'll never do.)  With the fifth starter (probably Roark) added to the post-season bullpen, I think that puts them in decent shape for the playoffs.
 

sean1562

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does anyone here frequent any nationals boards? roark out of the bullpen will do wonders I think, and I disagree with the assertion that Storen has PTSD. I think he could be a capable closer. He had a bad year last year but has been solid this season. They dont owe soriano anything after this year, sit his ass and tell him to STFO
 

TheYaz67

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B H Kim said:
Except for one or two bad outings, Clippard and Storen have been great all year.  I think it's more the fans than the pitchers who still have holdover angst from Game 5 of the Cardinals' series in 2012 (I was at the game and I still haven't gotten over it).  Soriano, on the other hand, has really turned into a pumpkin.  The game last night may actually turn out to help the team, if it convinces Williams to remove Soriano as closer.  Ideally, I'd like to see them move Storen into the 9th inning slot and some combination of Treinen, Barrett and Thornton into Storen's 7th inning slot.  (And Soriano completely off the post-season roster, which I know they'll never do.)  With the fifth starter (probably Roark) added to the post-season bullpen, I think that puts them in decent shape for the playoffs.
 
Yeah, I was at that game too, right behind the Nats dugout.  The memory of Storen walking all those guys in the 9th, deer in the headlights and looking like he wanted to be anywhere but on that mound is still with me, which is why I want no part of him in that same role this postseason....
 

pockmeister

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I'm heading to Nationals Park for the first time tonight - looking forward to both the game and the ballpark (another one to tick off my list as a Brit attempts to gradually get to all the parks in the majors).  Any recommendations on concessions?  What's the culinary highlight that I need to add to my waistline?
 

ScubaSteveAvery

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pockmeister said:
I'm heading to Nationals Park for the first time tonight - looking forward to both the game and the ballpark (another one to tick off my list as a Brit attempts to gradually get to all the parks in the majors).  Any recommendations on concessions?  What's the culinary highlight that I need to add to my waistline?
 
There is ShakeShack in the concourse behind the RF OF seats.  Always a solid option for burgers and fries.  Ben's Chili Bowl has a stand or two, and while delicious, is probably a bit too messy to eat at a ballpark.  Plus there is an 95% chance you'll shit your brains out at the park. 
 

pockmeister

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Thanks both - appreciated.  Very enjoyable evening at Nationals Park - good buzz about the place, and a very well thought out stadium.  Impressed by how good the sightlines were around the park, and by a DC crowd who are getting into this team.  They're a fun team to watch, and rightly drawing some good crowds.  Werth is becoming a big fan favourite.
 
As for the product on display, neither team were sharp last night in a slightly sloppy but entertaining 6-4 victory for the Nats.  Santana had a shocking first inning, giving up 4 runs and pretty much handing the game to the Nats.  The Braves gradually got to Zimmermann, who ran out of gas in the 5th, and was lucky to escape the 6th with the lead intact.  The Nats bullpen then shut things down pretty efficiently - Detwiler got the key strikeout of Freeman in the 8th (excellent off-speed strike 3) with a man on second, and that was the game.  Storen closed it without drama.
 
Harper looked lost at the plate (and looked very frustrated), and the Nats didn't look to have any outstanding offensive threats as a result.  They're going to win their division comfortably, but I didn't get the sense of an outstanding team - perhaps a reflection of the quality of the division. 
 

sean1562

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pockmeister said:
Thanks both - appreciated.  Very enjoyable evening at Nationals Park - good buzz about the place, and a very well thought out stadium.  Impressed by how good the sightlines were around the park, and by a DC crowd who are getting into this team.  They're a fun team to watch, and rightly drawing some good crowds.  Werth is becoming a big fan favourite.
 
As for the product on display, neither team were sharp last night in a slightly sloppy but entertaining 6-4 victory for the Nats.  Santana had a shocking first inning, giving up 4 runs and pretty much handing the game to the Nats.  The Braves gradually got to Zimmermann, who ran out of gas in the 5th, and was lucky to escape the 6th with the lead intact.  The Nats bullpen then shut things down pretty efficiently - Detwiler got the key strikeout of Freeman in the 8th (excellent off-speed strike 3) with a man on second, and that was the game.  Storen closed it without drama.
 
Harper looked lost at the plate (and looked very frustrated), and the Nats didn't look to have any outstanding offensive threats as a result.  They're going to win their division comfortably, but I didn't get the sense of an outstanding team - perhaps a reflection of the quality of the division. 
 
they have a very deep lineup, especially when zimmerman is back. harper has good days and bad days, hopefully we will go on a tear for the playoffs
 

TheYaz67

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Definitely sweet to clinch tonight IN Atlanta, plenty of time to rest folks before the postseason and set up the rotation....
 
And Storen is looking like a man on a mission - don't think Soriano is getting that job back any time soon - hopefully Matty Williams knows to ride the hot hand...
 

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TheYaz67 said:
Definitely sweet to clinch tonight IN Atlanta, plenty of time to rest folks before the postseason and set up the rotation....
 
And Storen is looking like a man on a mission - don't think Soriano is getting that job back any time soon - hopefully Matty Williams knows to ride the hot hand...
 
A little rest but got to keep working for #1 seed or else a rematch against the Cardinals looms.