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DonRocks

The Washington Nationals (2005-), 2016 and 2017 National League East Division Champions

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The Washington Nationals' webpage

Season opener, 9-7 in 10 innings. :) Amazingly, the score after regulation was 5-5 - that is a tense tenth inning.

A classic Earl Weaver game: "pitching, defense, and 3-run homers." Look:

1) The Nats struck out *18* batters today, and gave up only 3 walks.

2) Error-free the entire game.

3) Anthony Rendon hit a 3-run homer.

Strasburg fanned 10, and his BAA (batting average against) was .238. It's remarkable that his ERA after this game is 6.00.

We've got to watch giving up the long ball.

Box Score on cnn.com

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this is great.  Maybe you should do a game by game recap.  ;)

seriously...this could be THE YEAR.  (I hope so)

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I really wasn't expecting this to be featured on Politico.  :blink:

Congrats!!!   One more link to the site from a "most" unexpected source....and then a "natitude blog" would be an unusual piece of writing for this forum.  but it would be cool

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Congrats!!!   One more link to the site from a "most" unexpected source....and then a "natitude blog" would be an unusual piece of writing for this forum.  but it would be cool

Playbook doesn't generate much direct traffic, but it is an honor to be in it. Mike is an avid baseball fan and we've been to more than one game together. We always enjoy talking baseball, and he is a wonderful conversationalist.

Contrary to what you might read on another blog, Mike Allen is an avid baseball fan, a genuinely nice human being, and to the best of my knowledge (and I consider him a personal friend, and I think I would know otherwise), does not participate in pay for play. No, I can't "mathematically prove it," but that's not the Mike Allen I know. He is just a good, kindhearted person, plain and simple, and I both respect and like him to the point of bending over backwards for him with *nothing expected in return.* I know him better than the blogger who has been maligning him during these past few months, and I trust my opinion vastly more than I trust this blogger's opinion.

Mike Allen has a heart of gold, and I consider it an honor to be his friend - not because he's famous; but because he's a great person.

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hmmmm..... I must admit to never reading that section of politico, frankly rarely visit it at all on the web, and don't know of the author at all.  I thought the piece you wrote was cool and simply wanted to congratulate you for having been referenced.

.....now if you could only repeat something like that piece 161 more times  (oi...ugh) through the rest of the season.....

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Game 2: Nats 5, Mets 1.

The Nats throw 13 strikeouts for a total of 31 in 2 games.

That is the most of any team, after 2 games, in over 100 years!

Gio Gonzalez "helps his cause" (don't you love the way they always say that?) by hitting a home run.

Jayson Werth has a 4-hit day.

Bryce Harper throws out a runner at the plate from left field.

Enjoy this while you can - over the long haul, baseball is a game of parity.

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Gio Gonzalez "helps his cause" (don't you love the way they always say that?) by hitting a home run.

Don:  In the wonderful retrospective on Brooks Robinson you provided, and in the video that commemorates the "Brooks Robinson World Series" of 1970, where he swept up every hit smashed his way, turned obvious base hits into outs and double plays, made remarkable throws to first base that caught base runners,,,,,AND had a tremendous bat at the plate with an average over .400, two homers and 6 RBI's...the video references that Brooks and the team got contributions from everywhere.

Among those contributions were grand slams by pitchers Dave McNally in the World Series, and by Mike Cuellar in the American League Championship series.

When pitchers are hitting home runs....things are looking up!!!!!!!

Keep it up!!!!!  

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Tanner Roark stepped in admirably for Jordan Zimmermann today, who the stat-heads say is the real ace of the staff.  If Fister comes back healthy, and Roark and Taylor Jordan fill in this well when called upon to give the top of the rotation a break every now and then, the Nats should sweep up the NL East.  That being said, Go Reds!

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Tanner Roark stepped in admirably for Jordan Zimmermann today, who the stat-heads say is the real ace of the staff.  If Fister comes back healthy, and Roark and Taylor Jordan fill in this well when called upon to give the top of the rotation a break every now and then, the Nats should sweep up the NL East.  That being said, Go Reds!

Start a Reds thread. Why not?

---

In Game 3, the Nationals just won 8-2.

A 3-0 record playing their first 3 games on the road - not a bad start.

With only 1 error committed in the 1st 3 games, and 39 strikeouts (that's 13 strikeouts per game).

Celebrate, yes, but don't get carried away: This was against the Mets, who won 74 games in 2013.

Tomorrow, a more vigorous test begins in a 3-game home stand against the Braves, who won 96 games in 2013.

If we're 5-1 next Sunday evening, there will be very good reason to be optimistic.

Natitude.

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The Braves have pitching problems. Lots of injuries early in the season. Dear Dog, I've been waiting for the season to start since the last one ended. I've been listening to the games on the radio--a couple of them on my portable from Radio Shack (which I take to Nats Park and listen with the ear buds) while working on my garden on the patio. Pure BLISS.

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Yeah, except it didn't. Why OH Why do they fall apart in the face of the Braves? THREE base-running errors. Never mind the inside-the-park homerun by Desmond that was thrown out. Feh.

1 Error and *53* strikeouts in the 1st 4 games. That's 13.25 strikeouts per game.

Don't be too worried about a 2-1 loss to the Braves.

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And the Nationals escape getting swept with a 2-1 victory today.

At 4-2, with the fear of God thrown into them by the Braves, this *might* be the best thing that could have happened, long-term.

If there was any overconfidence, it is now completely gone, or should be.

But if they had gotten swept, their core level of confidence might have been shattered, and you don't want that.

Only 2 runs and 4 hits today, but somehow, it was enough to squeak by.

The Nats could have easily won 2 games this series, and they need to get it in their minds that they can play toe-to-toe with Atlanta.

While I had hoped for a 5-1 start, 4-2 is still .667 baseball, and that's good enough to win a pennant.

And rest assured, the Nats will be on high alert when they do it all again, against the Braves, next weekend.

Things are normalizing - the obscene strikeout pace has calmed down (a bit), and the long-term realities of the season are settling in.

Still, in 6 games, the Nationals have pitched an amazing 69 strikeouts, or 11.5 per game - that is noteworthy.

The day off tomorrow is a nice luxury, and the Nats need to go into the Marlins series with the mindset of winning 2, if not all 3, games, and being dead-set on kicking some ass in game number 1.

After the off-day, the Nationals begin a run of *20* consecutive game days.

It is imperative that the starting pitchers go deep into games during this 20-game flurry; else, the bullpen will become exhausted (and maybe even injured).

We need Strasburg to get it together, pronto - other pitchers will have slumps later on, and he'll need to rise to the occasion.

And then the time between next Thursday night (their final home game against Miami) and Friday night (their first away game against Atlanta) must be spent (during travel) focusing, relaxing, and becoming intent on recreating Sherman's March.

While it may be a stretch to say "they need" 2 wins against the Braves next weekend, they absolutely need 1, and things will be a whole lot easier on them if they take 2.

Sweeping the Marlins would take a lot of pressure off of them, but you can never count on a sweep.

If you had asked me, before the season started, where the Nats would be right now, I probably would have said 4-2. So, in the grand scheme of things, there aren't any huge surprises.

But the grind is about to begin.

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Thoughts as follows and Joe Riley might take a whip to my hind for saying this:

Harper and Strasburg are immense talents but the Nationals need to temper their expectations with their production. If they can do so, get Strasburgs head on straight, and get Harper to realize that keeping the congo line moving instead of swinging for the fences, they will naturally release their god given talents. Harper will not face a lefty for about 2 weeks so giving him the day off yesterday was a good decision on Williams part.

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The day off tomorrow is a nice luxury, and the Nats need to go into the Marlins series with the mindset of winning 2, if not all 3, games, and being dead-set on kicking some ass in game number 1.

And so they did kick some ass in the first game against the Miami Marlins, 5-0, giving them a season record of 5-2 (a .714 winning percentage).

This is seemingly one "unimportant" game early in the season, but this was *the* one game in this series that the Nats needed the most psychologically. They needed to win it big, and they did. Even if they only split the following two against the Marlins, they'll still be 6-3 which is just fine. Then, even if they drop 2 of 3 to Atlanta next weekend, they're still a respectable 7-5 on the season with 50% of their games having been played against perhaps the toughest team in baseball.

Let's not forget that the Marlins were 5-2 coming into this series - they're no pushovers.

Gio Gonzalez is now 2-0 with an ERA of 0.75. Even if Strasburg is slumping, the Nats have a go-to guy right now, one who allows them all to take a collective, deep breath on days that he's pitching, and relax. Playing on 20 consecutive days, you need that mental break.

Washington is in control of their own destiny right now, and that's a good position to be in.

And, they've hurled 77 strikeouts in 7 games. Striking out someone in baseball is like serving an ace in tennis. It's a free point, and relieves pressure on the rest of the team. 11 strikeouts per game is 11 times the fielders have zero pressure on them, and no chance to commit any errors (odd exceptions aside).

Stay healthy, gentlemen, and if Zimmerman indeed has an arthritic shoulder, get him away from 3rd base. There are too many critical throws that originate from the hot corner. We cannot afford throwing errors from 3rd because all too often, they result in a quasi-double, putting a runner in scoring position.

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And so they did kick some ass in the first game against the Miami Marlins, 5-0, giving them a season record of 5-2 (a .714 winning percentage).

This is seemingly one "unimportant" game early in the season, but this was *the* one game in this series that the Nats needed the most psychologically. They needed to win it big, and they did. Even if they only split the following two against the Marlins, they'll still be 6-3 which is just fine. Then, even if they drop 2 of 3 to Atlanta next weekend, they're still a respectable 7-5 on the season with 50% of their games having been played against perhaps the toughest team in baseball.

...

Washington is in control of their own destiny right now, and that's a good position to be in.

When I went into dinner this evening, I checked my cell phone, and the Nationals were down 5-0. I wrote the game off, and was just happy that they had won game #1 of the series.

"Werth's Grand Slam Lifts Nats Past Marlins 10-7" by Howard Fendrich on abcnews.com

These are the little gifts you take and be thankful for.

The Nationals are now 6-2, and have won the series no matter what happens tomorrow. This is where managerial skills come into play: hammer home that tomorrow's game (game 3 of the series) is just as important as any of the upcoming Braves games, and keep your team focused.

Every strike of the nail with the hammer drives it in a bit further; every time you miss the nail, it's a wasted strike. The Nationals need a team psychologist to get them prepped for tomorrow.

8 games, 88 strikeouts. If this isn't a major-league record, I'd like to know what the record is.

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When I went into dinner this evening, I checked my cell phone, and the Nationals were down 5-0. I wrote the game off, and was just happy that they had won game #1 of the series.

"Werth's Grand Slam Lifts Nats Past Marlins 10-7" by Howard Fendrich on abcnews.com

...

8 games, 88 strikeouts. If this isn't a major-league record, I'd like to know what the record is.

And the Nationals sweep the series against the Marlins, 7-1, giving them a 7-2 record for the year, a 4-game winning streak, and the best record in the major leagues.

They've swept 2 out of 3 series so far.

And Strasburg broke out of his slump, striking out 12 and walking 1 in 6 2/3 quality innings, giving the bullpen a rest.

Now, after 9 games ... 105 strikeouts. 11.67 strikeouts per game - this *must* be an all-time record.

To put this in perspective, only 3 individual pitchers have ever averaged over 10 strikeouts per (9-inning) game for their career: Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood, and Pedro Martinez.

Back-to-back games with 8th-innning grand slams (Jayson Werth yesterday, Ian Desmond today).

This takes so much pressure off the upcoming series against the Braves, but if you're going to win it all, you have to (eventually) beat the best - why not start this weekend?

A truly great team would floor the gas pedal right now, and take 2 of 3 from Atlanta - easier said than done.

Team psychologist: Hammer! Hammer! Hammer! Treat each game as if it will be the last one you ever play.

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Not sure if it's an all-time record, but this "hasn't been seen in more than a century."


Now, after 9 games ... 105 strikeouts. 11.67 strikeouts per game - this *must* be an all-time record. 

To put this in perspective, only 3 individual pitchers have ever averaged over 10 strikeouts per (9-inning) game for their career: Randy Johnson, Kerry Wood, and Pedro Martinez.

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When I went into dinner this evening, I checked my cell phone, and the Nationals were down 5-0. I wrote the game off, and was just happy that they had won game #1 of the series.

"Werth's Grand Slam Lifts Nats Past Marlins 10-7" by Howard Fendrich on abcnews.com

These are the little gifts you take and be thankful for.

I did the same thing, but in my case I turned off the TV.  In the car yesterday morning I learned that I had indeed been of little faith.  I spent yesterday afternoon watching the rerun on MASN and then the 4:05 game, so I got two grand slams in one day.

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Not a Grand Slam, but Zimmerman hit a 3-run homer to tie the game. Last year, they would have just gotten demoralized and folded. This is making me very, very hopeful for this season.

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