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Washington Nationals 2017 Season Thread

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  • Game 3, NLDS, Monday, October 9: Cubs 2, Nationals 1

    Washington is now on the brink of elimination following today's heartbreaking loss in Wrigley. Anthony Rizzo's RBI bloop single that fell between LF Jayson Werth, CF Michael A. Taylor and SS Trea Turner in the eighth is the difference maker.

    For the second time in three games, a Washington starting pitcher carries a no hit bid into the latter stages of a contest and the Nats offense fails to capitalize. In Game 1, it was Stephen Strasburg who held the Cubs hitless for 5.2 innings. Today, it was Max Scherzer, who went 6.1 innings, with 1 hit allowed and 7 strikeouts. Showing no ill effects from his hamstring injury, Scherzer no hit the Cubs for 6.1 innings until Ben Zobrist's double. Immediately following Zobrist's double, Scherzer was removed in a questionable decision by manager Dusty Baker with the Nats clinging to a 1-0 lead. Cubs PH Albert Amora Jr. promptly welcomed Sammy Solis with a single to score Zobrist to tie the score. In the eighth, losing pitcher Brandon Kintzer issued a lead off walk to PH Tommy La Stella. Jon Jay sacrificed Leonys Martin, pinch running for La Stella, to second. Kintzer struck out the dangerous Kris Bryant for the second out. Playing the percentages, Baker called upon southpaw Oliver Perez to face the left handed swinging Rizzo in hopes of recording the third out. Perez jammed Rizzo on a high and in pitch, which Rizzo blooped to left center where Werth, Taylor and Turner converged. With nobody taking charge, the ball dropped in for the eventual winning hit.

    Not to be outdone, Cub starter Jose Quintana yielded only 2 hits and 1 unearned run in 5.2 innings, while striking out 7 in a no decsion. The unearned run came in the sixth with two outs and nobody on. Daniel Murphy lofted a fly ball to left that LF Kyle Schwarber dropped. Attempting to recover it, Schwarber then kicked the ball allowing Murphy to reach third. Schwarber was charged with two errors on the play. Chicago manager Joe Maddon went to the bullpen and summoned Pedro Strop after Schwarber's fielding misadventures. Ryan Zimmerman stroked an RBI double to right center off Strop to put the Nationals in front, 1-0. Getting the win for the Cubs was Game 2 losing pitcher, Carl Edwards Jr.

    Final Line: Cubs: 2 runs, 4 hits, 4 errors, Nationals: 1 run, 3 hits, 1 error

    Next Game: Game 4, Tuesday, October 10 at Chicago Cubs, 5:30 ET
    Last edited by Steve Jeltz; 10-09-2017, 10:26 PM.

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    • Game 4, NLDS, Tuesday, October 10: Postponed due to rain

      The game has been rescheduled to Wednesday, October 11. First pitch at 4:00 ET.

      In a move that is already being debated, manager Dusty Baker has elected to stick with Tanner Roark as his Game 4 starter. With the rain out, Baker had the opportunity to start a rested Stephen Strasburg. Citing Strasburg had an "illness" and his endurance was low, Baker decided to stick with the inconsistent Roark.

      How long will Strasburg be coddled? Despite his enormous talent, I question Strasburg's heart and his competitive fire. His team is staring elimination in the face and he can't start because he is ill? Competitors at least try and, many times succeed, when they are ill. Do you think Michael Jordan would beg out of a playoff game because he had a cold? No way! What an insult to his teammates that are physically hurting right now. Bryce Harper is playing on one leg, Daniel Murphy is worn down, Anthony Rendon is banged up, yet you do not see them begging out of the lineup. This isn't the regular season, this is do or die. Strasburg is the Nats's hottest pitcher and he should at least attempt to pitch.

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      • Game 4, NLDS, Wednesday, October 11: Nationals 5, Cubs 0

        The Nationals force a deciding Game 5 tomorrow in Washington with today's clutch victory. Putting my questions and doubts about his competitiveness to rest, Stephen Strasburg strikes out 12 in 7 dominant innings in winning his first ever postseason game.

        On a dreary, drizzly day suited more for a Redskins-Bears game than a baseball game, the Nationals put their first run across in the third. Trea Turner hit a one out double, his first hit of the series, and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Cubs starter Jake Arrieta. After Arrieta got Jayson Werth looking at strike three for the second out, Bryce Harper worked a walk. Up came Ryan Zimmerman who bounced a chopper to SS Addison Russell. The ball bounced off the charging Russell's glove to allow Turner to score the unearned run. The Nationals put the game out of reach in the eighth on Micheal A. Taylor's grand slam off Wade Davis into the right field basket to give the Nats a commanding 5-0 lead.

        With the assumption that Strasburg was too ill to start, manager Dusty Baker initially gave the nod to Tanner Roark to start Game 4 after yesterday's rain out. However, upon entering the park, Strasburg informed Baker that he felt well enough to pitch and Baker scratched Roark in favor of Strasburg. In 7 innings, Strasburg struck out 12, walked 2 and permitted 3 hits. For the North Siders, Arrieta, nursing a bum hamstring, was the losing pitcher, yielding 5 walks, 2 hits and an unearned run in 4 IP. In 3.2 innings of relief, Game 2 starter Jon Lester allowed 1 run, 1 hit and struck out 3. The duo of Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis combined to pitch 0 innings, allowing 2 hits, 3 walks and 3 runs.

        Final Line: Nationals: 5 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, Cubs: 0 runs, 3 hits, 2 errors

        Next Game: Game 5, Thursday, October 12 vs Chicago Cubs, 8:00 ET. The winner will advance to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
        Last edited by Steve Jeltz; 10-11-2017, 10:22 PM.

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        • Game 5, NLDS, Thursday, October 12: Cubs 9, Nationals 8

          This was the type of heartbreaking loss that was usually reserved for the Cubs in postseason play prior to 2016. Mental gaffes, bad fielding, controversial plays, and an inning out of the Twilight Zone send the Nationals tumbling into another long winter. Just gut wrenching.

          The Nationals beat themselves, plain and simple. Washington gift wrapped five runs to Chicago. The Nationals did not deserve to win when C Matt Wieters allowed a passed ball on a third strike that would have ended that horrible fifth inning, irregardless of whether Javier Baez's back swing hit Wieters. Instead of the strikeout, Wieters compounded his passed ball by making a throwing error allowing Cubs SS Addison Russell to score from second. Wieters was not finished. The next Cub batter, Tommy La Stella, reached base on catchers interference, loading the bases. Max Scherzer, the eventual losing pitcher, plunked Jon Jay to hand Chicago a 7-4 lead.

          More examples of the Nationals defeating themselves: SS Trea Turner's failure to tag Jay at second on Jay's lead off double in the first inning that led to Chicago's first run. Nat's starter Gio Gonzalez's two out, wild pitch scoring Cubs C Wilson Contreras in the third. LF Jayson Werth misplaying a catchable line drive that would have been the third out in the sixth off Russell's bat. Instead, Werth's gaffe gave the Cubs another run to make it 8-4. Finally, with the Nationals having clawed back to within one run in the eighth, backup C Jose Lobaton inexplicably getting picked off first base for the third out that short circuited a potential Washington rally.

          Final Line: Cubs: 9 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors, Nationals: 8 runs, 14 hits, 2 errors
          Last edited by Steve Jeltz; 10-13-2017, 05:17 PM.

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          • The Nationals announced on Friday that Dusty Baker will not return as the team’s manager for the 2018 season.

            https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/...r-in-2018.html
            The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

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            • Where did this offensive season rank in Ryan Zimmerman's career?
              It was probably his best one yet.
              For one thing his 36 HR, 108 RBI and .303 batting average in 2017 is the only time he has exceeded the round number goals of 30 HR, 100 RBI and a .300 batting average all in the same season.
              Any advanced statistics guys want to dispute that Zimmerman was at the top of his fom last season?

              PS: A great RZ moment: June 18, 2006: Technically a rookie in '06, despite making his major leagues debut and appearing in 20 games in 2005, Ryan Zimmerman delivered a 2-run walkoff home run to defeat the New York Yankees' Chien Ming-Wang 3-2. This was no small accomplishment against a very hot pitcher. The Taiwanese hurler was having a career best season where tied for the majors leagues in Wins, with 19 and then he won 19 games again the following season, before injuries curtailed what began s as a brilliant career. In 2006, his first full season in the majors, Zimmerman put up some outstanding numbers: 20 HR, 110 RBI, .287 B. avg.

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