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Washington Nationals 2017 Season Thread

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  • Sunday, August 6: Nationals 9, Cubs 4

    For a change, it was another teams bullpen having a meltdown. Trailing 4-1 entering the seventh inning, the Nationals score 8 runs in the final three innings to complete a come from behind win. With the score tied at 4-4 in the eighth, Matt Wieters grand slam off losing pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. put Washington ahead for good. Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle each tossed an inning of scoreless ball, with Kintzler being credited with the victory.

    In a no decision, Erick Fedde, starting in place of Max Scherzer, fared better in his second big league start. The rookie tossed 5.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, 4 runs, 4 walks, 2 of which were intentional, and 7 strike outs. Chicago's Jon Lester's line was 6.2 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. In contrast to the Nationals bullpen, Chicago's bullpen was torched for 6 runs in 2.2 innings.

    Wieters' 5 RBI led the way for the Nats offense, while Brian Goodwin and Anthony Rendon chipped in with 2. One of Rendon's RBI was painful, as the wild Edwards Jr. hit Rendon with a pitch in the eighth to tie the score at 4. Daniel Murphy had a good day going 2 for 3 with 2 runs scored and a walk. The red out Wilson Contreras of the Cubs clubbed two solo home runs. Contreras and Kyle Schwarber's back to back home runs to lead off the sixth gave the Cubs a 4-1 advantage. Jason Heyward achieved a career milestone with his 1,000th career hit, a double in the eighth off Madson. Heyward finished the day at 3 for 4.

    Final Line: Nationals: 9 runs, 10 hits 0 errors, Cubs: 4 runs, 10 hits, 2 errors

    Next Game: Monday, August 7 vs Miami, 7:05 ET

    Nationals Record: 65-44

    Nationals Notes: Some good news to report on the starting pitching front. The Nationals announced that Max Scherzer will start tomorrow night vs Miami. Scherzer, out with neck stiffness since last Tuesday, saw a chiropractor and bought a new pillow to relieve the stiffness.


    • Monday, August 7: Nationals 3, Marlins 2

      Behind Adam Lind's pinch RBI single in the eighth, the Nationals edge the Marlins, 3-2.

      Max Sherzer makes a successful return to the hill after missing a start due to neck stiffness. Scherzer scattered 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts in 7 innings for a no decision. Brandon Kintzler, 2-0 as a National, was awarded the winning decision with one inning of scoreless relief. Miami starter Chris O'Grady left the game after 1.1 innings due to an injury. Three Marlin relievers held Washington to 1 run in five innings until the entrance of Jarlin Garcia in the eighth. Garcia would absorb the loss by allowing Lind's two out, pinch hit RBI single.

      A Matt Wieters run scoring single gave Washington an early 2-0 lead. Bryce Harper's solo home run off long reliever Odrisamer Despaigne in the fourth was Harpers's 150th career home run that extended the Nationals lead to 2-0. Despaigne's RBI single in the fifth, the first RBI of his career, shaved the lead to 2-1. Giancarlo Stanton slammed his 37th home run in the sixth of Scherzer to even the score at 2. Wilmer Difo, 2 for 3 on the night, scored the eventual winning run on Lind's pinch hit single.

      Final Line: Nationals: 3 runs, 7 hits, 1 error, Marlins: 2 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors.

      Next Game: Tuesday, August 8 vs Miami, 7:05 ET

      Nationals Record: 66-44

      National Notes: Gio Gonzalez returned from paternity leave today. To make room for Gonzalez, Erick Fedde was optioned to Triple A Syracuse.

      Stephen Strasburg played catch in the outfield before tonight's game. Strasburg also threw a bullpen session on Sunday in Chicago. Still, there is not a timetable for his return. A.J. Cole is scheduled to pitch Tuesday in Strasburg's place.


      • Tuesday, August 8: Marlins 7, Nationals 3

        Derek Dietrich and Giancarlo Stanton power the Marlins past the Nationals, 7-3. Both homered and drove in three runs apiece. Stanton's three run blast in the fifth handed Miami the lead, which they never relinquished. Vance Worley picks up his second victory of the year, both against the Nationals, tossing 6 innings.

        Despite collecting 11 hits, Washington was only 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position. Bryce Harper, with 2 RBI, and Adrian Sanchez were responsible for the Nationals scoring. A.J. Cole's line was 5 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts in a losing effort. Cole is now 1-2.

        Final Line: Marlins: 7 runs, 6 hits, 1 error, Nationals: 3 runs, 11 hits, 1 error

        Next Game: Wednesday, August 9 vs Miami, 7:05 ET

        Nationals Record: 66-45


        • Wednesday, August 9: Some National tidbits as the game is still in progress with the Nationals leading 8-1 as I write this.

          Stephen Strasburg continues his rehab from a right elbow impingement by throwing a simulated game this afternoon. Next, Strasburg will most likely make a rehab start before returning to the rotation.

          Facing Strasburg in the simulated game was Jayson Werth. On the DL since early June with a fractured metatarsal in his left foot, Werth is nearing a rehab assignment in the next few weeks.

          Daniel Murphy was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game tonight with a hip injury. Manager Dusty Baker believes that Murphy will be fine and Murphy can pinch hit if needed.


          • Wednesday, August 9: Nationals 10, Marlins 1

            It's a hit parade with Ryan Zimmerman leading the way with a 4 for 4 night, 4 runs scored, 5 RBI and 2 home runs. Zimmerman also passed Tim Wallach as the all time leader in RBI for the Montreal/Washington franchise with 906. Wallach watched his record fall from the Marlins dugout when Zimmerman homered in the second inning. In all, the Nationals had four starters with two or more hits, Zimmerman, Bryce Harper, Adrian Sanchez and Howie Kendrick.

            On the mound, new father Gio Gonzalez celebrated with his 10th victory of the year. Gonzalez pitched 7 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 run, 0 walks and 6 strikeouts. For the Marlins, Adam Conley was pounded for 11 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings for his 5th loss.

            Miami's only run came from future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suziki's RBI single in the fourth. Ichiro was 3 for 4.

            Final Line: Nationals: 10 runs, 14 hits, 0 errors, Marlins: 1 run, 8 hits, 0 errors

            Next Game: Thursday, August 10 vs Miami, 7:05 ET

            Nationals Record: 67-45


            • Thursday, August 10: Nationals 3, Marlins 2

              Brian Goodwin's eighth inning home run breaks a 2-2 tie and gives the Nationals a one run win. Washington takes three of the four games in this series.

              While not factoring into the decision, Tanner Roark had a quality start, with a line of 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 5 walks and 4 strikeouts. Matt Kintzler picks up his third victory in less than a week with another scoreless relief appearance. LF Andrew Stevenson's diving catch of a Dee Gordon line drive in the ninth preserved Sean Doolittle's 10th save.

              Ahead 2-0 on Giancarlo Stanton's two run home run in the third, Marlins starter Dan Straily was seemingly in control, allowing only 1 hit through the first five frames. Things unraveled quickly for Straily in the sixth. Adrian Sanchez led off with a double and Goodwin's RBI single scored Sanchez to cut the Marlins lead to 2-1. One out later, Goodwin scored on Bryce Harper's double to tie the game at 2. Straily final line was 5.2 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts in a no decision. Earning the loss was former Red Sox Junichi Tazawa, who surrendered Goodwin's eighth inning homer.

              Final Line: Nationals 3 runs, 7 hits, 0 errors, Marlins: 2 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors

              Next Game: Friday, August 11 vs San Francisco, 7:05 ET

              Nationals Record: 68-45


              • Friday, August 11: Game is postponed due to rain . The game will be made up on Sunday in a day-night doubleheader.

                Next Game: Saturday, August 12 vs San Francisco, 7:05 ET

                National Notes: Injured SS Trea Turner, on the DL with a fractured right wrist, was fielding ground balls and throwing before Thursday's game vs Miami. Doctors have yet to clear Turner to begin batting. Nonetheless, Turner is optimistic that he can return by the end of this month.


                • Saturday, August 12: Nationals 3, Giants 1

                  A potential season ending injury to Bryce Harper overshadows the Nationals victory. In the first inning, Harper slipped on the wet first base bag attempting to beat out an infield hit causing his left knee to buckle. Unable to put weight on his leg, Harper was carried off the field. An MRI will be conducted on Sunday.

                  As for the game, it was delayed three hours due to rain before the first pitch was thrown shortly after 10:00 ET. SP Edwin Jackson would give up a solo dinger to Joe Panik in the first before settling in. Jackson pitched a solid six innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to collect the win. The bullpen trio of Brandon Kintler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle once again slam the door on the opposition with each reliever tossing one inning of scoreless relief.

                  Former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija was on the losing side of the ledger for San Francisco. Samardzija, now 9-12, labored through 6 innings, giving up 9 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts. His pitching line would have been worse had the Nationals not gone 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Josh Osich and former National Mark Melancon combined to keep the Nationals scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings.

                  Immediately following Harper's injury, a RBI double from Ryan Zimmerman tied it at 1-1. Daniel Murphy poked a run scoring single to score Zimmerman to give the Nats the lead for good. Adam Lind, a perfect 3 for 3 for the game, doubled in the sixth to make it 3-1 Nationals.

                  Final Line: Nationals: 3 runs, 11 hits, 1 error, Giants: 1 run, 7 hits, 0 errors

                  Next Game: Sunday, August 12 vs San Francisco in a day night doubleheader. First Game: 1:05 ET Second Game: 7:05 ET

                  Nationals Record: 69-45


                  • Sunday, August 13: Giants 4, Nationals 2 (Game 1)

                    Before the opening game of this day-night doubleheader, the Nationals received good news. Bryce Harper sustained a significant bone bruise to his left knee. While, there is no timetable for his return. Harper is expected back this season, said GM Mike Rizzo. It was initially feared by many that Harper's injury from last night was an ACL or MCL tear.

                    In a lackluster effort, the National fall to the National League's second worst team, the Giants, 4-2. Chris Stratton of the Giants had a commanding performance with a line of 6.2 IP, 5 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk and 10 strikeouts to pick up his 1st win of the season. Nat's starter A.J. Cole has a commendable outing, pitching 6 innings, yielding 6 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts for his 3rd loss of the year. San Francisco's three spot in the second inning proved to be Cole's undoing.

                    Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals finally broke through off Hunter Strickland. Last seen on Memorial Day plunking Harper and making a fool of himself in the ensuing bench clearing incident, Strickland was feted by the Washington fans with boos. New RF Brian Goodwin greeted Strickland with a lead off single. One out later, Anthony Rendon smacked a two run home run to cut the lead to 4-2.

                    Final Line: Giants: 4 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors, Nationals: 2 runs, 7 hits, 0 errors

                    Next Game: In progress vs San Francisco

                    Nationals Record: 69-46


                    • Sunday, August 13: Nationals 6, Giants 2 (11) (Game 2)

                      Howie Kendrick's game winning, grand slam in the eleventh in the nightcap of this doubleheader propels the Nationals to their 70th victory. Washington splits the doubleheader and takes two out of the three games in this series.

                      All of Washington's runs came via the long ball. In the second, Daniel Murphy connected for a solo home run to put the Nats ahead, 1-0. Ryan Zimmerman lifted his 27th homer of the year in the sixth, allowing the Nationals to regain the lead at 2-1. For San Francisco, Hunter Pence's RBI single in the fourth tied the game and Pablo Sandova's towering, solo home run in the seventh knotted the contest again.

                      Starter Max Scherzer amassed 10 strikeouts in seven innings. Giants starter Matt Moore, with an ERA near 6, nearly matched Scherzer with 9 strikeouts of his own. Matt Albers picks up his 6th victory, with Albert Suarez getting the loss.

                      Final Line: Nationals: 6 runs, 11 hits, 0 errors, Giants: 2 runs, 6 hits, 2 errors

                      Next Game: Tuesday, August 15 vs Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 7:05 ET

                      Nationals Record: 70-46


                      • Tuesday, August 15: Nationals 3, Angels 1

                        In the first of this two game series, the Angels see their 6 game win streak come to a halt thanks to the hot bat of Howie Kendrick. A second baseman for nine seasons with the Angels, Kendrick cracked two solo home runs against his old mates, one in the fifth and the other in the sixth.

                        Seemingly taken for granted, starter Gio Gonzalez had another solid outing. Not yielding a hit for 5.2 innings, Gonzalez posted his 11th victory of the year. In 6 innings, Gonzalez gave up 2 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks and struck out 4. Angels 2B Cliff Pennington's eighth inning home run ended Brandon Kintzer's 8 game scoreless streak as a National. Tyler Skaggs of the Angels is the losing pitcher, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks and striking out 6 in 5 innings.

                        Final Line: Nationals: 3 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors, Angels: 1 run, 3 hits, 1 error

                        Next Game: Wednesday, August 16 vs Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 1:05 ET

                        Nationals Record: 71-46


                        • Wednesday, August 16: Angels 3, Nationals 2

                          The Nationals bolt out of the gate to take an early 2-0 lead, but the Angels hold the Nationals in check the rest of the way to win, 3-2.

                          Usually, when a pitching staff gives up 4 hits for the entire game, that team will win 95% of the time. Today, the Nationals were the exception. Tanner Roark was responsible for those 4 hits during his 7 innings. However, two of the four hits were home runs. Luis Valbuena hit a solo dinger in the fifth that barely cleared the center field fence and Kale Calhoun launched a two run shot in the sixth. Roark, who pitched well enough to win, is the losing pitcher.

                          Thirteen year veteran Ricky Nolasco picks up the win despite getting off to a rocky start. In the first, Ryan Zimmerman hit a two run home run to give the Nats the early 2-0 lead. With the Angels still trailing 2-0 in the fourth, Nolasco escaped the inning unscathed when Wilmer Difo struck out with the bases loaded. Nolasco line was 5.2 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 3 BB and 5 strikeouts.

                          Final Line: Angels 3 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, Nationals: 2 runs, 6 hits, 0 errors

                          Next Game: Thursday, August 17, at San Diego, 10:10 ET

                          Nationals Record: 71-47


                          • Nationals Injury Notes: More bad news from the injury front. CF-RF Brian Goodwin joins the crowded disabled list with a groin strain. Since groin injuries are problematic, there is no timetable on Goodwin's return. Goodwin injured the groin stealing a base Sunday during the first game of the doubleheader against San Francisco. Nine year journeyman OF Alejandro De Aza was called up from Syracuse. De Aza struck out today in his Nationals debut.

                            P Ryan Madson is having a problem with one of his fingers on his pitching hand. The Nationals originally thought it was a blister. Madson has been lights out as a set up man for the Nats, striking out 13 and not allowing a run in 9 games, since being acquired from Oakland along with closer Sean Doolittle.

                            OF Jayson Werth continues his slow return from his left foot injury. Werth, out since early June, ran the bases Wednesday to test the foot. A minor league rehab assignment could be on the horizon for Werth.

                            CF Adam Eaton is ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ACL tear in his right knee sustained in April. Eaton has been lightly jogging, throwing and swinging a bat for the past two weeks. Encouraged by his progress, Eaton is aiming for a late season or postseason return, even if the odds are heavily against it.


                            • Thursday, August 17: Nationals 2, Padres 1

                              In San Diego, the Nationals take the first game of this four game series, prevailing 2-1. Ryan Zimmerman's home run in the eighth breaks the 1-1 tie.

                              Final Line: Nationals: 2 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, Padres: 1 run, 8 hits, 0 errors

                              Nationals Record: 72-47

                              Friday August 18: Nationals 7, Padres 1

                              More bad news to report: Max Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start tonight and promptly put on the 10 day DL. Scherzer is having more issues with his neck. There is not a timetable on a Scherzer return.

                              Without Scherzer, six Washington pitchers would hold down the fort, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, and 8 strikeouts. Matt Grace was the emergency starter and acquitted himself well. Making his first big league start, Grace held the Padres to 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk and 1 strikeout in 4.1 innings. Joe Blanton lowered his ERA to below 7.00 to scoop up his 2nd victory. Padres' starting pitcher Luis Perdomo suffers the loss.

                              Howie Kendrick led off the game with a home run on his way to a 2 for 5, 2 RBI night. Picking up the other Nationals RBI were Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon, Adam Lind and Alejando De Aza. SS Dusty Coleman's fifth inning homer off Shawn Kelly accounted for the lone San Diego run.

                              Final Line: Nationals: 7 runs, 9 hits, 0 errors, Padres: 1 run, 4 hits, 3 errors.

                              Next Game: Saturday, August 19 at San Diego, 8:10 ET

                              Nationals Record: 73-47


                              • Saturday, August 19: Padres 3, Nationals 1

                                The Padres Travis Wood out duels the returning Stephen Strasburg in a 3-1 Padres win. Wood allows 3 hits and an unearned run in 7 innings to get the win. Strasburg, recently activated from the DL, strikes out 8 and allows 2 runs in 6 innings for his 4th loss this season.

                                Final Line: Padres 3 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, Nationals 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors

                                Next Game: Sunday, August 20 at San Diego, 4:40 ET

                                Nationals Record: 73-48


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