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Washington Nationals 2014 News and Updates
10/1/14 – Tonight the Washington Nationals will find out their opponent for the NLDS! Games 1 and 2 (and potentially 5) will be played at Nationals Park and are currently averaging $154 and $314 respectively and start at $62 Friday and $84 Saturday.
9/29/14 - What a way to end a season. Washington Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann checked off the final box on a memorable 2014 season with a season-ending no-hitter, sealed by a diving catch by defensive replacement Steven Souza Jr., a September callup who starred in Triple A this year. The no-no by Zimmermann was the first for the Nationals since the franchise left Montreal for the 2005 season; before the relocation, the Expos had four no-hitters, including two by journeyman Bill Stoneman, one by Charlie Lea, and a perfect game by Dennis Martinez. The no-hitter was also the first by a Washington pitcher since 1931. After this fantastic finish, the Nats now await their opponent from either Pittsburgh or San Francisco, who play the National League Wild Card on October 1.
9/23/14 - 156 games down, six to go until the end of the regular season. Then the second season begins anew for the Washington Nationals, who are riding a five game winning streak, winners of nine of their last 10, and are 15-6 in the month of September, firmly establishing the Nats as the best team in the National League. The Nats, in fact, have lost consecutive games only once this month, dropping a pair to Philadelphia before their current 13-3 run – and 11 of those games were away from the confines of Nationals Park, in New York, Atlanta, and Miami. The only Nats starting pitcher with an under-.500 record at the moment? That would be Gio Gonzalez, who is 9-10 and has one last start before the postseason to square his record.
9/16/14 - It’s official: For the second time in three years, the Washington Nationals are your National League East Division champions. The Nats, behind the pitching of Tanner Roark, who threw seven innings of five-hit baseball, shut out their biggest East nemesis, Atlanta, 3-0 on Tuesday evening for the clinching victory. Ian Desmond scored two runs, and drove in a pair on his 23rd homer of the season, which came in the sixth inning off Braves pitcher Aaron Harang. The pennant is just the third title won overall by this franchise, which got its start in the 1969 expansion as the Montreal Expos; the team spent two seasons splitting time between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico, before relocating permanently to the nation’s capital before the 2005 season. With 87 wins, the Nats remain a game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the NL.
9/9/14 - 12. It’s “magic number” time for the Washington Nationals, who need any combination of 12 wins and Atlanta losses to clinch their second National League East title in three seasons. In ESPN’s “Hunt for October” feature, the Nats are projected, based on a formula developed by sabermetrician Bill James, to finish with 93 wins – one more than the Los Angeles Dodgers, which would give the Nationals home field advantage through the National League portion of the postseason (remember, with the Americans’ win in the All Star Game, they have the home field in the World Series). The team has just 20 games remaining overall, with a home-road split of nine home games and 11 on the road.
9/3/14 - 2014 is turning out to be the season the Washington Nationals were expected to have last year. And, with their final West Coast swing complete by taking two out of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the NL West leaders, the Nats can concentrate on making sure they have home field advantage in the postseason as they take on their East Division rivals exclusively for the rest of September. The Nats have, by a game, the best record in the NL over the Dodgers, and are seven full games clear of second-place Atlanta; the Nationals will face the Braves early next week before embarking on a 11-game road trip. But first comes a weekend set and their final three games with Philadelphia, who swept the Nats in their previous series last month.
8/26/14 - After tearin’ it up with 12 wins in 13 games, the Washington Nationals have hit a little speed bump, dropping a pair of one run games to Philadelphia to start the week. After the final game of the set with the Phillies, the Nats make a six-game West Coast swing, visiting Seattle and the Los Angeles Dodgers before the September stretch run against the East Division exclusively. In this roadie, the Nats will square off against a pair of Cy Young candidates, one from each league: Felix Hernandez of the Mariners, who will square off with Jordan Zimmermann; and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, who is slated to oppose Doug Fister. As the rotation is set up, in fact, Zimmermann will face both the M’s and the Dodgers.
8/20/14 - The Washington Nationals have played consistently well all through 2014, but until recently, have been unable to put some breathing room between themselves and the other teams in the National League’s East Division. Then their primary East rival, Atlanta, swooned coming out of the All-Star break last month and have just recently started showing some signs of life. Still, the Nats have capitalized and are now six games up on the Braves, with the Nats having lost just once in their last 10 games and have won eight straight. The streak also includes Adam LaRoche’s first walk-off homer in his career, after leaving the yard 235 previous times in his career without a walk-off. Stephen Strasburg also won his 10th game of the season, bringing his record back to .500 at 10-10.
7/30/14 - With the Washington Nationals engaged in a tight race with Atlanta for National League East supremacy, the last thing they would need is injuries. But injuries being the nature of a 162-game slog, there’s never really a good time for them, and the Nats just had a pair happen to key players. First comes third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring; he is scheduled for an MRI later in the week. And news out of the Washington clubhouse is that outfielder Jayson Werth is being held out of the starting lineup with a sprained ankle suffered in the seventh inning of a loss to the Miami Marlins. Werth was trying to stretch a single into extra bases and slid awkwardly into second base; Nationals manager Matt Williams told reporters that the ankle was a little swollen but that Werth would be available off the bench if necessary.
7/22/14 - Half of the season (more or less) down, half to go. The Washington Nationals, along with division rival Atlanta, have put quite a bit of space between themselves and the other three teams in the NL’s East Division, with the Braves just one game back of the Nats, and then 8 ½ games back to Miami in third place. Coming out of the All-Star break, the Nationals dropped their first game to Milwaukee, then turned around and have won the next three – the other two against the Brewers, and the first of a three game set in Denver against Colorado, in which Ian Desmond went 5-for-5 (four singles and his 17th homer) and doug Fister collected his ninth win as the Nats blasted the Rockies 7-2.
7/16/14 - Compared to last season the Washington Nationals are having a much more satisfying year in 2014. Where last year the steam sputtered out of the gate and never really recovered, this season the Nats are currently in first place by a single percentage point over hated division rival Atlanta, one win behind but one loss ahead of the Braves. The Nats have persevered despite a number of injuries to key offensive players, including Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper, but at the moment the Nationals are pretty much fully healthy and ready to do battle. All five starting pitchers for Washington are clustered together with ERAs around 3, though at the moment just three of the five – Tanner Roark, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg – are eligible for the ERA title.
7/8/14 - Despite being in the middle of a heated pennant chase in the National League East, the Washington Nationals have – so far – a single representative on the NL’s All-Star roster, in the guise of pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who leads the Nats in ERA with a 2.79 mark, to go along with his 6-4 won-loss record and 96 strikeouts. However, another National player, infielder Anthony Rendon, is one of the five NL “Final Man” candidates for election to the last slot on the roster, to be voted on by fans via Twitter through Thursday of this week. Rendon is hitting .284/..340/.491 with 13 longballs and 52 RBI; his 96 total hits and 166 total bases lead the Nats.
6/24/14 - The Washington Nationals are one step closer to being back at full strength and healthy, as the team announced this week that outfielder Bryce Harper would begin a rehab assignment at the team’s Single A Potomac affiliate in northern Virginia. Nats skipper Matt Williams told reporters that the plan was for Harper to play a few innings and left field and get a couple of at-bats in his first game, and that Harper would play all three outfield positions during his rehab assignment. Harper has been out since late April after injuring his thumb while sliding headfirst into a base; the team is hoping to have him back by July 1. Catcher Wilson Ramos is also expected to begin his rehab assignment at Potomac this weekend as well.
6/19/14 - After a great week last week, the Washington Nationals fell splat, dropping the last game of a four game set to San Francisco, then getting swept in a weekend by surging St. Louis to finish a 10-game road trip. The Nats’ starting pitching trio of Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, and Doug Fister each fell to the Cardinals, while the normally potent offense managed just three runs for the entire series in St. Louis. Zimmermann was especially victimized, throwing a three-hit complete game, striking out five and walking one while allowing just one run, a homer to Matt Adams – but that one run was enough for Cardinals starter Lance Lynn, who held the Nats scoreless through eight. The Nats will get some good news this week in the form of starter Gio Gonzalez, who is expected to be activated off the disabled list, where he’s been since May 18 with inflammation in his left shoulder.
6/11/14 - It continues to be a tight three-horse race in the National League East, and the Washington Nationals are doing everything they can to keep apace, sitting tied for first with Atlanta. Over the weekend they rode a near-perfect performance by starter Jordan Zimmermann, who tossed six perfect innings en route to a 12-K two hit complete game shutout of San Diego this past Sunday, then used another big day by Ian Desmond, who went 3-for-5 with a double, a triple and five RBI; and six innings of four-hit, seven-K baseball by ace Stephen Strasburg in a win over San Francisco. Desmond leads the Nats with 13 HR and 42 RBI, good for fourth and third overall in the National League, while Strasburg’s 108 K’s put him in the lead in the NL in that department.
6/3/14 - With the return of power man Ryan Zimmerman from the disabled list today, the Washington Nationals get another one of their offensive weapons back. Zimmerman, who has normally been the Nats’ third baseman, was started in left field in his first game back from the DL on June 3, after needing 44 days to recover from a fractured thumb. Zimmerman also played left field during his three game minor-league rehab stint at Class A Potomac in northern Virginia, where he went 5-for-14 at the plate. If Zimmerman is successful at transitioning to the outfield, it could solve a number of problems for Nats manager Matt Williams; there has been very little offensive production from that position, and regular left fielder Bryan Harper is out until mid-July with a thumb injury of his own. Before his injury, Zimmerman was hitting .364 with two homers and six RBIs.
5/28/14 - A pair of key players for the Washington Nationals – one activated from the disabled list, one close to finishing his rehab – are in the news. The Nats activated first baseman Adam LaRoche from the 15-day list from a strained quadriceps muscle in his right leg, and was promptly inserted back into the starting lineup hitting cleanup against Pittsburgh. LaRoche had a hit in four trips in the 5-2 victory over the Pirates, ending a four game losing skid. The other positive news for the Nationals is that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has started fielding and hitting workouts, as part of his recovery from a fractured thumb. Zimmerman took some grounders and batting practice before a game against Miami, and later told reporters that he felt good after the workout. Zimmermann has been on the DL since mid-April, but does not yet have a timetable for a rehab assignment.
5/20/14 - This time it’s Gio Gonzalez heading to the DL. The Washington Nationals placed lefty Gonzalez on the 15-day disabled list on April 19 with an inflamed left shoulder. After a rough outing in Oakland a few days ago, Gonzalez took the mound against the New York Mets this past Saturday and was again roughed up, this time allowing five runs and seven hits in just three innings of work. An MRI on the shoulder showed no damage, according to Nats manager Matt Williams; general manager Mike Rizzo indicated that the lefty would miss two starts after having the tests performed. The team called up reliever Ryan Mattheus from Syracuse in the Triple-A International League.
5/16/14 - One player comes off the disabled list…another one goes on. Regular catcher Wilson Ramos returned to the Washington Nationals’ starting lineup last week, after he missed 32 games caused by a broken bone in his catching hand. In the six games he had played before his injury, Ramos had three hits in 19 at-bats for a .158 average, with a double and one RBI. The player who is going onto the DL is the Nats’ current leading hitter, Adam LaRoche; he is on the 15-day list with a strained right quadriceps muscle in his leg. LaRoche is hitting .319 with an on-base percentage of .421, both team highs for the Nats, who are second in the National League East 1 ½ games back of Atlanta.
5/9/14 - After dropping two of three from Eastern Division rival Philadelphia, the Washington Nationals returned home for a brief three game stand against the Los Angeles Dodgers, taking two of three capped off by Stephen Strasburg’s third win, a gem in which he allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out six. Strasburg’s season strikeout total of 64 puts him second in the NL, just a single whiff behind last year’s Rookie of the Year, Miami’s Jose Fernandez, and four ahead of Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto. Another Nats starter, Gio Gonzalez, has broken into the top 10 in strikeouts as well; his mark of 45 has him tied with St. Louis’s Lance Lynn. Both Strasburg and Gonzalez are 3-2 through seven starts, and the Nats currently stand tied for first with the Marlins atop the East Division.
5/2/14 - ust what the Washington Nationals didn’t need – a significant injury to one of their stars. Outfielder Bryce Harper is expected to be out until mid-season (team officials are saying July) after undergoing ligament surgery on his left thumb this week, an injury which occurred as Harper dove into third base for a triple. Harper isn’t the only Nats star who is recovering from a thumb injury, though Ryan Zimmerman’s fractured thumb is expected to be healed in mid-May. The Nats find themselves in a pitched battle in the National League’s East Division, as just 4½ games separates first-place Atlanta from last-place Miami; Washington is percentage points behind the New York Mets in third place, two games ahead of fourth place Philadelphia.
4/17/14 - Despite losing five of six – including a sweep last weekend – by their archrivals from Atlanta, the Washington Nationals are just a game back of the Braves. Of course, the Nats have fattened up on Miami, taking five of six from the Marlins this month too. The Nats are fourth in the National League in team batting, at .269; and stand at the top of the league in slugging percentage at .459. In between, their on-base percentage is .335, giving the Nats a team OPS of .794. Three Nats – Bryce Harper (.340), Anthony Rendon (.339) and Jayson Werth (.308) are hitting above .300, and Adam LaRoche is not far behind at .294. Werth, Laroche, and Ian Desmond each have three homers to lead the team, while Rendon has driven in 12 runs. On the mound? Gio Gonzalez has a pair of wins, while seven other pitchers (including Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann) each have a single win. Strasburg, even though he’s 1-2, has been blowing hitters away; his 33 K’s is almost twice as many as the number-2 guys in strikeouts, Gonzalex and Zimmermann. And speaking of starting pitching, club officials say that offseason acquisition Doug Fister may be about three weeks away from rejoining the big club, after throwing two innings with no problems in extended spring training.
4/4/14 - The Washington Nationals have gotten the 2014 season off on the right footing, having swept their season-opening series with fellow East Division rivals, the New York Mets. The Nats needed 10 innings to put away the Mets, 9-7; Anthony Rendon drove in a career-high four runs including three on a late homer against former Nats pitcher John Lannan. Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over six innings in his Opening Day start, but allowed four runs – all earned – on five hits. Aaron Barrett collected the opening win in relief for the Nats. Gio Gonzalez helped his own cause with a longball, one of two hit by the Nats in a 5-1 win. Gonzalez pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and an earned run to pick up the win. Finally, Tanner Roark notched his first win of the season while Ryan Zimmerman went 4-for-5 with a solo homer as the Nats secured the sweep with an 8-2 win.
3/27/14 - Washington Nationals offseason acquisition Doug Fister left a minor league Spring Training start after just throwing one inning earlier this week. Nationals team officials later reported that Fister had a strained right side lat muscle in his back. Meanwhile, the roster situation is settling down somewhat as the Nats prepare for their season opener this weekend in New York; the team announced the release of utility infielder Jamey Carroll, who had signed a minor league deal, and announced that Kevin Frandsen had signed a major league contract. The oddest move? Releasing veteran lefthanded reliever Michael Gonzalez, then signing him to another minor league deal two days later. Mark Zuckerman of CSN tweeted that Gonzalez is likely headed to Syracuse, in the Triple A International League.
3/20/14 - As expected, Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the third consecutive year as the Washington Nationals’ Opening Day starter. Strasburg, not to mention rookie Nats manager Matt Williams, has to be hoping that his performance in 2014 is closer – if not better than – the 2012 season in which he racked up a 15-8 record, as opposed to 2013, when he was 8-9. (Interestingly enough, Strasburg’s other numbers – a 3.00 ERA, 191 K’s and a 1.049 WHIP – were better in 2013 than 2012.) The other key to the Nationals’ success in 2014, the health of outfielder Bryce Harper, who played through a knee injury incurred after running into an outfield wall early in 2013. Harper recently told ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick that he wasn’t playing too hard, as some speculated, but “…a freak accident, and I hope it never happens again.” (Nats fans are hoping the same thing.)
3/13/14 - New mound acquisition Doug Fister is dealing with inflammation in his right elbow of late for the Washington Nationals. The righthander was scratched from a recent Grapefruit League start; an MRI of the elbow showed no damage but inflammation. Despite telling an MLB.com staffer that he was “not worried about the situation,” it was reported on March 13 that Fister felt some soreness in his inflamed elbow after playing catch for the third straight day. Fister is still tentatively scheduled to have a bullpen session at the end of the week. Off the field, it seems that Jayson Werth’s 2014 Topps baseball card could actually be for any one of three Nats players – the hirsute Werth; Ian Desmond; or Anthony Rendon. Only the caption gives it away as Werth’s, according to Yahoo Sports.
3/7/14 - Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg had a strong and encouraging debut appearance earlier in the week, tossing a pair of scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves. Strasburg has added another weapon to his repertoire of pitches, unveiling a slider against the Braves to go along with his curveball, his main breaking pitch against lefthanded hitters. Despite the strong outing by Strasburg, the Nats were unable to hold on, as the Braves’ Phil Gosselin smacked a bases loaded triple to right field in the bottom of the eighth inning to send Atlanta to an 8-4 win.
2/28/14 - Bryan Harper says, “I feel very good” going into his third season. Stephen Strasburg is “ready to rock.” Free agent acquisition Doug Fister has already been profiled in the Washington Post. All this, plus powerful starting pitching in the form of Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmemann has to have rookie manager Matt Williams feeling very good going into 2014. The Nats fell well short of their 2013 goals, experiencing what Post columnist Thomas Boswell referred to frequently as “regression to the mean” – but Nats fans have plenty to be optimistic about this season as well, with 20-plus homer power returning in the form of Ryan Zimmerman (26 HR), Jayson Werth (25 HR, .318 BA/.398 OBP/.532 SLG), Adam LaRoche and Ian Desmond (20 HR each).
2/18/14 - All players for the Washington Nationals have reported for Spring Training and are raring to go, but perhaps none so much as the pitchers in contention for the starting rotation. After launching an "attack" on their "bullpen shortage" in winter, Washington now boasts tons of top-tier arms that will duke it out for the coveted final two spots: will Xavier Cedeno join Jerry Blevins or will Sammy Solis or Christian Garcia have a shot? Get Washington Nationals tickets to find out! Prices for the Nats' first Spring Training game against the Atlanta Braves (3/1) have dropped from $20 to just $14 to get-in on the action.
2/12/14 - Spring Training begins tomorrow! Pitchers and catchers on the Washington Nationals report in the morning, with the full roster coming in by 2/20 for the first team workout. After coming close these last couple years, expectations have never been higher in Washington, though yesterday, news broke that Taylor Jordan, one of the pitchers battling for the fifth spot in the rotation, broke his ankle in the offseason, which makes Ross Detweiler the favorite for the final spot. The Nats take on their first spring opponents, the New York Mets, on 2/28. Washington Nationals tickets are at their lowest during spring, their inaugural game starts at $20 to see all the action closer than ever!
1/30/14 - The Washington Nationals efficiently enhanced their roster this year without breaking the bank. The Nats’ biggest move of winter was landing Doug Fister, formerly of the Detroit Tigers, who is confident the new starting rotation he joins in Washington rivals his former team’s league-best lineup. Washington Nationals tickets are $34 for Spring Training, see if Fister knows what he’s talking about and buy some today!
7/26/13 - After flying high last year, bringing the first baseball postseason action to the nation’s capital since 1933, this year’s edition of the Nationals are struggling mightily under the heavy weight of increased expectations. While outfielder Bryce Harper and starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann have carried their parts of the load, other expected contributions from players such as Adam LaRoche, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg have been yet to arrive. Despite struggling to maintain a .500 record, Nats fans continue to have some optimism that their team is just one big win streak away.
4/4/13 – The Washington Nationals opened their season with the hanging of their NL East Championship banner and a three-game series sweep over the Miami Marlins, all in front of a reenergized sea of red. Nats fans have a reason to be excited and full of hope after watching Stephen Strasburg pitch an immaculate game on Opening Day and Bryce Harper hit two solo home runs. Then, RHP Jordan Zimmermann put together a strong starting effort in the final game. The Nationals gave up just 1 run in 3 games, who wouldn’t have a #Natitude? Nationals’ fans anticipation might reach an all-time high while their team hits the road to play the Cincinnati Reds. Not to fret – the team will be back at Nationals Park to play the Chicago White Sox in five days. Subsequently, they’ll play the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals (who knocked them out of the World Series race last year), and Cincinnati Reds in April. Washington Nationals tickets are the seventh cheapest in MLB this month averaging $41.
Washington Nationals 2014 Season
The Washington Nationals pulled off their second-best season in franchise history with last year’s run, which put them in second place, behind the Atlanta Braves
in the NL East. Still, Washington is eager to repeat 2012 and make a playoff appearance this time around. Last winter, the Nats spent a ton of money on three players from the free-agent market ($65 million), whereas this offseason they’ve tightened their belts ($10.75 million) by bagging some strong bench players and one big pitcher within their budget.
There is much optimism surrounding Washington's team coming into 2014, as the Nats are even giving the Detroit Tigers
a run for their money when it comes to the best bullpen in the majors. Much of the hype is coming from former Tiger, right-hander Doug Fister (acquired this winter), who joins Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann in the starting rotation. Additionally, Bryce Harper will soon be back in action after undergoing surgery last October on his knee. Will he make his highly anticipated comeback and take the field during Spring Training
? Score some Washington Nationals tickets and see for yourself!
It's been a heck of a ride in the nation’s capital since Major League Baseball decamped from Montreal for Washington in 2005 — last year's Nationals, expected to contend for one of the two National League wild card slots in the newly expanded playoffs, instead got hot early in the season and took charge of the East Division to land the city's first postseason games since (would you believe?) 1933. However, while the Nats were widely expected to take care of business against the wild-card Cardinals, instead the tables were turned and the playoff vets from St. Louis prevailed in a five-game Division Series. This year the Nats will have to contend with raised expectations from their fan base, but the two franchise cornerstones — outfielder and 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Bryce Harper; and ace righthander Stephen Strasburg, who will not have the distraction of having to deal with a late-season shutdown this year — are firmly in place, surrounded by one of the strongest starting pitching rotations in all of MLB — Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and off-season addition Dan Haren — and position players Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam LaRoche. Between the Nats and the resurgent Redskins, 2013 looks to be a promising year sports-wise for fans in the Nation's Capital.
Washington Nationals tickets at Nationals Park in DC average $107, the 2nd most expensive MLB tickets this season (behind the Chicago Cubs). Nats fans not wanting to spend $100 on tickets will find cheap Nationals tickets from $10 at most 2013 home games. On the road, Washington's not as big of a draw, with away game tickets averaging $72.