Tagged in: Washington Nationals

Stephen Strasburg opts out of deal with Nationals

As expected, Washington Nationals right-hander and reigning World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg has opted out of his contract, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

The Nationals have not yet established the news. Strasburg is walking away from four years and $100 million. Saturday was the deadline to opt out.

Strasburg, 31, threw a National League leading 209 innings during the regular season, and ended with 3.32 ERA and 251 strikeouts. He then threw another 36 1/3 innings with a 1.98 ERA during Washington’s postseason run, including 8 1/3 innings of two-run ball with the season on the line in World Series Game 6.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year extension worth $175 million in May 2016.

The contract included heavy deferrals, as big Nationals contracts often do. Because a dollar today is worth more than a dollar five years from now, the present day value of those four years is much less than $100 million. Strasburg would come out ahead financially simply by re-signing a new four-year, $100 million deal with no deferrals. 

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The Nationals will almost certainly try to re-sign Strasburg, who they selected with the No. 1 overall pick back in 2009. He is the second best starting pitcher on the free agent market behind Gerrit Cole and could command upwards of six years and $150 million this winter, even at age 31 and with injuries throughout his career. That might even be selling him short.

Washington will also try to re-sign third baseman Anthony Rendon this winter. Should they lose Strasburg to free agency — I imagine his hometown Padres will make a big push to sign him — the Nationals would still have Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin to front to the rotation going forward. 

The Nationals will undoubtedly make Strasburg the qualifying offer prior to Monday’s deadline, ensuring they receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

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Nationals defeat Astros to win Franchise’s first World Series

Howie Kendrick, Anthony Rendon and the Washington Nationals finished their amazing comeback journey — fittingly with one last late rally on the road.

Kendrick and Rendon homered in the seventh inning as the Nationals overcame a two-run deficit, rocking the Houston Astros 6-2 Wednesday night to win the first title in franchise history.

With all eyes on Scherzer and his remarkable recovery after a painkilling injection, these Nationals truly embraced their shot in the only Series when the road team won every game.

Even more against the odds: Juan Soto and Washington came from behind to win five elimination games this postseason, an unprecedented feat.

“What a story,” said Ryan Zimmerman, the only player who’s been a part of every Nationals team.

“The way this game went is the way our whole season went,” he said.

Strasburg, new lefty Patrick Corbin and the Nats brought the first World Series championship to the nation’s capital since ol’ Walter Johnson delivered the crown for the Senators in 1924. This franchise started out as the Montreal Expos in 1969 when the major leagues expanded beyond the border, putting a team with tricolor caps at jaunty Jarry Park. They moved to D.C. in 2005, ending Washington’s three-decade-plus wait for big league baseball after the Senators left town to become the Texas Rangers.

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But the unbelievable path these wild-card Nationals with the curly W logo took, well, no one could have imagined.

Because in one topsy-turvy week, they put aside the pain of past playoff failures.

“Resilient, relentless bunch of guys,” manager Dave Martinez said. “They fought all year long.”

Having lost star slugger Bryce Harper in free agency and beset by bullpen woes, Washington plummeted to 19-31 in late May. It got so bad there was talk around town the Nationals might fire Martinez and trade away Scherzer.

Instead, they stuck with the mantra that sprung up on T-shirts — Stay In The Fight.

“That was our motto,” Scherzer said.

And months later they finished it, indeed. The Nationals became the first wild-card team to acquire the Series since Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in 2014. Starting with San Francisco’s win, the last six champs have clinched on the road.

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Nationals force World Series Game 7

It’s been an unusual road to Game 7 of the World Series for Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

Seizing the October spotlight he missed out on as a youngster, Strasburg pitched another postseason gem into the ninth inning Tuesday night as the Nationals defeated the Houston Astros 7-2 to tie this Fall Classic at 3-3.

Juan Soto ran all the way to first base with his bat following a go-ahead homer, the same way Houston slugger Alex Bregman did earlier.

Yep, these wild-card Nationals have matched the heavily favored Astros swing for swing, hit for hit – even home run celebration for home run celebration.

Now, it’s onto a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night to resolve the only Series in which the visiting team won the first six.

”It’s weird, really. You can’t explain it,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. The Nationals will try their ultimate comeback in a year when they were written off time after time, hoping for the first title in the 51-season history of a franchise that started as the Montreal Expos and the first for Washington since the Senators in 1924.

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Visiting teams have won three straight Game 7s in the Series since the Cardinals defeated Texas at home in 2011.

”I don’t think there’s a person in the building that would have assumed that all road teams were going to win,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. ”We’ve just got to make sure that last one is not the same.”

Washington rebounded from a 19-31 start – the Nats were given just a 1.6% option to win the Series on May 23 – to finish 93-69. They rallied from a 3-1 eighth-inning deficit against Milwaukee in the NL wild-card game, a two-games-to-one deficit vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series and a 2-1, fifth-inning deficit in Game 6 vs. the Astros.

Outscored 19-3 at Nationals Park while going 1 for 21 with runners in scoring position, the Nationals got the strong outing they needed from Strasburg, who allowed his only runs in the first inning, struck out seven and walked two while throwing 104 pitches. ”It was a mental grind out there, especially after the first,” Strasburg said. ”Just got to keep fighting.”

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Astros hammer Nationals to take 3-2 lead in World Series

The Houston Astros handed the ball to Gerrit Cole, and he gave them a firm grip on the World Series.

Minus ailing ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were no match in this Washington wipeout.

Cole looked exactly like the stud who dominated baseball most of this season, bouncing back from a Game 1 clunker to pitch the Astros to a 7-1 win Sunday night and a 3-2 lead.

Slumping rookie Yordan Álvarez and Carlos Correa hit early two-run homers off emergency starter Joe Ross, George Springer added another postseason drive and Houston won its third straight at Nationals Park.

What a turnaround, too — outscored 17-7 overall at Minute Maid Park, Houston hammered Washington 19-3 at Nationals Park.

Scherzer beat Cole in the opener, and was the Nats’ best hope to slow Houston. But he was scratched just 3 1/2 hours before game time because of an irritated nerve near his neck, an injury that could finish him for the Series.

With the road team winning every time so far, Houston heads home with two chances to claim its second title in three years.

Justin Verlander gets the first try when he starts against Stephen Strasburg in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Cole threw three-hit ball for seven innings, nicked only by Juan Soto’s home run in the seventh, and struck out nine.

Justin Verlander gets the first try when he starts against Stephen Strasburg in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Cole threw three-hit ball for seven innings, nicked only by Juan Soto’s home run in the seventh, and struck out nine.

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Cole’s mix of 99 mph heat and sharp breaking balls induced a bevy of bad swings from the Nats as he improved to 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA this postseason. It might’ve been his final start for Houston — he’s eligible for free agency and figures to command a steep price.

Standing tall on the mound, Cole was unflappable in the face of 43,910 fans who went from fired up to furious to flat-out frustrated.

The crowd gave Ross a huge ovation when he walked onto the field for warmups, sympathetic to his situation — he had pitched a total of two innings in almost a month.

Cole ended his outing by getting Victor Robles on a called third strike, a pitch the TV zone showed to be off the plate. Robles chucked his bat, helmet and gloves, and crowd soon began a derisive chant at umpire Lance Barksdale. Cole led the majors in strikeouts this year, was second to Verlander in wins and topped the AL in ERA. Yet he hardly looked like an October star in Game 1, giving up five runs over seven uneven innings.

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Anibal Sanches, Miles Mikolas get NLCS Game 1 starts

The Nationals and Cardinals have tabbed starters for Game 1 of the NLCS, set for Friday night in St. Louis.

The visiting Nationals will send veteran Aníbal Sánchez to the hill to oppose Miles Mikolas, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and Anne Rogers, respectively. While the Nationals haven’t set the rest of their rotation yet, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt has set up Adam Wainwright for Game 2, Jack Flaherty for Game 3, and Dakota Hudson for Game 4.

Sánchez, 35, was quite good in his NLDS Game 3 start versus the Dodgers, limiting them to a lone run while scattering four hits and a pair of walks with nine strikeouts over five innings. Sánchez is, in a lot of ways, an afterthought when considering the Nationals’ rotation which boasts Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin.

The Cardinals know well enough not to undervalue Sánchez, who posted a 3.85 ERA across 30 regular season starts.

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Mikolas, 31, enjoyed a major league career rebirth last year after spending several years in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants. In 2018, he led the league with 18 wins while posting a 2.83 ERA in 200 2/3 innings.

He ended sixth in NL Cy Young voting. He wasn’t able to follow up with the same level of success this year, finishing the regular season leading the league with 14 losses along with a 4.16 ERA.

Mikolas was good in his NLDS Game 1 start against the Braves, though, allowing a lone run over five innings. He also tossed a perfect inning of relief in Game 4.

The Cardinals will start Adam Wainwright in Game 2 of the NLCS, followed by ace Jack Flaherty in Game 3 and Dakota Hudson in Game 4.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said X-rays presented nothing broken on the hand of catcher Kurt Suzuki, who was hit by a pitch in Washington’s win on Wednesday night. Suzuki was going to go through concussion protocol once the Nationals arrived in St. Louis.

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Buehler, Muncy lead Dodgers past Nats in NLDS opener

The Dodgers crushed the Nationals on the mound and at the plate, extending the supremacy that led to a franchise-record 106 victories in the regular season right on into the playoffs.

Walker Buehler allowed one hit over six innings, Max Muncy drove in three runs and Los Angeles capitalized on mistakes to beat Washington 6-0 in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Thursday night.

”Oh, they’re good. They’re really good,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”That’s why they have been in the postseason so many years in a row.”

Buehler struck out eight, walked three and retired his final seven batters after earning the start over veterans Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose 2.32 ERA was lowest in the majors this season. ”Walker, time and time again, just knows how to temper, control his emotions and transfer that into the delivery, the execution of pitches,” expressed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.

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Washington’s Patrick Corbin stumbled through a rocky first inning.

He issued four walks, joining Art Reinhart of the St. Louis Cardinals as the only pitchers to walk that many in the first inning they ever pitched in the postseason.

Reinhart walked four – including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig – in the fifth inning of Game 4 of the 1926 World Series against the Yankees.

”That first inning was the game,” Roberts said. ”That really set the tone.”

Corbin walked three in a row with two outs in the 31-pitch inning. Yan Gomes was charged with a passed ball, too, and Muncy drew a free pass with the bases loaded to put the Dodgers in front.

”Walked a lot of guys, chased a lot of bad pitches,” Martinez said. ”When you’re walking guys and not hitting, it’s tough to win ballgames.” Corbin gave up two runs – one earned – and three hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out nine and finished with five walks.

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New York Mets vs Washington Nationals

New York Mets vs Washington Nationals

In series-opening MLB action on Monday from Nationals Park, we’ve got game one between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals.
It’s a strong pitching matchup on Monday when the Washington Nationals host the New York Mets at 7:05PM ET.

Monday: RHP Noah Syndergaard (8-2, 2.08) vs. RHP Joe Ross (6-4, 3.11), 7:05 p.m. ET
Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-9, 4.64) vs. TBA, 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: LHP Steven Matz (7-3, 3.29) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (8-5, 3.52), 7:05 p.m. ET

The Mets have Noah Syndergaard on the mound to face Joe Ross of the Nationals. According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, this game is considered even, as both the Mets and Nationals are listed with odds of -105 to win. The over/under total for the contest has been set at 7 runs.

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The Mets are coming off a weekend series against the Braves. New York dropped the first game but came back to win Friday and Saturday. In the Sunday finale, the Mets lost 5-2.
As for the Nationals, they just finished up against the Brewers. Washington lost the first two games, running their losing streak to seven games. In the Sunday finale, Washington eked out a 3-2 win.
For Monday’s game, the Mets will be bringing out right-hander Noah

Syndergaard. In his 15 games (14 starts) this year, Syndergaard has managed a nice 2.08 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP in 91 innings. There was some concern about Syndergaard’s elbow following his last start, but an MRI showed no damage and he’s been deemed healthy.
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The Mets have some pretty solid swingers in their order. Asdrubal Cabrera has 71 hits with 30 runs, eight homers and 24 RBI. Cabrera got a day off Sunday. Yoenis Cespedes has a team-high 18 homers with 45 RBI, 70 hits and 39 runs. Neil Walker isn’t far behind on 65 hits with 40 runs, 14 homers and 30 RBI.

Over on the Nationals’ side, we’ll be seeing right-hander Joe Ross. Over 14 starts this year, Ross has managed a 6-4 record with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 84 innings of work. In his last start against L.A., Ross gave up seven hits and two earned in 6.1 innings for a no-decision.

The Washington hitters have some potency as well. Daniel Murphy has been electric this year on 98 hits with 42 runs, 12 homers and 48 RBI. Wilson Ramos has 76 hits with 30 runs, 12 homers and 41 RBI. Ramos got the day off Sunday. Anthony Rendon has hit 70 times with 45 runs and 26 RBI thus far.

The Mets are 23-4 in their last 27 Monday games, and 35-16 in their last 51 game ones of a series. New York is also 4-0 in Syndergaard’s last four game ones of a series, and 4-0 in Syndergaard’s last four starts overall.
As for the Nationals, they’re 8-3 in their last 11 Monday games, and 6-1 in their last seven home games. Washington is also 6-0 in their last six against the National League East, and 1-7 in their last seven overall.

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Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers

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Washington Nationals (57-53) at Los Angeles Dodgers (62-50)

MLB Baseball: Monday, August 10, 2015 at 10:10 pm (Dodger Stadium)

G Gonzalez (8-4) (3.75) vs. Br Anderson (6-6) (3.13)

The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers -146 / Washington Nationals +136

 

In the first of a three-game series between the Los Angeles Dodgers (62-49) and the Washington Nationals (57-53) at Dodger Stadium, Brett Anderson (6-6, 3.06 ERA) and Gio Gonzalez (8-4, 3.75 ERA) get the ball. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 10 and will air on MASN and SNLA.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers return home following getting swept over the weekend in Pittsburgh but still leading the National League West. The Dodgers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 37-18 at home, and they have a three game lead over the Giants in the NL West. As a team the Dodgers are hitting .255 with Justin Turner hitting .323, Adrian Gonzalez hitting .298, and Howie Kendrick hitting .296. The Dodgers pitching staff has an ERA of 3.43 with the starters at 3.20 and the bullpen at 3.93. For game one against the Nationals the Dodgers start Brett Anderson who has allowed 125 hits and 42 earned runs while striking out 86 over 123.2 innings for a 6-6 record and a 3.06 ERA.
The Washington Nationals are slumping at the wrong time as they are currently on the outside looking in at the post-season. The Nationals are 3-7 in their last 10 games, 26-30 on the road, and they are 1.5 games behind the Mets in the NL East. As a team the Nationals are hitting .249 with Bryce Harper hitting .355, Yunel Escobar hitting .307, and Danny Espinosa hitting .246. The Nationals pitching staff has an ERA of 3.65 with the starters at 3.69 and the bullpen at 3.56. For game one against the Dodgers the Nationals start Gio Gonzalez who has allowed 123 hits and 48earned runs while striking out 105 over 115.1 innings for an 8-4 record and a 3.75 ERA.

Los Angeles is a -133 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Dodgers are 55-43 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -941. The Dodgers rank fifth in the majors in home runs with 136. As for the pitching staff, the Dodgers are second in the NL in hits allowed with just 8.1 per game. An area where the Dodgers are particularly strong is striking batters out, where they average an NL-best 8.6 K’s per game.

In their previous three games this season, the Dodgers have a 2-1 record. The Dodgers will take on a left-hander (Gonzalez) in this game and have an 8-11 record against left-handed starting pitchers this season. The left-handed Anderson will take the mound against the Nationals, who have a 14-10 record against lefty starters this season.

 

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