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Nationals Watch Archive: June 2011

  • Strasburg: "Everything feels great."

    Nearing the one-year anniversary of his major league debut, Stephen Strasburg held a conference call with reporters this afternoon to discuss his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Here's some of what Strasburg had to say: Published June 7 2011

  • MLB disciplines Nationals, Diamondbacks after this weekend's beanball wars

    Major League Baseball has issued suspensions and fines to Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Esmerling Vasquez and Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson after 10 batters were hit with pitches during this weekend's series. Published June 7 2011

  • Nationals take a chance on TCU lefty Matt Purke

    The Nationals showed on Day 1 of the 2011 MLB Draft that they'd have no issues drafting players with an injury history. They proved as much with their first selection by taking Anthony Rendon at No. 6 overall despite industry-wide concerns that Rendon's medical information wasn't being released and a history of ankle and shoulder injuries. They kept with that strategy on Day 2 of the draft by taking TCU left-hander Matt Purke, a former first-round pick by the Texas Rangers and one-time No. 1 overall projected pick who suffered through a horrific 2011 season that featured an alarming drop in velocity after a bout with shoulder bursitis. Published June 7 2011

  • Harper's homer, All-Star selection & draft leftovers

    In case you haven't heard, Bryce Harper homered last night -- his 14th of the season with Single-A Hagerstown -- and then he pimped it hard. Then he was named to the SAL All-Star team. Plus notes on the Nationals first-day draftees. Published June 7 2011

  • The evolution of John Lannan

    Much of John Lannan's early starts this season were characterized by one word: battle. Even when Lannan would win or would pitch well enough to win, he'd discuss the constant fight he had on the mound to make pitches when he needed to or to locate what he wanted. But before his start against the San Diego Padres a week-and-a-half ago, Lannan threw nearly 80 sinkers in his bullpen session. He hammered the pitch home knowing that, for him, it's the basis for all of his effectiveness. Published June 7 2011

  • Zimmerman "unlikely" to join Nats on road trip and other pregame notes

    Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made his second consecutive rehab start Monday night, this time suiting up with the Single-A Potomac Nationals and going 2-for-3 with a double. Zimmerman was 2-for-2 with a double, a triple, a walk an RBI and a two runs scored on Sunday afternoon with Single-A Hagerstown, his first rehab appearance as he continues to work his way back from May 3 abdominal surgery. While Zimmerman's return has been projected for June 14 as six weeks from the date of surgery, there was -- and still is -- a chance that Zimmerman could rejoin the Nationals active roster on their current 11-game road trip. Published June 6 2011

  • Nationals select 3B Anthony Rendon with No. 6 overall pick

    After watching coveted pitchers Danny Hultzen and Trevor Bauer get scooped up by teams ahead of them (at No.'s 2 and 3 respectively) and seeing high school center fielder Bubba Starling go to the Royals at No. 5 the Nationals selected Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2011 draft. Published June 6 2011

  • Nix cleans up, Rodriguez catches: today's lineups

    - When Giants catcher Buster Posey went down with a broken leg just about two weeks ago, the first name that came up as a possible replacement in various reports was that of Nationals veteran Ivan Rodriguez. There have been conflicting reports since -- the Giants insist that they haven't inquired about Rodriguez but there have been conversations, they simply haven't generated from the Giants' side. The Nationals have made no secret that they'd be willing to move Rodriguez for the right package but with both he and Wilson Ramos playing well as a pair, an immediate move isn't necessary. At any rate, if the Giants are still interested they'll get a close-up view of Rodriguez tonight as he's hitting seventh and catching starter John Lannan tonight in San Francisco. Published June 6 2011

  • A quick draft note

    In about three hours the Nationals will be moments away from making their first pick of the 2011 MLB Draft. By then it might be a little more obvious than it is now who the team will take to follow up two straight once-in-a-generation talents but right now, things are as murky as ever. Published June 6 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Tim Lincecum

    By the time the first pitch is thrown in tonight's Nationals-Giants game, Washington will already have its newest top prospect in hand, if not officially in the fold, as the MLB Draft gets underway about three hours before the Tim Lincecum will take the mound at AT&T Park. In the sprit of draft day, I thought I'd note that tonight's matchup pits a first-round pick from 2006, 10th overall, against an 11th-rounder from 2005. One of them has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against his opponent and the other's allowed 13 earned runs in five starts against his opponent. If you've been watching the Nationals face Tim Lincecum the past few starts, you're probably not surprised to learn that it's him -- the first rounder -- with the gaudy numbers against the Nationals Published June 6 2011

  • A few notes as the Nationals head to San Fran

    In a grave understatement, Sunday was a busy day for the Nationals. Starting with the major league team's 9-4 crazy extra-innings beanball affair in Arizona and extending all the way back to Hagerstown where Ryan Zimmerman made his first rehab start and Bryce Harper left the game before completing his first at-bat with a profound limp after taking a pitch to the left knee. So, let's get a few things out of the way... Published June 6 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Josh Collmenter and other assorted notes

    There's not much to say about the Nationals track record against today's starter, right-hander Josh Collmenter. Collmenter, the rookie phenom with a 1.49 ERA, has -- by nature of being a rookie -- never faced anyone on the Nationals roster. Published June 3 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: LHP Zach Duke, plus the lineups

    The Nationals head out west for 11 games starting tonight, flying high after a series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. First up is the Arizona Diamondbacks and left-hander Zach Duke. And there's no one happier to see him than Rick Ankiel, who gets the start in center field tonight with Roger Bernadina in left field. Check out Ankiel's career numbers against Duke below which are rivaled only by Jayson Werth's career numbers against him. Published June 2 2011

  • Three Nationals taken in ESPN franchise player draft, none of them Ryan Zimmerman

    It's a question that comes up often among writers, fans and even players: If you were starting a team from scratch, who would you pick as your first player, the franchise player? Well ESPN decided to take the question and put it into draft form, in honor of the first-year player draft coming up on Monday. They gathered 30 ESPN Baseball "experts" and had them "draft" one player they'd start a team with right now. Believe it or not, three Nationals went in the top 30 picks, the most picks of any one team besides Florida, which also had three players taken. Only four other teams, Colorado, Tampa, Seattle and San Francisco, had more than one player chosen. Published June 2 2011

  • Examining Storen's 10th save of the season

    The most intriguing of the three outs Drew Storen got on Wednesday, of course, was the last one: a one-on, two-out strikeout of Placido Polanco, who has hit the Nationals at a .332 clip in his career with more hits against them than against any other team in the National League. Published June 2 2011

  • Another look at Laynce Nix's game-saving catch, what made it so good and how valuable he's been

    From the bullpen, Drew Storen's view of left field was blocked. As Doug Slaten's 1-0 fastball rocketed off the bat of Domonic Brown with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning, Storen could see Laynce Nix sprint to his left but that was it. The ball looked like a sure hit. Even Nationals manager Jim Riggleman said he thought there was "no way" the ball would be caught. It was a standard double in the gap. So, from the bullpen, Storen had no idea immediately if the Nationals 2-1 lead over the Phillies had been preserved. What he could see, though, was right fielder Jayson Werth. Published June 1 2011

  • Riggleman addresses team meeting and small ball reputation

    Before the Nationals' 10-2 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday, Nationals manager Jim Riggleman called a meeting with his team. It was something he does every year at the 1/3 point of the season but the Nationals struggles the past few weeks certainly added to the timing of the address. He also talked about the misnomer that he is a "small-ball" manager. Published June 1 2011

  • Today's lineups

    Here are the lineups for today's series finale with the Phillies -- a series that, if the Nationals win, would be just their third series victory over Philadelphia since 2008. Published June 1 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Roy Oswalt

    John Lannan has never beaten the Phillies. It's a fact he knows, his manager knows and, presumably, the Phillies know. So perhaps in an effort to change up his luck, the lefty's name was spelled wrong on the Nationals' lineup card this afternoon, popping in an E where the final A usually is (Lannen). It was an honest mistake, but a comical slip up. While Lannan will have his hands full with Philadelphia, the Nationals will face Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt for the first time this season. Published June 1 2011

  • A few observations as the Nationals prepare for a chance to win a series against the Phillies...

    The Nationals won Tuesday night -- just their second win on the homestand and third in the last 13 games -- but it puts them in the improbable position of not only winning their third series over the Phillies since 2008 but also to leave Nationals Park with a .500 homestand. Published June 1 2011