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Nationals Watch Archive: May 2011

  • So how much does .500 after Game 36 mean?

    So what does being .500 at this point mean? They're roughly 20 percent of the way through the season and despite starting the road trip by getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies, they're suddenly back on pace to win 81 games this season. Published May 12 2011

  • Notes and quotes from the Nationals clubhouse

    The Nationals won their 18th game of the season Wednesday night. They needed 20 members of their 25-man roster to do it, it took them 11 innings, and it required a ninth-inning comeback. But when it was official, it sealed their second straight series victory over a divisional opponent and brought them back to .500 for the sixth time this season. Published May 12 2011

  • Talking about Storen and the Nationals' upcoming decisions in the outfield

    Nationals manager Jim Riggleman talks about the moving parts in his outfield, which could mean less playing time for Michael Morse and more for Roger Bernadina and Laynce Nix, along with a note about Drew Storen. Published May 11 2011

  • Nix gets eighth straight start: today's lineups

    After crushing a three-run home run into right field Tuesday night, Laynce Nix found himself back in the Nationals lineup for an eighth straight game Wednesday afternoon, the 14th start of the season for the left-hander who signed a minor league deal with the team this offseason and made the club out of spring training as a fourth outfielder. Published May 11 2011

  • The Nationals vs. today's starter: RHP Tommy Hanson

    The Nationals were able to beat Tim Hudson Tuesday night. That alone should give them confidence that they can do the same to Tommy Hanson this evening in an attempt to win a pivotal division series with the Braves. Here's how they've done in the past against him. Published May 11 2011

  • Learning on the job, Storen continues to progress

    Technically, Drew Storen has never been named the Nationals closer. He's never been given the official title, but his last eight appearances have comes exclusively in the ninth inning and he's the clear choice for Nationals manager Jim Riggleman when the game is on the line. Riggleman has said several times that the role of closer is one the Nationals would love for Storen to have, but don't want to put too much pressure on the 23-year-old's shoulder. Regardless, Storen's been given the opportunity to seize the role and he's thriving, with a 17-inning scoreless streak to prove it and a miniscule 0.46 ERA. But he's also learning the adjustments he needs to make mentally to continue that progress. Published May 11 2011

  • Jason Marquis enjoys career victory No. 100

    In a career that has taken Jason Marquis from his home in Staten Island, N.Y. to careers with five different teams in five different states and three different time zones, it was fitting that when he tallied career victory No. 100, he got it on the same mound he achieved No. 1 on nearly 11 years ago. Published May 11 2011

  • No timetable for right-hander Gaudin

    Nationals right-hander Chad Gaudin is eligible to come off the disabled list today, but there is still no timetable for when that will actually happen as he continues to rehab his sore shoulder and will need a rehab assignment before activating him is considered. Published May 10 2011

  • Ability at leadoff could keep Bernadina with Nationals

    The Nationals have already used four different players at the leadoff spot this season but the one slotted in there on Tuesday afternoon for the third straight game, center fielder Roger Bernadina, may be keeping himself on the team even after injured center fielder Rick Ankiel comes off the disabled list if he continues to fill that role well. Published May 10 2011

  • Nix in left again, Morse sits: today's lineups

    The Nationals will open a three-game series tonight in Atlanta with a pretty standard lineup against the Braves and right-hander Tim Hudson. The only notable aspect is that Michael Morse, who was nursing a sore right knee for the past week and is also right-handed, will sit in favor of left-handed Laynce Nix in left field. Published May 10 2011

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

    After striking out 61 times in their last five games, the last thing the Nationals probably want to see is Tim Hudson, who is 11-2 with a 1.88 ERA against the Nationals in his career. Here's how they've done in the past against him. Published May 10 2011

  • A good time to go see Hagerstown

    As the Nationals continue their 10-day, nine-game road trip through Philadelphia, Florida and Atlanta but until the team returns on Friday, Nationals and Orioles fans can get their baseball fix with a trip to Hagerstown. Published May 10 2011

  • A few more tidbits on Ian Desmond

    With no game, I wrote a story for Tuesday's paper about shortstop Ian Desmond and his season -- and life -- to this point in 2011. But, as is usually the case, there were a lot of interesting tidbits that couldn't fit into the newspaper story so, without further ado, here are some of Desmond's thoughts on various topics, as well as what other people had to say about the Nationals shortstop as he embarks on this sophomore year in the major leagues. Published May 9 2011

  • For Henry Rodriguez, wildness comes with heat

    For Nationals reliever Henry Rodriguez, the fact that he can hit 100-plus on the radar gun is both a blessing and a curse. It got him to the major leagues at age 22 with the Oakland Athletics and it made the Nationals think highly enough of him that they were willing to trade Josh Willingham for him (and outfielder Corey Brown) this offseason. But harnessing that heat is going to be a constant battle for Rodriguez and he was on the losing end of that fight Sunday afternoon when he pitched the bottom of the eighth inning in the Nationals 8-0 loss to the Marlins. Published May 8 2011

  • Nationals trade for minor league OF Gregor Blanco

    The Nationals acquired minor league outfielder Gregor Blanco from the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, sending a player to be named back to the Royals and increasing their outfield depth. Published May 8 2011

  • The time was right for Werth to sit, the improbability of a potential Nationals sweep and other pregame notes

    With a team off day on Monday and an opposing pitcher who has just dominated Jayson Werth in his career, the time was right for the Nationals to rest their right fielder Sunday afternoon. Published May 8 2011

  • Werth gets day off, Morse returns: today's lineups and how they've done vs. RHP Anibal Sanchez

    Jayson Werth's getting his second day off of the season as the Nationals look for the sweep over the Marlins this Mother's Day afternoon. Published May 8 2011

  • About Saturday night's sixth inning...

    The sixth inning of Saturday night's 5-2 Nationals victory over the Marlins may well have been one of the best defensive innings Washington has played all season, though, it should be known that I'm basing my qualifications for that designation solely on the fact that, in a one-run game, there were not one but two spectacular plays made in the span of four batters. Published May 8 2011

  • Bernadina's happy to be here and should get consistent playing time

    Roger Bernadina is a member of the Nationals major league team for at least another 11 games -- and he's going to get every opportunity to play in as many of those 11 games as possible. Published May 7 2011

  • Bernadina officially recalled, plus today's lineups

    The Nationals officially added Roger Bernadina to the 25-man roster this afternoon, calling him back up from Triple-A Syracuse to take the place of injured center fielder Rick Ankiel, who went on the disabled list Friday night with a right wrist sprain, retroactive to May 3. Bernadina was in the lineup in center field and leading off. Published May 7 2011