The Washington Nationals are being plagued by unbearable heat lately. With temperatures on Saturday expected to soar well above 100 degrees, the 102 that is right now on Thursday afternoon will likely seem downright springlike. But for now, it's pretty darn hot.
Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals for The Washington Times.
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Good morning and Happy Independence Day to all as the Nationals and Giants are preparing for an 11:05 a.m. start time on this Fourth of July. It is believed that this is the first morning game in Nationals' history and with an 85-minute rain delay that pushed last night's game late there were more than a few sleepy faces in the Nationals' clubhouse this morning. (Or was that just the pressbox?)
With both Strasburg and Gonzalez expected to pitch in the All-Star Game, the Nationals are considering putting them at the back of the line in their rotation when they come out of the All-Star break.
When Major League Baseball released the latest tallies Tuesday afternoon, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was in third place in the Final Vote for the All-Star team, trailing St. Louis' David Freese and Atlanta's Chipper Jones. Jones won't have to rely on the fans to get him there any longer. Jones was named to the NL All-Star team Tuesday evening, replacing injured Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. That would appear to clear the way somewhat for Harper to earn the fans' vote to become one of the youngest All-Stars in MLB history. He'd have to leapfrog Freese, of course.
Storen set to begin rehab Thursday, plus other injury updates (UPDATED: Rodriguez activated, Wang to DL)
Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen threw a successful simulated game at Nationals Park on Monday afternoon and he'll begin a rehab assignment on Thursday -- the final step in his return from surgery to remove a bone chip in his right elbow.
This time last year, Tyler Clippard was learning that he was an All-Star for the first time. On Monday, he earned an award of a different kind. After converting all 10 of his save opportunities in June, Clippard was named the Delivery Man of the month by Major League Baseball.
Nationals' rookie outfielder Bryce Harper has been considered a lot of things. And earlier this season, maybe no more than three weeks ago, even he pondered the idea of what it would be like to be considered an All-Star.
Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson strolled around the clubhouse Sunday morning, a smile plastered to his face, handing out good news to three of his best players this season.
Wang, who was moved out of the Nationals' rotation 12 days ago due to ineffectiveness and a delivery flaw that he couldn't seem to get right, has struggled in his two appearances out of the bullpen.
Stephen Strasburg was pulled from his start on Saturday after just three innings due to what the team is calling "heat-related issues."
Updates on right-hander Henry Rodriguez and utility man Chad Tracy.
With Morse continuing to show he's returning to the form that made him one of the biggest home run threats in the majors last year, he'll likely begin hitting cleanup all the time, regardless of the opposing pitcher.
It was a conversation not unlike the many Ian Desmond has with a pitcher throughout the course of a night. He can see the signs, the frustration building. That's his cue to go to the mound, calm his pitcher and remind him that getting out of whatever situation they're in is never as complex as it seems.
The irony of the trot Michael Morse broke into as he rounded first base in the eighth inning Friday night was the conversation he’d had mere minutes before.
Targeting the first game after the All-Star break, the start of a four-game series in Miami on July 13, isn't out of the question and, as Storen put it, "seems logical."