The Daily Feed

Nats Squeak Past San Diego with a 5-4 Win

courtesy of MudflapDC

The Washington Nationals squeaked past the San Diego Padres with a 5-4 win on Saturday evening. Their line-up continued to work with the changes made this week but it took them a bit longer to tally up their run count when compared to the past few days.

Outfielder Bryce Harper finally snapped his 0-for-19 hitless streak and had three RBIs in the game. Harper’s first RBI came in the third inning when he was walked by former Nat and San Diego starting pitcher Jason Marquis allowing catcher Kurt Suzuki to score making it a 1-0 ballgame.

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Fun & Games, Sports Fix

Nats Back Below .500 as Bucs Blast Marquis

‘Clippard Pitches’
courtesy of ‘MudflapDC’

If, as the old baseball truism goes, the baseball gods have given the Washington Nationals 54 wins, 54 losses, and 54 toss-ups, than Sunday afternoon’s 10-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates unquestionably falls into the second category. Jason Marquis faced just 13 batters and recorded only four outs. Hundreds of fans were still milling around in the centerfield plaza, trying to decide whether to find their seats or find a hot dog, when Neil Walker scampered home on Lyle Overbay’s RBI double to give the Pirates an 8-0 lead and cap off a five-run top of the second inning that, for all intents and purposes, ended the competitive portion of the afternoon’s entertainment.

“I left too many balls in the zone,” a grim-faced Marquis said after the game. “There wasn’t enough late action on my balls.” To his credit, Marquis didn’t make excuses, nor did he hide behind the double play that probably should have been recorded by the very second batter of the game. After allowing Alex Presley to lead off the game with a sliced single to left field, Marquis induced Chase d’Arnaud to tap a ground ball back to the mound. Trying to start the pitcher’s best friend, Marquis rushed his throw and put it at second baseman Danny Espinosa’s feet. It was a difficult play to be sure, but one that Espinosa could have (if not should have) made. Instead, the throw skipped into center field and Presley picked himself up and went to third, later scoring on an RBI single by Nate McCutchen. Walker and Overbay followed with RBI base hits of their own, and the Pirates led 3-0 after half an inning.

“It didn’t have any effect [on me],” Marquis said when asked afterwards about the botched play. “They’ve been doing a good job defensively, they’ve spent the whole year battling, and are trying to make plays.”

“Things like that shouldn’t be able to affect you,” Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. “He just didn’t have it today.” Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Marquis Shuts-out the World Champions

Photo courtesy of
‘Nat’s-Phillies Marquis’ Premiere’
courtesy of ‘Tony DeFilippo’

It’s safe to say that any team facing Tim Lincecum and the world champion San Francisco Giants this season needs to take care when playing against such a strong competitor. But, for whatever reason, when the Washington Nationals face Lincecum … well, that’s a horse of a different color.

Lincecum made his fifth career start against the Nationals Friday night. The last time he faced Jim Riggleman’s lineup in 2010, he took a loss after allowing six runs in just 4.2 innings at AT&T Park.

Instead of Lincecum and the Giants pouncing all over the Nationals, Washington right-handed starter Jason Marquis was the better man on the mound. Continue reading

News, Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nats drop embarrassing game to Diamondbacks, 8-2

Manager Jim Riggleman takes the ball from Jason Marquis
Photo by Anthony Amobi / Nats Daily News

The Nats have a hard choice right now.  Jason Marquis’ last two starts are little better than his April ones.  Tonight he pitched just 4 innings, but gave up 5 runs on 7 hits, walking 2 more.  Asked after the game tonight, manager Jim Riggleman said, “his sinker just wasn’t down.”  It showed.  Miguel Montero blasted him for a 2-run homer in the 2nd, and Gerardo Parra added a solo shot later in the inning.  That would be all the Diamondbacks would need, but they kept up the offense just to stay engaged.  Kelly Johnson added a homer in the third, and Montero slapped a second bomb in the fifth.  Riggleman wasn’t comfortable talking about Marquis’ fate tonight, but one has to think the Nats have to be thinking about what possible utility he has at this point.  There aren’t a lot of options for them down in Syracuse, and Jordan Zimmermann isn’t quite ready yet, nor are Yunesky Maya or Chien Ming Wang.

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The Daily Feed

Positive Attitude Makes Marquis A Leader

Photo courtesy of
‘Jason Marquis’
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

Baseball – like any sport – is a mental game. Attitude is everything. Jason Marquis is a firm believer of that fact.

He is the projected starter for Opening Day, bringing 231 starts over 10 major league seasons, and his head is in it to win it.

“I feel like you play 162 games, to win 162 games,” Marquis told Florida Today. “You don’t put expectations like, ‘Oh, I hope we get to .500 this year.’ I hope we win 162 games.

“Now, obviously has it ever been done? No. But that’s the mentality you should take. Treat each and every day as an individual, treat each game as its own and try to win one game at a time, get an out at a time, make plays and execute, and I think it will lead to a good season.”

Marquis’ guidance and leadership as a veteran could prove to be a moral boost for a team that’s trying to carve a new, winning path this season.

Essential DC, Special Events, Sports Fix, The Features

NatsFest 2010: If You Build It, They Will Come


Imagine a quiet Sunday morning. The city is silent from the few inches of snow that stuck to the ground yesterday. Most everyone’s either still asleep or in the comfort of their own homes trying to keep warm. It’s the last day of the first month of 2010. So, you choose to lounge around. Huge mistake. Why? You’re missing out on the most pristine, once in a lifetime moment baseball fans in DC have had since the game’s big move back to town.

NatsFest 2010 was — in a word — awesome. Although it’s easy to doubt their dedication during the season, fans turned out in the hundreds (and early!) for a fun-filled fan fest hosted by their favorite men in red. Nationals fans of all-ages wrapped themselves around the park entrance for close to an hour before the 11 a.m. start time of NatsFest. Their devotion was somewhat shocking considering their team’s losing for the past five years, but let us all  remember that the Nationals are still teenagers by baseball standards. They’re new. They’re in their awkward, “growing-up” phase. Can you really blame them for trying to find out who they are among all of the other big kids playing the game?

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News, The Daily Feed

Merry Christmas From the Nationals

Photo courtesy of
‘Matt Capps’
courtesy of ‘KitAy’

The Nats have had an active off-season that just got more active. This morning at 1am, approximately, they agreed to a 1-year deal with closer Matt Capps with undisclosed terms. Capps is the third pitcher the Nats have signed this week (Eddie Guardado and Jason Marquis being the others) and will take over the closer duties for the team in 2010. The Nats have been uncharacteristically active this off-season, and appear to be making a run at .500 baseball for 2010.