The Daily Feed

Ramos hits a couple dingers but Nats dropped by Mets 6-4

Photo courtesy of
’2ND’
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

There is only so much that Wilson Ramos can do for the Nats. He catches pitches, he does not pitch. He has one bat, not eight. His glove is made for catching fastballs, not tracking down dying quails in the outfield.

Yet, he did what he could on Tuesday night for the Nats in a 6-4 losing effort to the Mets in the first of a three-game set at Nationals Park. He hit two home runs, had an RBI single and fielded his position well when New York went small ball bunting. His 3-4 night raised his average to .378 and the dingers were his first two of the year along with the first multi-home run game of his young career.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Werth gives cold Nats 4-3 win over Brewers in extra innings

Photo courtesy of
’1ST’
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

There was no heat at Nationals Park on Friday night.

Game time temperature was 56 degrees, decreasing with the breeze and as the sun went down. It was colder than the press box at Verizon Center where the Caps were taking on the Rangers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinals playoff series.

There was no heat in the stands, as maybe 15,000 loyal fans were at the park, dutifully cheering on the Nats against the Brewers and rewarded, with a 4-3, 10-inning win. By the end of the game, there were maybe several hundred customers looking for a Nats victory.

Perhaps the rest were busy watching hockey.

And, there was no heat on the mound as neither starting pitcher – Tom Gorzelanny for the Nats, Chris Narveson for the Brewers – came close to hitting 90 miles-per-hour on the radar gun on a consistent basis.

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Thunder and finesse from Ankiel and Nats power past Braves

Photo courtesy of
’7TH’
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

One swing of Rick Ankiel’s bat made John Lannan and the Nationals winners for the first time in 2011 on Saturday as Washington beat the Braves 6-3 in a soggy affair at Nationals Park.

Ankiel took a 91 mile-per-hour four-seam fastball from Braves starter Tommy Hanson to right field above the out-of-town scoreboard in the third inning to give the Nats a 4-1 lead, all they would need to sink Atlanta on another chilly day at the ballpark.

Ankiel also layed down a perfect squeeze bunt in bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded to score third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and make the score 5-2 Nats. Catcher Wilson Ramos (three singles) and right fielder Jayson Werth (two doubles and an infield single) both had three hits to pace the Nats 10-hit performance.

Continue reading

Entertainment, Fun & Games, Night Life, The Daily Feed

“How Do You Know”: The D.C. Premiere


Photo by Rachel Levitin

The first-ever portrayal of a Washington Nationals player on the silver screen opens in theaters this Friday (December 17) in the form of the latest James L. Brooks film “How Do You Know” starring Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson (who plays a relief pitcher), and Jack Nicholson. As a fun, holiday “thank you” to season ticket, premium ticket, and re-newed ticket holders in 2011, the Nationals Dream Foundation — led by Marla Lerner Tanenbaum — hosted a unique holiday season film screening at E Street Cinema Wednesday night.

Nats pitcher Craig Stammen and team manager Jim Riggleman were in attendance and able to catch up for a minute on the red carpet E Street rolled out for the occasion. Fans mingled while cocktails were delivered by an event staff decked-out in the team’s new uniforms. And — most importantly — Batolin creator and player Glenn Donnellon was there to provide a wide-range of musical entertainment featuring hits by The Beatles, Lady Gaga, and more. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Yunesky Maya Makes His Debut

Yunesky Maya / Photo by Cheryl Nichols / Nationals News Network

The Mets must hate Willie Harris. Well, maybe not hate. They just didn’t like him for all of one minute in the sixth inning on Tuesday night when he broke up Dillon Gee’s no-hitter with a lead-off solo shot to the centerfield bleachers.

What was supposed to be a duel between two young pitchers debuting on the same night turned out to be a one-sided show.  Gee, 24, wasn’t a head-turner per se, but the Mets lineup made him look way better than the Nats’ Yunesky Maya for the first two innings.

One day after a 13-3 offensive pounding of New York must have left the Nationals tired. Poor Maya. The sleepy bats in this 4-1 loss couldn’t wake from their sweet slumber. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Riggleman Forces The Fundamentals, Nyjer Morgan Learns How To Slide Feet-First

Photo courtesy of
‘first run’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

Injuries in Major League Baseball are inevitable. This year – the Nationals are trying to limit the amount of times their players take a trip to the disabled list. How? By going over base sliding fundamentals.

“I’ve always slid feet-first,” the 29-year-old Nyjer Morgan told the Associated Press. “But I guess I’m getting a little older and I’m getting a little wiser.”

Getting a little older and a little wiser? A headfirst slide is the sole reason Morgan was left sidelined after fracturing his left hand while sliding into third base last August in Chicago – less than two months after being traded from Pittsburgh to Washington.

Sure, Nyjer – it does look like you’re working harder if you slide head-first into the bases (the Nationals outfielder says he likes to get dirty while playing ball because it looks like “you’ve been playing harder”, no pun intended … please feel free to let your mind wander into gutter territory with that one), but the injuries aren’t worth it if you want to play for a team who has a winning record at the end of the 2010 season.

Riggleman’s also got the entire roster working on the feet-first approach to sliding in order to cut down on hand/finger/wrist related injuries. Good thinking.

ALSO – THIS JUST IN – there’s a new guy in town by the name of Adam Kilgore. He’ll be the voice of WaPo’s Nationals Journal/the new Nationals beat writer this season. Welcome to town, Adam!

Essential DC, Special Events, Sports Fix, The Features

NatsFest 2010: If You Build It, They Will Come

DSC01023

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?

Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Jim Riggleman Takes the Helm

Photo courtesy of
‘Blogger Day’
courtesy of ‘MissChatter’

No longer “interim,” Jim Riggleman officially took his spot at the Nationals Manager yesterday afternoon at Nationals Park. Rigs went 33-42 for the Nationals in his interim role, far better than Manny Acta could muster, and better than the Nats average since they came to DC. While the Nats have a lot of improvements to make, lining up Riggleman for next season was likely one of the more unexpected choices. With Don “Sideburns” Mattingly out there, and Bobby “I’m one craaaaazy mofo” Valentine, I half-expected Stan Kasten and the Lerners to bring in Valentine to throw bats into the showers and call people lollygaggers. I’m thankful they decided to wait a few years before doing that.

The Nationals aren’t in a position to hire an A-grade manager right now. No A-grade manager worth his salt would take this job right now. There’s too much in transition, too much reputation at stake for what would be, at best, two losing seasons followed by a .500 season. Why not let someone of decent talent and demeanor soak up a few of those losses, and manage the talent that’s in the AAA and AA system into the majors? Thus enters the Rigs. Will he be enough to get the Nats back toward .500? Yes, I think so. His choices were far less frustrating than Acta’s, and he actually seemed to have a personal stake in the day to day on-field action, instead of being an impassive sphinx.