Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

The Best Week in DC Sports just got better

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Harper glare
courtesy of BrianMKA

The Wizards finished their season with six straight wins, D.C. United is 2nd in the Eastern Conference after a hot start, the Redskins have drafted Robert Griffin III to be their next quarterback, the Capitals won a pivotal Game 7 against Boston to advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and lastly, the Nationals have started their season 14-5 and have the best pitching staff in the National League and possibly all of baseball.

Late today, the Nationals announced that Ryan Zimmerman would be joining Brad Lidge, Michael Morse, Drew Storen and Chien-Ming Wang on the DL, and that Bryce Harper would make his major league debut tomorrow night at Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles.  So far, Harper’s not lighting up the AAA league quite as he had with the lower levels of the minor leagues, but it’s hard to deny the talent of the youngest member of the elite athletes club of Washington.

Can Harper make a difference at the Major League level? That depends on the Bryce Harper we get. This is one of those wonderful moments where a team has decided, “Alright, screw it, let’s give the kid a chance.” There’s no guarantee that Harper’s ready, though the expectations for him are nothing short of towering. Will he have a Strasburg moment tomorrow night in Dodger Stadium? Can he bring some offense to left field, where the Nationals have struggled to put anything in the offense column?

DC sports fans have been waiting for answers to these pressing questions since the summer of 2010 when the Nationals took Harper with the top pick of the draft. Will he be the next Ken Griffey Jr., or will he be the next Todd Van Poppel? It all starts tomorrow night at 9:10pm. Don’t miss it.

Sports Fix, The Daily Feed

Nationals drop laugher to Astros, lose 11-4

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Failure
courtesy of BrianMKA

The first-place Washington Nationals stumbled in the first inning on Thursday night, with Edwin Jackson giving up six hits – three of them triples – before the side was retired. The damage was done, and the Nats trailed 5-0 on the back of some shaky routes from their outfielders. A few of those triples might’ve been doubles from a more experienced and fielding-focused outfield, and might have saved a run. 

After the rough first inning, Jackson settled down to his previous self, retiring 12 of 13 in four additional innings, and notching 5 Ks on the night. After 89 pitches, he’d head for the showers just a run behind. The Nationals would score in the 2nd on a pair of singles and a wild pitch, and pick up three runs in the third on Ryan Zimmerman’s towering drive over the visiting bullpen – his first of the season, and a moon shot at 410 feet – but that wouldn’t be enough to stop the Astros.

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Sports Fix

What the Nats need this season

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HR!
courtesy of oddlittlebird.

The Nationals begin their 2012 season today at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the second oldest of all of the parks still in use. They’ll return to their own friendly confines at Nationals Park, the fifth youngest of the parks. As the “newest” of the franchises, they still have much to prove, and their first few years in the District have not been as successful as many would have hoped. The battle for the hearts and mind of the DC area hasn’t been an easy one for the team, having lost many locals due to a bitter stadium fight, and others with a lackluster franchise performance.

In the off-season, the Nationals shored up their pitching, and have assembled one of the finer rotations in the National League.  Over the last three years, they’ve built a fine minor league system, and revamped the attractions at Nationals Park, to include some innovative options. What the Nationals need to develop this year is their fan base. A trip to Verizon Center this past weekend would have revealed what DC’s fans can do when they’re excited and wound up, and everyone who was there said it was the loudest game they’d heard in some time. The question is: can the Nats engender that sort of loyalty in the fan base this season?

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The Daily Feed

Nationals To Host “Expos Day”? It Could Happen…

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‘More than Half-Empty’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

Before Washington got the Nationals, our boys in red were shagging flies and blasting runs as the FIRST Major League Baseball club to play outside of the states. The Montreal Expos, who started as a National League expansion team in 1969, changed their Canadian mailing address and club name on Dec. 3 2004 when they became the Washington Nationals.

Nationals blogger Ed Chiglaik, founder of the Federal Baseball blog, took a minute to remember our team’s heritage today. How’s about a Montreal Expos Day at Nationals Park this summer to commemorate the days of baseball past as we move forward with the 2010 season?  Nationals pitcher Collin Balester says he’s a fan of the idea! Anyone else?

Who knows — it might just give our guys the karma boost they deserve to give their “forefathers” a slight tip of the hat. Anything to notch a few more W’s in that win column, right?

The Daily Feed

Jason Marquis Joins The Nationals

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‘Photo 040′
courtesy of ‘Dinur’

The Nationals got a new addition for the new year today. 31-year-old right-hander Jason Marquis signed a two-year contact today and will join the squad for the 2010 season.

What do Nationals fans have to look forward to with this off-season acquisition? Marquis is coming off of a 15-13, 4.04 ERA season with the Rockies — who he also represented in the 2009 All-Star Game. The guy’s one of only 10 other pitchers in the game today who has notched a double-digit win total since 2004 and is the lone player to have reached the last 10 postseasons (his previous teams include the Braves from 2000-2003, the Cardinals from 2004-2006, the Chicago Cubs from 2007-2008, and most recently the Rockies).

Welcome to the Nat Pack, Jason. We hope to see great things from you!

[And yes ... I realize I just said Nat Pack. We've really gotta get some better team nicknames. There's a good New Year's resolution if you don't have one already.]