Category Archives: Washington Nationals

Bryce Harper’s 23rd Home Run of 2016 was a line shot

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[Box Score]

The Washington Nationals lost their 55th game yesterday to the Colorado Rockies. But Bryce Harper got one in the bottom ninth off decent lefty Boone Logan. It was the 120th of his young career:

Harper is slowly positioning himself to where a nice September could make this a decent season that doesn’t stand out on the back of his baseball card. It really looks like first three seasons a bit. We wouldn’t bet against him getting the OPS back north of .900 before it’s said and done.

Bryce Harper’s Sunday Home Run in Atlanta may be proof he’s back

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All of Bryce Harper’s home runs go here.

This one leaves the park off some poor schmuck who pitches for the Braves named Joel De La Cruz. It scorched into the seats at 105.4 MPH. This is important because all of the scribing on the internet tells us that Bryce Harper’s improved exit velocity on batted balls lately means he’s healing up.

This should mean huge things for the month of September and of course he’s going to hit like eight home runs in a postseason series, it’s coming. The Nationals however blew this game and lost 7-6 in Hotlanta.

This home run was Harper’s 22nd of 2016 and his 119th of his career.

Coors serves one up to Bryce Harper

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It’s been a long, tough season for Bryce Harper in 2016. There isn’t really time enough for him to completely right this ship, either.

But he showed a little life at Coors over the three game set. In the Nationals’ 12-10 loss to the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon – a getaway day affair for the Nats – Harper hit his 21st home run of the season off Christian Bergman.

If his neck or shoulder or whatever are bothering him, he was right for a swing. This home run was 481 estimated feet.

Of course, this one was over before it really got going, because Stephen Strasburg gave up nine runs in less than two innings.

We still say Harper goes bonkers in a postseason series or something to end up getting everyone talking about his $500 million Yankees contract once again. All will be forgiven, soon enough.

We can’t not post one of Bryce Harper’s longest home runs ever

This one came on July 20th, off Budd Norris and was Bryce Harper’s 20th home run of the 2016 season. It’s a few days late; but we still have every Bryce Harper home run ever hit on this blog.

As the Nationals commentator F.P. Santangelo states, it’s almost to the Navy Yard:

The Nationals beat the Dodgers in this game 8-1.

I also have to post this; as the Nationals were nice enough to send my daughter Harper a jersey in honor of National Bryce Harper jersey day, and put her in their social media video:

Yep. Bryce Harper got a couple more bombs

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Bryce Harper is right on track for another pretty monster power season. Below, you’ll see that he recently launched home runs number 18 and 19 of his 2016 season. Now, each one of these smarts a little bit. I really hate not owning Bryce Harper in fantasy baseball. When he’s on – and it looks like he’s about to get ‘on’ – he’s better than anyone in the game. It’s looking like he’s on track for a monster second half.

These two figured to be absolute gimmes. Lay-ups, if you will.

The first took place in a matinee in D.C., off former decent pitcher Matt Garza. Harper displays some opposite field gap power for number 18:

The second comes off his old friend, Bartolo Colon. When guys throw strikes, Harper makes hay. Bartolo Colon throws a lot of strikes. It also comes against the Mets who Harper just annually murders. Here’s number 19:

So, he’s getting going. I have zero doubts number 20 comes this weekend at Citi Field in New York before the All Star Break which Harper will once again be starting in.

However; if Harper is so concerned with making baseball fun again, why doesn’t he enter the Home Run Derby? It’s kind of a cop out we think. A few less pictures of breakfast and designer clothing and a few more Home Run Derby’s would do just fine!

Bryce Harper wasn’t letting Cincinnati get out of town without tagging them once more

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And on Sunday, Bryce Harper took a piece of the Barback Jon Lamb that he could never have back. This came in a 12-1 Nationals win in which the Nats were just launching; hitting six home runs in all. This was Harper’s 17th of the season – and as we always do – every Harper bomb goes on this blog.

And as they say… the haters can suck on that one.

Why do we feel like he’s going to have a monstrous second half? That’s exactly what’s going to happen here. A second half better than either half he had in his MVP season.

Special thanks to the Bar Back for making this all possible.

Here’s Bryce Harper’s first ever home run in which we owned him nowhere in Fantasy Baseball

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Bryce Harper got former teammate, lefty, and Ohioan Jerry Blevins pretty good the other night in a 5-0 Nationals win in Washington. It was Harper’s 16th home run of the season.

And since we dealt Bryce Harper in a deal for Clayton Kershaw, this is the first time in his young career that we have never owned at least a share of Harper somewhere. Making this one the first in his 113 career home runs that it didn’t just help a little. We’ll probably never own him again either. So yeah, this one smarts a little to type up.

Bryce Harper kills the Mets, too.

Happy Lucas Giolito Day!

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We had to wait to see if this game was going to get underway to get this post up and make it official. Today is Lucas Giolito’s much-anticipated MLB debut. He just struck out his first batter in Major League Baseball. He’s going to be a good one folks.

As always, the scouting report on the newest member of the MLB fraternity:

Scouting: As Jeffrey Paternostro noted in a recent piece, in the four seasons we’ve been posting Eyewitness Reports from the prospect team, exactly five live reports have been filed at an 80 OFP, and all five were on Lucas Giolito. This accurately reflects his upside, and with the midseason recall of a tall righty with a prototypical pitching frame, clean mechanics, and an array of potentially dominant pitches, it’s hard not to be reminded of the arrival of aces like Strasburg and Noah Syndergaard.

Pitching from a high-three-quarters arm slot, Giolito will mix in both a four-seam and two-seam fastball. His velocity has recently sat anywhere from 91 to 97, and he’s topped out as high as 98 to 100 in the past. As impressive as those velocity figures are on their own, the fastball plays better than the raw velocity because of incredible downward plane that’s noted by nearly everyone who has seen him.

When needed, Giolito will cut his four-seamer and run his two-seamer; altogether, the fastball is far from a lifeless pitch showing just one look, which will serve him well at the major league level. His curveball has the single highest ceiling of any pitch thrown by a current pitching prospect—all five of those Eyewitness Reports referenced above graded it as a future 80 pitch, and I concur in that upside judgment. It’s got the potential to be the type of beautiful and dominating out-pitch that gives hitters quite a lot of trouble, but it was less consistent than that in recent viewings by Craig Goldstein and Adam McInturff. The changeup is a work-in-progress, but already flashes as a passable major-league third offering. He’ll need to rely on it more to get major-league hitters out multiple times through the order.

It’s not totally roses, twin pitches potentially peaking at an 80 grade, and comps to aces, though. Giolito’s command has always been a bit worse than you would hope for given his stuff and overall polish. Shaky command is the most common negative on a top pitching prospect and can definitely be overcome—for example, Syndergaard’s command concerns were more significant than Giolito’s, and have completely dissipated in the majors. But if there’s a skill-related factor that limits Giolito from reaching his top-of-the-rotation upside, command is probably going to be it. After reports emerged early this year that Giolito didn’t look right, sitting towards the lower band of his velocity range with diminished effectiveness, ESPN’s Keith Law noted that the Nationals had made some mechanical changes that have since been reversed. Between that and the managerial hire of Dusty Baker, there’s an easy joke to be made about the Nationals screwing up a sure thing—whither Mark Prior—though Baker’s days as an accused young arm shredder are long since in the past.

Since joining the Nationals’ system, Giolito’s workload has been handled with extreme care. He was limited to 98 innings in 2014 between skipped starts, low pitch counts, and a healthy shutdown in August. In 2015, Washington held a healthy Giolito back in extended spring training until May, and while he pitched on a regular schedule with loosened pitch counts, he only totaled 117 innings on the season. The Nationals are strong believers in innings limits, famously shutting a healthy Strasburg down in 2012 on the doorstep of the playoffs. It’s hard to see Giolito going much over 150 innings this year—he’s already thrown 71 in the minors—so even if he performs to his potential immediately, he may end up in the bullpen or inactive later in the season, playoff hunt or not. And despite his prototypical build and delivery, there’s always going to be a durability red flag on a Tommy John survivor who hasn’t approximated a major-league starting workload over the course of a full season yet.

A special thanks to Stephen Strasburg for making this all a possibility with yet another DL stint. Giolito could be up for good, and a lot of fun to watch going forward.

Michael Taylor has the worst game in baseball history

There was a time I thought Michael A. Taylor was such a toolsy player. He reminded me of a Reggie Sanders type player. Michael Taylor is still toolsy. Sometimes, “toolsy” guys go 0 for 5 with a platinum sombrero, and then this happens:

There are a lot of elements in play here. Again, second straight night that the Bums have a wild walk-off win in the magic of Dodger Stadium. What a magical, mystical place in that far off land.

Corey Seager homered earlier in the game. And of course, Yasiel Puig is back kicking out stable car windows like the Puig of old; the crazy sumbitch. He’s just the type of player who ends a game with a Little League home run of sorts.

Dodgers win 4-3. These really are the types of things that happen to Dusty Baker teams over and over again.

Bryce Harper hits home run 15 at Dodger Stadium

Here’s Dodger Stadium in all it’s glory. This is a series I really wanted to try to be at for my first trip to LA; but my wife shot that down because we move into a new home next week and we’re having our second child in about two months. Timing just isn’t good. Oh well.

So, I watched a lot of this one on television. No Vin Scully for the viewers, Scully wasn’t feeling well so Charlie Steiner and Orel Hersheiser took the reigns for a game.

In the first inning, Bryce Harper hits a rapier laser the other way to left field off Scott Kazmir. This would give the Nationals a 1-0 lead which eventually grew to 2-0. I was actually tired and went to bed.

But when you go to sleep on Dodger Stadium, you chance missing the magic.

Yasmany Grandal who is still probably hitting .181 hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the 8th inning off Tanner Roark, and that would be the last say the Nationals would have in it. Dodgers win 3-2 in a game in which Bryce Harper hits his 15th home run of the 2016 season and the 112th of his career.

It had been too long since a Bryce Harper home run

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It’s been a rough past 45 days for Bryce Harper. But, whatever. We’re only trying to live in the present. In the Nationals 8-5 win over the Padres on Thursday night, Harper started the weekend off a little early with his 14th bomb of the season off off-brand Erik Johnson.

For a pitcher’s park, Harper doesn’t mind going yard at Petco which isn’t far from his birthplace. He likes hitting out west! It was his fourth career home run at Petco.

Harper now has 111 career home runs. Let’s hope this is the start of something big. Baseball is better when he’s hot.

It’s hard to believe the Nationals tallied three home runs and 13 total runs were scored in this game. That’s not very Petco at all.

Bryce Harper takes Adam Wainwright yard

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Usually when Bryce Harper homers, the Nationals win. Except they did not win this game on Saturday night, with the Cardinals getting the best of them by a score of 9-4 to the St. Louis Cardinals.

On Adam Wainwright’s 77th pitch of the night, Bryce Harper clubbed a towering home run off that lawn in center in Washington for his 13th home run of the season. It just looked like your casual 90 MPH fastball close to down the heart of the plate:

Now the victory for the Nationals is that teams are slowly forgetting to pitch around Bryce Harper. He wasn’t walked last night, and wasn’t walked today. And what is going to follow is he’s going to go on another tear; and teams will start walking him like it’s going out of style again. This will probably happen his entire career in these patterns.

That, or the Cardinals are just going to subscribe to doing things differently then every other team in Major League Baseball.

Bryce Harper unleashes a month’s frustration on a Mike Leake pitch

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May of 2016 is just a month that Bryce Harper won’t miss. It’s the month he’s been pitched around more than any month in his career, and it’s taken him from being white hot to actually struggling.

When he collected with this Mike Leake pitch on Thursday night, it was as if the baseball was screaming and angry flying all the way to the facing of the upper deck at Nationals Park. And it’s always fun to see Mike Leake get knocked around like this:

It was Harper’s 12th home run of the season, and it helped the Nationals secure a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Harper will get hot again, and when he does there will be Hell to pay for opposing pitching. It will happen, because the best always adjust.

Bryce Harper grabs a Friday night Barraclough

Bryce Harper had not homered in about ten days. Teams are going through this little fad of pitching around him, because his only protection in the lineup serves to be Daniel Murphy. With all due respect to Murphy, when that is the case; you’re going to see some stretches like this.

But the Marlins seem stubborn about going into the belly of the beast. When Harper gets this outside pitch and yanks it into the seats in right field, it’s his 11th home run of the season. Barraclough is completely destroyed when he realized what he’s done.

The Nationals won this game 5-3 with this home run being the only difference. He is the ultimate weapon in a baseball game.