Get To Know A Series: Philadelphia Phillies


Washington Nationals (16-12) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (13-13)

2014 Head to Head Record: (0 – 0)
2013 Head to Head Record: 11-8 (Washington)

Friday, May 2, 7:05 p.m.

Stephen Strasburg (4.24 ERA, 2.31 FIP, 14.03) vs. Cliff Lee (3.29 ERA, 2.11 FIP, 8.78 K/9)

Saturday, May 3, 7:05 p.m.

Tanner Roark (2.76 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 7.16 K/9) vs. AJ Burnett (2.15 ERA, 3.58 FIP, 6.69 K/9)

Sunday, May 4, 3:05 p.m.

Gio Gonzalez (3.25 ERA, 2.91 FIP, 9.5 K/9) vs. Cole Hamels (6.75 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 6.75 K/9)

Of the unholy trinity of teams Nats fans might believe are rivals, the Braves and Cardinals came after original sinners: the Phillies. It wasn’t just watching them win a World Series in 2008, or getting back to the World Series in 2009. It wasn’t that they routinely handed it to Washington (which they did. 27-9 over those two seasons). It wasn’t frustrating game after game of not getting hits against the likes of Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee.

It was the phans. It was the legion of Phillies fans that seemed to have come from nowhere and begin to throw everything they could in the face of a struggling and still very small fan base. It was April 5, 2010. The single worst Opening Day of my life. 35,000 Phillies fans in Washington making it impossible to remotely enjoy what is our most sacred of days in the baseball calendar. Beer tossing, finger flipping, loud cursing party busses full of Philadelphians taking every opportunity to pretty much take a dump over the 10,000 of us who bothered to come to the game.

It was the nadir of Natstown, hands down. Kids who get bullied sometimes start walking home a different way from school, and so to did lots of Nats fans start avoiding the Phillies series. It is both a bit of genius, and entirely mortifying, that the Nats PR group had to have a “Take Back our Park” series to convince Nats fans to show up to these games. By the time you are invoking Take Back the Night you know you have a fan problem.
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Review-Preview: Nats Obliterate Marlins, Move on To Cincy to play Reds

Smoooooooth Gio2

This is from @Section138. Please visit Gavin’s blog often and follow him on Twitter. He also has been making cool Nats shirts since before making cool Nats shirts was cool.


There are a million places to go get a recap and preview of every game, but here at Nationals 101 we prefer to take a slightly bigger slice of the pie.  The Review-Preview will take place between series and give a quick recap of the previous series (including anything we think you can learn from the series) and what you can look forward to in the next series coming up.

NOTE:  Due to some awful car trouble that ate up all of Friday, I didn’t finish the Preview part.  Given last night’s debacle it’s probably best to skip this editions “preview” section and just do a review.  Next week we will review the Reds series and Preview the White Sox series.  

REVIEW Miami Marlins Series

Quick Take:  The Nationals came into Opening Day with the reputation as one of the best teams in the league, and the Marlins came into the series as possibly a AAA team playing in the big leagues.  Nothing either team did changed anyone’s mind as to either of those mindsets.

The Nationals swept the Marlins and remain the only unbeaten team in baseball (a dubious distinction, but a distinction none the less) by beating the Marlins 2-0, 3-0, and 6-1.

So What Happened?  Simply put, the Nationals pitching over powered the Marlins in every contest, holding the lowly Fish to just one run over three games.  That’s the first time that’s happened since the late 70’s over an opening series by the way.  How good was the Nationals pitching?  Let’s look at the starters combined and bullpen combined stat lines:

Starters:  3-0, .47 ERA 19IP, 13H, 1R, 1ER, 4BB, 9K

Bullpen: 0.00 ERA, 8IP, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 9K, 2 Saves

The numbers are slightly more impressive for the Gio and Strasburg given that Jordan Zimmermann gave up the sole run and 8 hits.  Only 3 of the hits went for extra bases (2 doubles and a Home Run) and the defense was stellar (committing just one error)  in keeping these guys out of the run column.

The bats started a little quiet over all, but got louder as the series went on.  Scoring the first two games was more about timely hitting-Bryce Harper stole the show in game one with two Home Runs in his first two at bats.  Gio hit a solo homer, followed by two more insurance runs later in the game.  The Nats finally took the top off in game three, gettings 6 runs-scoring two in the first and adding four more between a Werthquake and Harper’s third bomb in three games.

Lost In the Shuffle:

Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa are struggling at the plate right now, but it’s only three games in (and Danny isn’t striking out as much).

The only really feared player for the Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton, was held to 1 for 9 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts.  He also did not put in a very good effort into getting to first base on a play, and just turned around and stomped off to the dugout after his strikeouts.  He’s the lone star on an awful team and rumor is that he’s not happy about the fire sale the Marlins put on this year.  He could be quitting on this team as early as game 3 of the season, which bodes even better for the Nationals

Rafael Soriano is very impressive in person.  His delivery is insanely smooth, he never looked troubled on the mound, and he just threw strike after strike.  Also, for the #haters, Henry Rodriguez found the strike zone no problem in his one outting, and Drew Storen also looked just fine in his first appearance this year.  Indeed, the bullpen could be lights out this year-as predicted by many.

Conclusion:  Exactly what was supposed to happen between these two teams happened. You don’t want to overrate beating up the Marlins, but the point is they did beat up the Marlins.  Houston won this weekend against a much better team, so don’t downplay getting the job done.  Often the Marlins have been awful and played the Nationals tough. This time, the Nats put the foot to the pedal and really didn’t let up.

Get To Know A Nat: Stephen Strasburg

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals

Welcome to “Get To Know a Nat.” There are currently 39 men on the 40 man roster, and we’re going to give you the straight scoop on all of them!  Not sure where to start with player and season previews?  Not ready to jump into heavy metrics?  Just want to get to know the players, what they do, and what to expect from them in 2013?  Then you’ve come to the right place!

Name: Stephen James Strasburg
Nickname(s): Stras, Strasmas, St. Stephen, and a variety of Christological references
DOB: July 20, 1988 (Age 24)
Twitter?: @Stras37
From: San Diego, CA
Position: Starting Pitcher  Rotation: Top Spot
Hand: Righty
With the Nats Since: Drafted in 2009, MLB Debut 2010

The legend of Stephen Strasburg is very hard to separate from the facts of Stephen Strasburg- largely because Stephen Strasburg has lived up to, and exceeded, nearly all of the expectations set out for him. I don’t think I’ve ever personally been around for an athlete who was so heralded and yet delivered so much.  The first time I saw him pitch was a rain-out game in Harrisburg, PA.  We drove an hour and half each way to sit in the rain on a cold spring weekday night (work the next day!) to watch him pitch for, maybe, 25 minutes.  It was worth it.  They talk about someone seeming like a men amongst boys- Strasburg seemed a foot taller than anyone else on the field, his arm the size of three bats.  The pop of the mitt was startling.  “How did that not break the catcher’s wrist?” I thought.

If you weren’t there on June 8, 2010 to watch his MLB debut, I am not sure I can really explain it properly. It’s something like: Thor descending to the mound, and with the power of a thousand thunderstorms, rears back to throw Mjolnir to the utter destruction of the Pirates batters. The promise of 5 years of bad baseball seemed finally delivered in a 100 MPH fastball.

See-it is easy to get carried away.

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