Player News - Nationals

Date: Team: Pos:

Max Scherzer took the loss in relief against the Cubs after giving up four runs -- two earned -- in the fifth inning Thursday.

Scherzer retired Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo to begin the inning. Things got very, very weird after that. The rundown: an infield single, a bloop single, a double past a slow-to-react Anthony Rendon at third, an intentional walk to the ice-cold Jason Heyward, a strikeout/passed ball that should have been dead because Javier Baez's followthrough hit Matt Wieters as the ball was going to the backstop, catcher interference and a HBP. According to MLB rules, the inning should have been over when Wieters was hit, meaning only two runs would have scored, rather than four.
Oct 13 - 12:57 AM

Michael Taylor had a three-run homer and an RBI single against the Cubs in Thursday's Game 5.

Taylor capped his breakthrough season with eight RBI in the last two games against the Cubs. That should help his case to go into next year as one of the Nationals' starting outfielders. He's deserving after the strong season, but the team will have Adam Eaton coming back and some money to spend with Jayson Werth's deal up.
Oct 13 - 12:51 AM

Jayson Werth is again batting second in Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday night versus the Cubs.

Werth is 1-for-14 (.071) in this best-of-five series and has failed in some really big spots, but Nationals manager Dusty Baker will stick with the veteran in the No. 2 hole against all reason. Here is the full lineup for Washington versus Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks: Trea Turner SS, Jayson Werth LF, Bryce Harper RF, Ryan Zimmerman 1B, Daniel Murphy 2B, Anthony Rendon 3B, Matt Wieters C, Michael Taylor CF, Gio Gonzalez SP.
Oct 12 - 3:39 PM

Gio Gonzalez will start for the Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday night against the Cubs.

Tanner Roark was the other option for Washington after Stephen Strasburg pitched in Roark's place in Game 4 on Wednesday following Tuesday's rainout. Gonzalez allowed three earned runs over five innings in Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday, but the 32-year-old left-hander had a terrific regular season and seems like the best choice here for manager Dusty Baker. Max Scherzer will be available for an inning or two of relief in Game 5. Roark will obviously be available out of the bullpen as well. It's all hands on deck, outside of Strasburg, for the right to face the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Kyle Hendricks is starting NLDS Game 5 for the visiting Cubs.
Oct 12 - 2:28 PM

Sean Doolittle pitched a clean ninth inning with a strikeout to finish Wednesday's NLDS Game 4 victory over the Cubs.

It wasn't a save situation, but the Nationals have to be happy with how Doolittle has looked in his two performances in the postseason. He ended Game 4 with a strikeout of Addison Russell to secure the must-win for Washington. Doolittle will hope to get another chance on Thursday in Game 5 for the Nats.
Oct 11 - 8:30 PM

Trea Turner went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run scored Wednesday in the Nationals' NLDS Game 4 victory over the Cubs.

Turner came into the evening 0-for-12 in the postseason and he hadn't even reached base, so the Nats have to be thrilled that he got off the snide with a decisive Game 5 looming. The talented shortstop will hit at the top of the Washington lineup again on Thursday.
Oct 11 - 8:23 PM

Michael Taylor hit a grand slam in the top of the eighth inning to help give the Nationals a 5-0 victory on Wednesday in Game 4 of the NLDS over the Cubs.

On a night where terrible weather met up with quality pitching, it was difficult for anyone on either the Nationals or Cubs to drive anything. That was until Taylor smashed a fastball into right-center field off Wade Davis to bump Washington's lead from 1-0 to 5-0. It was a bit of a surprise to see Taylor become the offensive hero in such a big spot, but he did hit 19 homers with an .806 OPS during the regular season after taking over center-field duties for the injured Adam Eaton. Taylor will look to add more heroics in Game 5 on Thursday.
Oct 11 - 8:14 PM

Stephen Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts in a 5-0 victory over the Cubs in Game 4 of the NLDS on Wednesday.

If Strasburg was still feeling ill, there was no sign of it. The only sickness on Wednesday was his filthy stuff. He commanded everything in his arsenal and any time he got two strikes on the Cubs' hitters -- which was often -- he threw his changeup to both sides of the plate, giving Chicago no chance of making contact with the 80-grade offering. This is one of the most impressive performances we've seen in the year 2017. If the Nationals are able to win Game 5 on Thursday they'll likely start Strasburg in Game 3 of the NLCS, though they could go to him in Game 2 on short rest.
Oct 11 - 8:10 PM

Nationals prospect Daniel Johnson went 2-for-4 with a triple for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League on Wednesday.

He also scored two runs. A 2016 fifth-round selection, Johnson has elite speed, and he made big progress with the bat in 2017. The power tool could be average -- possibly even slightly above -- and he should make enough solid contact for the hit tool to be close to that level. Even if the latter ends up below-average, his ability to hit 20 homers and steal 30-plus bases makes him an extremely underrated fantasy baseball prospect.
Oct 11 - 6:42 PM

Nationals manager Dusty Baker hinted Wednesday that Tanner Roark could start a potential NLDS Game 5 against the Cubs.

It all depends on what pitchers are needed Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Roark was originally scheduled to start Game 4 of the NLDS for the Nationals, but Tuesday's rainout allowed the club to pivot to Stephen Strasburg. Baker said he would like to avoid using Roark on Wednesday, setting him up to start a loser-goes-home tilt on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Max Scherzer is available in relief in Game 4, but if he doesn't make an appearance on Wednesday we will definitely see him at some point in Game 5. Gio Gonzalez is also an option to start Thursday.
Oct 11 - 2:17 PM

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo confirmed Wednesday that Max Scherzer will be available out of the bullpen in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Cubs.

Rizzo said it's "all hands on deck" with the Nationals facing elimination in this best-of-five series. Scherzer was going to be available for an inning of relief Tuesday before that game got rained out, so he might be able to go two or three innings on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Stephen Strasburg (flu) is starting in place of Tanner Roark, who will also be ready in the bullpen.
Oct 11 - 1:57 PM

Jayson Werth remains in the No. 2 spot in the Nationals' lineup for Game 4 of the NLDS on Wednesday against the Cubs.

It's the same lineup Nationals manager Dusty Baker drew up for Tuesday's rainout, expect that Stephen Strasburg (flu) is now taking the mound instead of Tanner Roark: Trea Turner SS, Jayson Werth LF, Bryce Harper RF, Ryan Zimmerman 1B, Daniel Murphy 2B, Anthony Rendon 3B, Matt Wieters C, Michael Taylor CF, Stephen Strasburg SP.
Oct 11 - 1:11 PM

Tanner Roark will work out of the bullpen in Game 4 of the NLDS on Wednesday versus the Cubs.

Roark had been in line to start this game, but Tuesday's rainout allowed the Nationals to pivot to Stephen Strasburg, whose flu-like symptoms have apparently cleared up. Max Scherzer is also thought to be available in relief for Washington on Wednesday.
Oct 11 - 12:52 PM

Stephen Strasburg is officially listed as the Nationals' starter for Game 4 of the NLDS on Wednesday against the Cubs.

Strasburg has been dealing with flu-like symptoms for much of this week, but he threw an abbreviated bullpen session on Monday and went through a light workout on Tuesday. Tanner Roark, the Nats' originally-scheduled Game 4 starter, will be available out of the bullpen in this potentially-decisive tilt at Wrigley Field. Chicago leads the best-of-five series 2-1.
Oct 11 - 12:48 PM

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Stephen Strasburg (flu) is now "expected" to start for the Nationals in Game 4 of the NLDS on Wednesday against the Cubs.

Nationals manager Dusty Baker told the media after Tuesday's rainout that Tanner Roark was going to stay on schedule for the postponed Game 4 because Strasburg was feeling "under the weather," but the 29-year-old right-hander has apparently made a quick recovery and is prepared to take the hill for this potentially-decisive National League Division Series tilt at Wrigley Field. Strasburg is on normal rest and he threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Monday. Giddy up.
Oct 11 - 11:35 AM


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