May 22, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - One of baseball's newer rivalries resumes when the Washington Nationals begin a three-game series with the Phillies on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. Of course, when these teams last met earlier this month, much that makes a rivalry compelling was in place - including bad blood. This will be their first meeting since the Phillies' 9-3 nationally televised Sunday night win May 6 in Washington. That's when Cole Hamels plunked Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and later admitted that it was his way of welcoming the rookie phenom to the major leagues.
May 28, 2012 |
It was our much-anticipated quarterly lunch with Tim Kurkjian, baseball analyst extraordinaire, at which George Will and I bathe in a constant flow of obscure statistics, Kurkjian oddities, and ribald anecdotes — like the one about the Red Sox beat writer who accidentally walked in on a players' prayer meeting and was greeted by the burly rightfielder, newly born-again and not yet practiced in the language of Christian fellowship, bellowing "Hey!...
October 13, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Doesn't matter how bad things look for the St. Louis Cardinals. Trailing by a bunch, down to their last strike, they simply stay calm and do what it takes to win. Erasing an early, six-run hole in Game 5, slowly but surely, the defending World Series champion Cardinals got a tying two-out, two-run single from Daniel Descalso and a go-ahead, two-run single from Pete Kozma in the ninth inning and came all the way back to beat the Washington...
October 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Stephen Strasburg joined his teammates for an off-day workout at Nationals Park on Tuesday, red socks pulled nearly up to his knees while tossing baseballs in the outfield a day before the first postseason game in the nation's capital in 79 years. That's about the extent of activity these days for Strasburg as the Washington Nationals carry on without their acknowledged ace, shut down a month ago. The NL East champions' opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals, are very much counting on their returning ace, Chris Carpenter, who has pitched only 17 innings all year.
May 18, 2009
WASHINGTON - Normally, it was a comment that would have been followed by a yawn. Normally, a manager saying he wants to field the team that gives him the best chance to win would hardly rate a second thought. Well, duh. Except that sometimes, in the proper context, the most mundane and milquetoast remark can take on a deeper meaning. Like late yesterday afternoon, in the visiting manager's office at Nationals Park, for example. The Phillies had just beaten the staggering Nationals, 8-6, to complete a four-game sweep.
August 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - An announced crowd of 32,355 showed up to Nationals Park yesterday for the finale of a series featuring two teams that were heated rivals contending for division supremacy just 15 months earlier. The Phillies and Nationals are not contending teams in 2013. Both entered the season's final 7 weeks with losing records. But in rolling to a relatively easy three-game sweep of their NL East foes to the north, Washington continued to look like a team with a promising future while the Phillies looked like a dead team walking.
August 24, 2011 |
SEAN BURROUGHS hit a two-run home run and Ian Kennedy pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks to a 2-0 win over the Washington Nationals last night, in a game that started 21 minutes late because of the East Coast earthquake. Kennedy (16-4) allowed six hits, struck out eight batters, and also had a single and a double at the plate. It was his eighth win in his last nine starts and ended a six-game Arizona losing streak. J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 31st save.
May 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - This was desperately billed as a rivalry in the nation's capital. Signage around Nationals Park was changed to read "Natitude Park" as part of a marketing campaign designed to attract more home than visiting fans to see baseball. It was a success; Nationals fans filled the place to watch their first-place team. They stood and cheered in the 11th inning as Wilson Ramos spread his arms, carrying a 4.5-game lead over the Phillies into the night. It ended as a 4-3 Nationals victory while the message "OUR PARK" was flashed on the scoreboard.
May 23, 2012 |
The Washington Nationals' front office worked hard this offseason to lather up a real hatred for the Phillies with a D.C. campaign that reached its zenith earlier this month when the teams met in the "Take Back the Park" series. You could feel the buzz in Nationals Park during that three-game series and a real animosity between the teams emerged in the aftermath when Cole Hamels shockingly admitted he hit 19-year-old rookie Bryce Harper on purpose in the Sunday night nationally televised series finale.
September 27, 2012 |
FOUR-AND-A-HALF months ago, the five-time reigning National League East champion Phillies rolled into Nationals Park with a .500 record and a chance to make some noise against a Washington team that was tied for the best record in the league. But the young-and-upcoming Nationals dominated and the only thing that prevented them from sweeping the Phils was Cole Hamels' performance before a national audience in the infamous game he threw at Nats hotshot rookie Bryce Harper. The early-season series was a symbolic changing of the guard within the division between the team that owned it for a half-decade and a team that used to regularly reside in the basement.