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 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 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.
May 5, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Sports fans love a phenom. They enjoy the buildup and want to see if the player can match the seemingly unbearable hype. That explains so much interest in Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who is now hitting .261 with no home runs, three RBIs and a .378 on-base percentage in barely a week as a big leaguer. Forget the small sample size of statistics. Harper has been in the public consciousness since appearing on the Sports Illustrated cover at the age of 16. Now just 19, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Harper is a player people can't stop watching.
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.
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.
January 26, 2013 |
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Phillies have not won the offseason. They have, in fact, finished third in the National League East, the same position they were stuck in when time expired on the 2012 season. The events that have transpired since the Phillies' final game in Nationals Park in October have been fascinating but not at all fulfilling for fans thirsty for one more championship from an aging core of players. With center field identified as their greatest need before the season ended, the Phillies made an offer for free agent B.J. Upton, but it was reportedly $20 million less than the $75 million over five years he'll be paid to play for the Atlanta Braves.
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 31, 2012
First in a series examining the Phillies' potential offseason moves. A shocked Hunter Pence left the visitors' clubhouse at Nationals Park after being traded from the Phillies to the San Francisco Giants on the final day of July. "I don't think anyone really anticipated the season that has gone on this year," he said during his final interview with the Philadelphia media. "It was just the perfect storm of injuries, and things didn't go right for us. " It all ended up perfect for Pence, who celebrated a World Series title with his Giants teammates Sunday night after they completed a four-game sweep of the Tigers in chilly Detroit.
February 19, 2013 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - It was a bold prediction on the final day of an unpleasant season. "If we're not the top bullpen in Major League Baseball [next season], we'll definitely be the top in the National League," Jonathan Papelbon said after the Phillies finished 2012 with a lackluster loss to Washington at Nationals Park. Nearly 20 weeks later, the Phillies closer was asked to explain his comment before Sunday's wind-chilled workout at the Carpenter Complex. "The only reason I said that is because I see a very eerily similar bullpen to the one I was in during the 2006 season," Papelbon said.