Bob Carpenter Won A Sportscaster Of The Year Award

I guess Larry Michael was not available.

Update: Loverro wrote about this awards thing for the Washington Times, which, from a user experience standpoint, must be the worst news site I’ve ever visited.

15 Surprising Nats Stats From The First Third Of The 2015 Season

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1. Bryce Harper’s OPS+ is 216, the highest since Barry Bonds broke baseball in 2004. This is what happens when you go on the hottest 50-plate appearance streak in MLB history.

2. After posting a .200/.255/.326 slash line in 2013-14, Danny Espinosa is the Nats’ second-best hitter this year. His 2015 slash line is .257/.360/.459, all career highs.

3. Max Scherzer is leading MLB in FIP, which is what you want out of your $210 million pitcher. Cherish the thought of him and Jordan Zimmermann taking the ball in Games 1 and 2 (and 5 and 6).

4. Speaking of, ZNN is averaging a personal-worst 5.9 K/9IP, 21 percent below his career average.

5. Gio Gonzalez’s FIP (3.05) is fine. It’s his ERA (4.57) and WHIP (1.51) that are unseemly, but that fielding-independent number is in line with his three-year average since arriving in D.C. (3.09).

6. Stephen Strasburg’s batting average against is .325. (Bryce Harper is batting .326.)

7. Ian Desmond’s on-base percentage is .286. That’s 32 points below his career average. In a contract year, no less.

8. Ryan Zimmerman is on pace for 97 RBI, his most since 2009, despite a .622 OPS, his worst ever. This is what happens when you bat behind Harper and Yunel Escobar.

9. Speaking of, Escober is batting .325. That’s after batting .256 in 1,542 at-bats the past three seasons. An 89-point BABIP increase will do that for you.

10. Wilson Ramos has played in 79 percent of the games. I probably just jinxed the Buffalo.

11. Denard Span has five home runs, his highest total since ’09. He also has only three steals, 28 less than last season.

12. Blake Treinen and Aaron Barrett’s combined ERA is 4.53. They are the two primary right-handed setup men. I miss Tyler Clippard and even Rafael Soriano.

13. Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon have 116 at-bats between them. The former is out until August, the latter came back last week.

14. Matt Williams has lost nine of 12 challenges. Nats opponents are 12 for 12 (via D.C. Sports Bog).

15. If the regular season ended today, the Nats’ season would be over. (They’re second place in the NL East, half a game back, and fourth in the Wild Card, 1.5 back.)

Your Big 2014-15 Wizards Recap: They Came, They Saw, They Were Okay

Here with your semi-regular look at the Wiz is Mr. Irrelevant contributing writer Bryan Frantz.

Context is a funny thing.

Context is what enables you to say the Wizards were better this season than last, despite that they were eliminated from the playoffs in the same game (Game 6) of the same round (Eastern Conference Semifinals) by the same seed (No.1) on the same day (May 15), and you wouldn’t be wrong.

After all, they won two more games in the regular season than they did a year ago. This year’s 46-36 record constituted the franchise’s best winning percentage since the 1978-79 season, and it was the ninth-best percentage in franchise history.

Then again, it was also only one more win than the 2004-05 Wiz squad that featured a typical starting lineup of Gilbert Arenas, Larry Hughes, Jared Jeffries, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood. Kwame Brown was on that team.

And 46 wins would have been just enough to sneak them into the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs this season, where they would have faced the top overall seed Golden State Warriors. Yes, the same Warriors who came within a Kevin Seraphin baby hook of holding the Wizards without a field goal for an entire quarter late in the regular season.

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Caps On A Plane! A Running Diary Of Caps-Rangers Game 3

Here with a retro live blog of Game 3, written from a cross-country flight, is Mr. Irrelevant Capitals correspondent Brad Parker (@stopthehats).

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6:47 — $8 for DirecTV on the flight including NBCSN. Card swiped.

7:00 — Is that a set without a Milbury? Things are looking up already.

7:24 — BTW, on the plane you can’t page through the guide on DirecTV, it’s one channel at a time so I’ll be hitting the back button just flipping between the game and the Impractical Jokers mini-marathon on Tru TV which somehow exists between NCAA tournaments.

7:26 — Joe’s punishment on Impractical Jokers is to walk his dog on Wall St. in silly costumes. Let’s drop the damn puck.

7:30 — John Forsland behind the mic. I guess I will be able to nap on this flight.

7:34 — Just to be clear, you can get satellite TV on a plane, but I have to put my phone on airplane mode? How will the twittersphere survive a Caps playoff game without my snark? What if there’s a hat trick? Will people throw hats willy nilly without a reminder of Sidney’s refined rules of Stanley Cup etiquette?

7:39 — I’m at 38k feet and hearing @wesjohnsonvoice, Caleb Green and Bob MacDonald. What an age in which we live!

7:42 — Dammit! The volume on this thing doesn’t have numbers. How am I supposed to set it to 19?

7:43 — I feel like we didn’t complain about the disparity in PPs enough between games and we’re already paying for it. Could have gotten a call in the first minute.

7:44 — Does Pierre really think his name is Brooks Orpeck?

7:46 — They’ve gone to Pierre about 4 times in the first 3 minutes. Each time he has talked about the Rangers exclusively. I’ve been wondering if the NBCSN coverage really is biased or if it’s just our perception. So tonight I’ll track which team Pierre talks about first each time they go to him.

7:50 — This looks a whole lot like Game 1 vs. the Islanders.

7:51 — 4 more Pierre breaks, 4 more about the Rangers.

7:56 — Chimmer being Chimmer.

7:57 — After 12 times taking about the Rags, Pierre says Washington hasn’t gotten enough credit all year. Ironic.

7:58 — PP for the Caps.

8:00 — Ovi from the Ovi spot and Pierre says Henrik studies film and knew the one-timer was coming: “His brain is like a supercomputer.” No one else in North America could have seen that coming.

8:01 — PP opportunity missed. Let’s see how long it takes for the Rags to get a PP to even it up.

8:04 — Pierre with Trots. He talks about the Rangers first.

8:06 — Seriously considering hitting the call button and asking flint attendant for a Caps goal. Think she’d be displeased?

8:07 — Another Caps PP.

8:08 — Where the hell is Backstrom?

8:09 — Great chances but nothing yet.

8:10 — Another one killed. Rags PP coming before this period ends.

8:16 — End of 1, no score. Pierre count (times talking about said team first in his hit): Rags 18, Caps 4.

8:20 — Q had 30 seconds to get a feminine product from a stranger in the park. No dice so it’s punishment time. They dress him in a Peter Pan costume and tell him he’s going to have to join a live musical in progress but when he hits the stage it’s really pro wrestling.

8:34 — Second period underway, Pierre talks about the Rags but in a negative way.

8:35 — Rags PP coming on Alzner’s DOG.

8:37 — Serious turbulence, on the plane not the ice.

8:37 — Killed.

8:39 — Has St. Louis ever gone 3-straight games without destroying the Caps? Someone call Elias.

8:40 — First time I’m noticing he crowd being loud.

8:41 — Caps hold the puck in the Rags zone for 2 full minutes, Pierre compliments Rags.

8:43 — BEAGS!!!! I tweeted during Game 1 that no one has ever been more due than Beagle is now. That goal was earned in Games 6 and 7 vs. the Isles. 1-0 Caps 7:31 of the second.

8:49 — Scrum starts in front of the net and DirecTV goes out. We can land a rover on Mars but we can’t get a continuous DirecTV feed on a commercial flight for … it’s back.

8:50 — Feeling a little nauseous. Not sure if it’s the turbulence or having to pay attention to Pierre to keep an accurate count.

8:52 — Captain cuts the game audio to tell me it’s going to be bumpy for another 15-20 minutes. Maybe it’s not Pierre (it’s Pierre).

8:55 — Caps are buzzing, 3 good chances for the Wilson line. Pierre is silent.

8:58 — St. Louis on a breakaway, here it comes. And he shoots it harmlessly right into Holby’s chest. This is not the Cap killer I know.

9:00 — Glencross all alone in the slot, denied. Why the hell did he use up all his goals in his first week with the Caps?

9:07 — Pierre: “We’re gong to have to come up with a nickname for Holtby.” So true. Whoever comes up with a good one will be a beast. A Holtbeast as it were.

9:09 — End of 2, Caps 1, Rags 0. Pierre count: Rags 29, Caps 12 (3 about the goal and one entirely consisted of him saying “a man possessed” about Ovi.)

9:15 — If this game goes to OT will I have to do pushups in the aisle? Must get a message to @puckbuddys to confirm.

9:22 — Impractical Jokers marathon update: It’s the one where Sal is a tour guide on a boat and they make him kayak back to shore. Quality TV.

9:26 — Another pilot announcement about turbulence.

9:28 — Nash just destroyed Orpik. Pierre says it’s darn close to boarding then praises him. Not the Ovi treatment.

9:29 — One minute later they call the same hit on Wilson and it’s ok because of his reputation.

9:33 — KILLED.

9:34 — Did you know that the final score of the baseball games played at CitiField on Saturday and Sunday were both Washington 1, New York 0?

9:36 — Pierre just went on national TV and said that a 3-time Hart Trophy winner who is in the top 3 in PPG in the playoffs among active players has been a breakout player in these playoffs. This is everything that is wrong with the hockey media.

9:39 — This plane is bouncing like the puck at MSG the day after a Clapton concert.

9:43 — I wonder when they’ll give the Rags another PP.

9:52 — Rags just had roughly 57 chances, still 1-0 with 7:30 to go.

9:54 — Ovi to Alzner … off the post. Holy crap it’s loud!

9:56 — Any clear is a good clear. GET IT OUT.

9:57 — 3:13 left and they’re going to break with just crowd noise. Obviously, we are louder.

9:58 — Impractical Jokers update: Murr has his mouth full of novocain and he has to teach a class about cuisines of the world and sample the foods. Brilliant.

10:00 — Can we ask St. Louis not to play the final 2:16?

10:02 — Empty net.

10:03 — St. Louis can hang off the crossbar without his skates touching the ice, adorable.

10:04 — 47 seconds to go.

10:06 — Not 1.3 please.

10:06 — CAPS WIN! Never in doubt.

10:06 — End of 3, Caps 1, Rags 0. Pierre count: Rags 37, Caps 18. Goals scored on shots taken from in front of the net: 0.

I guess I’ll have to take a cross-country flight every game the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

10:08 — The past three professional sporting events between teams from the nation’s capital and the big apple:

Washington 1, New York 0
Washington 1, New York 0
Washington 1, New York 0

10:10 — Hey @NBCSN, can you just play a feed of John Forsland talking so I can sleep the rest of the flight? Wait, Parks and Rec is on, never mind. Best $8 I’ve ever spent!

The Winningest Caps-Wiz Postseason Ever?

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The Wizards have won an NBA championship, believe it or not, and the Capitals have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals. But the Wiz and the Caps had never made it out of the first round of their respective playoffs in the same year until this very week.

That means the hometown NBA and NHL franchises have combined for eight playoff wins already in 2015. Eight! So much fun. And they must lose at least four more times each before the wins stop coming.

Odds are, even if the Wiz lose to the Hawks (or Nets) and the Caps lose to the Rangers, they’ll probably eek out at least four more wins. That would put them at 12 this spring, two shy of the all-time combined mark, set in ’78 when the Bullets went all the way (and the Caps finished last).

Most Combined Playoff Wins in Caps-Wiz Playoff History

1978 — 14 (all Bullets)
1998 — 12 (all Caps)
1988 — nine (seven Caps, two Wiz)
1979 — nine (all Bullets)
2015 — eight (four Wiz, four Caps)
1975 — eight (all Bullets)
2012 — seven (all Caps)
2009 — seven (all Caps)

(Image taken with love from the homies at RMNB.)

Dan Uggla, Of All People, Saved The Day

This had to feel so good.

Riding a six-game losing streak, mired in last place, reeling from Anthony Rendon’s continually balky knee, missing Max Scherzer for a start and getting pounded 9-1 in Atlanta, the Nats came back to win 13-12 with Dan Uggla, who’s so bad that the Braves are still paying him just to be rid of him, hitting the game-winning homer in the ninth. Whew.

Caps-Isles Playoff Tickets Are Kinda Cheap, Actually

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Nearly $200 is still a pretty high average cost, but Capitals-Islanders playoff tickets are down in price versus recent Caps first-round playoff matchups. I imagine this is because the Islanders don’t have the fanbase of the Rangers or Bruins, but it should be a good series nonetheless.

Either way, get in tonight for Game 1 starting at $35 by clicking on the image above.