— 106.7 The Fan (@1067thefandc) March 5, 2014
We just bought a new family car, and our primary concern was if it had a third row. Something tells me Bryce Harper did not share that concern.
The team at Shoreline Motoring built this amazing ’69 Camaro for Bryce Harper. It is powered by a supercharged CTS-V stroker LSA engine. The full custom interior includes an integrated iPad mini and paddle shifters. It is built upon a full custom chassis with Wilwood brakes and center locking Forgeline FS3P wheels mounted to the Forgeline Flush-Loc center lock conversion kit.
Ooooh, an integrated iPad mini. Fancy. (via Nats Enquirer)
Boz is optimistic:
2-yr deals w Desmond & Z'mann leave open possibility of extensions but also give 2-yr cost certainty which makes either/both more tradeable.
— Thomas Boswell (@ThomasBoswellWP) January 17, 2014
Harper over at Nats Baseball? Not so much. It’s a gamble, but so are $100-million-plus contracts.
I needed to update my avi without notice. I think it was a seamless transition. pic.twitter.com/yLXkWlh6Jn
— Jerry Blevins (@JerryBlevins_13) December 11, 2013
Nats acquire lefty RP Jerry Blevins for their Minor League POTY. [NJ]
Blevins responded by posting the perfect pic on Twitter. [FTW]
The deal makes good sense for the “win now” Nats. [Nats Baseball]
The Nats will try to extend Desmond and ZNN this winter. [NJ]
The O’s top 10 prospects list is led by Kevin Gausman. [BP ($)]
Brady Anderson is still out there being awesome. [For The Win]
John Madden thinks the RGIII shutdown is “baloney,” y’all. [Bog]
Cooley’s review of RGIII’s KC performance is not pretty. [Bog]
The owner of Momofuki is talking about buying the Skins. [Bog]
Well-written account of what FedEx is like now. [Shutdown Corner]
Ovi could be the first to score 50 in 50 in 20 years. [Caps Insider]
Deep, stat-heavy look at Ovi’s goal-scoring renaissance. [SportsNet]
John Wall named NBA’s fifth-best player under 25. [Bullets Forever]
Terps begin final ACC hoops season tonight at BC. [Testudo]
The Nats traded Robbie Ray, Steve Lombardozzi and Ian Krol to the Tigers for Doug Fister. Or, as Fangraphs puts it:
The Nationals surrendered a non-elite pitching prospect who has pitched a half season at Double-A and probably won’t rank in anyone’s Top 100 next spring, plus a couple of role players who might or might not end up amounting to anything. And in return, they’re getting two years of a very good starting pitcher at far below market prices. This trade is nothing short of a bonanza for the Nationals.
A bonanza, you say? Why’s that? Nats Baseball answers the call:
Toss in the AL-> NL move and [Fister] should give you a season like Gio or ZNN did last year. That’s what Fister is, a Gio/ZNN like pitcher. A #2 who could pitch at times like a #1 or like a #3. Maybe since he’s 30 you lean more toward the #3 side than the #1 but he’s the Nats #4.
Mike Rizzo is an evil genius.
Boz says that’s great, but Cal’s going to have to earn it. [Thomas Boswell]
Dusty Baker is interested in managing the Nats. Hey, so am I! [Nats Journal]
Alfred Morris’ 2013 production is up, but his carries are down. [John Keim]
Read Dan Snyder’s open letter to fans defending the team slur. [WaPo]
Then read the skewering of Dan Snyder’s open letter to fans. [Deadspin]
Dan Snyder’s new PR henchman says he’ll never say never again. [Bog]
Chin up, Skins fans: “Redskins” isn’t as racist as “Chief Wahoo.” [TNR]
Wiz-Nets preseason game was shown across U.S., except D.C. [City Desk]
Terps fall in ACC rankings. Happens when you lose 63-0. [Testudo Times]
One hell of a day for baseball yesterday in DC. Emotional day starting with Nats tribute to the Navy Yard shooting victims. [Nats Insider]
Video of Simmons booted grounder that gave Nats Game 1 win. [NE]
Boz is starting to buy into the Nats late-season surge. [WP]
Orioles rally to beat Red Sox late in 9th, Jim Johnson closes it out. [CSNB]
So long Brady Anderson HR record, hello Crush Davis HR record. [Balt. Sun]
Pierre Garcon says RG3 isn’t as fast while wearing a knee brace. [CSNW]
Jordan Reed might be more of a threat than Fred Davis. [TI]
Ted Leonsis loves to talk about the Capitals and the media. [Bog]
Baltimore bro threw a crab on the ice during Caps preseason game. [RMNB]
When’s the last time Terps football had a big game? They do Saturday. [TT]
The Nats won two more today, one on a damn miracle, running their record to 81-70. They’re an MLB-best 21-6 since August 20. They’re also still 4.5 back of the Reds, though, and Cincy isn’t falling off (10-6 in September).
The Reds have 10 games left. Let’s say they win six, which is in line with their season- and September-long averages. That puts them at 92 wins.
For the Nats to get to 92, well, they have to win all 11 of their remaining games. Meaning, they need some help.
Each game Cincy drops is one the Nats don’t have to win. If the Reds go 5-5, then the Nats have to go 10-1. If the Reds go 4-6, the Nats have to go 9-2. If the Reds go 3-7, the Nats have to go 8-3.
I’ll stop there, because the Reds haven’t gone 3-7 over any 10-game stretch since June, and they haven’t gone 2-8 all year. The Nats need to win at least eight of their last 11, and probably more than that.
The thing is, Washington is 13-3 in September. If they play it out at that pace — tall order, I know — they’ll go 9-2 and finish with 90 wins.
What are the odds of the Reds winning just four of 10 to stall out at 90? A lot less than their chances of winning seven to shut it down.
This is fun, though. Make a move against Miami this week and we’ll see where things stand come Monday. Could be interesting.
Nats’ last 10 games:
*One vs. Atlanta (.481 on the road)
*Four vs. Miami (.320 on the road)
*Three at St. Louis (.640 at home)
*Three at Arizona (.573 at home)
Reds’ last 11 games:
*One at Houston (.316 at home)
*Three at Pittsburgh (.640 at home)
*Three vs. the Mets (.480 on the road)
*Three vs. Pittsburgh (.520 on the road)
The best full month of this half-empty Nationals season was August, when they went 16-11. So far in September they’re 11-3. Since losing August 8 they’ve been on a 24-10 run to pull within 4.5 games of Cincinnati for the second Wild Card spot.
Who’s to thank, though? Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper and Tyler Clippard have been steady-to-spectacular most of the year. There are at least six guys who have really turned it on, though, and are the key drivers of this potentially season-saving turnaround:
1. Jayson Werth
Werth started going gorillas in July, and he hasn’t stopped. His first 2.5 seasons in D.C. didn’t signal this kind of resurgence. In fact, he’s already surged past even his finest seasons in Philly.
2. Denard Span
At midseason Span was headed for the worst season of his career, and he was a big ol’ bust for Mike Rizzo. Now he’s hit in 26 straight games and has played above career average for two to three months. I no longer hate him.
3. Wilson Ramos
Speaking of streaks, Ramos has caught 23 straight games. He’s also on a tear at the plate, hitting six homers and batting .327 in September. It’s not like he was bad before, but having him play so much (and at a high level) is a boost.
4. Dan Haren
Haren was also having a bust-worthy career-low season, earning the nickname “HRen.” In his past 12 starts, though, he’s 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA. Not bad, given he started 4-10 with a 6.00.
5. Ryan Zimmerman
Mr. Walk-Off is a man on fire. After struggling this summer he’s hit nine HR in 13 games and is now having a typical Zim season. Those 21 errors, though …
6. Tanner Roark
If you’d told me in April that Tanner Roark would figure prominently into this season, I would’ve told you the Nats would be in trouble. Both are true. The 26-year-old rookie is 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA, albeit in just 34.2 innings. His two most recent wins came in starts where he threw a combined 12 innings, giving up two runs.
Honorable mentions: Adam LaRoche, who’s come to life in September (.935 OPS); Craig Stammen (0.86 ERA since July); Rafael Soriano (scoreless in six September untucks)