Winter is coming this Friday night at Nationals Park. The team’s promotion in their first home game after their seven-game road trip is “Game of Thrones” night. The Nationals will hide 10 prize-filled dragon eggs on Tuesday morning in scattered locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.
In front of a crowd of 24,959 the Republican and Democrat congressmen squared off in the annual congressional game at Nationals Park. The Democrats would edge the Republicans 11-2 but this game wasn’t about the scoreboard. It was about both parties coming together just a day after five republicans were injured in a shooting in Alexandria. The most notable was House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. After the Democrats accepted the trophy, in a kind gesture, they handed the trophy over to the Republicans in honor of Scalise.
The Nationals raised $400,000 on Saturday night during their 12th annual Dream Foundation Gala. The money went toward the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and will support initiatives fouled on academics, the art, nutrition, and sports for children and teens in the DC region. The event was held at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.
With Bryce Harper appealing his suspension, he was in the lineup hitting third as the Nats took their second game of this series 6-3 over the San Francisco Giants. Gio Gonzalez earned his first win since April, tossing 6.1 strong innings allowing three earned runs while striking out six. He did surrender 8 hits and seemed to struggle with his velocity, but this is an outing the Nationals will take from Gio Gonzalez 9 times out of ten. Jeff Samardzjia a night after attempting to cheapshot Bryce Harper, struggled, allowing nine hits and three runs over just four innings. He threw 62 pitches in the first two innings, with the Nationals getting him for two early runs, and it could have been much worse.
At the plate, Trea Turner led the way, going 3-5. Michael A. Taylor continued his impressive replacement campaign in center, going 2-4 with 2 RBI. Daniel “Hits” Murphy went 3-5 including an RBI, and Jayson Werth continues to show that age is just a number, going 2 for 4 and raising his OBP to .381. For the Giants, Orlando Calixte got the first two hits of his major league career, as well as the first two RBI. Outside of him though, the Giants bats were silenced by Gio Gonzalez, Matt Albers (who has arguably been the Nats’ most consistent reliever this season), and newly-minted closer Koda Glover, who may be the in-house solution the Nats have been seeking since Mark Melancon signed with the Giants this offseason.
Another major storyline from this game (or lack of a storyline really) was the lack of retaliation from either side. Personally, I think the whole thing was ridiculous. Strickland holding a grudge against Harper for three years after Harper hit him well in the playoffs is juvenile. Harper’s suspension has been reduced to three games, which is fair, but giving Strickland only six is ridiculous. The league should have made an example of him, because a 98 MPH fastball to the hip is a weapon. 6 games was too short. 15 or 20 would have been appropriate.
The Giants’ unwillingness to defend Strickland’s actions speak as well. Posey did not involve himself in the melee, and their manager Bruce Bochy gave a pretty half-assed defense of Strickland’s actions. Check out 106.7 the Fan’s discussion of the incident. I agree with a lot of what Grant Paulsen had to say on the matter. It’s time we get this kind of crap out of baseball.
Anyway, the Nats go for the sweep tonight in another edition of #LateNightNats. Max Scherzer goes against Matt Cain. First pitch scheduled for 10:15 this evening.
Trea Turner’s bobblehead night was supposed to take place on Friday but mother nature had other ideas. Instead, the giveaway was pushed back to the makeup game which took place Sunday night in the second part of a day/night doubleheader. Game one was slated to start at 1:35 p.m. while the second game was at 7:05. After the Nats dropped the first game at 4:38 p.m. the ballpark staff was faced with the daunting task of getting the park ready for the second game.
The voice of the Syracuse Chiefs, the Nationals AAA affiliate, will get the thrill of calling two MLB games this week. Kevin Brown will fill in for Charlie Slowes during Tuesday and Wednesday’s Nationals games in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. It’ll be the first time Brown has called a Major League Baseball game.