A Washington Nationals podcast offering recap and analysis after every game, plus all the breaking news throughout the year. Hosted by Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com & Al Galdi, host of "The Al Galdi Podcast". For sponsorship opportunities, contact Tim Shovers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Soto was runner-up for NL MVP as Bryce Harper won for the second time in his career. Mark & Al react to Soto coming up short in his bid for the MVP and split hairs between the two former teammates resumes. Was Harper more deserving?(10:17) Scott Boras, Soto's agent, had some interesting comments at the recent GM Meetings regarding his client's future. What are the chances the Nats lock him up to an extension before he becomes a Free Agent after the 2024 season?(23:41) Max Scherzer came up short in his bid for a 4th Cy Young Award as Milwaukee's Corbin Burnes took home the hardware. Mark voted for the NL Cy Young and dives through what led to his final ballot. How difficult was it to rank this year's candidates?(34:46) The Nationals made more organizational changes, including some to the coaching staff. The hosts run through the new roles including Eric Young, Jr. as the new First Base Coach.(44:24) It is becoming increasingly clear we are headed towards a lockout in early December. What should we expect during this MLB Offseason? What is a reasonable expectation as to when operations will resume?
Mark & Al return for the first off-season edition of Nats Chat. Since the Nationals season ended, there have been a few changes on the coaching staff, most notably at hitting coach. Darnell Coles replaces Kevin Long; who took a job with Philadelphia. What led to Long leaving town? What attributes does Coles bring to the position? What does Juan Soto make of this change?(17:13) Bob Henley & Randy Knorr have new assignments in player development. What is the aim in these changes?(24:01) Washington quickly signed Alcides Escobar to return in 2022. Will he definitely be the starting SS?(31:34) We preview the World Series between Atlanta and Houston. Will most Nats fans be pulling for Dusty Baker?(43:02) Max Scherzer & Trea Turner were eliminated in the NLCS. What does the future hold for Max Scherzer, Free Agent?(52:13) Josh Whetzel, the Voice of the AAA Rochester Red Wings, gives an end of season summation. Tune in to hear how Cade Cavalli & Victor Robles ended their seasons.
The Nats ended their season with a 7-5 loss to Playoff bound Boston. Mark & Al open with their thoughts on the emotional moment in the top of the 8th when Ryan Zimmerman was ceremoniously removed from the game to thunderous applause. It certainly felt like his final game, will it end up being so?(10:47) Juan Soto struggled on Sunday and struck out three times. Given that nobody else ran away with it, does he still have a chance to win the NL Cy Young?(19:48) Alex Avila had a memorable final game of his career. He connected on a 2 run double and also was given a standing ovation as he exited the field for the final time.(25:16) Joan Adon wowed in his Major League debut. Adon struck out 9 members of the Red Sox in just under 6 IP. The bulk of Adon's season was spent in High-A Wilmington, and yet he played a factor in a game with direct postseason implications.(33:43) Mike Rizzo spoke to the media before the game and indicated he is not planning on tanking next season. Do we have an idea of how long the Free Agency shopping list will be? Has his philosophy on pitching changed? Do we have an updated timeline on the rebuild?
The Nats lost 5-3 to Boston on Saturday afternoon. Mark & Al go through Josiah Gray's good outing, which was arguably his best start of the season.(8:13) The bullpen had another active day and Mason Thompson was the low light as he walked an AL relief pitcher on four pitches. What approach should Mike Rizzo take for next season in bolstering the bullpen?(20:06) Gerardo Parra made possibly his final at bat in Washington, Jordy Mercer's ejection caused a roster scramble, and Juan Soto had a testy at bat in a crucial moment in the 8th inning.(31:53) Carter Kieboom went o for 4 and his average is barely over the Mendoza Line. Is he losing his chance to win the job for 2022?(36:05) Davey Martinez had a notable pregame press conference. 1) He gave a vote of confidence to pitching Coach Jim Hickey. 2) An update on Stephen Strasburg.(45:39) The Nationals will have a prospect make his MLB debut Sunday on the mound. Learn more about Joan Adon as he faces the Red Sox in a very crucial Game 162 for the visitors.
The Nats lost 4-2 to the Red Sox in a crucial game in terms of the AL Wildcard chase. Al & Mark react to Juan Soto managing to walk four more times on Friday, lifting his total on the season to 144. Does Soto still have a chance at the MVP?(9:28) Jordy Mercer homered, but curiously got the start at 2B over Luis Garcia. Just a day off for Garcia or anything more?(15:20) Josh Rogers was impressive for five shutout innings, but it unraveled when facing Boston's lineup for the third time. Has Rogers status for 2022 improved after these string of good outings. Who has a better chance to start next year... Fedde or Rogers?(23:40) Kyle Finnegan was voted by the collective local media as Nationals Pitcher of the Year. Mark explains why the nod went to Finnegan and not our guy Paolo.(29:35) Update on what Sunday's season finale looks like for a potential Washington starting pitcher. Tenor of the game is up in the air, depending on the Sox's situation in the standings.
The Nats lost 10-5 in Colorado in their final road game of the season. Al & Mark assess where the rotation stands as Paolo Espino's outing was cut short due to the two hour rain delay that began in the top of the 3rd. Will he get the nod for Sunday's finale vs. Boston as Patrick Corbin season is over?(17:55) Juan banged his knee into the chain link outfield fence while making an excellent catch. He stayed in the game and we have been told he is OK. At the plate, he had a RBI infield single and a walk (1 for 4). If the game had been called during the rain delay, his single would not have counted. Why not sit him after running into the fence?(25:21) Alcides Escobar made one of the pretties defensive plays of the season just after making a throwing error. Hear what the hosts have to say about his jump throw across the diamond.(27:57) Listener submitted question about how will the Nationals fix the pitching for next season. Will it all be internal or will they spend money in free agency?(34:30) Cade Cavalli's final start in Rochester did not even last an inning. His numbers in AAA were not nearly as good as his previous stints. What's a realistic expectation for when he will be promoted to Washington?
The Nats lost 3-1 in Colorado as Patrick Corbin struck out nine in what could be his final start of the season. Mark & Al evaluate Corbin as September has by far been his best month of his terrible season. How important will ending this year on a positive note be for the high priced lefty? What are the chances he pitches Sunday vs. the Red Sox?(15:27) Juan Soto went 0 for 4 and didn't reach base for the first time in two weeks. He is now hitting .318; which trails Trea Turner (.325). Should he maybe get the day off on Wednesday?(20:40) Ryan Zimmerman had an excellent game on his 37th birthday. He had a double, an infield single, and made a web gem catch in foul territory. What insights do we have on if this weekend will be his final time at Nationals Park?(29:44) A listener email asking about the Nationals organization infrastructure regarding player development. Our conversation quickly then moves into the direction of Baseball Analytics.
The Nats beat Colorado 5-4 as Josiah Gray has been victorious in back to back starts. Al & Mark discuss Gray's outing, which was scoreless through the first five innings. What led to him becoming ineffective though in the 6th? Was it hustling down the line on a bunt or was it facing the Rockies lineup for a third time?(10:08) The Nationals bullpen had a good night as they only allowed one run. Davey Martinez changed it up a bit as Kyle Finnegan pitched the 8th and Tanner Rainey took over for the save. What should we read into this move?(16:03) Alcides Escobar paced the offense with three hits and a crucial insurance RBI in the 9th. We also give our daily Juan Soto update as he currently trails Trea Turner by one point for the NL Batting Crown.(24:57) Luis Garcia had a crucial 2 run single, but made a brutal throwing error in the 5th. Was it lack of concentration that affected what should have been a routine throw?(32:43) Patrick Corbin will make possibly the final start of his turbulent season on Tuesday night in Denver. How different would he have been handled if Washington were in the divisional race?
The Nats lost 9-2 in Cincinnati as Ryne Harper yielded a MLB record tying fourteenth grand slam on the season by the pitching staff. Before we get into our usual show, Tim does some end of season housekeeping.(5:38) Mark & Al recap Josh Rogers' outing as he held the Reds scoreless early, but it unraveled for him the third time through the order. What was different for Rogers today as opposed to his previous solid outings?(11:02) Only two relievers were used on Sunday, but Harper became the twelfth to allow a grand slam. What has led to this phenomenon this year for the Nationals? Or is it simply bad pitching?(20:24) The offense had a rare off day as Juan Soto went 0 for 3 with a walk (138). Carter Kieboom returned to the lineup from his forearm issue and had two hits.(24:38) Riley Adams was back behind the plate and also drew two walks. Al is ecstatic to see Adams back on the field after the young catcher had been on the bench for the past week and a half. Why haven't we seen him play first base at all?(29:01) Washington is making their only trip of the season to Coors Field this week. Do pitchers have to overcome psychological factors before pitching in that atmosphere? Will this be another bullpen heavy series?
The Nats lost 7-6 in Cincinnati as Nick Castellanos hit a walk-off homer against Patrick Murphy. Al & Tim evaluate Keibert Ruiz's evening as he threw out two runners and also homered for the second straight night. Is Ruiz lately starting show the franchise catcher potential we have been told about?(7:10) Lane Thomas homered again and kept the train rolling. Hear Tim's opinion on where the CF derby stands for Opening Day 2022. Robles or Thomas?(21:57) Erick Fedde had another subpar start as his ERA is now at 5.26. How sure are we that he will be on the roster next year?(35:16) Josh Rogers takes the mound Sunday after his excellent performance in Miami. We have some fun wondering if he or Paolo are currently the ace of the pitching staff.(45:45) We read a listener email recalling his memories of October 2019 while living in Houston during the World Series.
The Nats late rally came up short in Cincinnati as they lost 8-7 in 11 innings. Mark & Al wonder why the Nationals so often can score late in the game, but then can't bring in a run in extras. The 9th inning comeback involved three runs scored; all coming with two outs.(9:18) Keibert Ruiz hit his first homer with Washington and had three hits overall on the evening. Ruiz is hitting .315 this month. (11:47) Juan Soto did not get any hits, but was walked four times on Friday. Hear Mark put in perspective at how he is keeping historical company along with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.(17:07) Paolo Espino had a so-so start and only recorded two strikeouts. He needs eight Ks next week in Colorado if he wants to achieve his stated goal of 100 strikeouts this season.(26:32) Carter Kieboom was not in the lineup and will get a MRI Saturday for a left forearm issue. Jordy Mercer got the start in his place at third base.
The Nats edged the Reds 3-2 for their 3rd straight victory. Al & Mark search for the proper superlatives for Juan Soto as his torrid stretch continued on Thursday night. He yet again reached base four times, set a franchise record in walks, and has lifted his average to .325. Is it fair to say he is the NL MVP frontrunner with a week to go? How does this recent run affect potential extension talks?(22:52) Patrick Corbin did not allow a run as he almost lasted seven innings. Can fans be optimistic about the lefty for next season as he has had three good outings this month? Corbin looked like the 2019 version of himself while on the mound in Cincinnnati.(28:01) Tanner Rainey pitched a scoreless eighth inning while Kyle Finnegan struggled to lock down the save. Will we see Rainey become the closer in the final week?(34:44) Carter Kieboom went 0 for 4 Thursday night and his September stats are not looking good. Do we have a feel for how 3B is stacking up for Opening Day next season?
The Nats won 7-5 in Miami for a rare series victory. Mark & Al begin with Josiah Gray's much needed solid outing that resulted in his career Major League win. Most encouraging for Gray was that he did not allow any homers and only issued one walk in six innings.(11:55) Juan Soto was all over the scorecard on Wednesday night as he reached base five times and was a triple shy of the cycle. Soto walked twice; tying Bryce Harper's single season franchise record of 130. Where does Soto's MVP campaign stack up against Harper's case?(23:53) Luis Garcia went yard for the sixth time this season and had a strong series at the plate. This month he has eight doubles and is hitting above .280.(31:51) Alex Avila started for the second time recently as Riley Adams has only started one of the past eleven games at catcher. A flabbergasted Al begs Mark for an explanation as to why they are using the retiring veteran as opposed to giving the at bats to Riley.(36:42) Cade Cavalli only lasted four innings in his latest AAA start, but didn't walk any batters. Should fans be concerned that he has struggled at this level?
The Nats won 7-1 in Miami as Josh Rogers almost lasted eight innings. Al & Mark evaluate Josh Rogers throwing another solid outing; this one being his best one yet. Where does the lefty stack up for the team's plans in 2022? Hear the hosts put in perspective how rare a deep start has been for the starting staff this season.(14:26) Keibert Ruiz continued his offensive surge as he had two hits while hitting in the 5th spot. He has not yet homered, but his recent production at the plate is an encouraging sign.(17:32) Juan Soto reached base three times (or was it four?) on Tuesday night as he had two more hits. One of his times reaching base came as a result of an error by the pitcher, leading to the statistical quandary.(27:37) The Nationals relieved many of their minor league coaches of their duties. Is this a sign of an impending organizational overhaul?(40:12) An absolute must listen voice memo regarding October of 2019.
The Nats lost a heartbreaker 8-7 at Miami in ten innings. Mark & Al are flabbergasted at how for the third time in under two years; the Nationals have been on the wrong end of a runner's interference call at first base. Josh Bell was called out to end the top of the 10th, costing the team a chance to take the lead. Was the right call made? Hear an exasperated Davey Martinez from his postgame press conference.(9:56) Luis Garcia had a very costly base running mistake in the top of the 10th as he was not able to score from second base on a Lane Thomas double. Why was he unable to score in that situation?(19:39) Keibert Ruiz had three hits on Monday and had 4 RBIs, including hits from both sides of the plate. Are we seeing him turn the corner with the bat?(24:41) Juan Soto reached base four times and had a single. He currently is hitting .315 and is one percentage point behind Trea Turner for the NL lead. Soto has now reached base four times in a game a staggering TWENTY TWO TIMES this season. Hear how his numbers stacks up post all star break against NL MVP front runner Bryce Harper.(31:15) Erick Fedde had a so so outing as he yielded three homers on the night. The bullpen did not have a good game, but Tanner Rainey stole the show in the 9th. He struck out the side and if you include AAA; he has struck out fifteen consecutive batters.(38:12) Josh Bell robbed a home run while playing left field. You are reading that last sentence correctly.
The Nats shutout Colorado 3-0 as Paolo Espino earned his fifth victory of the season. Al & Mark tip their caps to Espino, who held a potent Rockies lineup scoreless in almost six frames. Who could have ever guessed the season that Paolo is having? It was the first shutout pitched by the Nationals staff since mid June.(11:03) Tanner Rainey returned to the mound after a lengthy stay in Rochester. He struck out the side in an encouraging outing. Will we see him get a save opportunity before the end of the season?(19:01) Juan Soto launched a mammoth HR that traveled over 450 feet. His OPS is creeping towards 1.000, which is a surprise based upon how his season started off.(25:47) The offense otherwise had a quiet series, but the hosts take this opportunity to assess two of the young pieces who have had prominent roles post trade deadline. Luis Garcia's stock is up, Carter Kieboom's is going in the other direction.(34:40) Alex Avila announced that he will retire at the end of the season. Avila had an unusual start to the career as his dad was his GM while playing in Detroit (who then traded him away). Avila made one All Star game and received MVP votes in 2011.(41:33) A look at attendance for the past few months and how the rebuild might affect ticket sales for the 2022 season.
The Nats were blanked 6-0 by Colorado for a third straight defeat. Mark & Al begin with a lengthy discussion centering around Patrick Corbin; as the lefty's ERA rose back above 6.00. What are the team's options on how to handle Corbin in 2022? Does the organization as a whole need to alter things behind the scenes as it relates to pitching?(19:28) The bullpen threw five shutout innings on Saturday between Ryne Harper and Sean Nolin. Will Nolin's ability to eat innings benefit the ailing 'pen in the final few weeks?(21:52) Juan Soto had a double and his average is now at .315. He is in the midst of a very intriguing batting chase with ex teammates Trea Turner and Bryce Harper. Al points out how regardless of what happens with batting average, Soto is without question the best hitter.(26:30) We organically careened into a conversation on Max Scherzer's push for the Cy Young and evaluating the decision to trade him away. Do you think the Nationals should have kept him even if the team was out of contention?(34:31) A voice memo from a listener about her memories from Anibal Sanchez's masterpiece in St. Louis in 2019.
The Nats lost 9-8 to the Rockies as yet another late lead was snatched away. Mark & Al recap Kyle Finnegan blowing a second straight save and how the bullpen continues to cost the team wins. Is Finnegan and his mates operating on fumes?(10:30) Josiah Gray had a fifth consecutive outing that was in the subpar category. He struck out five, but walked four, and allowed another HR. Why has his command looked so off in his past few starts?(17:55) The offense continued their September surge and clubbed fourteen hits, which led to to eight runs. Hear another example of how Juan Soto is reminding people of Barry Bonds' hitting prowess.(21:57) Alcides Escobar had two more hits on Friday; including a game tying hit in the bottom of the 8th. This leads to a conversation on what the Nationals options are with the veteran SS and whether or not he will be back in Washington in 2022.(32:57) A listener submitted email wondering if there are parallels between the current version of the Nats and the perpetually underachieving Angels.
The Nats lost 8-6 to Miami as Kyle Finnegan allowed four runs in the 9th. Al starts off the show by relaying just how poorly the bullpen collectively pitched on Wednesday. They gave up eight runs in just four frames between five different relievers. What's your trust level in Finnegan as he has three blown saves this season?(13:03) Josh Rogers was the polar opposite of the bullpen as he had his third consecutive solid start. The southpaw threw five scoreless frames, allowed only one hit, and struck out six. What does Rogers future look like given his effectiveness so far?(17:45) The offense clubbed fifteen walks and drew five walks, but did struggle with RISP. Al runs through those who had standout afternoons, including Alcides Escobar and Josh Bell.(26:20) Lane Thomas impressed yet again as he reached base three times and had 2 RBIs. One of his RBIs came on a bases loaded walk, which was notable as Miami issued FIVE of them in the final two games of the series.(31:56) The owner of Walter's Sports Bar (the best sports bar in DC) joins us for a special edition of memories from October 2019. Hear how Jeremy Gifford balanced rooting for his favorite team and also running a packed sports bar during this once in a lifetime stretch.
The Nats beat the Marlins 8-2 on an evening where the offense had fourteen hits. Al & Mark praise Ryan Zimmerman's tape measure opposite field HR (442 feet) that went into the 2nd deck. This picks up on our previous conversation about the potential for him to return for next season. Hear what Zimmerman said when asked about his future after the game.(13:46) Juan Soto reached base four more times on Tuesday and has lifted his average to .313. Mark explains how all the walks he's drawn is helping him in pursuit of Trea Turner for the NL batting crown..(17:56) Al wonders if it's time to call the race between Victor Robles and Lane Thomas for Opening Day leadoff hitter/ CFer. Thomas had another good game as he had two more hits, meanwhile Robles is hitting .292 for AAA Rochester.(31:10) Erick Fedde struck out eight and allowed only one run in five frames. Fedde pitched well all three times he faced Miami this season.
The Nats were shutout 3-0 by Miami and their right hander Sandy Alcantara. Mark & Al discuss Alcantara's no hit bid which lasted until the 7th and his perfect game attempt which lasted until a 6th inning error. Surprisingly enough, the Nationals have never been no hit in their history. One positive from Monday was that Keibert Ruiz was back in the linuep, just two days after being hit in the helmet.(14:45) Ryan Zimmerman had a 9th inning pinch hit which spurs a conversation about Zim's future. Do we know if he will be back in 2022? How crucial a role will the potential for the NL adopting the DH play in the situation?(19:18) Paolo Espino pitched very well in defeat as he only allowed one run in six frames. He arguably has been the team's most reliable starter in the past few months. How different would this season be for him if he didnt pitch well in April?(34:01) Responding to a listener submitted email wondering if there is a chance Max Scherzer won't wear the Curly W on his eventual Hall of Fame plaque. Would a World Series title in LA change the future?
The Nats beat the Pirates 6-2 to avoid being swept. Al & Mark react to Patrick Corbin's second straight positive outing. How encouraged should fans be? How important has the veteran Alex Avila been for Corbin as Avila has caught both of the solid starts by the lefty?(17:20) Kyle Finnegan recorded a five out save and now is 9 of 11 in save opportunities on the season. The bullpen only had to pitch two innings due to Corbin lasting seven frames for the second time this week. How confident are we in Finnegan for the future?(20:55) Juan Soto reached base four times for the second straight game. He is firmly vying for the NL batting crown (trails Trea Turner by just five points). Is he making an outside MVP push? **Plus, during this segment we cover the breaking news of Max Scherzer reaching the 3,000 strikeout club, only the 19th pitcher in MLB history.(30:38) Luis Garcia homered Sunday to continue his September surge at the plate. Who has less pressure on them this month? Garcia or Carter Kieboom?(36:51) A listener submitted question launched a conversation on potential directions for the Juan Soto contractual talks that are looming at some point in the future. How much money will it take to lock him up?
The Nationals lost 10-7 in Pittsburgh as Josiah Gray had his third straight poor outing. Al digs into Gray's issues of both walking too many Pirates hitters and also continuing his trend of allowing homers.(9:58) Keibert Ruiz had an active Saturday night. Most importantly, X rays were negative after he was hit by a pitch in the helmet in the 6th; which resulted in him leaving the game early. Ruiz had a difficult bottom of the third; between a throwing error and blocking a runner from touching the plate. His highlight of the evening came in the top of the 4th as he hit a bases clearing double for a brief lead.(16:42) Juan Soto didn't walk, but he did have four hits. Al points out just how sneaky impressive the Nats offense has been as of late, becoming one of the best in the NL. Ryan Zimmerman went deep in the 8th with a pinch hit HR, his 13th of the season.(23:18) Luis Garcia and Carter Kieboom each had tough evenings in the field. Garcia's error in the 6th was indicative of how Saturday evening was not going Washington's way at all.(28:57) The bullpen had a bad game as they allowed five runs and also added to the pile of walks. We wrap up the show by previewing Patrick Corbin's upcoming start Sunday.
The Nats coughed up their lead in Pittsburgh to fall 4-3 in a walk-off loss. Mark & Al dive into the bottom of the 9th where Patrick Murphy was unable to hold onto the edge. Should they have walked Colin Moran to load the bases with 1 out?(11:08) Josh Rogers threw a second consecutive solid outing for Washington as he lasted until the 7th inning.(15:24) Josh Bell was given a warm reception from Pirates fans in his first return to Pittsburgh since being dealt. Bell slugged his 26th HR of the season to lead the team.(23:40) Riley Adams had a RBI triple as he got the start behind the dish. Should we be surprised he got the start over Keibert Ruiz?(27:28) A few hours before the game began; Sean Nolin (5 games) and Davey Martinez (1 game) were suspended for throwing at Freddie Freeman on Wednesday night. Why wasn't Will Smith suspended as he began the whole brouhaha?(37:02) A preview of Josiah Gray's important start on Saturday as he looks to avoid a third straight poor outing. He will be facing Wil Crowe, who oddly enough was part of the trade package the Nats sent to Pittsburgh in return for Josh Bell.
The Nats lost to the Braves 7-6 in a seesaw affair that last ten innings. Mark & Al note how in their final game against one of the NL East contenders for the season; the Nationals continued to be a tough team to put away. (4:10) Luis Garcia has had a hot September and Thursday night was probably his best game yet. Garcia crushed a go ahead HR to dead-center and made multiple highlight reel plays in the field. Is he turning a corner?(11:50) Juan Soto had two hits and was intentionally walked twice. His stats continue to be eye popping as his on base percentage is now above .450. Atlanta gave a free pass to Soto in the 9th, despite him representing the winning run.(18:29) Erick Fedde last six innings, but did allow three solo homers. Hear the unusual criticism that Davey Martinez had for Fedde in terms of pitch selection. Is Fedde in danger of being non tendered this offseason?(29:15) Keibert Ruiz was 0 for 5 and so far only has three hits since being called up last week. Was Davey Martinez also criticizing him when he called out Fedde for not following the gameplan?
The Nationals doubled up the Braves 4-2 in a game that saw a contentious opening inning. Mark & Al recap Sean Nolin being ejected after just eight pitches for throwing at Freddie Freeman. They explain what led to the retaliation and how it was explained afterwards by the Nats. Was it right to throw at Freeman after what happened to Soto on Tuesday night?(17:14) The bullpen stepped up big time by recording 26 outs from six different pitchers. How creative will Washington need to be the next few days after so many guys had to throw on Wednesday evening?(20:30) Juan Soto crushed the go ahead solo HR in the 7th and memorably blew a kiss in the direction of the Atlanta bullpen and Will Smith (who plunked Soto on Tuesday). Soto & Josh Bell each went deep and finally caught up to Kyle Schwarber (!) for the team lead in HRs (25).(35:09) The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony curiously took place on Wednesday afternoon in Cooperstown, NY. The hosts critically examine the decision to hold the event in the middle of the week with little to no fanfare; despite the high profile induction of Derek Jeter. Why does Baseball continually not market itself as well as other sports?
The Nats lost 8-5 in Atlanta to open a three game series. Al & Tim look at yet another subpar starting pitching effort, this one by Paolo Espino. Paolo allowed five runs in five innings; lowlighted by a 3 run HR he gave up in the 1st inning to Adam Duvall.(11:45) The Nationals tied in it the top of the 7th, but the bullpen quickly allowed the Braves to get back ahead. Ryne Harper was the culprit as he issued a leadoff walk prior to serving up the decisive 2 run HR to Ozzie Albies. Albert Baldanado though did impress and continued to keep his ERA at 0.00.(17:10) Yadiel Hernandez had a big night at the plate (and also in the field). Hernandez slugged an opposite field 3 run HR to briefly tie the game. Will Yadiel fit into the 2022 plans? We also evaluate Carter Kieboom, who was inexcusably picked off to end a rally.(36:01) Listener submitted emails that are Juan Soto themed. Hear some astounding stats regarding Soto and walks drawn. Just how high is his offensive ceiling later on in his career?
The Nats walked off the Mets 4-3 with a Carter Kieboom single on Labor Day afternoon. Al & Mark analyze the exciting series finale that capped a five game stretch in the past four days. For the third time over the holiday weekend, Andrew Stevenson came off the bench for a major hit in the final inning; this one a game tying RBI scoring.(12:12) Alcides Escobar had a game big on Monday as he notched a 1st inning triple and also narrowly scored the game tying run n the 9th. Josh Bell also made strong contributions too; hear what Davey Martinez said about the first baseman's performance this season.(17:14) Patrick Corbin threw a solid outing as he stretched to seven innings and only issued one walk (did give up eleven hits to be fair). Did having a veteran catcher behind the plate (Alex Avila) play any stabilizing role for Corbin?(25:07) Luis Garcia hit a an 8th inning triple and had five extra base hits in the series. Does it look like the 2B job is his to lose next Spring?
The Nationals lost to the Mets 13-6 in a game that was competitive until the top of the 9th. Mark & Al recap Josiah Gray's second straight clunker of a start, which immediately began with him surrendering four runs. What is the appropriate level of concern to have on Gray right now?(15:20) Riley Adams got the start behind the plate as opposed to Keibert Ruiz. Mark explains why that was the case and what to maybe expect for Monday.(18:48) The bullpen on Sunday was all over the map as a few were outstanding and some were the opposite. Austin Voth had a nightmarish top of the 9th as he faced six batters and all came across to score.(26:08) Lane Thomas might have had his best game yet as he hit a leadoff HR, flashed leather, and threw a runner out at 3rd. What to make of this stretch that Thomas has been having?(32:32) Josh Bell slugged his 24th HR of the season, which matches Juan Soto's total. Bell's OPS finally surpassed .800 for the season.
The Nats and Mets split their doubleheader Saturday in D.C. Game 1 saw New York blow a 9-0 lead, but they ultimately prevailed 11-9 in extras (9 innings). The Nationals took Game 2 by a score of 4-3 to end a seven game losing streak.Al & Mark recap the action packed day in Navy Yard by tipping their caps to Andrew Stevenson, who homered in Game 1 to force extra innings. Alcides Escobar and Luis Garcia also had noteworthy days at the ballpark.(17:22) Carter Kieboom had a big day at the plate, but did get ejected from Game 2 on what should have been an obvious transgression. (23:30) The two starting pitchers for Washington had polar opposite outings. Erick Fedde really struggled (was not helped by poor defense behind him) and Josh Rogers took complete advantage of the opportunity he found himself in. Will we see more of Rogers this month?(36:21) Kyle Finnegan's Saturday encapsulated the day's events. Takes the loss in Game 1, earns the save in Game 2.
The Nats lost 6-2 in ten innings to the Mets after Washington scored two runs in the ninth to force extras. Mark & Al dissect the final frames, highlighted by Andrew Stevenson's collision at home to score the tying run.(8:23) Riley Adams had a huge night at the plate while getting his first start at catcher since Keibert Ruiz was called up. Adams got on base four times Friday evening, including three hits. How will starts at catcher be parceled out for this series?(18:58) Juan Soto homered to give the Nationals their first run of the night in the bottom of the 9th. He did however misplay a fly ball, which led to a bloop RBI triple.(30:10) Sean Nolin was solid as he only allowed two runs in five innings, despite a high pitch count. Nolin has faced the Mets three times since August. (38:31) Listener submitted question revisiting the Bryce Harper Free Agency debate from a few years back. Harper hit the Nationals hard this season and is making a MVP push in his third season while with Philadelphia. How does this affect Soto's situation?
The Nats lost 7-6 to Philadelphia despite leading 6-0 entering the sixth inning. Mark & Al recap yet another rough day for the Nationals bullpen, which made a habit this summer of blowing leads against the Phils. Luis Garcia played a large role in losing the lead as he made two poor plays in a row in the top of the 8th, which led to three runs.(17:58) Paolo Espino pitched very well, but ends up with a no-decision. He threw five scoreless frames before allowing two runners on base in the pivotal sixth. What has led to his recent resurgence on the mound? Could it be good karma for appearing on Nats Chat?(22:56) Juan Soto had a big game on Thursday as he reached base four times, including a 3 run HR. Mark explains his recent approach at the plate.(30:48) Keibert Ruiz started every game this series and went 2 for 14, including an 0 for 5 effort on Thursday. How much Riley Adams will we see during the five game series vs. the Mets?
The Nats lost 12-6 to the Phillies as Patrick Corbin's nightmare season continued. Al & Mark begin with the surprising pregame news that Victor Robles is being sent down to AAA Rochester. Should we have seen this demotion coming? Will he wear a Nationals uniform again?(15:23) Corbin had another rough outing and allowed a pair of HRs in the process. His evening started off smooth, but everything changed starting in the fourth. At what point can we have a serious conversation on whether or not he should be moved to the bullpen?(24:01) Brad Hand was DFA'd by Toronto just one month after the Blue Jays sent the Nationals Riley Adams in exchange for the southpaw reliever. A trade that Mike Rizzo irrefutably has already won.(26:41) **If you've listened to this podcast at all this season, you know how much we enjoy Paolo Espino. "The Secret Weapon" joins Nats Chat to discuss his unusual journey in professional baseball. 2021 has been difficult for the Nats, but there is a lot inspiration to draw from Paolo's story. He was drafted in 2006 and waited fifteen years to earn his first career win in the Major Leagues.
The Nats lost 7-4 to the Phillies to open up the eight game homestand. Mark & Al discuss Keibert Ruiz's Washington debut, which did not meet the pregame buzz. The Nationals quickly fell behind 3-0 and Ruiz came up empty with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first. Ruiz did hit a bloop single in the eighth to end his evening 1 for 4 at the plate. Where does Riley Adams fit in now that Ruiz will start most everyday behind the dish?(14:20) Josiah Gray allowed six runs in four innings and immediately gave up a towering HR to Bryce Harper. Why was he working so deliberately on Monday night?(20:46) Alcides Escobar was injured on a foul ball off his knee in the 1st inning. How will the Nats fill in the infield if Escobar ends up missing time? After the game, it was announced that he is day to day as X Rays were negative.(28:57) Victor Robles yet again was not in the starting lineup as Lane Thomas was in CF. Are we approaching the end of Victor's time with the Nats?(39:44) Patrick Corbin takes the mound on Tuesday night. What to expect from the lefty?
The Nats lost 9-4 to the Mets, but the big news of the day came during pregame as Keibert Ruiz will make his Washington debut behind the plate on Monday night. Al & Tim react to the mildly surprising news that Ruiz will get called up before the calendar flips to September. Was this decision made for baseball reasons, box office reasons, or both?(16:20) Victor Robles yet again was not in the starting lineup,, are they giving up on him? Luis Garcia has struggled at the plate, can you count on him to be in the 2022 Opening Day lineup?(24:51) Erick Fedde had a mediocre start that ended on a sour note. Do we know how to properly handicap Fedde and where should he be slotted in a typical rotation?(37:12) Josh Bell homered twice on Sunday and leads the team with 23 on the season. Where does he fit into future plans for the organization?(43:05) Listener submitted email asking should we move to an eight man lineup; which would eliminate pitchers hitting/ DHs? Very intriguing question.
The Nats lost 5-3 to the Mets as the bullpen relinquished the lead in the 7th. Al & Mark recap the solid start by Sean Nolin, who lasted until the sixth inning before the hosts dive into the pen. What to make of Nolin after he pitched well and lasted more than five frames?(14:32) Lane Thomas got the nod in CF over Victor Robles and had a pair of doubles while hitting leadoff. Do we have ourselves a "developing situation" long term in CF?(19:55) Alcides Escobar reminded New Yorkers of another recent SS as he dazzled both with his glove and bat on Saturday night. Does he fit into the Nationals 2022 plans at all?(30:51) Cade Cavalli only lasted three innings in his AAA debut with Rochester. He had a hot start, but all five runs he allowed came in the third inning. Mark explains why this was an important outing for him in the long run.
The Nats won 2-1 in New York to open a three game series. Mark & Al have plenty of praise to heap on the five pitchers who took the mound for Washington and they begin with closer Kyle Finnegan. (10:27) Paolo Espino struck out seven, singled, scored a run, and earned the win while pitching five innings. Why does he seem to have so much success against the Mets? Should he have come back out to pitch the sixth?(19:43) The Nationals struggled at the plate as they struck out seventeen times. Why was 41 year old Rich Hill so effective against them?(30:00) The Nats confirmed reports that all full-time employees are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Astros also announced a similar measure.
The Nats lost 7-5 in Miami as Patrick Corbin only lasted three innings. Mark & Al dissect the latest with the southpaw, who took a major step back after pitching so well in Milwaukee last weekend. What are the Nats options on what to do with Corbin? Could they send him down to AAA for a few outings?(16:12) Patrick Murphy struck out a pair in his Nationals debut. Hear what Mark thought of his "stuff".(20:01) Juan Soto drew his 100th walk of the season and crushed a 2 run HR. Listen to how impressive his stats have been since the 2019 season.(24:43) After not being in the lineup for four games, Victor Robles hit leadoff and played CF. Do we have an update on how Martinez will handle Robles/Thomas the rest of the way?(35:35) Washington has been unable all month to throw out base stealers. Why so much trouble at stopping the opponents running game?
The Nats lost 4-3 in Miami in ten innings despite briefly holding the lead in the 7th. Mark & Al recap the stud pitching match-up between Josiah Gray & Edward Cabrera, both of which are top 100 prospects per MLB Pipeline. Gray was solid yet again for Washington, as he has been so far in all five starts since the trade.(10:33) Keibert Ruiz has hit four homers in his past two games for AAA Rochester. Will the promotion of Cade Cavalli to Rochester delay Ruiz getting called up to Washington?(20:11) Carter Kieboom had a rough end of the game on Wednesday evening as he made a poor defensive play in the 9th and was surprisingly thrown out at home in the 10th. Is it too early to discuss whether or not the Nationals should try him at a new position?(28:53) Lane Thomas was hitting leadoff and playing CF for the fourth consecutive game. What exactly is happening in CF, as it relates to Victor Robles?
The Nats beat the Marlins 5-1 as Erick Fedde struck out a career high ten batters. Al & Mark evaluate Fedde's big evening and find out how Sam Clay of all people played a big role in the successful start. Should we be excited about the outing or affix an asterisk to it because it was against last place Miami?(10:31) The bullpen saw a flurry of roster moves including Patrick Murphy & Clay being called up and Gabe Klobosits being sent down to AAA Rochester. Hear what there is too look for from Murphy, who was picked up off waivers from Toronto earlier this season.(17:05) Tres Barrera had three hits including a homer while getting the start behind the plate. The hosts marvel at how much the catching situation has changed in the organization in the past month. Plus, Lane Thomas had another impressive showing with both his bat and glove.(32:01) Preview of Wednesday's intriguing pitching matchup between two stud prospects both ranked in the top 100 per MLB Pipeline (Josiah Gray vs. Edward Cabrera).(33:46) Cade Cavalli was promoted to AAA Rochester. What does this mean in terms of his timetable for pitching for Washington? Listen why it might not be so simple for him to be on the 2022 Opening Day roster.
The Nats lost 7-3 in Milwaukee in another game that had a glacial pace of play. Mark & Al continue to praise Lane Thomas as he had another impressive game while patrolling CF and hitting leadoff. Carter Kieboom also had a solid Sunday, including on the defensive end.(19:30) Sean Nolin and the bullpen tied a franchise record by issuing 11 walks as the pitching was very difficult to watch this weekend. Austin Voth returned to pitch a scoreless frame, where does he fit into the new bullpen hierarchy?(29:50) Monday is the ten year anniversary of when D.C. experienced an earthquake as the Nats played Arizona later that night at home. Mark recalls how hectic and unforgettable that time was for him and his family.**Audio Courtesy of ABC News(39:27) We close with another listener submitted voice memo recalling October 2019.
The Nationals lost 9-6 in Milwaukee to halt the three game win streak. Al laments how the game took four hours and eighteen minutes. What can be done to avoid interminable games like this one?(5:20) Lane Thomas was given a prominent role in the lineup card as the leadoff hitter in CF. He backed up the assignment by impressing with his bat, speed, and arm. A few other young guys made contributions as well on Saturday.(14:57) The bullpen had two disastrous innings in the 5th & the 8th. Al explains what went wrong on a very shallow sacrifice fly that made the Nats defense look amateurish. Javy Guerra then authored an inning to forget as the Brewers broke the game open.(24:45) Juan Soto reached base four times as he leads the Majors with a .449 On Base Percentage and is now ahead of Joey Gallo by five walks for the most in MLB.(30:02) Listener submitted email and we close with another voice memo recalling October 2019. Send in yours to email@example.com
The Nats won 4-1 in Milwaukee for their third consecutive victory. Al & Mark finally have an opportunity to praise Patrick Corbin, who was fantastic against the first place Brewers. How did the Nationals possibly "fix his glitch"?(10:24) The bullpen had a good evening from three different relievers. Is it OK to start feeling good about this young 'pen?(16:28) Many young guys stepped up Friday night including Riley Adams and Lane Thomas, who combined for 3 RBIs. It was Adams' fourth straight start behind the plate and Mark explains how the current catching situation is shaping up.(21:09) Josh Bell was crucial in both ends of the 9th inning, but not how you would naturally assume. He drew a RBI walk for a much needed insurance run and then made a great play defensively after Kyle Finnegan had a poor throw towards first base.(30:32) MLB Pipeline has updated their prospect rankings and the Nationals have four players in the top 100. Washington fans should be encouraged at the lofty ranking already for Brady House.
The Nats topped the Blue Jays 8-5 to complete the two game sweep. Al & Mark assess Josiah Gray's solid outing that lasted six innings. The only blemish on Gray's resume so far has been giving up solo HRs, of which he allowed two more on Wednesday. Gray did more than just pitch well as he had his first career hit and also made a nice play on a bunt attempt that led to a double play.(9:29) The bullpen for the most part had a good game except for Ryne Harper who very quickly gave up the lead, costing Josiah Gray any chance of first career victory. Was this his one chance to pitch in a high leverage spot? Kyle Finnegan stepped up as he escaped an 8th inning jam and recorded a four out save.(17:50) Brad Hand had an outing that Nationals fans are familiar with as he gave away the lead immediately upon entering the game in the 7th. Carter Kieboom slugged one of the HRs off of Hand and the hosts discuss where his situation currently stands as he has been playing every day.(25:07) Juan Soto had a Barry Bonds type stat line Wednesday as we explain in the podcast. Should he continue to take so many pitches or should he start swinging more?(36:13) What is the timetable on the Nats rebuild? Are they aiming to be competitive come next season or do they have a more long term vision?
The Nationals snapped their seven game losing streak with a 12-6 victory over Toronto. Mark & Al look Riley Adams who dominated his former organization with three hits, including a HR. As Adams has shown promise at the plate, it provides an opportunity to handicap what the catcher situation is between Adams, Barrera, and Keibert Ruiz.(8:57) Yadiel Hernandez homered to open the scoring. Where might he fit in for the Nats in 2022?(17:17) Luis Garcia made an excellent play in the field, but also committed an 8th inning error at a crucial time. Do we know if the organization has decided on whether they want him to be a 2B or shortstop?(22:56) Erick Fedde earned the win, but was not particularly sharp. What has led to his recent regression?(37:39) There was an update on Joe Ross' elbow Tuesday. Surgery isn't called for now, but the hosts explain why the possibility still remains down the road.(42:20) Josiah Gray is scheduled to start Wednesday vs. the Blue Jays and their powerful lineup. Plus, Al updates the latest Baseball America prospect rankings.
The Nats lost 6-5 to Atlanta for a seventh straight defeat, but the main story Sunday stemmed from pregame. Mark & Al react to the news that Joe Ross is back on the IL due to a partial UCL tear in his elbow, which could possibly lead to another Tommy John Surgery. What might this mean for the team's rotation and also the future of Ross' career?(16:54) The Nationals were more competitive than Saturday's rout, but still came up just short. There were some bright spots, including Carter Kieboom at the plate, Lane Thomas reaching base three times in his Washington debut, and the bullpen only allowing one Atlanta run. (34:40) Unfortunately, Paolo Espino isn't fooling any hitters anymore. Mark explains why hitters seem to be more comfortable when facing him now as opposed to earlier in the season. Should he have been lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 4th?(41:01) Listener submitted email asking about where to put Kieboom and Luis Garcia in the lineup. Plus, we close with another 2019 World Series memory. Send yours into firstname.lastname@example.org
The Nationals were pulverized 12-2 by Atlanta as Patrick Corbin's ERA is now a Major League worst 6.04 among qualifying starters. Al & Mark look at the flurry of losing in the past month and a half and wonder if 100 losses this season is now in play as they are now tied for last place in the division.(7:48) Patrick Corbin had another poor outing and is on his way to having the worst season any Nationals starter has ever had. What is the solution since his contract has three years remaining? What can be done to turn things around for him on the mound?(23:05) The offense only mustered two runs as Juan Soto struck out three times. Is he growing more frustrated as the team's losses pile up? For a check-in on the young guys, Carter Kieboom, Luis Garcia, and Tres Barrera combined for 0-12 from the plate.(32:42) An intriguing listener submitted question regarding how the next CBA might affect Soto's Free Agency. A Winter of uncertainty awaits the sport.
The Nats lost 4-2 to the Braves in a game that started three hours later than originally scheduled. Mark & Tim breakdown Josiah Gray's outing that was fantastic early on, but was sullied by a flurry of solo HRs that put Atlanta on top. Should he have been sent back out for the 7th inning?(11:10) The offense squandered many opportunities Friday night as they came up empty three times when they had two men on/ no outs. Josh Bell also was easily thrown out at home on a questionable send by Bob Henley in the 4th. Ryan Zimmerman had a chance for walk-off HR in the 9th, but alas, it did not come to be.(18:53) Reactions to the "Field of Dreams" game played Thursday night between the White Sox & Yankees. Will we see more of these novelty games? What sort of ways can the Nationals be incorporated into these sort of events?
The Nats lost both games of their doubleheader to the Mets. Al opens with putting into perspective just how much the Nationals have struggled in the past month and a half. They entered July 2 games over .500 and now are 15 games below that threshold.(6:00) He then dives into the state of the bullpen, which has no anchor to it. Kyle Finnegan gave up the game sealing HR to Pete Alonso and Tanner Rainey also struggled in his brief return to the majors. Plus, no decision for Erick Fedde, that was a familiar mixed bag.(15:29) The offense totaled five runs in 14 innings, highlighted by a three run rally in the top of the 7th in Game 2. Al discusses Juan Soto drawing five more walks on Thursday, Carter Kieboom's sneaky high OPS, and Josh Bell's late inning struggles at the plate.(23:40) Josiah Gray takes the mound Friday night against the Braves in D.C. and the Nationals have a chance to catch their breath next week as they have two days off.
The Nationals lost 8-7 to the Mets in a game that began on Tuesday night and ended Wednesday afternoon. Mark & Al respond to the only game played as the evening portion of the quasi doubleheader was rained out and instead we will have a true doubleheader on Thursday.(5:48) Juan Soto returned to the starting lineup from his knee issue and had three hits, including a first inning HR. The hosts point out just how solid of a season he is actually having at the plate, which might catch many Nats fans by surprise.(13:04) Joe Ross had a rough outing as he technically came out of the bullpen, but in reality started the Wednesday portion of the game when play resumed. Ross spun the wheel and the deal he made wasn't a very good one as he couldn't hold onto an inherited three run lead.(19:30) The bullpen, specifically Gabe Klobosits and Mason Thompson, also couldn't keep the late lead, as they faltered in the final innings. What are Davey Martinez's 7th & 8th inning options?(24:01) Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcis each had a hit, but also made an error in the field. Why does Kieboom have such trouble transferring the ball from his glove to throwing hand?(35:39) Cade Cavalli threw seven shutout innings and struck out six for Harrisburg. Mark explains though what Cavalli needs to work on before he works his way up to the majors.
The Nats game was suspended by rain in the 2nd inning in New York as they lead 3-1 over the Mets. Given the rainout, we decided to bring you a special edition featuring an interview with the incomparable Jim Callis of MLB.com and MLB Pipeline.Jim knows more than anyone when it comes to prospects, so no better person to hear from about Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray, Cade Cavalli, Brady House, and more. We even have a Kumar Rocker mention by Jim.The Nationals game will resume at 4:10PM on Wednesday, with a separate 7 inning game to follow.