One down, three to go. Davey Martinez’s Nationals took the opener in New York, but there are three more to go with the Mets to finish strong before the All-Star Break
Here’s the news from New York:
The Nats lead the majors in a stat. The leader of that stat hasn't made the playoffs since 2006 (WaPo)
The Nats have lost 14 games in 2018 where their starting pitcher provided a quality start, the most in the majors. Their playoff probability, per Fangraphs, solely based on schedule? 59%. Based on their current performance? 25%.
Bryce Harper will join seven newcomers at All-Star Game’s Home Run Derby (WaPo)
Max Muncy, Jesus Aguilar, and Alex Bregman! Hurray!
Do Nationals fans still love Bryce Harper? (Half Street Heart Attack)
Bryce Harper was once crazy, unexpected, hustling beyond belief. Nats fans couldn't ever imagine a life without him. Now, he's struggling at the plate, and fans have shifted their loyalty somewhat. Maybe they won't miss him after all.
Heyman: Ryan Zimmerman had calf injury (Fancred)
"According to an N.L. executive, there was a calf injury in spring, and also a recurrence recently (though, the Nats continue to call it only an oblique). While it was written that the Nats weren’t using Zimmerman in games this spring as a grand experiment to preserve older veterans, and at the least the Nats never corrected the record, the reality is that Zimmerman missed almost all spring training with a calf injury."
Bryce Harper is playing All-Star week host, as everyone asks how much longer he’ll play in D.C. (WaPo)
Bryce Harper is trying to pull a double whammy: avoid talk about potentially leaving the Nationals while convincing the media that he's worth the largest contract in history, all while the entire game centers around his home stadium.
Here's someone in a Yankees Bryce Harper jersey
A bold investment.
Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg returning soon (MLB)
Ryan Zimmerman tested his oblique with fielding drills and plans to ramp up ahead of a rehab assignment on Monday, while Stephen Strasburg will go back to Potomac for what could potentially be his final rehab assignment on Sunday.
49 years after D.C. last hosted, MLB All-Star Game remains a ‘You Had to Be There’ experience (WaPo)
All-Star Games may not be fun on TV, but for the town hosting, they're wildly fun -- the city feels like it has been overtaken by baseball. When you're in the middle of that, it's impossibly fun -- especially with a hometown star in the derby and your pitcher on the hill.
Is Bryce Harper gone this offseason? Instead of yelling about it, let’s think about it (WaPo)
It could be a sending off party, or it could be a moment during which the team makes its grandest case to lock him up for good. Or it could be a spectacle about his .213 average and the mediocrity of the team. Or, the Nationals could just be happy with the extremely cheap and extremely good Juan Soto-Victor Robles-Adam Eaton outfield, and enjoy Harper while they have him.
D.C. baseball greats Mamie ‘Peanut’ Johnson and Josh Gibson featured on new Ben’s Chili Bowl mural (WaPo)
Johnson served as an inspiration for Mon'e Davis, while Josh Gibson, the "greatest power hitter in Negro League history" got his dues on U Street.