The Nats are good for two things on a near-nightly basis: a good, if not great performance from their starter, and four to five runs. A shame that a certain aspect of the team always gets in the way of what sounds like the recipe for a surefire win, as it almost did last night.
Here’s the scoop from the South:
Stephen Strasburg leads Nationals to win with gem (MLB.com)
Doolittle got to test out his new adjustments on Tuesday night with a one-run margin, keeping his tempo up and removing complications from his windup.
Can hot half lift Anthony Rendon to 1st All-Star Game? (MLB.com)
“I think it would mean a lot for us in general, the fans, and for him,” manager Dave Martinez said. “If you look right now, he deserves to be on the team. He deserved, I think, for many years to be on the team. I just want him to continue to do what he’s doing, and hopefully he’s voted on.”
Sean Burnett Announces Retirement (MLBTR)
Sean Burnett made his final comeback attempt with the Nationals in 2016 after two Tommy John surgeries — he's mainly a story of what could have been, but was phenomenal when he was pitching.
MLB Mock Draft: The Athletic’s beat writers project the first round (The Athletic)
Britt Ghiroli thinks the Nationals will get Kameron Misner, a "toolsy Mizzou outfielder" who makes contact and steals bases — though Keith Law—shockingly—sees them going with a pitcher in the ESPN draft.
Strasburg dominates for seven, Doolittle closes out Braves (MASN)
If you ignore the eighth inning, the Nats played impeccably well — a brilliant start from Stephen Strasburg, power and patience at the plate, and a shutdown inning from Sean Doolittle.
Top prospect performers for Monday May 27 (MLB.com)
Wil Crowe went 7.1 innings, allowing 3 runs and 8 hits with 5 strikeouts to lower his ERA to 3.30 on the season in Harrisburg.
All Star Ballot Voting Guide (MLB.com)
The ballot is open, and blissfully, you don't have to fill out an esoteric form on MLB's website — instead, you can just Google the names of some players and vote for them then and there so long as you're signed into a Google account. Granted, that's just for the primary round — election day will be a 28-hour period where everyone only gets one vote.
Nationals closer Sean Doolittle tweaks mechanics after a pair of rough outings (WaPo)
Sean Doolittle says that his early season workload caught up with him, and he got sloppy due to his fatigue — but with the help of film and some mechanics that don't quite sound logical but obviously work (be behind the baseball, not on top of it!), Doolittle has figured it out for now.
Sánchez will return to start Wednesday's finale (MASN)
Davey Martinez ultimately decided to run with Aníbal on Wednesday — but his arm isn't ready for a full workload yet, which should make things interesting.
Notes on Bourque, Parra, Scherzer, Grace and Soto (MASN)
James Borque got a day to reflect on his rough outing, and thinks if he can command his fastball, things will look up. In the meantime, Gerardo Parra is serving as a role model for Juan Soto and Victor Robles, and Matt Grace may be earning some confidence as a LOOGY.
In a clash of explosive bullpens, Nats’ is a little less combustible in 5-4 win (WaPo)
The Nationals waited out the Braves on Tuesday night. Miraculously, it worked as the Nats got some good luck and were able to put a five-spot on the Braves thanks to some walks and a phenomenal Strasburg outing.
Aníbal Sánchez will come off injured list to start for the Nationals on Wednesday - The Washington Post
"There will need to be a corresponding move before first pitch to make room for Sánchez on the 25-man roster. Kyle McGowin, who was recalled from Class AAA Fresno this month and filled in for Sánchez on Friday, is the logical candidate to be optioned."
Nationals AAA Team Is Very Sorry For Playing Video That Portrayed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez As An Enemy Of Freedom (DCist)
The Fresno Grizzlies played a Memorial Day video during which they juxtaposed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against Kim Jong-Un and Fidel Castro as well as antifascist protesters as enemies of freedom. The front office says that the video was taken off the internet, produced out of house, and not properly vetted — they apologized and said the video was "certainly not [their] opinion."
Ocasio-Cortez shown among dictators in Fresno Grizzlies' Memorial Day tribute video (WaPo)
The freshman congresswoman noted in a Tweet that sentiments like those expressed in the video can inspire violent threats against her.