Hey, remember Roenis Elías? He’s a fun concept to think about. One day, we may see him again.
Here’s the news from Nationals Park:
VIDEO: Juan Soto Is Ridiculous, and He Doesn't Make Any Sense (Baseball Bits/YouTube)
Juan Soto isn't like your average phenom: his OBP, wRC, and insane eye for the strike zone differentiate him from the likes of Trout and Harper. In this 13 minute video, Baseball Bits dissects the statistics and facts that make Soto so great. Well worth the time if you have it.
How Turner has reached base in 31 straight games (MASN)
Trea Turner, when he's going, isn't quite the engine of the Nats' offense; he's more of the ignition — when he takes his walks, puts the ball in play, and creates havoc on the basepaths, good things happen. And with a 14.7% strikeout rate during an epic tear of 32-games straight on base, the Nats are reaping all the benefits.
Asdrúbal Cabrera debuts at first base, Robles sets HBP record (MASN)
Cabrera, in his first game ever at first, made a stellar play — while Victor Robles, despite getting better at getting out of the way, is now the single-season leader in HBPs.
Nats can't close out Cubs in nine, but still sweep in 11 (MASN)
The Nats and Cubs finally had a game that lived up to the billing of their series: an intense back-and-forth battle with great starting pitching.
Washington Nationals are streaking their way to impressive history (Sports Daily)
The Nats, after all the drama, have the inside track (lane? path?) on the first spot of the NL Wild Card (knock on wood, all that). Believe it or not, Fangraphs gives them a 97.7% chance of making the playoffs — or in other words, "put in any cliché you want right here because regardless of what it is, the Nationals have it covered."
Nationals find a way to keep winning, complete sweep of Cubs in extra innings (WaPo)
For the first time this year, the Cubs were swept off their own field. For the first time since 2005, it was the Nats who were responsible. For once this weekend, the game had some late drama — but the Nationals pulled it out yet again, dismantling the Cubs in extras.
Sweep stakes: Will Dave Martinez and Nats decide mentor Joe Maddon’s fate with Cubs? (Chicago Sun Times)
Davey Martinez knows first-hand how Joe Maddon manages, and he thinks he's the best in the game. If the Cubs drop him, Martinez says, someone will pick him up — but the ferocity with which Martinez's ballclub is playing may well cause the Cubs to say goodbye to the only manager who has delivered them a championship since 1908 if they meet in the Wild Card.
Nats complete their first Wrigley sweep since '05 (MLB.com)
At this point, the script is familiar enough: the Nats build a lead, the bullpen blows it. But thanks to stellar outings from Wander Suero and Daniel Hudson (save for one scare), the Nats gave themselves the chance to win, which they did in the 11th.
Each MLB team's most overlooked player (MLB.com)
"The answer is always Rendon here, right? He is currently having the best season of his already-outstanding career, and while we’re talking about him more, we’re still not talking about him enough. Did you know he’s a free agent this winter?"