May 18, 2015, 2:27 PM EDT
Offense continues to roll – After scoring 10 runs against the Padres on Sunday, the Nationals now rank second in baseball in scoring. They went 5-2 on their road trip and scored at least nine runs in four of those games. With Bryce Harper leading the way, the Nats’ lineup has been on an absolute tear in the month of May.
This month the Nationals lead the majors as a team in runs (91), OPS (.833) and batting average (.299), and they place second in extra-base hits (257). Harper is 23-for-56 (.411) this month with nine home runs, 22 RBI, 14 walks, 18 runs and a 1.511 OPS in 16 games.
Many Nationals fans have wondered what it would look like if the lineup was clicking on all cylinders and Harper was playing up to his potential. Right now, you’re seeing it.
Could be big week for injury updates – There should be plenty of injury updates from the Nationals this week as several players are set to undergo tests on various ailments. On Tuesday, we could see Casey Janssen be activated off the disabled list for the first time this year. We should also know more about Jayson Werth’s left wrist. The Nationals waited through the weekend to see if the swelling would go down after he was hit by a pitch on Friday night. We’ll see what they have for us on that in Matt Williams’ pregame press conference on Tuesday.
Anthony Rendon is in Viera, Fla. doing baseball activities as he works his way back from a strained oblique. Perhaps we know by the end of the week when he will be ready to go on a rehab assignment.
Doug Fister is on the mend with a strained right flexor muscle. He is also waiting for the swelling to go down before the next step in his rehab is determined.
Will Nats leap the Mets this week? – The Nationals enter this week just a half-game behind the New York Mets in the NL East and a unique schedule due to interleague play. The Nats are off on both Monday and Thursday, with games against the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Yankees are in first place at 22-17, the same record the Nats’ currently have. It is not an easy matchup by any means, though the Nats will miss starter Michael Pineda, who has been brilliant so far this season. After the Yankees, the Nationals will face the Phillies, who have won five straight. They are still in last place, however, at 16-23.
While the Nats go up against the Yankees and Phillies, the Mets will have a tough four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals have MLB’s best record at 25-12. After hosting St. Louis, the Mets go at the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates have been disappointing so far this year at 18-20, but they are a team that has made the playoffs in consecutive years. Pittsburgh is also 9-5 against the Mets in the last two seasons.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Bryce Harper 5/17 vs. Padres – 3-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 3B, BB
Pitching game of the week: Max Scherzer 5/16 vs. Padres – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 11 SO. 104 pitches, 73 strikes.
Quote of the week:
Jose Lobaton on Harper via MLB.com:
“Oh, my God. I would say OMG. He is unbelievable. How can you explain that? He hits a home run, a single, triples. I don’t know. It’s good to have someone like that on the team.
“He is ready. The way he is seeing the ball, he is hitting everything. High fastballs, he checks those pitches. What’s going on here? I want to do that. I’m really happy for him and we have that guy with us. He has been doing good. He is going to keep doing the same right now.”
Tweet of the week:
Happy mothers Day to all those womans in the world
— Wilson Abrahan Ramos (@WRamosC3) May 10, 2015
MON – OFF
TUE – 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Yankees (Gonzalez)
WED – 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Yankees (Cole)
THU – OFF
FRI – 7:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Zimmermann)
SAT – 4:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Scherzer)
SUN – 1:35 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Strasburg)
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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- Matt Grace, Howie Kendrick lead Nationals past San Diego Padres
- Max Scherzer scratched from start against San Diego, heading to DL
- Mike Rizzo details the rehabilitation process for Bryce Harper to return for Nationals
- Howie Kendrick hits two homeruns for Nationals against former team
- Howie Kendrick's extra-inning grand slam finally puts Nats-Giants series to bed
- Bryce Harper suffers bone bruise in knee
- Bryce Harper injured in Nationals' 3-1 win
- Bryce Harper carried off field with gruesome knee injury after slipping on first base
- Giants-Nationals game postponed after lengthy rain delay
- Andrew Stevenson makes game saving catch to help Nationals beat Marlins