Jul 13, 2015, 11:30 AM EST
Home Run Derby, All-Star Game this week – The 2015 MLB All-Star break begins on Monday night with the Home Run Derby and the actual game will be played on Tuesday night. The Nats do not have a representative in the derby this year, but they will have Bryce Harper in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic.
Here are the particulars in case you want to watch either event…
Home Run Derby
Time: 8 p.m.
Participants: Albert Pujols, Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Anthony Rizzo, Todd Frazier, Prince Fielder
86th MLB All-Star Game
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Nats ready for All-Star break – With the All-Star Game taking place in Cincinnati, each MLB team will get four days off before picking back up on Friday for the second half. A four-day break is good for everybody during a 162-game grind of a baseball season, but there are some mixed opinions on the time off depending on who you ask in the Nats’ clubhouse. Here are some quotes from players on what they think about the break and what they plan to do with their time:
“Given what’s happened in the first half with us and our health… guys will get a good break and we’ll be ready for Friday.”
“We always want to keep going, but the All-Star break is what it is. It’s here now and I think everybody’s going to excited to have a few days off and watch our guys represent and hopefully come out with a win.”
“No one’s every complained about the All-Star break. It’s time to get home and spend some time with the kids. They’re growing up fast and they want their Dad around. I’ll play with them for a while and recharge the batteries.”
“I got my family here, so I want to enjoy it with them. I’ll take care of my baby and try to have fun.”
“With a four-day break, you’re never going to complain. But it’s not one of those those things where I’m crawling into it. That’s always a good thing. I’m happy with where I’m at mentally and physically. Hit the refresh button for a couple days, hit the links and be ready to come back Friday for another series.
“It’s always nice to get a little break here in the middle of the season. I’ll use the rest and rest up for the second half… [I will] have fun. I won’t be pitching, but I’ll definitely be having fun out in Cincinnati. It’s a great experience, even if I’m not pitching. Just to be a part of that club and that clubhouse, it’s a really special feeling.”
What will rotation be out of the break? – I asked Williams after Sunday’s game what his rotation will be out of the break and he said the team will need a few days to decide. Surely they do know what it will be, they just won’t tell us quite yet.
That is understandable, given they have the Los Angeles Dodgers coming to Washington to begin the second half. They could use any competitive advantage they can get, as the Dodgers are one of the best teams in the NL.
But for baseball fans, the Nats’ rotation is of significant interest. The potential pitching matchups in that series are quite intriguing. The Nationals will likely have Scherzer pitch Friday night, with Jordan Zimmermann on Saturday and Doug Fister on Sunday. The Dodgers will probably go with Clayton Kershaw on Friday, Zack Greinke on Saturday and right-hander Mike Bolsinger on Sunday. Scherzer vs. Kershaw? Yes, please. Greinke and Zimmermann? That’ll do.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Danny Espinosa 7/6 vs. Reds – 2-for-4, HR, 2B, RBI, R.
Pitching game of the week: Max Scherzer 7/12 vs. Orioles – 8.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 7 SO. 115 pitches, 80 strikes.
Quote of the week:
Harper on Oriole Park at Camden Yards:
I don’t like hitting here. I just really don’t. Plain and simple. I mean, I hate it. So I think being able to get back home and do the things we need to do and get back to playing in our league the next two months is going to be good for us.
Tweet of the week:
Worst day to be on Sunday Night Baseball… Shark week starts and I don’t get to watch it…
— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) July 5, 2015
MON – Home Run Derby (8 p.m.)
TUE – 2015 All-Star Game (7:30 p.m.)
WED – OFF
THU – OFF
FRI – 7:05 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
SAT – 4:05 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
SUN – 1:35 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
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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