Sep 21, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT
A glimmer of hope – With the Mets having lost on consecutive days, and the Nationals on a three-game winning streak, the practically shut window of the Nats’ 2015 season has been pried open ever so slightly.
Both teams have 10 games remaining until they face off in the final series of the regular season in New York and the Mets lead by six games. If the Nats were to gain three games over their next 10, they could travel to Citi Field with an opportunity to save their season by sweeping that series.
Are those good odds? No, certainly not. Lloyd Christmas may have had a better shot with Mary Swanson. But the fact there is still a remote possibility of making the playoffs is not lost on the Nats.
Tyler Moore: “We still have the same goal and hopefully some thing can happen for us. You never know. We’re just trying to play it day-by-day… We’re thinking about it all the time. Hopefully it happens. It’s definitely possible. That’s the goal is to make the playoffs. We’re just going to try to play the best we can from here on out.”
Matt Williams: “They’re playing. They continue to play. They haven’t quit from the first day of the regular season and they won’t until the end of the season. I’m proud of them for that. I’m proud of them for how they prepare every day and have desire to win.”
Yunel Escobar through a translator: “Obviously, it’s there but the less we think about it as a team he believes the better we have a chance of catching up to them.”
Why Rendon and Espinosa were out – Trea Turner got the start at second base on Sunday and did his part in the Nationals’ blowout win. He had a single, a walk and scored a run. It was a nice flash into the future for the Nats, who will probably have him in the lineup a lot more in 2016.
But it wasn’t that simple, it turns out both Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa were dealing with minor ailments. Rendon was sick with the flu, while Espinosa has a right hamstring injury.
Williams made Espinosa’s injury seem pretty minor:
“He’s dealing with a little hamstring, since Philly. We’re cautious with him in that regard.”
Severino makes his debut – Catcher Pedro Severino was one of the first call-ups the Nationals made when they expanded their rosters on Sept. 1, but it wasn’t until Sunday that he finally saw his first game action.
Severino was called upon to pinch-hit for pitcher Matt Grace in the eighth inning and he promptly slapped a double off the wall in left field. He then came around to score on a single by Escobar and remained in the game to catch Joe Ross in the ninth inning.
It was a long time coming for Severino, who said he will give the ball from his first hit to his mother.
“I’m just give it to my mom. She’s been waiting a long time for getting my first at-bat. Dedication that ball for her,” he said.
Severino said he wasn’t nervous during the at-bat, but was certainly fired up after coming home.
“I’m just feeling great because when I score like everybody went in the dugout with me and give me high five. They proud of me. I feel like I help my team,” Severino said.
Severino’s locker is close to that of Wilson Ramos, who has been mentoring the rookie since he was called up. They talk about how to call games, breaking down different pitchers and matchups from at-bat to at-bat.
Ramos was sitting at his locker when Severino was asked if he thought his double had a chance to leave the park.
“I’m just thinking that’s why I walk a little bit. I need the wind to help me a little bit,” Severino said.
“Or, you could work out more,” Ramos quipped.
NL East Standings
Offensive game of the week: Bryce Harper 9/15 vs. Phillies – 3-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, 2 R.
Pitching game of the week: Stephen Strasburg 9/15 vs.Phillies – 8 IP, 0 R, H, BB, 14 SO. 105 pitches, 77 strikes.
Quote of the week:
Williams on his fiery exchange with Max Scherzer on Friday against the Marlins:
I asked him ‘Do you want him?’ and he said, ‘Yeah’, among other things. I don’t know if you can read lips.
Tweet (or Instagram) of the week:
MON – 7:05 p.m. vs. Baltimore Orioles (Gonzalez)
TUE – 7:05 p.m. vs. Baltimore Orioles (Roark)
WED – 7:05 p.m. vs. Baltimore Orioles (Scherzer)
THU – OFF
FRI – 7:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Zimmermann)
SAT – 4:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Strasburg)
SUN – 1:35 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies (Gonzalez)
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