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The Morning Briefing: The Nationals win a series in the desert! Now, off to the Windy City!

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Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball headlines, news, and the latest news for Monday, May 17, 2021

Good Monday morning, Washington Nationals fans! Thank you for starting the week with us!

I am back after taking some much-needed time off, and even the Nationals needed a much-needed series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Game Time Weather via the National Weather Service: Cloudy, with a low around 54. East wind around 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.

Upcoming games:

  • Monday, May 17, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs, 7:40 pm EDT
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs, 7:40 pm EDT
  • Wednesday, May 19, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs, 7:40 pm EDT
  • Thursday, May 20, 2021: Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs, 2:20 pm EDT

Today’s Top Story: The Washington Nationals win series in desert, now head to Windy City

Over the weekend, the Washington Nationals got a much-needed series win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. There were a lot of great things that happened during this series.

First and foremost, the Nationals’ offense showed some sort of life in Friday night’s game when they saw production from Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber, two important ingredients that the Nationals need if the team wants to play in October. On Friday night, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer continued his most recent hot streak by going five innings and only giving up two hits and no runs, striking out seven. 

Yesterday afternoon, right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde made an impressive start to make his case that when Stephen Strasburg returns, he should be a part of the pitching rotation. Yesterday, Fedde went seven shutout innings and had 12 ground-ball outs. He has a 3.34 ERA over his last seven starts.

The Nationals also saw closer Brad Hand close out the top of the bottom of the ninth by striking out two of the three Diamondback hitters, which was another good sign being that the closer has experienced some blown saves over the past few games (especially in the New York Yankees series).

Now the Nationals head to the Windy City to face the Chicago Cubs for a four-game series, then they head home to face the Baltimore Orioles in a weekend series. 

Currently, the Washington Nationals are in last place in the NL East with a record of 16-20 and are three games back of the New York Mets, who sit in first place.

Speaking of Erick Fedde…


Fedde strengthens case with strong outing against Diamondbacks

We all know that once Stephen Strasburg returns to the pitching rotation (more on that soon), Dave Martinez is going to have to decide what to do with the fifth spot in the pitching rotation. (However, I feel that there is another solution to this problem, but stay tuned for that on the NatsReport later in the week.)

Yesterday, Erick Fedde made his case that he should occupy the fifth spot in the pitching rotation with a strong outing giving up no runs over seven innings, 12 ground-ball outs, and four strikeouts. Yesterday’s latest performance showed how he has improved over his last couple of starts. After giving up six runs in 1 2/3 frames in his first start this season, his ERA over his last seven starts stands at 3.35.  Dave Martinez noticed Fedde’s improvement, especially in yesterday’s game. In his post-game press conference, Martinez said: “I think that’s probably the best I’ve seen him throw.”

“Any time you can go seven innings scoreless, I’d say it’s a pretty good day,” said Fedde, a Las Vegas native who dominated in front of friends and family in the stands in Phoenix. “I think I got even stronger as the day went on.” 

The Nationals will have an interesting decision to face once Stephen Strasburg is activated off the IL.

Speaking of Stephen Strasburg…


Strasburg makes Rochester debut

In another sign that the Nationals are one step closer to having their team at full strength (which, by the way, hasn’t happened yet this season), Stephen Strasburg made his Rochester Red Wings debut yesterday afternoon on an IL assignment. The right-hander, wearing number 46, finished the day by allowing two hits and two walks while striking out six over 4.1 innings on 75 total pitches. [Twitter link of pictures of the Right hander via the Rochester Red Wings]. 

Martinez spoke of Stephen Strasburg’s Triple-A start yesterday after the Nationals game: “He felt good. His shoulder felt good. There were no issues. He was a little erratic the first inning, but he settled down a little bit and threw the ball better. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, and then we’ll reassess and go from there.”


Series Preview: The Washington Nationals head to the Windy City for a four-game series

There is nothing like facing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field; here is what to expect in this upcoming series against the Chicago Cubs.

After a weekend road trip and series win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Washington Nationals will head to the Windy City to face the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. All eyes will be on former Chicago Cubs left-handed pitcher Jon Lester and right-fielder Kyle Schwarber as they make their first return to Wrigley since signing with an opposing team. 

Click here to read the full series preview.


Today’s Must Reads

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