Nationals Magazine Digest: Postseason 2016

The latest edition of Nationals Magazine is on sale at Nationals Park
The latest edition of Nationals Magazine is on sale at Nationals Park.

The final issue of Nationals Magazine for 2016 featuring the Washington Nationals celebrating a walk-off victory is now on sale at Nationals Park. The latest magazine includes a vibrant series of photographs featuring “Signature Moments” from the 2016 regular season and two short articles written by the radio broadcasters.

Nine “Signature Moments” are featured in the magazine. Fans should definitely pick up a copy of the magazine to relive the moments by checking out the photos and reading the recaps. Video clips celebrating the “Signature Moments” were featured on NatsHD before the previous postseason games.

  1. April 4 – The Pursuit Begins – The section celebrates the success of Harper on Opening Day and the arrival of Daniel Murphy.
  2. April 14 – One Hundred Grand – Bryce Harper hit his 100th career home run in style.
  3. April 24 – The Roller Coaster – I never leave games early because of games like these. Bryce Harper delivered a game saving pinch-hit home run and Chris Heisey delivered a game winning home run in the 16th inning agains the Minnesota Twins.
  4. May 9 – The Accidental Walk-Off – In a game most notable for Harper’s ejection and subsequent outburst against home plate umpire, Brian Knight, Clint Robinson hit a walk-off home run without knowing the inning of his pinch hit appearance.
  5. May 11 – 20th & K – Max Scherzer had, arguably, the most dominant games of his career when he struck out 20 players in a nine inning game. Strikeouts are sexy.
  6. June 15 – 2 Legit 2 Quit – Jayson Werth told his critics that they could kiss his ass after he delivered a walk-off against the Chicago Cubs.
  7. June 30 and July 3 – See You L-8-R – Danny Espinosa won NL Player of the Week honors after an offensive outburst against the CIncinnati Reds. His most notable achievement was hitting home runs from both sides of the plate in both games including two grand slams.
  8. July 29 – Rule of Three – This one took place late at night on the road in San Francisco. Dusty Baker made a triple switch and substituted in Danny Espinosa, Ryan Zimmerman and Sammy Solis. The result was the first 3-3-5 triple play in MLB history.
  9. September 9 – The Perfect Ending – Trea Turner could probably be elected Mayor if he wanted to put his baseball career on hold. The two time NL Rookie of the Month belted two home runs including a walk-off home run to center field to top the Philadelphia Phillies.

In “You Never Know,” Dave Jagler writes about how the Nationals can very feasibly have a successful postseason run. Jagler describes how anything can happen in October and that teams with the most elite hitters, starters and bullpens are not guaranteed the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Charlie Slowes echoes a similar sentiment in “Hero Time.” Slowes describes how players like Daniel Murphy, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner can each play a role in a successful postseason run.
The magazine also contains a large (two-page) scorecard which you can use Thursday to score the game.

Nationals Magazine Digest: September 2016

 

Daniel Murphy is featured on the cover of the third issue of Nationals Magazine this season.
Daniel Murphy is featured on the cover of the third issue of Nationals Magazine this season.

The third issue of this season’s Nationals Magazine is on sale at Nationals Park and features Daniel Murphy on the cover along with an accompanying story by Mike Feigen highlighting Murphy’s success at the plate over the last year.

Feigen describes the specific changes Murphy made to his mechanics last season which resulted in his breakout 2015 postseason that carried over into the 2016 regular season. He also highlights how Murphy’s performance, like his clutch game-tying home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 17, can be a “leverage point” that can tilt the scale for the Washington Nationals as they play into October.

Danny Espinosa is also featured in an article by David Driver. In “The Switch,” Driver presents the highlights of Espinosa’s season through the prism of his playing career as a college student in the Cape Cod League–the premier summer wooden bat league. The article has quotations from his coach with the Chatham Anglers and his coach from Long Beach State University which contextualize how Espinosa developed athletically and rose to finally become a starter for the Nationals.

The final feature story in the magazine is written by Charlie Slowes and highlights the work of the groundskeepers and grounds crew who maintain the field at Nationals Park. The story describes the decision making that went into deciding to delay the start of a game against the New York Mets and the subsequent decisions that went into delaying the game. Fans will come away from the story with an understanding that taking care of the field is a 365-day-a-year job. The article also features five photographs of the grounds crew in action.

This photo of Mark Melancon is just one of the "Easter eggs" Nationals fans will find in the latest issue of Nationals Magazine.
This photo of Mark Melancon is just one of the “Easter eggs” Nationals fans will find in the latest issue of Nationals Magazine.

The issue contains two “Easter eggs” for Nationals fans. The first is a public service announcement for TobaccoFreeBaseball.org on page 23. The second is on page 76 where a headshot of Mark Melancon features him in his uniform from his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Nationals Magazine can be purchased at the Nationals team store and most clubhouse stores in Nationals Park.

Topps Now: Danny Espinosa Hits 2 HRs and Drives In 7 Runs

Danny Espinosa capped off an impressive June with a Grand Slam in the third inning and a three-run home run in the fourth inning on Thursday night.
Danny Espinosa capped off an impressive June with a grand slam in the third inning and a three-run home run in the fourth inning on Thursday night.

Grand slams are one of the most exciting moments in baseball and fans had been treated to two of these home runs at Nationals Park in 2016 prior to Thursday night’s game. Bryce Harper’s much anticipated 100th career home run was a grand slam that broke an LED board in right field and created buzz on social media.

Jayson Werth became the second Nationals’ player with a grand slam this season and his came in a pinch hitting situation during a Memorial Day weekend matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Danny Espinosa, the veteran shortstop for the Washington Nationals, hit the team’s third grand slam of the season and finished up a breakout month Thursday night. Espinosa scuffled in April and May and his performance earned him derision from critics who wanted to see him replaced by Trea Turner, the top hitting prospect in the organization. Espinosa’s bat, however, came alive in June and he became a dominant hitter from the eighth spot of the batting order. Turner has since seen playing time in center field to accommodate the breakout of Espinosa.

Espinosa’s grand slam in the third inning was yielded by Brandon Finnegan and it put the Nationals ahead 8-1. It also fired up the crowd who called for a curtain call.

He also tipped his helmet the following inning after taking Josh Smith deep for a three-run home run, and his seventh RBI of the night, to put the Nationals ahead 13-1.

The Topps Now card released Friday afternoon commemorating Espinosa’s big night may as well have represented his torrid June where he hit nine home runs, had 21 RBIs and had a stratospheric 1.122 OPS.

These baseball cards are available on the Topps website until 2:00pm on Saturday, June 2.

THE MOMENT:
Danny Espinosa had himself a night, driving in seven out of the 13 runs scored by the Washington Nationals in a 13-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Espinosa drove in his first four runs by clubbing a grand slam off Brandon Finnegan in the bottom of the third inning from the right side of the plate, and then drove in his next three runs by smacking a three-run homer off Josh Smith from the left side of the plate just one inning later.