Nationals

Quick Links

Andrew Stevenson makes game saving catch to help Nationals beat Marlins

Andrew Stevenson makes game saving catch to help Nationals beat Marlins

WASHINGTON -- On a team loaded with stars, two rookies played key roles in Washington's win Thursday night.

Brian Goodwin had two hits, including a home run into the second deck leading off the eighth inning, Andrew Stevenson made a game-saving catch and the Nationals rallied past the Miami Marlins 3-2.

Goodwin broke a 2-2 tie when he connected on a 1-0 fastball from Junichi Tazawa (1-2) for his 13th homer of the season and second RBI of the night.

"He's a quick learner," manager Dusty Baker said. "How many teams could lose two centerfielders (Adam Eaton and Michael Taylor) and then (Goodwin) steps up?"

Due to injuries, Goodwin has played in 72 games for Washington, and his 35 extra base hits rank fourth among NL rookies.

Washington got three innings of scoreless relief from its recent bullpen acquisitions.

Brandon Kintzler handled the seventh inning, Ryan Madson (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Sean Doolittle worked around a one-out double by Miguel Rojas in the ninth for his seventh save since coming to Washington.

"Those guys are coming in and they're shutting people down," Goodwin said. "They're going right at hitters and attacking them and they're being kind of vicious about it."

Madson got a huge assist in the ninth from rookie left fielder Stevenson.

Stevenson made a diving catch near the foul line on a bloop by Dee Gordon with a runner on third to save a hit for the game's final out.

MORE NATS: NATS NICKNAME JERSEYS ARE STRAIGHT FIRE 

Giancarlo Stanton, who hit his Major League-leading 39th home run of the season, earlier in the game, was on deck.

"Off the bat I knew it was slicing, I figured I had a good chance at it though," Stevenson said. "He was a little late on the fastball. He hit it right where we thought he would."

Washington took three of four in the series and leads second-place Miami by 15 games in the NL East.

Washington starter Tanner Roark allowed two runs, four hits and five walks (two intentional) over six innings. Since the All-Star break, Roark is 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA.

Dan Straily of Miami had allowed only one baserunner before Adrian Sanchez led off the sixth with a double just inside third base.

After Roark bunted Sanchez to third, Goodwin smacked a single past a diving Gordon to score Washington's first run. Goodwin stole second, and - after a missed a sign - Bryce Harper doubled off the wall with first base open and Ryan Zimmerman on deck.

"We've got a back pick on (at second), and instead of throwing the back pick we throw a pitch," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "So that cost us basically. We were going to have to go after Zimmerman there instead of Harper, but we ended up going after the wrong guy."

After Gordon singled to open the third, Stanton homered to make it 2-0.

Quick Links

Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

Its Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Quick Links

Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

usatsi_9977852.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, the next step in our long journey to Opening Day is the spring training games themselves. Not every game is televised, so get ready to follow along with your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll still be exciting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Bryce Harper homered again, or if Max Scherzer is perfect through 4 innings (spoiler: both of these will happen).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing contracts in the next few weeks. The Nats are always willing to make a big splash, and even beyond the available free agents, have been linked to impact players like J.T. Realmuto in trade rumors.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the roster has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be happening while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for their seasons, so bookmark this page to check on the Nationals spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Nationals 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Braves at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Feb. 26 - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 1 (SS) - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Tigers at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Monday, Mar. 5 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 6 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Nationals at Tigers, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 13 (SS) - Mets at Nationals, 7:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 (SS) - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Mar. 17 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (ESPN2) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Nationals at Mets, 6:10 pm
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 - Nationals at Marlins, 7:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 27 (at Nationals Park) - Twins at Nationals, 4:05 pm