Quick Links

Nationals win one for the skipper, beat Mets: 'This one’s for Dusty'

Nationals win one for the skipper, beat Mets: 'This one’s for Dusty'

Through all the ups and downs of this season, and with plenty of roster changes along the way, one of the constants for the Nationals has been manager Dusty Baker in their dugout, leading the way with his calm, experience-driven approach. For the first time all year, that was not the case on Wednesday afternoon, as Baker was absent due to the death of a close family member. In his place was bench coach Chris Speier, who spoke before the Nats played the Mets about how the team was preparing to play with heavy hearts.

Baker surely has a lot on his mind these days and is dealing with matters that are far more important than the game of baseball. But the Nats hope their impressive win over rival New York, one that dropped their magic number to win the NL East to seven, can help cheer him up.

"It was different. He's been there all year for us and today we had to pick him up a little bit," center fielder Trea Turner said. "Hopefully he can get back here as soon possible and everything is okay. That's what a team is, that's what a family is. We embrace each other and we pick each other up."

"It's an unfortunate situation that Dusty's going through and we wish him the best," catcher Wilson Ramos, who hit the go-ahead homer, said through an interpreter. 

"We went out there with that in mind and hopefully uplifted him a little bit. I know he's very pleased and happy about the win we gave him today. We wish him all the best and, if anything, in a sad moment we gave him some kind of pleasure and happiness for today."

Speier was entrusted by Baker to take his place for Wednesday's game and may have to on Friday, when the Nats move on to Atlanta, as well. He has coached with Baker for years and considers him like a brother.

Speier admitted after the 1-0 win that he had Baker in mind the whole time.

"I got emotional. I was saying some powerful prayers. This one’s for Dusty," Speier said. "I know he’s happy today for that. It may add a little bit of joy to the tough time that he’s in right now."

It was a narrow win for the Nats, who saw Tanner Roark dominate through seven shutout innings and Ramos provide the only run on his seventh-inning solo homer. They held off the Mets, who have much more to play for at the moment, and they did it without Baker, who they hope to have back very soon.

[RELATED: Nationals' 2017 regular season schedule released]


Quick Links

Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

AP Images

Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.


Quick Links

Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

USA Today Sports Images

Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.