Nationals

Quick Links

Ryan Zimmerman breaks franchise record against Marlins

Ryan Zimmerman breaks franchise record against Marlins

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez went from changing diapers to fooling the Marlins with his changeup once again while Ryan Zimmerman continued re-writing the Nationals record book.

Zimmerman had four run-scoring hits, including two solo home runs, drove in five runs, received two curtain calls and became the franchise's all-time RBI leader as the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 10-1 on Wednesday night.

MORE NATS: RYAN ZIMMERMAN BREAKS HOME RUN RECORD

Gonzalez (10-5) allowed one run over seven innings after nearly tossing a no-hitter against the Marlins in his previous start. In between, he missed a turn to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The left-hander gladly discussed son Gabriel and the time spent with his family - "It was a beautiful thing" -- but started his postgame talk with lavish praise of Zimmerman.

The first baseman also walked, scored four runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle. He passed Tim Wallach (905), now the Marlins bench coach, for most RBIs in Expos and Nationals history with his second-inning homer. Last month Zimmerman became the franchise's all-time leader in home runs.

"RBI, home run leader. Just put a crown on him," Gonzalez said of Zimmerman. "He's the best."

That's probably what Miami thinks of Gonzalez. In Washington's 1-0 win on July 31, Gonzalez held Miami hitless through eight innings and finished with a one-hitter. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and didn't walk a batter in the rematch. The left-hander has won at least 10 games in eight consecutive seasons.

"He kept us off-balance," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We got more hits out there, but we weren't really able to get to him."

The Marlins ended any no-hit drama early, but didn't score until Ichiro Suzuki's RBI hit in the fourth. Suzuki had three hits.

Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went hitless for Miami after homering twice this series.

"Everyone talks about his curveball," Zimmerman said of Gonzalez, "but I feel like he gets a lot of groundballs with the changeup."

Washington's offense typically doesn't support Gonzalez -- nine runs over his last seven starts -- but it had five runs and 11 hits off Miami starter Adam Conley (4-5).

Bryce Harper had two hits and two RBIs for Washington. He scored from first on Zimmerman's double in the third for a 3-0 lead after reaching with a run-scoring single.

During a two-run fifth inning, Zimmerman knocked in Harper after the slugger's drag bunt single and Conley's wild pitch.

Conley was 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts since his recall from Triple-A New Orleans on July 18.

"They just kind of kept nicking at (Conley) in that fifth," Mattingly said. "He looked like he had run out of steam and had trouble getting through that. . Zimmerman obviously was all over him tonight."

Zimmerman entered Wednesday batting .076 (2 for 27) since July 31.

"It's been a rough 10 days," he admitted.

Washington's first draft pick after the franchise relocated from Montreal following the 2004 season received loud roars from the crowd after both homers.

"I have a special connection with all the people here," he said. "Kind of grown up together."

Stanton smacked home run No. 38 in Tuesday's 7-3 win. The right fielder had five homers and nine RBIs with a .368 (7 for 19) batting average over the opening five games of the seven-game road trip.

Quick Links

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

It's 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