Since joining the Nats in a trade before the 2014 season, Doug Fister has been one of the best pitchers in the National League. He had a 2.41 ERA in 2014 and looks to be rounding into form this season after returning from the disabled list.
After throwing seven shutout innings against the Braves on Thursday, Fister shed some light his mindset during starts, specifically when it comes to focus and attention to detail. Fister can get so locked in, he said, that he will not even know what inning it is or the score.
"I don't check the score," he said. "I do not know the exact score and honestly when I'm at my best I have no idea what inning it is."
Fister was asked several follow-up questions after saying that and said he loses track of what inning it is several times a game. He's all about being laser-focused on the task at hand.
"I really try and stay simple. I want to take things one pitch at a time. If I get into anything bigger than that, then I'm in trouble myself," he said.
So, how does Fister know if the team is winning?
"I can sense a feeling in the guys when they go out and score, they've got some huge confidence and put great at-bats together," he said. "That's what we want is our whole team to be flowing with confidence and know that we've got the momentum and we can stay behind one another."
Fister didn't have to check the scoreboard much on Thursday, as the Nats' lineup provided him a six-run lead by the end of the third inning. They beat Atlanta 7-0 for their sixth straight win.
It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.
It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.
They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training.
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Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.
Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.
Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.