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Williams on Ripken helping Desmond; Taylor on his catch


Williams on Ripken helping Desmond; Taylor on his catch

Ian Desmond told a story after Monday night's game that caught the attention of many baseball fans in the Mid-Atlantic area, how MLB Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Cal Ripken, Jr. gave him some advice recently that may have helped him snap out of an extended hitless streak.

Ripken saw Desmond before one of the Nats' games against the Dodgers over the weekend and told him he had similar struggles to what Desmond is going through right now back in 1993. You can read the full quote here.

Desmond had two hits on Monday night, including a home run, and credited Ripken with helping out. On Tuesday, Desmond's manager Matt Williams was asked for his thoughts on Ripken giving advice to one of his players.

"We welcome it. Cal knows all of our guys very well. He’s been around the ballpark. Anytime you can pick a brain like Cal Ripken’s then you gotta do it. So, yeah, words of encouragement are great," Williams said. "[That] gives Desi nothing but encouragement to say ‘okay, what’s in the past is in the past and will always be in the past and you can’t do anything about it now except go forward.’ So we welcome it. Any help that anybody can offer, we welcome."

Williams then shared how he would feel if a former big leaguer gave him similar advice back when he was playing.

"For me, if he was to say that to me in a time like that, it would just let me know that he’s watching me and he cares. And ultimately, that’s probably the best thing. It wasn’t necessarily words of mechanical advice or anything of that nature. It was ‘hey, I’ve been there. I know what your’re going through. Here’s how I came out of it. Here’s how I ended up having a good season after it was a struggle for me for a while.’ That’s nothing but positive mojo, positive feedback," Williams said.

Tuesday also gave outfielder Michael Taylor a chance to reflect on his spectacular catch from the night before. The rookie ended the top of the fifth with a leaping grab in right-center field that likely saved two runs.

Taylor said he could tell it was a big play based on Bryce Harper's reaction, as the right fielder ran right up to Taylor to celebrate. He also said he was able to watch the StatCast replay, which gives advanced statistics like speed, reaction time and route efficiency.

Taylor, in fact, took off before Mets' first baseman Eric Campbell even made contact. He registered a 98.1 percent route efficiency and reached a top speed of 19.1 miles per hour.

Here is what Taylor said about anticipation and taking off before a ball is hit:

"That's something that I work on during BP. In center field, you have the advantage to watch the ball go into the zone so I try to kind of anticipate where he's going to hit the ball. Just get a little momentum going in that direction."

And here is what Taylor had to say about reaching 19.1 miles per hour:

"I did [watch the replay]... I was just curious to see what the speed would be, so I checked it... I was hoping for better," he joked.

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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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.


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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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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.