Holden Kushner's Nationals Minute

Holden Kushner's Nationals Minute

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 12:32 PM

By Holden Kushner

Consider today Day One A.S.: After Strasburg. Its not that the Nationals were non-existent since relocating to the nations capital in 2005; its just that they didnt matter.

After Tuesday nights positively electrifying performance by one of the the most-hyped pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball, the Nats will be relevant every fifth game they play. Or, at the very least, every time number 37 starts.

Ive covered my fair share of Opening Days, All Star Games, playoff games and World Series, and last nights game was unlike any Ive ever attended. There wasnt a playoff atmosphere at Nationals Park; it was something different. In the playoffs, I get the sense of finality. Last night I felt like I was a part of a great new beginning.&8232;

For the first time in the history of Nats Park, there was a pregame electricity. Thousands of fans congregated around the main entrance on N Street at 4:05pm. I counted over 40 Strasburg jersey t-shirts on my way from the Navy Yard Metro to the stadium. The 40-thousand-plus fans in attendance seemed to know how to will their young savior on. Two strikes on a batter? Stand up and cheer him on. Umpire calls a ball? Boo the ump.

The pregame atmosphere in the locker room was mildly different. Looking at various players facial and body expressions, I sensed an air of anticipation that doesnt surround just another regular season game, never mind another regular season game against the dreadful Pittsburgh Pirates.

Strasburg looked calm throughout the pregame routine. I caught him watching Cash Cab on television a couple of hours before game time. He ducked out of harms way once a media throng ascended upon the home locker room.

About 75 minutes before game time, I saw Strasburg put two pairs of socks on each foot. He even put pants on like the rest of us humanoids do. But there is something different about this guy. We all found out when he took the mound for the first time when it counted.

He threw 101 mile per hour fastballs, late-breaking curve balls and owned the mound with the presence of an aged veteran.

In all, seven innings, two runs and 14 strikeouts later, we witnessed the savior of the Nationals franchise in action.

Strasburg is here. The Nationals are alive. Real baseball begins in D.C..

Its about time.

VIDEO: Nationals Minute with 106.7 FM The Fan's Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier.

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Nationals Roundup: Rout of Miami guarantees series win for Nats

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Nationals Roundup: Rout of Miami guarantees series win for Nats

The Nationals used Sunday's nine-run offensive outburst to skate past the Marlins, 9-6. The win marks the team's first three-game winning streak of the season. 

Here are your news and notes surrounding the 2019 Washington Nationals as they head into Monday's series finale against the Miami Marlins. 

Players Notes:

NATIONALS (22-31): 

Erick Fedde's second start of the season went well for the 26-year-old. He pitched five scoreless innings of four-hit baseball, walked three Marlins and fanned four. 51 of his 83 pitches were thrown for strikes. 

Washington erupted offensively Sunday. Howie Kendrick enjoyed a 3-for-5 afternoon, including a solo shot and three RBIs.  Anthony Rendon's 6th inning triple marked his first of the season, and brought two across the plate. 

Juan Soto's 8th inning single marked his 10th game (tied career best) in a row he's reached base safely. 

James Borque made his major-league debut Sunday, and it did not go as planned. He fell short of completing one full inning, surrendering four earned runs on three hits and walking two Marlins. He threw 29 pitches. 

MARLINS (16-34):

Miami starting pitcher Caleb Smith was bounced after just three innings. The Nats knocked him for five hits and cashed in for five runs. The 27-year-old entered Sunday's start with a 2.38 ERA. 

Neil Walker had a 2-for-5 afternoon which featured his 8th inning 2-run home run that got Miami on the board. 


SP Jeremy Hellickson: hamstring, expected to be out until at least May 31

RP Justin Miller: shoulder, expected to be out until at least May 31

SP Anibal Sanchez: hamstring, expected to be out until at least Jun 6

OF Andrew Stevenson: back, expected to be out until at least May 24

1B Ryan Zimmerman: foot, expected to be out until at least Jun 1

RP Koda Glover: elbow, expected to be out until at least Jun 6

RP Trevor Rosenthal: viral infection, Expected to be out until at least May 27

RP Austen Williams: shoulder, expected to be out until at least Jun 13

Coming Up:

Monday, 5/27: Nationals vs. Marlins, 1:05 p.m. ET, Nationals Park 

Tuesday, 5/28: Nationals @ Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET, SunTrust Park

Wednesday, 5/29: Nationals @ Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET, SunTrust Park



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How the Wizards could buy into the second round for another draft pick

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How the Wizards could buy into the second round for another draft pick

The Washington Wizards would probably be smart to add at least one more pick in this year's NBA Draft. They hold the ninth overall selection in the first round, but nothing in the second round. They have no second round picks until 2023 and that one is protected and was acquired in a trade.

Like most teams, they need more young players on cheap contracts with high upside. The best way to find those is in the draft.

The Wizards could always strike a trade to land more picks, either in the first or second round. But they also have the option to purchase a second round pick. 

The Golden State Warriors are well-known for employing that strategy. They got Patrick McCaw in 2016 and Jordan Bell in 2017 by buying into the second round.

The Wizards have been doing their due diligence scouting players who could fall in the second round. They met with a collection of players at the NBA Combine that would not be considered for the ninth pick. 

If Washington wants to add a second round pick, they will have the option to. But it won't be cheap, at least initially.

The whole reason for buying into the second round is to get a player on an inexpensive contract. The Warriors have done it a few times to add depth within the confinement of their championship payroll. 

But you have to pay money to get such a player. There is a maximum money limit tied to the salary cap. Last year, that limit was set at $5.1 million. The price can vary on how high the pick falls in the second round.

Last June, the Rockets paid $1.5 million to land the 52nd pick in the back-end of the second round to take Vincent Edwards of Purdue. The year before, in 2017, the Warriors paid $3.5 million to get the 38th overall pick from the Bulls to take Bell. That $3.5 million was more than the total contract he then signed with Golden State, about $2.2 million. 

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis would essentially have to sign on for overpaying a young player. During Leonsis' tenure, they have more often been on the other end of such deals.

Former team president Ernie Grunfeld had a habit for trading away second round picks and sometimes only for cash considerations. In 2014, the Wizards infamously traded the pick that became Jordan Clarkson to the Lakers. They received a little less than $2 million in return.

Like anything involving the draft, it is an inexact science. But getting another pick, one way or another, seems like the smart move for the Wizards right now. Buying into the second round is one of their options.