Capitals

Instant Analysis: Nats-Mets

817110.png

Instant Analysis: Nats-Mets

Game in a nutshell: A good number of the 33,764 who paid to attend this game actually stuck around through a 2 12-hour rain delay and then through the actual game, and were rewarded for their patience with another fine showing from the home club. The Nationals jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a Danny Espinosa homer, a Ryan Zimmerman RBI single and an RBI triple and solo homer by Bryce Harper. That was plenty of run support for Gio Gonzalez, who labored through 5 23 innings but still held the Mets to one run. Craig Stammen, Michael Gonzalez and Tyler Clippard then closed it out to give the Nats another series victory. Coupled with the Braves' loss to the Dodgers, the Nationals now lead the NL East by five games heading into this week's showdown with Atlanta.

Hitting highlight: Maybe the most encouraging development of the weekend: Harper seemed to get his power stroke back. After recording a couple of hits (including a homer) on Friday, the rookie tripled and homered again in today's series finale. The home run was a blast to right-center, ricocheting off the facade of the second deck and was Harper's 12th of the season. The list of players in baseball history to record at least 12 homers in their age 19 season: Tony Conigliaro (24), Mel Ott (18), Ken Griffey Jr. (16), Mickey Mantle (13) and Bryce Harper (12). That's pretty impressive company.

Pitching highlight: Gonzalez has had better outings this season, but not many that required more guts than this one. The lefty gave up at least one hit in all six of his innings and was pitching from behind in the count all afternoon. Yet he made just about every important pitch when he needed to and emerged unscathed. Gonzalez actually had a shutout going into the sixth, only to fall victim to an Ike Davis double, a flyout and an RBI groundout. A four-pitch walk to Kelly Shoppach ended Gonzalez's day at a whopping 110 pitches, but he still departed to a standing ovation. And not without merit. Gio's 16 wins are now a single-season Nationals record, surpassing Livan Hernandez's total from 2005.

Key stat: Ian Desmond is now 0-for-11 since coming off the disabled list.

Up next: Bring on the Braves. The Nationals' lone remaining challenger in the NL East comes to town for a three-game series with major postseason implications. Jordan Zimmermann faces Tim Hudson in a fantastic pitching matchup to start things off at 7:05 p.m. Monday.

Quick Links

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

MORE CAPITALS' NEWS:

Quick Links

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

Bradley Beal receives zero All-NBA votes, which itself is a snub

On Thursday the NBA revealed the All-NBA teams for the 2017-18 season.

Not surprisingly, Bradley Beal and John Wall did not make it to one of the three five-player teams. Of the two superstars, only Wall has been recognized once in his career.

What is surprising is that neither Beal nor Wall received a single vote in the whole process, especially Beal.

The 2017-18 season was without question the best in Beal’s career. He played in all 82 games, coming right off of the heals of his All-Star recognition. Beal seems to agree in his snubbing, tweeting this minutes after the teams were announced:

Looking at the list of players who made the top three teams, it shouldn’t be an issue, but these three guys got more votes than the Wizards' duo combined: Steven Adams, Trevor Ariza, and Dwight Howard. It is not surprising that Beal and Wall did not make an All-NBA team. It is odd that Beal didn’t receive a vote.

Here is a list of the full All-NBA Teams:

ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM: 

LeBron James (Cavaliers), James Harden (Rockets), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Kevin Durant (Warriors)

ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM:

Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Joel Embiid (76ers), LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)

ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM:

Stephen Curry (Warriors), Victor Oladipo (Pacers), Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Paul George (Thunder)

MORE WIZARDS’ NEWS: