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Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

When Sean Doolittle pitched Friday evening against the Milwaukee Brewers, he thought he'd made huge progress on his mechanics and felt good heading into Saturday's game.

But when things fell apart after Christian Yelich helped the Brewers rally to a 15-14 win in extra innings, Doolittle knew something was wrong.

"I thought I was every bit good enough to grind this out," Doolittle explained on Grant & Danny on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday morning.  "It was kind of a helpless feeling coming off the mound."

That helplessness led to him being placed on the injured list with a knee injury.

"I kinda battle a little bit of knee tendonitis regularly. It's something I've managed throughout my career," Doolittle said.

He thinks he tweaked it playing in San Diego early June. Since then, he believes his mechanics have suffered trying to alleviate the pain.

"Trying to compensate for it maybe favoring it a little bit subconsciously, my mechanics eroded," Doolittle noted. "It's just this beautiful chaotic circle we have to just pause, get the knee right."

Doolittle says he's going to take the time off to re-work his mechanics. Specifically, he wants to work on a toe-tap and slight hitch he has in his throwing motion, which he described as a subtler version of Clayton Kershaw's famous leg kick.

"I think there's some things I can do mechanically to get my body in a better position," Doolittle said. "This is an opportunity to get it right."

His big goal is to get his body in "better position over the rubber before the kick."

That way, he can have more momentum over the baseball, especially with a powerful four-seam fastball. "You're basically falling down the mound rather than driving and getting behind the ball." 

Throughout the season, he noted he's had good communication with manager Davey Martinez, and that blaming anybody would be a waste of time.

Since being placed on the IL, he's had a few days to rest before he started some light pitching activities Tuesday.

"It'll be a good break to get my body ready for September and October," he noted. "I'm throwing myself into this process and I'm not hanging my head."

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Senator Bernie Sanders joins Nats' closer Sean Doolittle's fight against MiLB changes

Senator Bernie Sanders joins Nats' closer Sean Doolittle's fight against MiLB changes

After Nationals closer Sean Doolittle expressed disappointment on Twitter with proposed minor league restructuring, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) joined the online discussion, supporting Doolittle's argument.

In response to continuing testimonies that MiLB players are unfairly paid to play in poor conditions, Major League Baseball proposed a solution that would eliminate 42 teams (over one quarter of the total 160 minor league clubs) in order to reallocate that money. The list is comprised of teams mostly from four Rookie Leagues with short seasons and a handful in Class AA and A.  

Of closest concern for Senators Sanders lies at home. In Vermont, this plan would eliminate the Oakland A's short-season A affiliate in Burlington -- the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Penn League. 

In Maryland, both the Orioles' Advanced-A Frederick Keys and the Nationals' Class A Hagerstown Suns would be scrapped. In the Nationals' scope of impact also lies the Short-Season A Auburn Doubledays.

In Virginia, Pittsburgh's rookie-level Bristol Pirates would cease to exist, as well as Atlanta's Danville Braves rookie team.

Removing these teams from baseball's farm system destroys backbones within smaller communities for local businesses that bring commerce and tourism not otherwise blowing down their roads. Thousands of players would no longer live there at least seasonally, as well as hundreds of jobs and infrastructure connected to these teams would be eliminated.

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If Stephen Strasburg were to sign with another NL East team, would he be booed in his return to Nationals Park?

If Stephen Strasburg were to sign with another NL East team, would he be booed in his return to Nationals Park?

As a free agent, Stephen Strasburg is welcome to sign with whomever he wishes. Although the Nationals are currently the favorites to re-sign one of their aces, where Stras will end up is certainly up in the air.

If Stephen Strasburg were to sign with another NL East team this offseason, would he be booed in his return to Nationals Park?

Bryce Harper was booed relentlessly in his return to Nationals Park in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform. Would the same principle apply to other former Nationals?

The Nationals Talk Podcast discussed the sentiment on their latest episode.

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"I think he would be initially cheered and then sort of booed," Todd Dybas said. "Just his general demeanor doesn't prompt the divisiveness that certainly Bryce Harper did and does," Dybas continued.

Dybas also mentioned that information following Strasburg's hypothetical signing with another team would be a big factor in the fans' decision to boo or not to boo, such as when Harper chose the Phillies over the Nationals when the deals were somewhat comparable, to which Chase Hughes agreed.

"The context is just so much different in the sense that Stephen Strasburg just delivered a World Series and was one of the central reasons why," Hughes said. "He should never have to buy a drink in this town again even though he's probably going to end up with like $400 million in his career, in career earnings."

Tim Shovers agreed that Strasburg's hypothetical return would deliver a "mix" of cheers and boos.

Hopefully, this scenario stays hypothetical, and the Nats can re-sign the World Series MVP.

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