Nationals

NFL Capsule: Patriots at Seahawks

NFL Capsule: Patriots at Seahawks

NEW ENGLAND (3-2) At SEATTLE (3-2)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

OPENING LINE - Patriots by 3 1/2

RECORD VS. SPREAD - New England 4-1; Seattle 3-2

SERIES RECORD - Patriots lead 8-7

AP PRO32 RANKING - Patriots No. 5; Seahawks No. 15

LAST MEETING - Patriots beat Seahawks 24-21, Dec. 7, 2008

LAST WEEK - Patriots beat Broncos 31-21; Seahawks beat Panthers 16-12

PATRIOTS OFFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (3), PASS (9)

PATRIOTS DEFENSE - OVERALL (22), RUSH (8), PASS (30)

SEAHAWKS OFFENSE - OVERALL (27), RUSH (7), PASS (31)

SEAHAWKS DEFENSE - OVERALL (1), RUSH (3), PASS (5)

STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Last matchup of No. 1 ranked offense vs. No. 1 ranked defense in Week 6 or later was Week 14 of 2007, when Patriots' top-ranked offense hosted Pittsburgh's No. 1 defense. The Patriots won 34-13. ... Patriots have won 24 of last 27 October games. ... QB Tom Brady has never played in Seattle, one of three cities he has yet to play. Brady injured in 2008 when Patriots last visited Seattle. Brady has never played at San Francisco or Tampa. ... Brady has thrown TD pass in 37 straight games, third longest streak in NFL history. He needs one more 300-yard passing game to tie Warren Moon for seventh in league history for most 300-yard games with 49. ... WR Wes Welker has overcome slow start to have three straight 100-yard receiving games. Franchise record is four straight by Randy Moss. ... RB Stevan Ridley has consecutive 100-yard rushing games and can be first Patriots' running back to have three straight 100-yard games since Curtis Martin in 1995. ... Patriots rushed for 200 yards in consecutive games for first time since 1978. ... Patriots have 101 first downs in last three games, first team since merger to have three straight games of 30 or more first downs. ... Patriots tied for league lead with plus-10 turnover differential through five weeks. ... S Tavon Wilson leads NFL rookies with two interceptions. ... Seahawks coach Pete Carroll coached Patriots for three seasons from 1997-99. ... QB Russell Wilson threw for season-high 221 yards and completed 19 of 25 passes last week vs. Carolina. ... RB Marshawn Lynch has rushed for at least 85 yards in 13 of last 14 games and leads NFC with 508 yards rushing. ... Seahawks only team in league to rank in top five in overall defense, pass defense and rush defense. ...Along with having No. 1 overall defense, Seahawks lead league in yards per play (4.39) and yards passing per play (6.02). ... Seahawks defense has not allowed opponent to score offensive touchdown in 128 minutes since Green Bay's Cedric Benson scored on TD run in fourth quarter of Week 3. ... In last four games, Seahawks defense has surrendered two touchdowns. ... Last home game vs. Green Bay, Seahawks recorded eight sacks in first half with DE Chris Clemons having four. ... DE Bruce Irvin leads rookies with 4 1/2 sacks. ... This is Seattle's only home game between Sept. 24 and Nov. 4.

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With trade deadline creeping, Nationals’ needs and situation remains the same

With trade deadline creeping, Nationals’ needs and situation remains the same

The Nationals left Atlanta on Sunday in the same place as they entered: 6 ½ games behind the first-place Braves.

A four-game split without Max Scherzer is palatable. A 5-4 overall road run since showing up in Philadelphia after the All-Star break is acceptable, though an easy argument could be made the results should have been better. Chances to sweep both in Philadelphia and Baltimore slipped.

What changed in the first nine games since the break? Nothing for the Nationals. They need bullpen help -- still. They remain in a solid position to make the playoffs -- still. Their health -- outside of a new heel flareup for Ryan Zimmerman -- remains decent. Scherzer’s lobbying to pitch Sunday night failed. However, he’s expected back on the mound Thursday against Colorado, which would put him on turn to face the Braves on July 30.

That Scherzer start would arrive a day before the trade deadline. This year, July 31 is it. No more post-deadline deals, no more scrapping pieces after a couple more weeks of testing the waters for a truer read on outcomes. It’s get it done by July 31.

Like their standing in the National League East, nothing changed over the weekend for the Nationals when it comes to need. They need another reliever. Probably two. And, they need to get in line.

Sunday night, reports began to percolate about Boston being interested in San Diego closer Kirby Yates and Toronto closer Ken Giles. The Red Sox are 11 games out of first place and three games out of the wild card. They, of course, are traditionally a go-for-it organization in such instances. As are the Nationals. The questions will be who else is joining them to drive prices and who will be willing to pay them.

Take Yates. He’s the National League’s best closer this season. He is ultra-low-cost. The salary-tracking site Spotrac pegs him as the best relief bargain in baseball. San Diego has another year of control and expects to improve next year. Is he someone it really trades? If so, how epic is the cost? Would the Nationals ever meet it with a higher-end prospect out of a sagging farm system?

What is San Francisco thinking now? It’s 2 ½ games out of a wild-card spot. It is suddenly -- somehow -- a .500 baseball team with 50 wins. The Giants are 22-10 in one-run games. That typically represents two things: a good bullpen and unsustainable results. The Giants’ bullpen has the seventh-best ERA in baseball. Three of the teams ahead of them currently hold a playoff spot. None of the other three are more than a game out of a playoff spot. The group is legit and seemed to be the basis of a pending sell-off from San Francisco (along with, possibly, Madison Bumgarner). But, now? They have to decide, and everyone waits.

Among the Giants’ would-be trade pieces is closer Will Smith. He has moved from a decent reliever to an excellent one the last two seasons. He knew at the All-Star break what might be ahead for him. Smith was the Giants’ lone member of the National League All-Star team.

“I don’t really pay attention to [trade rumors],” Smith told NBC Sports Washington. “I think that’s a distraction, kind of.... I don’t try to think too much into it, really. I play for the Giants right now. I’m going to play as hard as I can for as long as they want me to. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, oh well, I still get to play baseball. It’s kind of a win-win for me.”

Smith has been traded four times. The first time was as a 21-year-old minor-leaguer. He was stunned and disappointed. 

“I thought I was in trouble,” Smith said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

By now, he’s moved to a more Zen approach.

“Now -- the whole control what you can control, it really applies to this,” Smith said. “There’s nothing you can do about this, so why even try to drive yourself crazy.”

The potential playoff pile has tempered movement. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo acquired reliever Kelvin Herrera on June 18 last year. Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson arrived on July 16, 2017. If he can, Rizzo has shown a willingness to pull in problem-solvers well before the deadline. If pushed to the edge, like he was for Mark Melancon on July 30, 2016, he’ll move then, too. He’s yet to find a bullpen solution this year -- just like everyone else.

Yates, Smith, Giles and Detroit’s Shane Greene are assumed to be destined for new teams.  Four teams are within 2 1/2 games of the National League’s second wild-card spot. Washington holds the top spot by a mere half-game. Demand is high. Stock is low. Going for may get you in. Holding may send you home. In those ways, nothing has changed for the Nationals.

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Washington Nationals Roundup: Ryan Zimmerman re-injures right foot in loss to Braves

Washington Nationals Roundup: Ryan Zimmerman re-injures right foot in loss to Braves

Though the Washington Nationals lost to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night, Washington took home the series 2-1 and remains atop the NL Wild Card race. 

Check out the latest news and notes surrounding the Nationals.

Player Notes: 

SP Max Scherzer, who had been out of the rotation since July 13 with a back strain, is on track to return to the mound later this week. The right-hander is set to throw a full bullpen Monday, and baring any setbacks is likely to be cleared to start Thursday. 

Though the Nationals fell 7-1 to the Braves on Sunday, catcher Kurt Suzuki amounted for a third of Washington's offense (which only put up six hits). Suzuki went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, the only player to have a multi-hit game.

SP Joe Ross suffered his second loss of the season Sunday night, when he went 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on eight hits, though he struck out six. Washignton recalled the right-hander from Triple-A Fresno to start in place of RHP Austin Voth, who was placed on the 10-day inured list with right biceps tendinitis retroactive to Thursday, July 18. 

1B Ryan Zimmerman exited the game early on Sunday, after he re-injured his right foot. Throughout this season Zimmerman has battled plantar fasciitis in his right foot, which caused him to miss two months of play earlier this year. 

Injuries: 

SP Austin Voth: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, status uncertain

1B Ryan Zimmerman: Foot, sidelined, status uncertain

SP Max Scherzer: Back, 10-Day IL, out until late July

RP Jonny Venters: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely 

SP Jeremy Hellickson: Shoulder, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

RP Justin Miller: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out until mid-July 

RP Koda Glover: Elbow, 60-Day IL, out indefinitely 

RP Austen Williams: Shoulder, 10-Day IL, out indefinitely 

Coming Up:

Monday 7/22:  Nationals vs. Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Tuesday 7/23:  Nationals vs. Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Wednesday 7/24: Nationals vs. Rockies, 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park

Source: Rotoworld

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