Nationals

Vick eager for another start

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Vick eager for another start

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Michael Vick has another chance to show his teammates and the rest of the league he's still a pretty good quarterback.

Vick will start Sunday when the Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) close out their season against the New York Giants (8-7). It's fitting Vick will play possibly his last game for the Eagles at the Meadowlands.

Things haven't been quite the same for Vick and the team since his last start at the Giants. On Dec. 19, 2010, Vick led the Eagles back from a 21-point deficit with 8:17 remaining to beat the Giants 38-31 and clinch the NFC East title.

That remarkable comeback was the highlight of his four seasons in Philadelphia. Vick was the AP Comeback Player of the Year in 2010, started for the NFC in his fourth Pro Bowl and signed a $100 million contract before the start of the next season.

But since that win over the Giants, the Eagles are 10-14 in Vick's starts, including a playoff loss to Green Bay.

What went wrong?

``I can't tell you,'' Vick said Wednesday. ``Just so many moving parts, guys in and out. We had coaching changes and things of that nature. I really can't say what happened or what went wrong. I'd have to go back and look at all the film. We all have to evaluate and assess our situation as far as what happened at the conclusion of the season. It is what it is. It's not the first organization this has happened to and it certainly won't be the last. Hopefully it won't be this one.''

Vick is eager to get on the field after a concussion forced him to miss five games and being a healthy scratch last week. Rookie Nick Foles was named the starter for the rest of the season after Vick missed a couple games, but he's out with a broken hand.

So, Vick gets one more opportunity. His future in Philadelphia is uncertain. Coach Andy Reid is unlikely to return and massive changes are expected. Vick doesn't view this game as an audition, but teams looking for a starting quarterback in 2013 certainly will have access to the film.

``I'm not putting pressure on myself to go out and try to put on a great performance in the sense of an audition,'' Vick said. ``I think it's about just going out and playing and doing what you love to do. Already enough pressure on you in this league but the thing I'm truly confident about is my ability to play the game of football, what I know, what I've learned, the success I've had over the past years, and what I can accomplish. I think I just have to go out and continue to play my game.''

Vick struggled this season, committing 14 turnovers in nine games. He has 2,165 yards passing, 11 TDs and nine interceptions for a passer rating of 79.2.

The Eagles started 3-1 with Vick leading them to comeback wins on final-drive touchdowns in the first two games. But they fell apart, lost eight straight and are missing the playoffs for the second straight year for the first time in Reid's 14 seasons.

``It's great to know that you're going to have a chance to go out and play,'' Vick said. ``The one thing I never do is waver or back down from opportunities to go out there and get on the field regardless of what has transpired throughout the season. I'm fully confident in myself and the guys around me. We'll have to go out there and put it all together for the last game and get a win for Andy.''

Reid, for his part, hasn't considered the possibility it will be his last game. At least, he hasn't said so publicly.

``I haven't gone there,'' he said. ``I haven't gone there and I'm not going to go there. I'm going to get through this game and make sure my football team's ready to go.''

NOTES: DT Fletcher Cox and LB Mychal Kendricks both have concussions. Derek Landri would start if Cox can't play vs. the Giants and Akeem Jordan would replace Kendricks. ... DT Antonio Dixon signed a two-year deal to return to the Eagles. He was cut in training camp after three season in Philadelphia and played briefly in Indianapolis earlier this season.

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Nats’ bats blast Birds in Battle of the Beltways Game 1

Nats’ bats blast Birds in Battle of the Beltways Game 1

Is it a rivalry? That's a discussion for another time. Was it a blowout? You bet.

The first matchup of the two-game series went to the Nationals with a final score of 8-1 Tuesday night. 

Austin Voth recorded his first-ever Major League win even with a shaky first inning. The right-handed pitcher spoke to reporters postgame, saying the ball was slipping more than usual. 

With the fifth spot in the starting pitching rotation up for grabs, Voth believes "this is another opportunity."

"I know the last two outings that I've had haven't gone my way," the pitcher continued. "But I felt like I was fighting back in the start to put my name back in fifth starter contention." 

He did just that tonight.

"He's pitched well. I like what I'm seeing," said Davey Martinez. "If he struggles for an inning or a few pitches, he has that poise and gets back into that rhythm and I kind of like that."

It wasn't just the bullpen launching the Nats to victory. Three separate players (Soto, Rendon and Adams) combined for two RBI each. 

The Nationals were playing both long and short ball Tuesday night, with three of their eight runs coming from solo homers.

Matt Adams launched a ball to Eutaw Street to start off the Nationals scoring. Plaques line Eutaw Street to mark the balls that land there, and Adams' ball becomes the 102nd in the ballpark's history.  

Juan Soto batted a foul ball off of his shin in the top of the sixth. He responded two pitches later with a solo home run. 

Post-game, Soto admitted it hurt but, "I just get mad. When I hit it I was like 'you [pitcher] hit me.' It wasn't me it was the pitcher. I just get mad and I try to hit the ball as hard as I can." 

There is a lot of history between these two teams. The Nationals may have taken the 2018 series from the Orioles 5-1, but the all-time record still goes to the O's, 45-40.

The history between these two teams is not just on the field. Managers Davey Martinez and Brandon Hyde spent three years coaching together with the Cubs.

This is the first of four matchups this season between the two teams. The second and final game of the series takes place Wednesday night at Camden Yards. 

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No-hitter hurled in Beltway battle of Nationals-Orioles Double-A affiliates

No-hitter hurled in Beltway battle of Nationals-Orioles Double-A affiliates

In what *has* to be the most important game of the night between the Orioles and Nationals organizations, Bowie Baysox pitcher Michael Baumann threw a no-hitter against the visiting Harrisburg Senators.

The Double-A starting pitcher was absolutely filthy on the mound all night long, dominating the Senators lineup. Baumann needed just 94 pitches to mow down 29 batters, throwing 63 strikes while walking just two batters. He also struck out 10 as he thoroughly shutdown Harrisburg.

Baumann, who is rated the 24th-best prospect in the Orioles farm system according to MLB Pipeline, has had a dynamic start to his Double-A career. The 23-year old has a ridiculous 0.33 ERA through five games (three starts) in Bowie, spanning 27 innings.

This was, of course, his most impressive performance yet.

As for the Baysox offense, every player in the lineup recorded at least one hit. That's irony at its best.

At the time Baumann completed his gem, his organization’s Major League team wasn’t doing so well. The Orioles trailed the Nationals 5-1 in the seventh inning when it was announced on the big screen that Baumann had made history.

During a series in which the Orioles will be hard-pressed to beat their visitors from Washington, it’s nice to have something fun to point to from the minors.

Congratulations to Baumann. If he tosses a few more no-hitters, he’ll certainly find himself rocketing up prospect rankings list in a hurry.

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