Nationals

Quick Links

Daniel Murphy on his failed steal attempt in Game 1 of NLDS

Daniel Murphy on his failed steal attempt in Game 1 of NLDS

All season long, Dusty Baker has preached the impact that speed and heady base running can have on a game. But what Daniel Murphy did in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS showed the flipside of being aggressive on the base paths.   

After drawing a one-out walk in the seventh inning, Murphy unexpectedly attempted to steal second base off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez.

The decision backfired. Murphy was thrown out, leaving some to wonder why a player presumably still recovering from a left buttocks injury is trying to test himself in a critical game.

Baker and Murphy admitted afterward the steal was entirely latter’s idea, and was not apart of a hit-and-run or a called steal from the dugout.

“Our guys have a green light,” Baker said. “If they think a guy is slow to the plate, which Baez is. I guess the leg felt better than I imagined, because he’s running pretty good on that ball.”

“I thought [Baez] was slow enough for me to get [to second],” Murphy added. “Unfortunately he wasn't.”

The blunder took the tying run off the bases with Anthony Rendon at the plate, wasting another promising opportunity on a night full of missed chances. In other words, it was the type of mistake that gets magnified in the postseason.

“There's two choices on that, either be safe or don't run,” Murphy said. “It was a bad play.”

Caught stealing aside, the Nats were pleased to have Murphy back in the starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 17. The NL MVP candidate didn’t appear to look rusty, going 1-for-3 with a walk in Game 1 and looked no worse for wear while fielding.

But stealing bases hasn’t been his forte in 2016, as Murphy only swiped five bags in eight tries in the regular season. So as outs become more precious for the Nats in October, so too is balance between when to go for it and when to play it safe.

“If you’re going to run, you’re going to get caught stealing sometimes,” Baker said. “Like I said in the past, that’s why it’s called stealing. And you’re going to get caught sometimes.”

Quick Links

Ryan Zimmerman on coronavirus pandemic: 'It's like I'm retired, but I can't leave the house'

Ryan Zimmerman on coronavirus pandemic: 'It's like I'm retired, but I can't leave the house'

Just a few weeks after the Nationals hoisted the Commissioner's Trophy last fall as World Series champions, Ryan Zimmerman had a decision to make.

The longtime Nationals infielder has played in every season since the club moved to Washington in 2005 and holds multiple franchise records. The two-time All-Star, who turned 35 this past September, had to decide to return to the Nationals for another season or to retire as a champion.

After a couple of months of contemplating the decision, Zimmerman decided to keep playing. The Nationals re-signed the infielder to a one-year deal in February, hoping to get a victory lap, if nothing else.

"That was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to come back," Zimmerman said in an interview with NBC Washington. "I still love playing and think I can be productive, but I wanted to see what it was like to have a season where you're the defending World Series champions, to see how much fun it would be. Going on the road and see our fans, people that are excited to see us that don't necessarily live in D.C."

The MLB season was supposed to begin last Thursday, and the Nationals home opener was set for April 1. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, baseball, like all other professional sports, is currently on pause.

"I always thought when I wasn't doing anything in the spring, that during the summer I'd be able to do anything I want," Zimmerman said. "It's like I'm retired, but I can't leave the house."

As for the sports fans that are missing watching their favorite teams every day, Zimmerman feels for them.

"Were just as bummed as they are," he said. "You don't realize how much you miss sports until they're gone."

Zimmerman has been home with his wife, Heather, and two daughters, Mackenzie and Hayden. While the couple admitted they are not used to being home this much during this time of the year, they said they were "blessed" to be in the situation they are in.

The infielder has served as the primary cook of the household, making dinner for the family every night, while Heather said she has a good routine down with the two young girls.

"It's been an interesting time," Heather said. "We're just taking each day at a time, shift every day to make it work."

Throughout their time in Washington, Zimmerman and his family have been very active in the community. During the difficult times for many, they have helped hospitals by sending over lunches, donating money, and purchasing items for a local women's shelter through an Amazon wishlist. 

While the Zimmerman's wait for the next time they can head to Nationals Park and resume their normal lives, they agree there are way more important things to be thinking about right now.

"The most important part is everyone stays safe and thinks about each other," Zimmerman said. "Baseball will come back at some point. But right now, there are a lot more important things than baseball."

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Nationals get the last laugh, read mean tweets from when they were behind in World Series

Nationals get the last laugh, read mean tweets from when they were behind in World Series

While April Fool's Day may be 'canceled' this year, the Nationals fooled these mean tweeters by reading tweets from when they were down to the Houston Astros in the 2019 World Series.

This isn't the first time the Nats have delivered quality, mean tweet content. Their first edition came February 24, when the Nats read mean tweets from fans when they were 19-31 on May 24. Next, they had some fun reading mean tweets from salty Braves fans thanking them for falling behind in the race to win the NL East and then from angry fans during the Wild Card Game. The last one was from NLDS Game 5 when they beat the Dodgers in extra innings.

We knew the World Series edition was coming and it did not disappoint.

"@AltKuzyFan And the bats forgot to come to the plate today," Ryan Zimmerman read, laughing. "Because it's so easy to score runs in the playoffs!" he said.

RELATED: TWO FANS TOLD NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON WHAT THEY THOUGHT WHEN THE NATS READ THEIR TWEETS

"@DrDanTrujillo Poor @Nationals fans. Bunch of losers like us @Dodgers fans. #WorldSeries," Stephen Strasburg read. "Hey, but maybe we're lovable losers," Stras said.

The highlight of the video was definitely the end when general manager Davey Martinez read this tweet:

"@GamerDragonx79 Game over."

"Hey brother, fight finished," Martinez said.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: