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Revisiting Opening Day media predictions on the Nats

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Revisiting Opening Day media predictions on the Nats

I've often said it's important that we as sportswriters be held accountable for what we write. We ask players and managers to be accountable for their performance. It's only right that we hold ourselves to the same standard.

Which makes this day-after-the-season tradition one of the more enjoyable -- albeit embarrassing -- posts of the year.

You may recall back on Opening Day when I and eight of my counterparts who cover the Nationals made our season predictions. Well, it's time to revisit those predictions and see how we did. (Hint: We didn't do nearly as well in 2012 as the Nationals did.)

As an added bonus, I'm also including my Opening Day predicted standings, postseason results and major award winners. Yeah, I'd like to have a few of those back, too.

Enjoy, and try not to mock us too much...

2012 OPENING DAY MEDIA PREDICTIONS

Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?
Mark Zuckerman (CSNwashington.com) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann
Adam Kilgore (Washington Post) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jayson Werth
Dave Sheinin (Washington Post) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
Amanda Comak (Washington Times) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
Bill Ladson (MLB.com) -- Ryan Zimmermann, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond
Dan Kolko (MASNsports.com) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg
Pete Kerzel (MASNsports.com) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez
Brian McNally (Washington Examiner) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg
Craig Heist (WTOP) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
WINNER: Ladson was the only one to get Desmond right (though I suppose we could raise the technicality that Desmond never actually represented the Nats AT the game). Zuckerman, Kilgore, Kolko and McNally got Strasburg right. Nobody had Gio.

What will total home attendance be?
Bill Ladson -- 3,000,000
Amanda Comak -- 2,745,670
Brian McNally -- 2,700,000
Craig Heist -- 2,550,000
Mark Zuckerman -- 2,368,914
Dan Kolko -- 2,280,000
Dave Sheinin -- 2,313,753
Adam Kilgore -- 2,226,652
Pete Kerzel -- 2,099,631
WINNER: Actual attendance was 2,379,794, so the winner is me, missing by only 10,880. If only I could put my attendance savant skills to something of actual significance.

When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut?
Pete Kerzel -- May 6 vs. Phillies
Adam Kilgore -- May 17 vs. Pirates
Brian McNally -- May 25 at Braves
Craig Heist -- May 27 at Braves
Bill Ladson -- June 1 vs. Braves
Mark Zuckerman -- June 19 vs. Rays
Amanda Comak -- June 19 vs. Rays
Dan Kolko -- June 20 vs. Rays
Dave Sheinin -- July 6 vs. Rockies
WINNER: Harper debuted on April 28, so Kerzel came closest, missing by 8 days.

How many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season?
Craig Heist -- 13
Adam Kilgore -- 12
Pete Kerzel -- 12
Mark Zuckerman -- 11
Amanda Comak -- 11
Bill Ladson -- 10
Dan Kolko -- 9
Brian McNally -- 7
Dave Sheinin -- 7
WINNER: Harper hit 22 homers, so nobody actually came close, but Heist came closest.

How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record?
Brian McNally -- 180
Mark Zuckerman -- 177
Bill Ladson -- 177
Dave Sheinin -- 165
Adam Kilgore -- 155
Craig Heist -- 150
Amanda Comak -- 147
Pete Kerzel -- 142
Dan Kolko -- 140
WINNER: Strasburg struck out 197 batters, so McNally was closest, missing by 17.

What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?
Bill Ladson -- .290
Pete Kerzel -- .287
Amanda Comak -- .273
Brian McNally -- .272
Craig Heist -- .270
Mark Zuckerman -- .268
Dan Kolko -- .268
Adam Kilgore -- .265
Dave Sheinin -- .264
WINNER: Werth finished right at .300, a surprise to everyone but Ladson.

How many home runs will Michael Morse hit?
Mark Zuckerman -- 28
Amanda Comak -- 28
Brian McNally -- 26
Adam Kilgore -- 23
Craig Heist -- 23
Dan Kolko -- 21
Pete Kerzel -- 21
Bill Ladson -- 20
Dave Sheinin -- 18
WINNER: Sheinin hit this one right on the money. He gets to spin the big wheel again for a chance at 10,000.

What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?
Bill Ladson -- .360
Amanda Comak -- .326
Brian McNally -- .325
Pete Kerzel -- .325
Craig Heist -- .320
Mark Zuckerman -- .318
Dave Sheinin -- .315
Adam Kilgore -- .314
Dan Kolko -- .310
WINNER: Desmond set a career-high with a .335 OBP. Comak came closest at .326.

How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals?
Pete Kerzel -- 132
Adam Kilgore -- 130
Bill Ladson -- 130
Mark Zuckerman -- 127
Dan Kolko -- 125
Craig Heist -- 110
Brian McNally -- 98
Amanda Comak -- 91
Dave Sheinin -- 31
WINNER: Nobody predicted LaRoche would play in as many as 154 games, but Kerzel was the closest at 132.

Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many?
Bill Ladson -- Jordan Zimmermann, 20
Dan Kolko -- Gio Gonzalez, 17
Amanda Comak -- Gio Gonzalez, 17
Mark Zuckerman -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Brian McNally -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Dave Sheinin -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Craig Heist -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Adam Kilgore -- Jordan Zimmermann, 15
Pete Kerzel -- Jordan Zimmermann, 14
WINNER: Gonzalez beat everyone's expectations with 21 wins. Kolko and Comak had him leading the staff, but with only 17 wins.

How many games will Drew Storen save?
Dave Sheinin -- 40
Amanda Comak -- 39
Mark Zuckerman -- 37
Dan Kolko -- 34
Brian McNally -- 32
Pete Kerzel -- 31
Bill Ladson -- 30
Adam Kilgore -- 28
Craig Heist -- 28
WINNER: Nobody. Storen saved 4 games. Even if we counted the postseason, he can't finish with any more than 15, which is still nowhere close to the lowest prediction.

How many games will the Nats win?
Pete Kerzel -- 88
Adam Kilgore -- 87
Dan Kolko -- 87
Brian McNally -- 87
Amanda Comak -- 86
Bill Ladson -- 85
Craig Heist -- 85
Mark Zuckerman -- 84
Dave Sheinin -- 83
WINNER: The Nats proved us all wrong, winning an MLB-best 98 games. Kerzel came closest at 88.

MARK ZUCKERMAN'S OPENING DAY MLB PREDICTIONS
NL EAST
1. Phillies
2. Marlins
3. Nationals
4. Braves
5. Mets

NL CENTRAL
1. Brewers
2. Reds
3. Cardinals
4. Pirates
5. Cubs
6. Astros

NL WEST
1. Giants
2. Diamondbacks
3. Dodgers
4. Rockies
5. Padres
-Wild-card winners

NL WILD-CARD GAME: Reds over Diamondbacks
NLDS: Giants over Reds, Brewers over Phillies
NLCS: Giants over Brewers
NL MVP: Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson, Marlins
NL Rookie of the Year: Drew Pomeranz, Rockies

AL EAST
1. Rays
2. Yankees
3. Red Sox
4. Blue Jays
5. Orioles

AL CENTRAL
1. Tigers
2. Indians
3. Royals
4. White Sox
5. Twins

AL WEST
1. Rangers
2. Angels
3. Mariners
4. Athletics
-Wild-card winners

AL WILD-CARD GAME: Angels over Yankees
ALDS: Tigers over Angels, Rays over Rangers
ALCS: Tigers over Rays
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
AL Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Angels
AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore, Rays

WORLD SERIES: Tigers over Giants

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Nats prospect update: Three minor-leaguers sent to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera

Nats prospect update: Three minor-leaguers sent to Kansas City for Kelvin Herrera

The biggest story in Nationals prospects this week is the three Washington lost to the Royals in return for closer Kelvin Herrera. Here’s a look at what the Nationals gave up to add more depth to the bullpen.

Kelvin Gutierrez, AA 3B

The infielder, formerly on the Nationals’ 40-man roster, has posted a .285/.344/.388 line through his six-season minor league tenure. One of his greatest strengths is his speed, with 55 career stolen bases and 14 extra-base hits this season. His other notable tool is his powerful arm strength, which may help explain his transition from shortstop to the hot corner.

Blake Perkins, High A OF

The Nationals chose outfielder Blake Perkins in the second round of the 2015 draft. He has quite a bit of room to improve at the plate, batting .234/.344/.290 this season in Hagerstown. However, what he lacks offensively, he makes up for in the outfield. According to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser, Perkins has “plus speed, mature instincts, excellent routes and an above-average arm.”

Yohanse Morel, RHP

The biggest wild card of the group, Morel is a 17-year-old outfielder-turned-pitcher from the Dominican Republic. His fastball reaches 95 mph and he certainly has huge potential for growth. He has not yet pitched in the U.S. since making his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in early June.

So, what did the Nationals gain?

Right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera is a two-time All-Star who is currently in the midst of a stellar season. In his Nats debut, he needed just six pitches to shut down the Orioles in the eight. The team is reportedly (and understandably) thrilled to have Herrera joining the roster. Adam Eaton said, "I'm so happy he's here and he's on my team and I don't have to face him anytime in the near future."

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Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

Orioles weather long rain delay in 3-0 win over Nationals

WASHINGTON -- The rain was heavy and relentless. As the puddles grew deeper on the tarp at Nationals Park, the Baltimore Orioles were left to wonder if their bid for a rare road victory would be thwarted by, of all things, the weather.

During a season in which very little has worked in their favor, the Orioles withstood a long rain delay to beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.

Baltimore led 2-0 after four innings when play was stopped. After a wait of 2 hours, 43 minutes, the game resumed with a few hundred fans from the announced crowd of 32,153 sprinkled around the lower seating bowl.

Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, and Andrew Cashner and four relievers combined on a five-hitter in a game that ended long after midnight.

"It was nice," Trumbo said. "I'm glad that we actually kept the game going. Had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But it ended up being pretty big for us."

Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak to Washington that began last May, won for only the fourth time in 20 games and improved the majors' worst road record to 10-28.

This one was worth the wait.

"It's never easy, especially when you get over the hour mark, two-hour mark," Trumbo said. "Then you have to restart. It's almost two games in one, so, great job by our guys tonight."

The Nationals managed only two hits following the delay, both in the ninth inning.

"It happens. You can't do anything about the rain," manager Dave Martinez said. "You've got to come out and get yourself ready to play. I'm not going to make any excuses."

The rain delay cut short a solid pitching performance by Cashner, who allowed three hits and no walks over four innings in his return from an 11-day stay on the disabled list with back spasms.

Miguel Castro (2-2) followed with two hitless innings, Darren O'Day pitched a perfect seventh and Zach Britton got four outs.

Brad Brach allowed the Nationals to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Mark Reynolds .

Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), and for a while it appeared the drive would be washed out by the rain.

"One pitch. That was the whole game," Gonzalez lamented. "That was it."

Indeed, it all ended well for the Orioles, who added a run in the sixth when Adam Jones doubled off Shawn Kelley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia .

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