The Washington Nationals took care of the Atlanta Braves, 3-0, on Monday night. Here’s all the latest links regarding the team from Monday night to this morning:
Harper singles, plays three innings in rehab appearance
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — For the first time since tearing a ligament in his left thumb nearly two months ago, Bryce Harper stepped to the plate Monday night batting second in a rehab start for Class A Advanced Potomac. On the first pitch he saw from Salem Red Sox right-hander Justin Haley in the first inning, the left-handed slugger took a massive cut and whiffed for strike one.
“I went up there hacking on my first pitch to try to just get that out of the way because I was so excited to hit again,” said Harper, who started in left field. “Just that competitive nature going out there.”
Harper worked himself back into the count in that first at-bat, and on a 2-2 count, he smacked a line drive the opposite way to left field for a single and took a grandiose turn around first base. Harper would get up again in the third inning and fall behind 0-2, but he battled back to work a two-out walk. Harper played three innings and finished the night 1-for-1. Read full article here.
Williams ejected for first time as manager
MILWAUKEE — Nationals manager Matt Williams was ejected early from Monday’s game against the Brewers. It marked the first time Williams was tossed from a game as a manager.
It started in the top of the second inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Danny Espinosa was called out looking by home-plate umpire Mark Wegner on a pitch that Williams and the Nationals believed was wide.
The Nationals were unable to score that inning, and a few minutes after the half-inning ended, Wegner tossed Williams from the game for arguing balls and strikes. Williams argued with Wegner for several minutes before the skipper went back into the clubhouse for the night. Read full article here.
Harper, Nats need help at polls in All-Star race
MILWAUKEE — Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper hasn’t played a Major League game since April 25 because of a left thumb injury, but he is still getting respect from fans who would like to see him in the All-Star Game in Minnesota next month. As of Monday’s balloting update, Harper received 680,930 votes, which is 15th among National League outfielders.
Harper isn’t the only Nationals player who should receive recognition. First baseman Adam LaRoche and third baseman Anthony Rendon deserve votes. LaRoche is arguably the Nationals’ best hitter, leading the team in batting average (.305) and on-base percentage (.418) entering Monday night’s game. And let’s not forget to mention that he is one of the best defensive first basemen in the game.
Rendon is not bad on the defensive side either. Entering his first full season in the big leagues, Rendon is among the team leaders in home runs, RBIs and runs scored. Read full article here.