Aug 20, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (36) throws the ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Nationals Park. The Nationals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

District Daily: Nationals Bullpen Improved in 2014, Werth Heating Up

Good morning DoD readers! I hope you all enjoyed a nice, stress-free off day yesterday because the Cardiac Nats are back in action tonight at Nationals Park.

It’ll be the first game of a six game home-stand for the Nationals as they begin the final stretch of the season — a stretch that only includes games against NL East foes. Tonight they’ll get things started against the Phillies before welcoming the second-place Braves for a big three-game series starting Monday night.

Stay tuned to DoD this afternoon for a preview of tonight’s game. It should be a good one to watch as right-hander Stephen Strasburg takes the mound against right-hander Jerome Williams and the Phillies. The Nationals will seek to redeem themselves this weekend as the Phillies, who have won 10 of their last 15 games, swept them last week at Citizens Bank Park.

As you get ready for what promises to be a great game, get caught up on all the latest Nats news with our District Daily!

Nationals bullpen worth three more wins compared with a year ago

(James O’Hara, Washington Post)

A number of reasons have been floated for why the Washington Nationals are playing better baseball in 2014 than they did in 2013. Clubhouse chemistry, the emergence of Tanner Roark, trades for impact players and the resurgence of Denard Span have all been identified as key motivations behind an improved Nationals club. However, one of the most overlooked reasons has been the improvement of the Nats’ bullpen… Read full article here.

Editor’s Note: This is a great article explaining how the bullpen has improved this year compared to how it was last year. As O’Hara mentions in the article, there are many reasons as to why the Nationals are playing better this year than last. But, in my opinion, an absolutely dominant bullpen is the biggest reason why the Nationals are vying for the best record in the NL right now. A must-read for Nationals fans, especially those who love sabermetrics!

Clippard driven to steer Nats to World Series summit

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

LOS ANGELES — Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard made it clear Wednesday morning that he wants a World Series ring. After Ryan Zimmerman, Clippard has the longest tenure with the Nats, having joined the club in 2008, when the team was the worst in baseball.

As Clippard put it, he saw this team go from the ground up. Entering Friday’s action against the Phillies, the Nationals were seven games ahead of the Braves in the National League East race. The magic number to clinch the title is 17.

“Coming into this organization, when it was in shambles, I would be proud to say that I was on the ground floor of building a dynasty in Washington,” Clippard said. “That’s what we’ve been building toward since I got in the door here in 2008. There have been small stepping stones…” Read full article here.

Editor’s Note: Aside from Wednesday night’s blown save in that crazy game against the Dodgers, Clippard has been the one of the Nationals’ most reliable relievers not just this season, but throughout his career as a National. Checkout Ladson’s article for a great profile of the Nationals’ setup man.

Jayson Werth Heating up for Washington Nationals

(Chris Moran, Rayhawk Review)

The Washington Nationals are owners of a 79-59 record. With a seven game lead over the Atlanta Braves, they are all but assured of capturing the National League East for the second time in three years. According to at least one projection system, they have the best odds of reaching the World Series. A big contributor to their success has been outfielder Jayson Werth… Read full article here.

Editor’s Note: It can’t be said enough how crucial Werth has been to the Nationals’ success this season. If he stays healthy over the next few weeks, there’s no telling what the team can accomplish in October with Werth in the lineup. Checkout Moran’s article for a breakdown of Werth’s strong season and his current hot-streak.


That’s all for today’s District Daily. Check back here tomorrow for some more great Washington Nationals articles from around the web! And, as always, stay tuned to DoD throughout the day for all your Nats needs.

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