Washington Nationals News: Nats more aggressive on the base paths this year
Today’s District Daily features stories on the Washington Nationals’ aggressive base running this season and Daniel Murphy‘s ongoing power surge at the plate.
Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.
In today’s Daily, the Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses the Nationals’ aggressive base running approach this season. As Wagner writes, one of manager Dusty Baker‘s biggest goals when he took the job was to turn the Nationals into a more aggressive team on the base paths. So far this season, it looks like the team is on its way to achieving that goal.
As of today, the Nationals have the third most steals in baseball and the most in the National League with six stolen bases. Bryce Harper, who only stole six bases in 2015, currently leads the NL with three stolen bases, has been one of the team’s biggest threats on the bases throughout the first week of the season.
As Wagner notes, it helps that the team has a great base running instructor in first base coach Davey Lopes. Here’s what Baker had to say about Lopes and stealing bases, via Wagner’s article:
"“There’s something you can take advantage of [every opponent],” Baker said. “And Davey Lopes is the best at picking that up. He’s the best. Davey sees things that very few people see [in] the young players. He’s been around a long time. He was one of the best at his craft when he was playing. So coaching does come into play.”"
Also in today’s Daily, MLB.com’s Alex Putterman discusses Nationals infielder Daniel Murphy’s ongoing power surge this season.
Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.
Under Davey Lopes’s tutelage, Nationals are more aggressive on the base paths
(James Wagner, Washington Post)
The sample size is small and the Nationals have played fewer games than most teams because of the weather, but they rank near the top already in a category they hoped to improve this season: stolen bases. While that statistic isn’t the only measurement of aggressive and effective baserunning, Manager Dusty Baker came to the Nationals with a goal to develop them into better basestealing threat. He enlisted one of the best baserunning coaches of all time, Davey Lopes, and the players have responded well to his instruction.
The Nationals have stolen six bases and been caught twice. In Monday’s 6-4 win over the Braves, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper each stole two bases. A year after stealing only six bases, Harper ranks second in baseball with three and hasn’t been caught yet. Read full article here.
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Murphy’s power surge no accident
WASHINGTON D.C. — Daniel Murphy keeps hitting like it’s October 2015.
The Nationals’ second baseman — who briefly turned into Babe Ruth during last year’s postseason for the Mets — collected two hits, including a home run in Monday’s 6-4 Nationals win to raise his batting average on the season to .471 (8-for-17).
In the first inning, Murphy launched a two-run homer off Braves starter Bud Norris for his second long-ball of the year, then followed with a single in the third that helped key a run-scoring rally. He has now collected two hits in three straight games. Read full article here.