The Wizards got Nene back tonight after the big forward missed two games [both Wizards losses] and his return heralded a much-needed win for Washington at home against the Philadelphia 76ers, 90-87. Since this is the Wizards, though, there has to be a catch and that catch is that start rookie Bradley Beal appeared to badly damage his ankle when he fell awkwardly under the Wizards basket while playing defense. Beal writhed around in pain while being attended by the Wiz medical staff before being taken off the court.
The Wiz were trailing by three when Beal went down and few in attendance tonight could have hoped Washington would bounce back and win the game. John Wall sank a pretty 18-foot jumper with 92 seconds left to cut Philly's lead to 87-86 and then Wall grabbed a rebound off a miss by Jrue Holiday from 20 feet. Wall drew a foul from Holiday on the other end and hit both free throws to put Washington up 88-87 with 1:04 remaining.
Wall's strong play continued when he blocked a short jumper in the lane by Evan Turner and Nene grabbed the rebound. On the offensive end, Martell Webster missed a 26-footer with 2 seconds left on the shot clock, but Nene pulled down the offensive rebound and the Wizards ran down the clock some more until, with four seconds left, Wall again pulled up from outside -- 20 feet away this time -- and cooly sank a shot with 4 seconds left on the game clock. The shot put the Wiz up 90-87 and Philly called timeout.
Dorell Wright got semi-open for a 3-pointer with 1 second left, but the shot missed and Wall grabbed his 5th and final rebound of the game to seal the deal. Philadelpia had won 6 straight over the Wizards, but has now lost their last ten road games.
Jason Richardson, Andrew Bynum and former Wizards guard Nick Young did not play tonight due to injury. Bynum has not played all year.
Martell Webster led the game off with a 4-point play on the very first possession, but failed to score again in the first quarter. [Webster leads the NBA in 4-point plays, a weird stat if I ever saw one.]
Wizards led 26-22 at the end of the first quarter, but Beal, leading the team with 6 points, looked bothered by his recurring wrist injury after he hit his hand on the backboard trying to contest a layup. To make matters worse, Beal used the hand to break his fall before he hit the hardwood. Beal played in the second quarter, but did not score.
John Wall penetrated into the lane, spun a 360 to evade a defender in front of the basket and dropped a no-look layup into the bucket. It was the best play of the first half by either team and it brought the Wiz to within one point, 49-48. They took the lead moments later when Nene grabbed a missed shot by Jrue Holiday and threw an outlet pass to AJ Price, who attacked the basket and layed the ball up off the glass. The shot was swatted away, but after the ball hit the glass so goaltending was called and Washington led again, 50-49, with 0.6 seconds left in the half.
Nene led the Wiz at halftime with 11 points on 10 shots and 5 rebounds. Webster and Trevor Ariza had 9 points at the half, with Ariza chipping in 5 rebounds off the bench.
The Wizards built their lead out to 10 points with 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter with some nice post moves by Emeka Okafor and a beautiful alley-oop from John Wall to a leaping Jan Vesely, who laid the ball in nicely. Philly came back with six quick points to cut the lead to four with just over 2 minutes in the third quarter. They scored again to cut the lead to two iwth 30 seconds left in the quarter before AJ Price chucked a lob pass to Vesely who slammed it home with just over 2 seconds left in the third.
The Sixers scored 8 of the last 10 points of the third quarter, but the Wiz clung to a slim 72-68 lead going into the fourth.
Less than two minutes into the fourth Bradley Beal took a pass from Trevor Ariza and cooly sank a 32-footer to put the Wiz up 77-70 and a few moments later Okafor added a free throw for an 8 point lead before the Sixers came back and narrowed the lead to six again. The Wiz got several offensive boards on the next possession before Okafor hit a jumper from the top of the key, giving him 12 points and 15 rebounds and the Wiz an 80-72 lead.
Things fell apart midway through the fourth quarter, though, when the Wizards went five minutes without scoring and the Sixers came back from 8 points down to take a lead before John Wall took over the game and rescued a win for the Wizards.
All five Wizards starters scored in double figures, with Wall and Webster leading the way with 16 points each. Nene scored 15 and pulled down 9 boards, while Okafor had a monster game with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Beal scored 14 points on 12 shots to go with his 4 rebounds and 3 dimes before going down with the injury. Off the bench, Ariza contributed 9 points, 8 rebounds and solid defense.
The Wizards held the Sixers to under 39% shooting, while Washington hit 40% on 3-pointers. The Wiz also grabbed 50 rebounds to 42 for the Sixers and had 23 assists on 34 made baskets. It was Washington's 16 turnovers, compared to 9 for Philly, that kept the Sixers close.
The Wizards improved their record to 19-39 on the season, with 24 games to go.
The Washington Nationals made their first round of roster cuts after their 7-6 win over the Cardinals today. Here are those that were cut:
P Bill Bray. Bray was cut and will report to the minor league camp. Bray was signed in the off-season and was thought to be a potential lefty to join Zach Duke in the Nationals bullpen. Bray appeared in two Grapefruit League games and allowed 3 runs and 5 hits in 2 innings. Bray was drafted in the first round by the Montreal Expos in 2004. He was traded by the Nats to the Reds in 2006. Bray will work on mechanics on the minor side of camp and may still have an opportunity to make the club before the season starts.
P Tanner Roark. Roark was also sent to the minor league camp. Roark appeared in two games and allowed 4 hits and 4 runs in 2.1 innings.
O Will Ohman was cut by the Nats. The veteran lefty was invited to Nats camp to compete for a bullpen role. Ohman only appeared in one spring training game and tossed 1 inning.
P Brandon Mann. Mann was sent packing to the minor league side as well. The 29 year old lefty pitched in Japan the last two season and competed for a lefty role in the Nats bullpen. Mann was racked for 3 hits and 3 runs in 1 inning of work in the 7-6 with over the Cards today.
The 18-37 Wizards welcomed the 34-20 NY Knicks to the Verizon Center tonight, hoping to win a second straight game against the Knicks and continue their strong run after going 7-5 in February, Washington's first winning month of the season.
However, Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 30 points and Ray Felton outplayed John Wall with 23 points and 6 rebounds. Bradley Beal countered with a career-high 29 points and added 11 rebounds, but he didn't get enough help and the Wiz fell 96-88 at home tonight.
The Wizards played without Nene and Chris Singleton started in his place.
Martell Webster opened by hitting a long fall-away just shy of the 3-poit line and then followed it up on the next possessiion with a genuine 3-pointer, staking the Wizards to a 5-2 lead. A few minutes later, John Wall found Bradley Beal open on the 3-point line and Washington had a 9-4 lead. That 3-pointer, Beal's 76th of the season, set the franchise record for a rookie.
The teams battled back and forth for most of the first quarter, with the Wizards usually holding a slim lead. With Washington up 19-17, Carmelo Anthony drove across the paint to the basket, but got his shot blocked and Washington ran out on the break. Once again, Wall found Beal on the perimeter for an open shot and Beal knocked it down. The Wiz led 21-17, with Beal and Emeka Okafor both putting up 7 points at that point. Okafor added five rebounds. The Wizards were shooting 50% from the floor and the Knicks were shooting only 29%, but Washington turnovers were keeping the game close.
Steve Novak came into the game and quickly put the Knicks up 22-21 with a nice bank shot for 2 and then a 3-pointer from the baseline. J.R. Smith followed with a bucket and a dunk and the Knicks went up 26-21 on a 9-point run. Trevor Ariza and Okafor combined to miss four straight free throws that would have stopped the Knicks' run. With 1.1 second left in the first quarter, Ariza double-clutched in the air and drew a silly foul from J.R. Smith. Ariza hit both free throws and the score after one quarter was 26-23, Knicks. New York outscored Washington 9-2 over the last three minutes of the quarter.
Raymond Felton and Carmelo Anthony had 7 points apiece after one, as did Beal and Okafor. Wall led the game with 3 assists and Okafor with 6 boards.
Bradley Beal opened the second quarter with a beautiful long jumper that cut New York's lead to 26-25, but Anthony came back on the low blocks and shoved Trevor Booker out of the way for a layup, putting the Knicks back up by three. Booker came back with a left-handed hook shot down low and made it 28-27, Knicks. Iman Shumpert countered with a 3-pointer that gave the Knicks a 4-point lead, but Trevor Ariza scored to cut the lead in half, 31-29. A long jumper by Garrett Temple tied the score at 31. After a short Jason Kidd jumper that put the Knicks back up, Trevor Ariza took a pass and drained a 3-pointer, putting the Wiz up 34-33. The Knicks came right back and scored, making the score 35-34, Knicks. After a timeout, Kevin Seraphin hit two free throws [Yes, he attempted free throws!] to put Washington up 36-35, but Amare Stoudemire came back two plays later, got to the line and put the Knicks back up by one.
John Wall came back into the game and hit a midrange jumper to put the Wiz up by one. After Kidd missed an open 3-pointer, Kevin Seraphin got called for an offensive foul off an Ariza miss from 3-point range. Carmelo Anthony hit a fadeaway to put the Knicks back up by one. John Wall answered by blowing past Kidd and laying the ball up before Tyson Chandler could stop him. However, Anthony started to get hot and hit a 16-foot turn-around jumper and got fouled on the play. He made the free throw after a timeout and put the Knicks up 42-40. The Wiz battled back and took a one point lead before John Wall drove down the lane and dropped a beautiful finger-roll into the bucket to put the Wiz up 48-45.
At the following timeout, the Wizards bench announced that Martell Webster was injured and in the locker room. That left the Wizards without both of their normal starting forwards.
The Knicks knocked down a coule of 3-pointers to take a 52-48 lead and then scored on a fast break while the Wizards' offense fell apart into a series of bad, desperate jumpers and turnovers. At halftime the Knicks led 54-48. The Knicks had really amped up their defensive intensity, something the Wiz did not match. It woudl carry over into the third quarter.
The Knicks came out in the second half hot and strong and the Wizards did not and quickly fell behind by 11, 63-52, before Webster, returned from injury, hit a jumper to cut the lead to nine. However, Carmelo Anthony hit another jumper to put the lead back up to 11. Okafor responded with a bank shot down low to cut the lead back down to nine.
After a few minutes of the team's battling back and forth, John Wall penetrated to the basket and chucked a perfect pass out to Ariza on the 3-point line, who calmly drained it to cut the lead to six, 69-63. After a New York turnover, Martell Webster jab-stepped JR Smith out of position and drained a 20-footer to cut the lead to four. After Jason Kidd almost airballed a 3-pointer, the Wizards came back, finding Beal in the corner behind the 3-point line. Beal elevated and fired a perfect shot that dropped perfectly through the net, cutting New York's lead to 69-68. The Knicks called timeout and the Wizards fans roared and the numerous Knicks fans in attendance sat on their hands.
The Knicks swung the ball around until Anthony got an open look at a 3-pointer, but he missed and Washington grabbed the contested rebound. Okafor missed an open shot from the top of the key and Kidd bricked another perimeter shot. Wall took a pass from Beal and got Kidd into the air, drawing the foul on the shot. Knicks fans booed Wall harshly during the free throws, but sank both shots to put the Wiz up 70-69. It was the first lead since 48-46 late in the second quarter. Steve Novak missed a good shot and Bradley Beal extended the lead to 3 after a short drive that led to a short jumper. Beal had 20 points and 9 rebounds with 1:30 left in the third quarter. Seconds later he would add to that total.
However, Carmelo Anthony came back with a slam dunk on a lob pass to cut the Wiz lead to one and John Wall turned the ball over. After JR Smith missed a shot, Wall drove to the bucket quickly and kicked it out to Beal in the corner, who sank yet another 3-pointer to put the Wiz up by four. Amare Stoudemire came back with a spin move on the low blocks to cut the lead to 75-73.
Wall dribbled the shot clock down to 6 seconds [11 in the quarter] before driving into the lane and drawing the foul. Wall made both free throws to put the Wiz up 77-73. JR Smith challenged Beal on the last shot of the quarter, but Beal stayed with him, forcing Smith to take a tough fadeaway jumper that missed. The Wizards used a 21-6 rally over the last 6:30 of the third quarter to get back into the game and take the lead going into the final quarter.
Stoudemire opened the quarter with a short jumper to cut the Wiz lead to two. Beal missed a long shot and the Kidd grabbed the rebound. The Knicks went right back to the low post and Stoudemire, but this time the defense was solid, as the double team attacked a surprised Stoudemire and he turned the ball over on a bad pass. After a foul on the Knicks, Beal chucked up an airball and the Knicks went on the attack again to Stoudemire. Seraphin stood his ground and Stoudemire had the ball stolen, but Beal missed his third straight shot of the quarter. Kidd got a breakaway layup, but John Wall blocked the shot beautifully. The ref missed the call, though, calling goal-tending. [It was not.] Wall was furious and got a technical foul called on him. The Knicks made the foul shot to go up 78-77.
JR Smith hit a 3-pointer to put the visitors up 81-77 and the Knicks were on an 8-0 run to open the quarter. After a timeout, the Wiz committed a turnover and Ray Felton hit a beautiful finger roll high off the glass to put NY up six. Ariza missed a 3-pointer and Felton was blocked by Okafor. Wall streaked down the court and got the fast break layup to stop a 10-0 Knicks run. However, Stoudemire came back with an open outside jumper to put the Knicks up 85-79.
After an offensive rebound, Wall attempted a wide open 3-pointer that he, of course, missed badly. Carmelo threw down a dunk to put the Knicks up by 8, but he mouthed off to the ref Dick Bavetta and got a technical foul called. The Wiz hit the free throw to cut the lead to 87-80.
Ariza played isolation ball and hit a long two-pointer to cut the Knicks' lead to five. John Wall made a great defensive play to break up an alley-oop but Okafor missed a point-blank layup, possibly because of contact that was not called. The Wizards committed two turnovers, but the Knicks missed a couple of open 3-pointers and committed a turnover of their own. Ariza got fouled and made 1 free throw to cut the lead to 4.
after another NY turnover, Beal hit a long 3-pointer to cut the lead to 1. Kidd missed a 3-pointer and John Wall turned the ball over under the New York bench and Tyson Chandler hit 2 free throws after a foul, putting the Knicks up 89-86. It certainly appeared to me as if Wall was pressing in this game, not trusting his outside shot, but attacking the basket too aggressively and committing turnovers as a consequence.
Bradley Beal got fouled in the act of shooting and managed to hit only the second of his two free throws to cut the lead to 89-87. Beal now had 28 points, tying his career high. After a turnover by Carmelo, Webster missed an open 3-pointer and the game went to a timeout.
Carmelo hit a 3-pointer out of the timeout to put NY up 92-87 with just over 2 minutes left in regulation. Wall missed an off balance shot badly and the Knicks rebounded the ball. The Knicks couldn't get a good shot off, but Ariza turned the ball over when he needlessly dribbed the ball on the sideline.
The Knicks failed to score and Beal missed a long jumper. However, Beal raced forward and got his own rebound and drew the foul. Once again, though, Beal could make only the second of his free throws and the lead was cut to four, 92-88.
The dagger came almost 24 seconds later as Ray Felton ran the clock down before cutting into the lane and dropping a perfect teardrop floater over Martell Webster and into the net. The Knicks led 94-88 and the Wiz called timeout with 32.4 seconds left. Beal missed a long 3-pointer and the Knicks grabbed the rebound. The Wiz fouled Carmelo to stop the clock and the game was, for all intents and purposes, over.
The Wizards missed their first six shots of the fourth quarter and got outscored 23-11 and that was all she wrote.
Tom Wilson was dynamite in February.
RW - Miami (Ohio) University – 19
Sixth-round pick Riley Barber, who celebrated his 19th birthday this month, had another mind-boggling month for his Miami RedHawks, appearing in eight games and scoring five goals and three assists for eight points. He was also +3. Barber has been simply dominant so far this year. He has toyed with defensemen. In a game against Lake Superior this month, he took 10 shots. Few, if any (one of which may be fellow Caps prospect Christian Djoos), NHL prospects have seen their stocks rise as much since the summer as Riley Barber, and with his 14 goals, 20 assists, 34 points, and +11 rating in just 32 games in his freshman NCAA campaign, a promising NHL career might be closer round the corner than we all thought.
C – University of New Hampshire (NCAA) – 22
Injuries continue to hamper Greg Burke in his senior season with the UNH Wildcats. He did not appear at all in February after suffering what could be a concussion late in December. Burke remains at three goals, two assists, and a +1 rating in 13 games this season.
C – University of Minnesota (NCAA) – 19
After a disappointing January, Travis Boyd’s so-far woeful 2013 continued into February, as the 2011 sixth-rounder managed just one assist and a -1 rating in six games. Nevertheless, his numbers for the year are still more-than-satisfying, as he stands at three goals, 10 points, and a +2 rating through 32 games, a sound improvement over his nine-point rookie campaign.
D - Plymouth Whalers (OHL) - 18
The Plymouth Whalers had an absolutely dominant month of February, and Connor Carrick was a major reason why with his solid defensive play and consistent offensive contributions. Carrick appeared in 13 games this month, perhaps most impressively recording a +12 plus-minus, but also adding two goals and seven assists to his season tally. The Illinois-native, likened in the summer to Mike Green, now stands at 12 goals and 27 assists through 61 games, impressive numbers for an OHL rookie on the blueline.
C - University of Notre Dame (NCAA) - 18
Despite his struggles, a breakout for Thomas DiPauli has been anticipated for a long time, and the top-six forward finally found his form in early February as he went on a five-game point streak and ended the month with one goal and four assists and a +5 rating in eight games. DiPauli, who continues to be an important player for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in his freshman NCAA season, now stands at five goals and six assists for 11 points through 34 games. His plus-minus rating is an impressive +9.
D - Brynäs (Elitserien) - 18
Undersized defensive prospect Christian Djoos had another monstrous month for the struggling reigning Elitersien champs, Brynäs. Injuries forced Djoos into a top-two role with the team, but he certainly warranted the trust his coach put in him with his play. The Swede appeared in seven games in February, where he notched two assists, a -1 rating, and saw his time on ice average jump almost a minute to 15:18. On the year, Djoos has appeared in 45 games with Brynäs, scoring two goals, five assists, and an even rating. Any way you put it, those are incredible numbers for an 18-year-old two-way defenseman in the world’s third best men’s league.
RW - Leksand (HockeyAllsvenkan) - 18
Much like his compatriot Djoos, Filip Forsberg had a solid month of February for Leksand of the HockeyAllsvenskan. Forsberg played in seven games, tallying one goal and three assists to bring his point total to 32 on the season. Furthermore, Forsberg was awarded the “Golden Cage”, as the HockeyAllsvenskan junior (U20) player of the season. Leksand are heading to the playoffs, where they could well go far, and Forsberg could find himself due west towards DC whenever the season is over. On the season, Forsberg stands at 14 goals and 18 assists in 37 games. His rating is +16.
D –Western Michigan University (NCAA) – 19
After missing almost all of February with a suspected concussion, Garrett Haar finally returned to the WMU Broncos lineup late in the month for a two-game cameo appearance. The 2011 seventh-round pick posted one assist and was -1. He currently has three goals and seven points in 18 games this season.
C – University of Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA) – 21
Promising sophomore Caleb Herbert saw his play continue to improve after a miserable start. In February, Herbert appeared in just five games, scoring one goal and three assists. Though his overall performance is still a far cry from his Riley Barber-esque freshman campaign, his six goals and 11 assists in 29 games are still solid. His rating, however, is -4.
D – Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL) – 20
Another quiet month goes into the books for defensive prospect Patrick Koudys, Penn State-bound next season. Koudys played in eight games, recording one assist and going +3. He also posted 13 penalty minutes. On the season, Koudys has appeared in (a rather impressive) 50 games, notching 11 goals, 85 PIMs, and a +6 rating.
RW – Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL) – 20
We haven’t said this much in his reign as the Caps’ top prospect, but Russian superstar Evgeny Kuznetsov actually struggled a little in February. Kuznetsov started the month by recording two points in Traktor Chelyabinsk’s last two regular season games, but went pointless in their first four playoff games before finally scoring in a 6-3 victory over Barys Astana (the series currently stands at 3-2 Traktor). He may have had a tough month, but his 19 goals and 25 assists in 51 regular season games tell you all you need to know about Evgeny Kuznetsov – he should be playing in the NHL.
D - Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – 19
Seventh-round defenseman Jaynen Rissling continued to enjoy his impressive season for the Calgary Hitmen, as the 6’4” behemoth once again asserted himself as one of the Hitmen’s most important players. Rissling’s offensive game was admittedly once again somewhat quiet, as he recorded just three assists in 11 games, but defensively, he came up huge, going +5 with 27 PIMs. Through 57 games of his fourth WHL season, Rissling has four goals, 21 assists, 120 PIMs, and a +29 rating.
LW - University of Calgary (CIS) - 22
A fringe prospect, Taylor Stefishen was pretty good in February. In four regular season games, he notched two assists and was +2. In five playoff games, Stefishen had one goal, two assists, and +2. Unfortunately, his University of Calgary Dinos were knocked out by Alberta in the Calgary West semifinal. Stefishen ended his final year of eligibility at Calgary with five goals and 22 points in 28 games. He has not yet signed a contract with an NHL, AHL, or ECHL team.
LW - Regina Pats (WHL) - 18
After a decent start to the season, third-rounder Chandler Stephenson enjoyed arguably his best month of the year in February, appearing in 10 games and recording two goals and eight assists. He was also +3. Stephenson has recovered well from his Achilles tendon injury earlier in the year, and now boasts impressive overall numbers with 12 goals and 24 assists in 37 games. He is also +2 with 37 PIMs.
G – Vålerenga (GET-Ligaen) – 19
Steffen Søberg’s fantastic season with Vålerenga continued into February, as the Norwegian netminder won all five of his games, boosting his save percentage to .915 despite seeing a rise in goals against average to 2.45. Most importantly, Søberg’s Vålerenga won the GET-Ligaen regular season title, finishing seven points ahead of the nearest competitor. Vålerenga will now compete in the league playoffs, where they will be heavy favourites to win – Steffen Søberg is a major reason why.
D – Boston College (NCAA) – 21
Consider the all-around dominance he has wrought on the NCAA in his highly decorated four-year career at Boston College, February was a disappointing month for Patrick Wey. He appeared in seven games for the reigning champion Eagles, scoring one assist and going -1. Heading into the playoffs, Wey will be hopeful BC can capture a second-straight Frozen Four title. On the year, Wey, all-but-certain to earn a Caps contract when his season ends, has one goal and nine assists in 30 games. He is also +7.
RW - Plymouth Whalers (OHL) - 18
For arguably the second straight month, first-round pick Tom Wilson blew away the competition for the top-performing Caps prospect of the month. After returning from a suspension on February 2nd, Wilson was united with Florida Panthers prospect Vincent Trocheck and 2013 draft hopeful Ryan Hartman. In just 12 games, Wilson would post eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points, also racking up a +15 rating. With 55 points in 45 games, the 6’4” forward has already more than doubled his point total from last season. His +32 rating and 97 PIMs also speak of his unquestionable NHL readiness.
RW - University of Notre Dame (NCAA) - 19
After recovering from an injury keeping him out of the first three games of the month, Austin Wuthrich scored two goals in four games in February. He has struggled pretty badly since being selected in the fourth-round of the 2012 draft, but though his four goals and four assists in 27 games this season are not particularly promising, he remains an exciting Caps prospect.
DC Pro Sports Report Three Stars of the Month:
1. Tom Wilson (12Gms, 8G, 11A, 19P, +15)
2. Riley Barber (8Gms, 5G, 3A, 8P, +3)
3. Connor Carrick (13Gms, 2G, 7A, 9P, +13)no comments
Mike Green is not on the trip to Winnipeg. Such a shocker.
Mike Green will miss the game tomorrow because of an aggravation to his groin injury. Green has missed three game this season due to the groin injury and now will miss Saturday, with no mention of when he may return.
The missed injury time is sure to aggravate the Caps fan base as well. It has this writer. Since Green played a full slate of 82 games in the 2007-08 season, he has not played a full slate since. More alarming is that he is missing more and more games in progression. After the 2007-08 season, Green played in 75 games the next season. From there, it plummets. In 201-11, Green missed almost half the season, managing to play in 49 games. Last season, he missed more than half, playing in just 32 games.
Furthermore, with his missing games, his production has evaporated. Since Green's hall mark season of 2008-09 where he put up 31 goals and 73 points, the Caps did have not even come close to that kind of production from him since. In 81 games played between 2010 and 2012, two season, Green has provided just 8 goals and 20 assists.
It seems the hey day of the Mike Green era has virtually dissipated to mediocrity. The Caps signed Green to a three year extension for over $ 18 million in July of 2012. He hardly deserved that contract, considering his inability to stay healthy and his complete lack of production over the past two seasons.
As for the Winnipeg game, Braden Holtby will make the start for the Caps.no comments
The Washington Nationals recorded their second tie in the Grapefruit League, evening out a 4-4 tie with the NY Mets yesterday. Stephen Strasburg made his second spring start, tossing 3 innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 run while fanning 6 Mets. Strasburg is working on making his sinker a more effective tool in his pitching arsenal, but gave up two singles to start the game, both on sinkers. He then settled and fanned 6 over three innings. He also knows the sinker is a work in progress.
''I need to get over the idea of throwing it harder will make it better,'' he said. ''I feel like I'm just kind of throwing through the sink and it's kind of flattening out. I want to throw it a little bit slower, let it move a little bit more and I'll get better results.''
''Being so early, I don't feel like I've had enough mound time for it to just click, and not really think about it,'' Strasburg said. ''I'm still trying to feel it out a little bit. The good thing is I felt good when I came out. That's the bottom line.''
Washington's offense pounded 11 hits and 4 runs off Mets pitching. Anthony Rendon continues to swing a mean bat, going 1 for 2 with a double and 2 RBI. The 6th overall pick of the 2011 MLB Draft is 5 for 12 (.417) on the spring with 2 doubles, home run, and has driven in 5 runs. Jayson Werth and Matthew Skole drove in the other two Nats runs. CF Denard Span was 1 for 1 with a walk, 2 stolen bases, which allowed Span to score on a ground out by Werth.
On to Nats Links:
Bloguin Partner, The Nats Blog, writes that ESPN ranks the Nationals fourth overall in their future rankings. Apparently, this ranking is how teams will fare over a five year period. Go read it. More on that from Byron Kerr at MASN.
Amanda Comack at the Washington Times projects the Nats 25 man roster.
Many teams have pretty potent camps with tons of positions up for battle. Not the Nats. Nats have a quiet camp and that is a good thing.
C Wilson Ramos will be examined by team doctor on Saturday in hopes that he will be cleared to slide. Ramos is recovering from ACL surgery.
The Nats are keeping up with technology as they plan to roll out the smart card system for ticket holders.
3B Ryan Zimmerman is readying his spring debut for Sunday. He will join the Nats lineup as a designated hitter. He will take the field at third base about a week after Sunday. Zimmerman had off-season shoulder surgery and is working himself back into third base duties.
We've all heard and know about the lack of lefties in the Nats bullpen. With Sean Burnett and Tom Gorzelanny departing via free agency, Zach Duke is the only left hander right now on the Nats roster in the bullpen. However, the Nats are keeping a close eye on veteran Fernando Abad. Davey Johnson has been impressed thus far.
“I was really impressed with the way he threw the other day,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “The way he attacked the hitters [Wednesday], he threw a couple good curveballs. That was great. [Pitching coach Steve McCatty] wanted him to throw another inning. I said, ‘No. I want to see that again the day after tomorrow.’”
The emergence of another southpaw out of spring training would certainly give Johnson more bullpen flexibility.
Ryan Mattheus got multi-inning work yesterday and feels pretty strong.
As Henry Rodriguez hopes to return form off-seasons urgery, he is currently facing some forearm tightness.
Here is a Washington Nationals season preview from SB Nation Cubs site.
New Nats signee Chris Young threw live bullpen yesterday. He is hoping to see game action this weekend. Young, a veteran, was signed to a minor league deal with a spring training invitation.
You attending Opening Day for the Nats this year? If so, Gordon Biersch Brewery is making their debut near Nats park that day as well.
Bryce Harper joins Mike Trout on the cover of Mens Health.no comments
It's pretty bad when you have had high lottery picks in the last four NBA drafts and completely failed on half of them. I give a promising incomplete on the 2010 and 2012 drafts, but John Wall and Bradley Beal appear well on their way to giving the Wizards a long term dynamic duo in the backcourt.
In 2009, the Wizards had the fifth pick in the draft and decided to trade it to Minnesota for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. What? Foye and Miller spent one injury plagued season in Washington, they departed by mutual decision with the Wiz getting nothing in return. The Timberwolves ended up taking Ricky Rubio with that pick. Two picks later, Golden State took guard Stephen Curry out of Davidson. Yes, the same Curry that scored 54 against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden last night.
While we are at it, the 2011 draft was another faliure. Picking sixth, the Wiz took forward Jan Vesely. Vesely can't play and nobody else wants him. Another wasted pick who will just fade away when his rookie contract expires. Wouldn't Kawhi Leonard look good at small forward? He was a spectacular college player at San Diego State and is really coming on for the Spurs. He was taken nine spots after Vesely. Kenneth Faried? the rebounding machine from Morehead State went pick 22 to Denver. To be fair, other than Kyrie Irving at number one to Cleveland, 2011 is shaping up as one of the worst NBA drafts of All-Time.
2007 and 2008 were no different. How about Nick Young and JaVale McGee?
Oh well, we have another chance with a fifth straight high lottery pick this summer.no comments
The Washington Capitals made their first in-season move of 2012-13 today, claiming 27-year-old left-winger Aaron Volpatti off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.
A hard-nosed agitator, Volpatti will add some much-needed grit to the Caps' bottom-six, and though his three goals and one assist in 54 career NHL games leave much to be desired offensively, his 11 fights add another dimension to a Capitals squad that has in the past relied on John Erskine and Matt Hendricks for almost all of its fighting.
As a left-winger, Volpatti comes into a group that has struggled badly this season. While the Caps right-wing corps of Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, and Joey Crabb has combined for 23 goals, the left-wingers (Jason Chimera, Wojtek Wolski, Matt Hendricks, and Eric Fehr, who is a naturally right-winger) have combined for just nine.
Volpatti won't win the Art Ross trophy anytime soon, but he should step straight into the fourth-line against Winnipeg. This will allow Matt Hendricks and Eric Fehr, who have scored three and four goals respectively in limited minutes this season, to rise up the depth chart, perhaps even creeping into the top-six. Wolski and Chimera will likely find themselves battling to stay out of the press-box, at least for now -- the two goals scored between them have been nowhere near enough to warrant the top-six minutes they have been getting.
With Brooks Laich possibly out for the season and Marcus Johansson battling an upper-body injury, Volpatti's acquisition is a timely one for Washington. If he can add some grit and fight to a group that has lacked it in the early going of the season and maybe even chip in with some offensive production, it would be a very positive addition for George McPhee and his Capitals.no comments
The Washington Capitals added some toughness to their forward today, acquiring Vancouver F Aaron Volpatti off waivers. Volpatti is a physical winger willing to throw down gloves and mix it up.
Given the fact that Volpatti has scored just 3 goals in 54 games with the Canucks, his acquisition was not likely an offensive move, but an add more grit move to the fourth line. Volpatti was signed by Vancouver in 2010 as an undrafted free agent. He appeared in 15 games that season, 23 games last season, and has appeared in 16 games this season. During the 16 games this year, he has recorded 1 goal, but has accumulated 43 hits and 28 penalty minutes.
Volpatti will join the Caps in Winnipeg for Saturday's game against the Jets.no comments