2013: Failed quest for another postseason berth
After their breakout season in 2012, the Nationals began the 2013 season confident in their ability to retain the division title. This time they are aiming even higher, hoping to give their manager Davey Johnson another World Series trophy before he retires at the end of the season. During the off-season, the Nationals acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins, and pitcher Dan Haren from the L.A. Angels. They also signed Rafael Soriano (formerly of the Yankees) as their new closer. With a crowded outfield, they had little choice but to trade Michael "The Beast" Morse, but they still have one of the strongest lineups, pitching rotations, and bullpens in all the majors. They had a good start, winning seven of their first nine games, but faltered after that, struggling just to stay above .500. After midseason, they gradually got back on track but just could not live up to their lofty expectations. They finished 2013 with a respectable 86-76 record, but that was four games behind the Atlanta Braves, and not good enough to earn a wild card spot.
|CF: Denard Span * .279|
|LF: Bryce Harper .274
|RF: Jayson Werth .318|
|SS: Ian Desmond .280||2B: Anthony Rendon * .265
|3B: Ryan Zimmerman .275||1B: Adam LaRoche .237|
|C: Wilson Ramos .272
|Batting average for position players, ERA for pitchers.
Manager: Davey Johnson
|* (asterisk): new player;|
|Batting average||Home runs||RBIs||ERA||Wins||Strikeouts|
|Jayson Werth||.318||Ryan Zimmerman||26||Jayson Werth||82||Stephen Strasburg||3.00||Jordan Zimmermann||19||Gio Gonzalez||192|
Only qualifying players are included in this table.
- Apr. 1 -- Bryce Harper hits home runs in first two at-bats of the season; WSH 2, MIA 0
- Apr. 25 -- Gio Gonzalez allows one hit in 8 innings to end 4-game losing streak; WSH 8, CIN 1 @
- Apr. 26 -- Jordan Zimmermann allows one hit in 9 innings; complete-game shutout!; WSH 1, CIN 0 @
- May 29 -- Ryan Zimmermann hits 3 home runs, but Jordan Zimmermann allows 4 runs in 7th inning; BAL 9, WSH 6 @
- June 15 -- Nats take early 5-0 lead, fall behind 6-5, then win on Anthony Rendon's 1st home run, in 9th inning. WSH 7, CLE 6 @
- June 19 -- Jayson Werth RBI single tied game in in 9th; Ian Desmond grand slam in 11th. WSH 6, PHI 2 @
- June 28 -- Nats overcome 4-1 deficit with 3 in 8th and 2 in 9th, staying above .500. WSH 6, NYM 4 @
- July 25 -- Bryce Harper hits first career walk-off home run, ending 6-game losing streak; WSH 9, PIT 7
- July 28 -- Wilson Ramos hits first career grand slam, Taylor Jordan gets first career win; WSH 14, NYM 1
- Aug. 11 -- Stephen Strasburg strikes out 10, allows 4 hits in complete-game shutout; WSH 6, PHI 0
- Aug. 17 -- After blown save by R. Soriano, Adam LaRoche homers and Dan Haren saves in 15th inning; WSH 8, ATL 7 @
- Sept. 9 -- Nats hit 5 home runs, Gio Gonzalez allows 1 hit in complete-game shutout; WSH 9, NYM 0 @
- Sept. 13 -- Ryan Zimmermann homers in 3rd straight game, Bryce Harper outfield assists, Nats win 7th straight; WSH 6, PHI 1
- Sept. 17 -- One day after Navy Yard shootings, Nats rally with 3 runs in 9th inning; WSH 6, ATL 5
- Sept. 22 -- Ryan Zimmermann homers, but Nats are eliminated from NL East race; MIA 4, WSH 2 (I was there.)
2013 memorable moments
"@" = away game
|Month||Wins||Losses||NL East place
SOURCE: My unofficial daily tabulations from MLB Gameday stats, Washington Post, and other newspapers.