2011: Werth arrives, Strasburg heals, Harper prepares
The acquisition of Jayson Werth was a clear signal that the Lerner family was serious about fielding a competitive baseball team. Werth had a poor year, but it didn't matter. Aside from slumps in July and late August, the Nats remained close to .500 for most of the year. The team's pitching, batting, and fielding were all consistently solid for a change. A key factor was Michael Morse, who hit 31 home runs, with a .303 average. Meanwhile, a hot slugging prospect named Bryce Harper began playing in the Nationals' farm system. Late in the season, Stephen Strasburg returned to the mound after recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Nats won 14 of their last 18 games of the season, finishing in third place, amid soaring hopes for next year.
| CF: Rick Ankiel * .239
|LF: Laynce Nix * .250
|RF: Jayson Werth * .232|
|SS: Ian Desmond .253||2B: Danny Espinosa * .236|
|3B: Ryan Zimmerman .289||1B: Michael Morse .303
Adam LaRoche *
|Batting average for position players, ERA for pitchers.
Managers: Jim Riggleman / Davey Johnson
|C: Wilson Ramos * .267||* (asterisk): new player;|
|Batting average||Home runs||RBIs||ERA||Wins||Strikeouts|
|Michael Morse||.303||Michael Morse||31||Michael Morse||95||J. Zimmermann||3.18||John Lannan||10||J. Zimmermann||124|
Only qualifying players are included in this table.
- Apr. 10 -- Pudge Rodriguez RBI, L. Nix HR in 11th inn.; WSH 7, NYM 3. @
- Apr. 17 -- (dblhdr.) Pudge, Espinosa, Desmond HRs; WSH 8 & 5, MIL 4 & 1.
- Apr. 29 -- J. Marquis complete game shutout, Desmond 3/3; WSH 3, SF 0.
- May 11 -- Nats scored 2 in 9th, 4 in 11th inn.; WSH 7, ATL 3. @
- May 20 -- Jayson Werth 2 HRs, other Nats 3 HRs; WSH 17, BAL 5. @
- May 27 -- Espinosa HR, Morse GW HR in 9th inn.; WSH 2, SD 1. I was there!
- June 5 -- ARI 3 runs in 9th; M. Morse grand slam in 11th inn.; WSH 9, ARI 4. @
- June 15 -- Michael Morse two home runs; WSH 10, STL 0.
- June 21 -- Wilson Ramos game-winning grand slam in 9th inn.; WSH 6, SEA 5.
- June 23 -- Manager Jim Riggleman quits after 11 wins in 12 games; WSH 1, SEA 0.
- June 24 -- 14-inning marathon in Chicago (4:58); WSH 9, CHW 5. @
- July 4 -- C. Marmol wild pitch yields run in 11th inn.; WSH 5, CHC 4. I was there!
- Aug. 19 -- Ryan Zimmerman game-winning grand slam in 9th inn.; WSH 8, PHI 4.
- Aug. 23 -- Small earthquake postpones start of game; ARI 2, WSH 0.
- Aug. 30 -- Morse, Zimmerman, Espinosa, Nix HRs; WSH 9, ATL 2. @
- Sept. 3 -- Tom Milone (pitcher!) homers on first pitch in majors; WSH 8, NYM 7.
- Sept. 16 -- Marlins' Javier Vazquez complete-game shutout; FLA 3, WSH 0. I was there!
- Sept. 26 -- M. Morse 3-run homer (#30!) in 9th inn.; WSH 6, FLA 4. @
- Sept. 28 -- S. Strasburg 10 strikeouts, 1 hit in 6 inn.; WSH 3, FLA 1 in final game at Sun Life Stadium. @
2011 memorable moments
"@" = away game
|Month||Wins||Losses||NL East place
|April 2011||12||14||T 3rd||14||272,151||19,439|
SOURCE: My unofficial daily tabulations from MLB Gameday stats, Washington Post, and other newspapers.