President Obama throws out first pitch

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The President threw out the first pitch at the Phillies-Nats game a little over an hour ago.  You can see video of it here, at least until Major League Baseball’s lawyers go and shut down the Sporting News for what I presume is some retransmitting and/or rebroadcasting the descriptions and/or accounts of the game without express written consent.  In the meantime, a couple of observations:

  • When I saw the Nationals jacket I was prepared to call the nation’s most famous White Sox fan a flip flopper;
  • When I saw him break out the Sox cap, I was once again pleased with our nation’s leader.  It would have been better if he ripped off the Nats jacket to reveal a Gordon Beckham jersey, thrown the jacket on the ground and then spit on it, but we’ll take what we can get;
  • I have no idea why he wore the glove. Was he expecting a comebacker? Are his mechanics so delicate that he has to have the glove so as not to throw off his weight distribution during his windup?
  • The ball as juuuuuuust a bit high.  Beats bouncing it, sure, but Michelle had better get him breathing through his eyelids stat, because that stuff won’t play in the show, Meat.

Can you call the President “Meat?”  Yeah, I think you can.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.

Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.

Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.

Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.