The first-place Washington Nationals. Yes, it’s much too early to take the standings all that seriously, but the Nationals are now 6-2 on the young season following a walkoff 2-1 win over the Reds last night in 13 innings. That’s the team’s best record since they moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
The big hero last night? The $126 million man Jayson Werth. His bases-loaded single off Reds’ closer Sean Marshall knocked in Danny Espinosa with the winning run.
Werth was jeered regularly in D.C. last year for batting just .232 with a .718 OPS, but he’s hitting .303 (10-for-33) over his first eight games. With Michael Morse shut down for the next six weeks due to a lat injury, the Nationals need Werth to look a lot more like the player they thought they were getting last winter.
Your Friday box scores:
Angels 0, Yankees 5
Cubs 9, Cardinals 5
Pirates 0, Giants 5
Rays 2, Red Sox 12
Tigers 2, White Sox 5
Mets 5, Phillies 2
Indians 8, Royals 3
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 5
Astros 4, Marlins 5 (11 innings)
Rangers 4, Twins 1
Brewers 8, Braves 10
Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 7
Athletics 4, Mariners 0
Padres 8, Dodgers 9
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!