17 February 2018

2017 NLDS vs Chicago Cubs Final Results

2017 NLDS
vs Chicago Cubs
Cubs Won Series 3-2

In much the same way Snoopy imagines himself to be the World Famous World War I Flying Ace, I have been the World Famous Postseason Playoffs Professional Procrastinator when it comes time to post about the Nats Post-Season events and this post.  Sadly no cards will be shown in this post. I need to just get this post out there. This was the fourth time the Nats made the Post Season in six years and this is only my second end of the series results post things. Last year I made a quite detailed post with a game-by-game analysis. 

So the players aka Teams in this drama, were the 97-67 Nats, their second best season record and the 92-70 Cubs (who just happen to be the defending World Series Champs) . Once again the Nationals had home field advantage which usually doesn't matter all that much or at all.

Kyle Hendricks, Stephen Strasburg - Getty Image patch.com

Game 1: Friday 06 October Nationals Park, Washington, DC - Loss 0-3
Sleep overwhelmed me so I didn't actually see any of this tragic game. Apparently the first five innings were just a pitching duel between Kyle Hendricks and Stephen Strasburg no biggie. Top of the 6th the damage began. Kris Bryant singled to bring in Javier Baez to break the scorelessness 1-0. Next batter Anthony Rizzo singles Bryant home making the score 2-0 Cubs favor. Top of the 8th Rizzo doubles to bring in Jon Jay beating the Nats 3-0.

Game 2: Saturday 07 October Nationals Park, Washington, DC - Win 6-3
It is at this point in the draft for this post that it has been so long since this series has played I don't recall how much of the remaining games I actually watched. So I must rely on what the Internet has to say about the details of the games. Good things started happening for the Nats right from the bottom of the first. Anthony Rendon knocks a solo homer in 1-0 Nats. Top of the second, not so good for the Nats right off the bat literally, the Cubs answer back with a homer from first batter Willson Contreras to make things 1-1. Top of the 4th things get a bit worse for the homie Nats. The Cubs Anthony, Anthony Rizzo knocks a two run homer making it 3-1 in favor of the Cubs. After loading the bases at the bottom of the 5th and not doing diddly a few innings later in the bottom of the 8th good things for the Nats started happening again. Adam Lind leads off with a pinch-hit single then Bryce Harper homers bringing Lind in and tying things up 3-3. Then Anthony Rendon is walked, Daniel Murphy singles and Ryan Zimmerman knocks in a 3 run Homer putting the Nats on top 6-3. Closer Sean Doolittle then shuts the door on the Cubs. Nats win 6-3. Series tied 1-1.

Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy - Getty Image

Game 3: Monday 09 October Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL - Loss 1-2
The series moves to Chicago where our Ace Max Scherzer and the Cubs Jose Qunitana duel for 5 innings. The Nats strike first in the top of the 6th when Daniel Murphy turns a dropped fly ball to left that then gets kicked into a triple. Ryan Zimmerman doubles Murphy home putting the Nats up 1-0. Then it unraveled in the bottom of the 7th Scherzer allows the Cubs first hit a double to Ben Zorbrist. Scherzer is replaced by Sammy Solis who gives up a single RBI to Albert Almara tying the game 1-1. Moving to the bottom of the 8th Tommy La Stella gets a lead-off walk is then sac bunted to 2nd. Then The Wrong Anthony, Anthony Rizzo hits a bloop single to left center scoring pinch-runner Leonys Martin putting the Cubs ahead 2-1 for the win and 2-1 lead in the series.

Max Scherzer leaving mound game 3 - Washington Post John McDonnell

Game 4: Tuesday 10 October Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL - Postponed
                Wednesday 11 October Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL - Win 5-0
Things turned around for this game after being rained out the night before. Originally Tanner Roark was going to be the Nats pitcher, but a few hours before the game started they announced it would be Stephen Strasburg starting on the mound for Washington. The game was windy and a little rainy but the game went on and the scoring started at the top of the 3rd. With 2 on and 2 outs Ryan Zimmerman hits a grounder to the shortstop who has trouble with the ball allowing Trea Turner to score and Ryan to reach 1st safely. Nats up 1-0. Moving on to the top of the 8th. Daniel Murphy singles to right center, Anthony the good Anthony Rendon draws a walk. Matt Wieters walks to load the bases. Next batter Michael Taylor hits a ball that barely escapes out of right field for a Grand Slam the Nats increase their shut-out lead 5-0 and win with it. The series is now tied 2-2 and it moves back to DC. Can the Nats win and move on to the NLCS or will it be another "one and done" year?

Michael Taylor hitting Grand Slam - USA Today Dennis Wietzbicki

Game 5: Thursday 12 October Nationals Park, Washington, DC - Loss 8-9
The final game of the series, both teams face elimination or advancement to the NCLS to face LA. The starting pitchers are Kyle Hendricks for Da Cubbies and Gio Gonzalez for the Nats. The Cubs started things off in the top of the first whenThe Evil Anthony (Anthony Rizzo) scored Jon Jay with an RBI groundout. Seriously? First he scores in one game with a bloop single now he's scoring someone with a sac grounder? OK cubs lead 1-0. Now we go bottom of the 2nd. Good guy Daniel Murphy launches a first pitch homer to tie it up 1-1. Michael A. "Tator" Taylor smacks a 3 run homer to the left bringing in Anthony "The Good Anthony" Rendon and Matt Wieters home. This puts the Nats up top 4-1. Top of the 3rd we go Cubs load the bases and with one out Addison Russell grounds out to shortstop but Kris Bryant scores Nats lead now only 4-2. On next batter Jason Heyward, Gio throws a wild pitch that scores Wilson Contreras bringing the Cubs within one making it just 4-3. Top of the 5th Cubs do some damage. Addison Russell doubles to left Wilson Contreras and Ben Zobrist score putting Cubs on top 5-4. Jason Heyward is intentionally walked. Next batter Javier Baez strikes out but Wieters allows past ball get away, Wieters throws to first but the ball gets past Ryan Zimmerman AND Daniel Murphy allowing Addison Russell to score. Cubs up 6-4. Pinch hitter Tommy La Stella reaches base on catchers error loads the bases. Jon Jay gets hit by pitch forcing in a run score is now 7-4. Top of 6th Addison Russel doubles to left (again) and Ben Zobrist scores 8=4 Cubs. Bottom of 6th with 2 outs Jayson Werth walks, Bryce Harper doubles. Ryan Zimmerman at bat with full count a wild pitch sends Werth home and puts Ryan on base. Score now 8-5 in favor of Cubs. Next batter Daniel Murphy doubles bringing Harper home 8-6. Top of 7th Kris Bryant ground out sacs scoring Kyle Schwarber 9-6. Bottom of 7th Harper sac flies to center scoring Michael Taylor score now 9-7. Bottom 8th Michael Taylor singles to center scoring Daniel Murphy 9-8 and that would be the final score.

Bryce Harper makes the final out in game 5 to end the Nats 2017 Season - Chicago Tribune

Series Results:
Game 1: 06 October 2017 - Loss 0-3
Game 2: 07 October 2017 - Win 6-3
Game 3: 09 October 2017 - Loss 1-2
Game 4: 11 October 2017 - Win 5-0
Game 5: 12 October 2017 - Loss 8-9
Cubs Win Series 3-2

Chicago Cubs pose for picture on field at Nationals Park after winning NLDS - Chicago Tribune

The Cubs moved on to the NLCS to once again battle the Dodgers who had eliminated the Diamondbacks in their NLDS (West). The winner will meet either the Astros or Yankees in the World Series. Last year's AL Champs the Cleveland Indians were eliminated by the Yankees this year's ALDS in 5 games. So the Cubs lost to the Dodgers. The Astros beat the Yankees and went on to win the World Series against the Dodgers in 7 grueling games.

The image at the top of this post is from the Series Preview at bleachernation.com

Nats Mentioned in this post:
Sean Doolittle
Gio Gonzalez
Bryce Harper
Adam Lind
Daniel Murphy
Anthony Rendon
Tanner Roark
Max Scherzer
Sammy Solis
Stephen Strasburg
Michael Taylor
Trea Turner
Jayson Werth
Matt Wieters
Ryan Zimmerman

26 January 2018

New Skipper: Dave Martinez

Well here we go again. As of the World Series Dusty Baker is out as the Nats Skipper. In his place is Dave Martinez Fresh from the Cubs as their bench coach from 2015 to 2017. He was part of that goat curse breaking 2016 Championship team. As far as NatsPos connections he played for Montreal from 1988 to 1991. Martinez started his playing career with the Cubs before being traded to the Expos then played for the Reds, Giants, White Sox, Devil Rays. Then back to Cubs to Rangers to Blue Jays all in 2000 then finished in 2001 with the Braves. His coaching career began in 2008 with the now Rays (they dropped the Devil) til 2014 then went to the Cubs December of 2014.

Dave Martinez suiting up as Nats new skipper w/ GM Mike Rizzo

I didn't think I had any of Dave's cards, but in checking The Trading Card DataBase I noticed his RC was this card (good old 1987 Topps Traded) which I have since I have all the 1980s Topps Traded Sets in/with their boxes. I might have some more of his cards from his playing days but I'm not sure. At this time I'm not going to check. I'm going to be lazy and use an online image of the card since it is a very common card. Not using a scan of "my" card may turn off some readers, but hey I like being honest. Oh interesting what looks like a huge sweat stain on his jersey is the shadow of his gloved arm.

1987 Topps Traded 73T - Dave Martinez RC
Images from Trading Card DataBase

30 December 2017

Tony Two Bags: Rice Base

Some months back I made a post about a crystal parallel to this card. Today I am finally posting about the base version. OK the real reason is I needed a quick and dirty post for the end of the year since I still haven't finished a couple of posts from all the post-season hubbaballoo. I noticed I had scanned it but apparently never posted about it.

So here is the Base of Anthony Rendon's 2011 Panini Playoff Contenders Prospect Ticket. I think this type of card is officially called an "X-RC" which is a weird way of saying a pre-RC which technically since is their first card should be an "RC" but since they are a minor league prospect, or in this case shown in College Uni. Heck I don't care what the thing is called. I like it cause Tony is one of my Fave Nationals.

2011 Panini Playoff Contenders: Prospect Ticket: RT10 Anthony Rendon

30 November 2017

The Chief And Church Are Wooden Sort Of

2005 Bowman Heritage 17 Chad Cordero and 97 Ryan Church
Base and Mahogany editions.

Oh I do love me some Heritage. Be it Bowman or Topps. Bowman started the concept, well Topps Mother company actually, but technicalities we'll leave in the basement. Anyway for the Nats inaugural season 2005 both Topps and Bowman had a Heritage set. Topps used their 1956 design, while Bowman used their 1951 design for Heritage. I will only concentrate on the two Bowman cards well four Bowman cards really in this post and the two variants and the two players shown.

First up lets talk about the base about the base no treble. As mentioned above the 2005 Bowman Heritage set reproduces the 1951 Bowman design very faithfully using the modern players. I love when the Heritage sets get things right. First up numerically, but not alphabetically is Chad "The Chief" Cordero. The Nationals first closer who ranks up there as one of their best in their 12 plus year history.

2005 Bowman Heritage 17 Chad Cordero Nationals

Checkout how faithful they were to the 1951 design on this back. They even have 1951 for the copyright date, well for the design copyright date, the actual card copyright date they have in the smaller more detailed copyright info that they do now-days.

Now for Ryan Church  who played outfield for the Nats for a few years and when he was traded away to the Mets with Brian Schneider for Lastings Milledge I was quite upset. At the time November 2007 I didn't have a trading card blog so on my regular blog I made a rant post about the trade. Amazingly it was exactly 10 years ago today I posted that. Ryan had become one of my fave Nats during those early years along with Schneider and Cordero.

2005 Bowman Heritage 97 Ryan Church Nationals

Aright well since this is a quick and dirty end of the month post, and I am working on the draft very late on the next to the last day, well very early on the final day actually. Trying to finish before it is time to get up for work. I need to remind my self to stop this end of the month procrastinating. I tell myself time and again all throughout the month that I need to make some posts, and often I start a draft or two on something. Well right now I do have a bunch of drafts in my posting queue. I had a couple of other posts I started drafting. I intended to post one or two of them in time for November, but I have no cards for them yet. I had recently gotten some of these Heritage cards from Sportlots Stores. I may have duplicates of the base, not sure.  The Next Cordero at one time I had watched on Ebay and COMC but eventually got a better price on a Sportlots Store search. I had even purchased the Cordero Mahogany card from Sportlots about a month prior but the seller couldn't find their copy and gave me a refund. So the one I got was from a completely different seller.

Oops I spoiled the surprise of these next cards in the previous paragraph, as well as at the beginning of this whole post so there Pfffftthhhhpppt. (however you spell the sound of a raspberry.)

I didn't have time to check the spelling. I did have an image of Bill The Cat saved on a USB Thumb drive. Dang it I thought it was one where he was saying "Pfffffffhhhpppttthhtt"

I don't know the why or the reasons they decided on this particular variant, but for some reason when they first came out I liked them and thought the concept was pretty cool. I am talking about the Mahogany edition of these cards. The front image is put directly on the raw surface of the cardboard without a clean whitewashed background as a result these card look a bit darker than the regular base edition.

So here are the Mahogany Editions:

 2005 Bowman Heritage: Mahogany: 17 Chad Cordero Nationals

 2005 Bowman Heritage: Mahogany: 97 Ryan Church Nationals

I'm not sure why, but I noticed both my Mahogany cards have slight creases on them. Maybe it is part of the design. I'll have to look into that and try to find my other Mahogany cards I got. I have the Brian Schneider and possibly one or two others.

Here are some side by side comparisons just for fun. First up the backs of the Chad cards. The regular base is on the left and the Mahogany is on the right. You can see slight surface creasing. Hmm upon further checking (and on the front) the creasing is more like veins especially on the fronts so I think it is intended.

2005 Bowman Heritage: 17 Chad Cordero Nationals
Regular Base Edition on left, Mahogany Edition on right.

2005 Bowman Heritage 17 Chad Cordero Nationals
Base on left, Mahogany on right.

Hmm I didn't make a separate side-by-side for the Ryan Church so here is the opening image repeated.

31 October 2017

A Slightly Oversized Big Train

Back in September for my Sportlots Spending Splurge I got this nice card, with another card from the set Eddie Murray Orioles which I am mentioning on my regular card blog. This one was 50¢ (Eddie was 70¢) I also got a Hockey card for my name niche PC. Shipping was only 68¢ for the three cards. Buying from Sportlots stores is better on shipping than for the auctions. For some reason auctions there don't combine shipping.

I had forgotten that the cards from this set were slightly larger than standard size at 3.5" x 5" about postcard size. Still nice looking cards. Only 60 cards in the set and not too expensive. I don't think there are any super hard to get cards from this. That is good since it looks like I should get more of these oversized beasts.

 1984 Donruss Champions 37 Walter Johnson Senators

EDITED: To cross-link to regular blog for Eddie Murray card from this set.

30 September 2017

Senators Singles: Dick Hyde 1959 Topps

1959 Topps Dick Hyde

Once again I face the end of a month without having a single post. Forcing me to have a quick and dirty post. This card I got from a Sportlots auction for the minimum 25¢ opening bid. I vaguely mentioned this card in my latest Strive for '65 update on my regular card blog but didn't identify it.

Since this is a quick and dirty end of the month post I'll just show the card:

1959 Topps Baseball: 498 Dick Hyde

I also have Dick's 1960 Topps card at one time I think I had 3 or 4 of that card. I probably still have a dupe or two of that '60 card. Not sure but I know I have sent at least one to another collector.

31 August 2017

Ed Brinkman

 Ed Brinkman - (2, 38) 11
Senators 1961 - 1970
I have a confession to make even though as a kid I was a Senators fan, I didn't follow the team or baseball too closely in the way that sports fans usually do, or that I do today. I was more into football to be honest.  Even then not really until I was 6 or 7. Another big factor was I was only 6 when the Senators (2.0) left DC for Texas. I was a kid I didn't know the number of home runs any of the players had hit, or what their batting percentages were, or how many games a pitcher had won during a season. I still don't know those things by heart, but I do keep up with whatever is current for the Nationals. So the only thing I knew about Mr. Brinkman back then was that he was a player for the Washington Senators that was good enough for me (and that was probably only because I had a card or two of his). Had I known how good a defense man he was I probably would have paid more attention maybe. Then again I was a little kid and things like baseball stats mean very little to some kids.

As usual I try not to ramble on and on about any one player during these posts, just enough to get some interest and maybe give me some time to figure out which cards to show. So here are the cards.

I'll start things off with one of the first few Senators cards I remember owning that is also one of the cards I think of automatically when I hear his name. 1968  Topps 49A Ed Brinkman Senators (Team Name in White, I need the yellow team name variant 49B) .

1968 Topps Baseball 49 Ed Brinkman Senators
Team name in white letters

Bonus Card: When I think of the 1968 Topps set the main card I think of and associate with that particular set just happens to be the card that numerically follows Mr. Brinkman's card. Number 50 Willie Mays Giants. This card I think was also among some of my first cards I ever owned, and for a long time the only Willie Mays card I owned until the 1972 Topps Mays came along that year. I also think that this card had originally been my brother's.

 1968 Topps Baseball 50 Willie Mays Giants

There doesn't seem to be many of Ed's cards that I did own back in the late 60s early 70s. I'm not even sure if  I had this 1970 Topps card back then or not.

1970 Topps Baseball: 711 Ed Brinkman Senators

On one of my sportlots splurges that included some of the Ed Brinkman cards I needed including the 1966 Topps #251 for .35¢ of course then I found I already had it, Duh its even in my logo picture for this blog. D'oh! I didn't think I had it because I had not recorded it in my Zistle collection. That was before the Beckett buy-out of Zistle.

1966 Topps Baseball: 251 Ed Brinkman Senators

Here are some more of Ed's Senators cards:

1963 Topps Baseball: 479 Ed Brinkman RC Senators

1967 Topps Baseball: 311 Ed Brinkman Senators

1969 Topps Baseball: 153 Ed Brinkman Senators

Some of Ed's Post-Senators cards I didn't have back in the day, or don't remember having them back then. I do admit there was one time as a kid where I did a huge purge of cards. I think most of them were cards I had defaced with a HUGE black magic markered "K" to identify it was my card and not my brother's card, or miscut cards. Stupid stupid stupid. Marking the card AND tossing cards back then. I don't know how many cards I tossed back then in that one time purge I just recall sitting on the floor of the dinning room near the border of the dinning room/living room with a black (or very dark green) garbage bag. I also recall many many 1970 Topps Baseball cards going in there.

1971 Topps Baseball: 389 Ed Brinkman Tigers

I also have the Topps 1974, 1975 and 1975 mini Ed Brinkman cards from his years with the Tigers, but I didn't scan those. I have shown my 1971 Topps Coin of Ed here. I also have Ed's photo from a lot of 8 photos circa 1970 portrait picture that is a the top of this post. It seems to be from the 12 photos 1970 Team issued Picture Pack. Their photos match those but as I described in the earlier post my copies are yellowed newspaper print paper not regular photo stock that I think those would have been issued on. Thus they remain on my Mystery to Me static page.
On Deck: Ryan Church - (38), 19
In The Hole: Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez - 7

30 July 2017

Back To Back To Back To Back

Goodwin, Difo, Harper, Zimmerman WOW!
2017 Topps Now Online Card

What a Win what an accomplishment. On Thursday's 27 July 2017 home game vs the Milwaukee Brewers the Nats tied an MLB record which is also a team/franchise record. They smashed 4 back-to-back Homers, which technically is Back-to-Back-to-Back-to-Back. Making them the 8th team to have 4 consecutive HRs in an inning. Plus two batters later another Homer making it 5 HRs in one inning for a team record.

It all happened in the 3rd inning and all against Michael Blazek on his starting debut. Poor guy good thing it wasn't his Major League debut that was in Jun 2013 for the Cardinals. Having had some relief work under his belt he wasn't a totally newbie.

The Nats were leading 2-0 when starting pitcher Max Scherzer leads off the bottom half of the 3rd with a walk.
On 1-0 count Brian Goodwin knocks in a two run homer bringing in max to make it 4-0.
Next Wilmer Difo smacks in a homer on a 1-1 count 5-0.
he is followed by Bryce Harper on a full count it is now 6-0.
The Nats current Home Run King Ryan Zimmerman joins the back-to-back club on his first pitch to make it 7-0.
2011 Panini Limited Authentic Timber Lumberjacks 5 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
Bat chip (sliver) SN# 134/299
Then Daniel Murphy... flies out ending the streaking homers to some light hearted booing from the home crowd.
Next batter Anthony Rendon launches a Homer on the 0-1 pitch and it is 8-0.

They went on to score a few more Homers breaking a team record of 8 HRs in a game. They won the game 15-2.
Oh and it was Max Scherzer's Birthday what a way to celebrate your 31st year.

The Topps Now card that I showed at the top of this post I didn't think about until checking Ebay on a previous Topps Now Card (one I have talked about before and mentioned below) I found the 4 consecutive HRs card for sale on Ebay for $5.99 free shipping. The seller (toppsnow) I think started with 10 available and I noticed 6 had sold within 24 hours so I thought I should grab it before it was gone at that price. The downside is I have to wait til they actually get the card from Topps. The small print says they buy the things during the initial Topps Now 24 hours. The cards usually arrive at the seller 2 weeks later and they ship the cards out the day they receive. So I won't see that card for a while. Ebay's estimated delivery says it ships from Sept 12 to 25. I ordered another Topps Now card from them Ryan Zimmerman's 235th career HR Franchise Record. Plus my shopping spree from two other sellers gets me the Trea Turner Cycle card (#83 the other card ODB-2 a seller has listed for $99 WTH?) and a Bryce Harper Solo homer and Grand Slam 4for4 card. Those two are expected at a quicker speed between 04 Aug and 09 Aug. Yeah yeah I know I've said horrible things about Topps Now mostly the digital online only ones. They often look very nice and the subjects will probably not get put on a card anyplace else, or at least not for sometime. I just have to be careful and make sure I'm getting a PHYSICAL copy, not a digital version.

Related Links:
WATCH: Nationals club four straight home runs against Brewers to make MLB history- CBS Sports
The Nationals hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs - SBNation
Nationals slug four HRs in row, five in one inning to tie MLB record - Sporting News
Nationals hit 8 HRs to blast Brewers 15-2 - WTOP

Nationals mentioned in this post:
Wilmer Difo
Brian Goodwin
Bryce Harper
Anthony Rendon
Max Scherzer
Trea Turner
Ryan Zimmerman