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Beltway Baseball – Season preview

Apr 4, 2012, 3:08 PM EDT

Can the Nationals overcome their early season injuries and get off to a hot start? Can a lineup that struggled to score runs last year produce enough to take advantage of a deep and talented pitching staff? When will Bryce Harper be promoted from Syracuse, and what factors will the club take into consideration before making that move? And, most importantly, where will the Nationals finish in the wide-open NL East this season?

Chase Hughes and I attempted to answer all of those questions on our season preview edition of Beltway Baseball, filmed yesterday at Nationals Park. Enjoy the show!

  1. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    84-86 wins is likely the right range. The Nats would have such a better shot at edging up closer to 90 Ws if the top of the order was more bankable to produce. We'll see.dfh21

  2. Unkyd - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Duffy's on Vermont Ave?

  3. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Andy Pettite is going to throw an inning in todays Mets/Yankees final ST game today. It's on now on MLB Network.

  4. NatsBrat - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    The Power Rankings have the Nats listed at 21st of MLB clubs.Those are fighting words, Nats' fans!

  5. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    Here 'tis, Unk.

  6. Unkyd - Apr 4, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Thanks, 1A… That's right where I had it…SeeYa!!

  7. UNTERP - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    93 wins or bust…

  8. The Fox - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    The Nats will win 84 games if they stay relatively healthy 87 if they make a major pick up at the trading deadline. There is also a presure factor so it will greatly help the team to get off to a good start. Philies still the team to beat after that the healthest team will battle it out with them.

  9. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Okay, I'll play. The number of games that the Nats will win is somewhere within the range of 1-162. So is the number of games that they'll lose. You heard it here first. :-)

  10. Les in NC - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    C'mon 1A, thats o prediction. Everyone knows that we'll win 40 games, lose 40 games and what happens the remaining 80 will determine where we finish in the playoff race.That said, we will win at least 40, lose at least 40 and with our current roster I would say we win another 45-50.

  11. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Yes, that's the point, Les. As I've noted here and elsewhere over the years, I don't do predictions or armchair GM stuff. Just thought I'd put a fresh spin on it. That's why they play the games and all that. ;-)

  12. John C. - Apr 4, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    Hey, I'm just happy that, after watching that stupid number in the upper right corner dawdle its way down from around 100, that the countdown clock has hit 1. It's time for some baseball!

  13. sjm308 - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    natsfan1a: I have always loved your positive spin on just about everything but are you saying you don't have any opinions on this team beside the fact that you love them and want them to win all time? I guess being competitve, I could never take that tack, but godbless you for always being pro Nats! You are basically saying you are just happy to be a part of Nats Nation and I love your consistency with that. I will tell you, I think its kinda fun to put yourself out there every now and then and if it sticks to the wall you feel pretty good about it.Go Nats 85+ wins!!

  14. DWS - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    If (and a big if) the team stays relatively healthy they will win 90. And of course there's the X factor.The "experts" at SI are almost unanimous in the NL rookie of the year.

  15. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    sjm308, I said that I don't do predictions or play armchair GM; I didn't say that I don't have opinions. I do, in fact, have opinions, and I express them frequently; sometimes even on the interwebz. :-)sjm308 said… natsfan1a: I have always loved your positive spin on just about everything but are you saying you don't have any opinions on this team beside the fact that you love them and want them to win all time?

  16. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    sjm, no, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that I don't do predictions or play armchair GM, but thanks for letting me know that you love my consistency. ;-)sjm308 said…You are basically saying you are just happy to be a part of Nats Nation and I love your consistency with that.

  17. natsfan1a - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    Also, it's great that you and others enjoy doing predictions and/or playing armchair GM. I prefer not to do so for a number of reasons, but I won't bore you with them.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 79 15.0
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Sunday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 87 68 4.0
-------------------------
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 7.0 --
PITTSBURGH 84 71 7.0 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 11.5 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
MON: OFF
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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