Luke Erickson

Luke Erickson is a season-ticket holder for the Potomac Nationals, but makes a point of seeing games in Hagerstown and Harrisburg at least once a summer. When the PNats are away on the weekend, Luke finds a minor-league game somewhere to watch, and generally attends 70-80 baseball games a year up across several states. A former sportswriter with newspapers in Massachusetts and Oregon, Luke lives in Western Fairfax County with his wife and two sons.

Mar 182016
 

After blowing leads of 2-1 and 6-4, Chris Heisey’s three-run HR secured a 9-7 walkoff win for the Nats’ third straight win.

It was the fourth longball overall as Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, and Wilson Ramos also went deep.

Stephen Strasburg made the start and was dinged for two runs on five hits and two walks over four innings. Jonathan Papelbon got the win as he induced three Braves reserves to fly out in the top of the 9th.

The appearances for “our guys” are dwindling, with just two watchlist players seeing time yesterday. Trea Turner started at SS and went 0-for-2 with a whiff while batting ninth. Pedro Severino replaced Ramos at catcher and grounded out in his only at-bat in the 8th.

Tonight, the Nats travel to Port St. Lucie to visit the Mets. The game will be broadcast on MLB.tv with the away feed.

Mar 172016
 

The Nats’ four-run 3rd was enough to double up the Marlins, 4-2 and extend Washington’s unbeaten streak to six games.

Blake Treinen got the start in place of Bronson Arroyo, whose career is likely over with the diagnosis of a labrum tear. Treinen tossed two scoreless innings with two baserunners allowed (one hit, one walk) while striking out four.

Michael Taylor was responsible for three of the four runs with an Earl Weaver special off former Oriole Bruce Chen while his competition for the starting CF job drove in the other with an RBI single.

Pedro Severino was the sole watchlist player to play in the game, replacing Jhonatan Solano behind the place but going hitless in two trips to the plate.

The Nats return to Viera today to host the Barves. The game will not broadcast on TV or radio, thanks to the second-largest gambling event of the year most likely due to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Mar 162016
 

After Lucas Giolito was lit up for a pair of runs in his second inning of relief in the 8th, the Nats took him off the hook for the loss with a three-run rally in the 9th for a 6-4 win over the Astros.

The comeback gave Michael Brady the win. The architect converted IF got the last out of the 8th while stranding two runners. Aaron Laffey retired the side in order in the 9th to earn the save.

Gio Gonzalez started and struggled again with his control, walking four batters in four innings while giving up a run on a leadoff HR in the 4th. He allowed three hits total and struck out four.

Giolito came on in the 7th and gave up a leadoff single, but then retired the next three batters on flyballs. In the 8th, he struck out the first batter before walking the second. After another whiff, it looked like the 21-y.o. would escape but he then walked a second batter before giving up back-to-back singles that plated both baserunners and ended his outing.

Giolito’s final line: 1⅔ IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 2K. No word on how many cakes, pies, or breads baked.

Trea Turner helped spark the 9th-inning comeback with a one-out double, then scored on Clint Robinson’s two-run two-bagger. The 22-y.o. watchlist SS finished 1-for-2 to improve his spring average to .190 in relief of Danny Espinosa, who has as many hits in 2016 as most of the people reading this do.

Pedro Severino got the start at catcher and was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Isaac Ballou came off the bench and played RF and was 0-for-1 with flyout in the 9th ahead of Turner.

The Nats stay on the buses for another road trip this afternoon to visit the Marlins. Bronson Arroyo is expected to start and the game can be heard on MLB Radio.

Mar 152016
 

For the second straight game, the Nats neither won nor lost as they tied the Astros, 1-1.

Joe Ross got the start and gave up Houston’s run on two-out solo shot in thr top of the 1st. He let up five hits total, walked two, and struck out three over four innings.

Just three watchlist players saw game action:

  • Matt Skole walked three times and scored the lone Washington run as Anthony Rendon’s sub at 3B
  • Trea Turner went 0-for-2 with a strikeout after replacing Brendan Ryan at SS
  • Nick Lee worked around a walk and his own error while pitching another scoreless inning

Following the game, the Nats announced another round of cuts, which will likely put an end to our spring training coverage very soon:

  • LHP Sammy Solis and OF Brian Goodwin were optioned to AAA
  • LHP Nick Lee, C Spencer Kieboom, and IF Christopher Bostick were optioned to AA
  • IF Matt Skole and OF Logan Schafer were reassigned to minor-league camp

The Nats travel to Kissimmee this afternoon to visit the Astros with Gio Gonzalez expected to start. The game will broadcast on MLB Network.

Mar 132016
 

Pedro Severino’s RBI single in the bottom of the 8th offset the bullpen coughing up three in the top of the 8th as the Nats and Cards played to a 4-4, nine-inning tie.

Max Scherzer, Washington’a probable Opening Day starter, struck out five over four innings and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. The blown save went to Erik Davis, who let in three runs on three hits and a hit batsman, though he was “helped” with a pair of throwing errors by Jason Martinson and Michael Taylor.

Severino (1-1, RBI) was joined by fellow watchlisters Brian Goodwin (1-2) and Trea Turner (0-1) as replacements for the starters, which included both Ryan Zimmerman (albeit as the DH) and Jayson Werth (LF) for the first time this spring. Goodwin and Turner each stole a base while Severino failed to throw out both runners who attempted to steal on him.

The tie puts Washington’s record at 8-3-1 after 12 games. They’ll host Houston for the second time this spring with a 1:05 p.m. start tomorrow afternoon.

Mar 132016
 

The Nats scored in seven of nine innings against the Braves to take their eighth win of the spring, 11-1.

Tanner Roark became the first starting pitcher to go more than than three innings, giving up the lone Atlanta run on three hits over four frames. He fanned three and walked none.

Sammy Solis was the sole watchlister of the five relievers to appear after Roark and turned in 1-2-3 eighth with one whiff.

Trea Turner started at SS and led off and was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, which improved his spring BA to .188. Christopher Bostick replaced him atop the lineup and at short and was 1-for-3 with two RBI.

Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole came off the bench to sub for Chris Heisey in RF and Jason Martinson at 3B, respectively. Goodwin went 0-for-2 with a walk while Skole struck out twice in two trips to the plate.

The Nats host the Cards this afternoon in Viera. The video can be seen on MASN, while the audio can be heard on 106.7FM and 1580AM.

Mar 122016
 

The Nats reserves rallied for three in the 3rd and five in the 8th as they pummeled the Mets, 9-5 to snap a two-game slide.

Stephen Strasburg made the start and gave up a run on three hits and two walks over three innings. He was awarded the win.

Manager Dusty Baker went Little League as he emptied the benches and trotted out relievers en masse as a total of 22 position players and eight pitchers were used in the game.

Six watchlist players and two pitchers appeared in the game. Here’s how they did:
• Brian Goodwin singled in Danny Espinosa to tie the game as Bryce Harper’s pinch-hitter in the 3rd. He singled again in the 5th to finish 2-for-2.
• Matt Skole subbed for Tyler Moore and went 0-for-2 with a walk and whiff.
• Pedro Severino replaced Wilson Ramos behind the plate and went 0-for-1.
• Spencer Kieboom followed Severino and was 0-for-2.
• Trea Turner subbed for Espinosa and went 0-for-2 with a run scored, a stolen base, and an error.
• Christopher Bostick doubled in the 8th and scored as he pinch-hit for Scott Sizemore and finished the game at 2B.
• Nick Lee spun a perfect 8th inning and earned a hold.
• Tyler Mapes let in one of two runners inherited from Jonathan Papelbon, “thanks” to Turner’s error but got the last out of the 9th.

The second cuts came just a day after the first with RHPs A.J. Cole and Abel De Los Santos optioned to Syracuse and RHPs Austin Voth and Wander Suero reassigned to minor-league camp.

The Nats head to the House of Mouse to visit the Atlanta Braves tonight. Tanner Roark is expected to start. The game can be heard locally on 106.7 FM.

Mar 112016
 

First Cuts of Spring Training
The Nats fell into a 4-0 hole in the middle innings and fell one run short, 4-3 to the Astros last night in Viera. It was the second straight defeat for the D.C. nine.

Bronson Arroyo got the start and tossed three perfect innings with three strikeouts. Houston had no problem with the next two relievers, getting Gott for two runs (and the loss) in the 4th and humoring Laffey for a pair in the 6th.

None of the watchlisters were in the starting lineup. Here’s a rundown of how they did coming off the bench (or from the ‘pen):
• Christopher Bostick subbed for Dan Murphy at 2B and went 1-for-2 and committed an error
• Matt Skole followed Anthony Rendon at 3B and was 1-for-2 with a run scored
• Trea Turner replaced Danny Espinosa at SS and went 0-for-1 with an RBI on a sac fly
• Abel De Los Santos pitched the 8th and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless inning
• A.J. Cole gave up a two-out double in the 9th but retired the fourth batter on a flyout for a zero on the scoreboard

Prior to the game, the first set of cuts were announced with IF Wilmer Difo, LHP Matt Grace, and RHP Taylor Jordan optioned to AAA while C’s Raudy Read and Brian Jeroloman, RHPs Paolo Espino and Taylor Hill were reassigned to minor-league camp.

Mar 102016
 

The Nats’ top prospect struck out the side again but was also taken deep for a solo home run, the fifth allowed by Washington pitchers in yesterday’s 11-5 loss to Detroit in Lakeland, FL.

Tyler Collins led off the 8th against Lucas Giolito with a big fly to dead center. Thomas Field followed with a double before Giolito recovered to send the next three batters down swinging. Thus, the 21-y.o. finished with a line of 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 3K.

Starter Gio Gonzalez was also mauled by the Tigers, giving up four runs (two earned) on two hits (one homer) and four walks over two and 2/3rds innings. Likewise for Sammy Solis, who surrendered an Earl Weaver special in the 7th and put on four baserunners total in his lone inning of work.

Spencer Kieboom started at catcher and batted 9th. He went 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored at the plate and 0-for-3 throwing out baserunners. Pedro Severino was his replacement and was 1-for-2.

Here’s a rundown of how the other watchlisters fared:
• Wilmer Difo subbed for Dan Murphy at 2B and went 0-for-2 with a K
• Brian Goodwin replaced Bryce Harper in RF and was 0-for-1
• Trea Turner was the third SS of the afternoon and had an RBI groundout in the 8th

Tonight the Nats host the Astros with Bronson Arroyo slated to start. The good news is that the game will televised. The bad news is that it’ll be MASN. The worse news is that you won’t be able to mute the audio and turn on the radio.

Mar 092016
 

The wins may be meaningless, but it’s a refreshing change of pace from past springs as the Nats doubled up the Astros, 4-2 for their fourth straight win yesterday afternoon.

Max Scherzer put on four baserunners in his two innings of work but let in just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out two. The win went to Yusmeiro Petit, who laid three goose eggs on the scorebooard after Scherzer.

Austin Voth struck out two and let up one hit as the first of a trio of relievers who were awarded holds before Michael Brady came on to close out the 9th for the save.

Trea Turner (0-for-1) and Wilmer Difo (1-for-2) were among the starting nine and combined to reach base four times. Turner drew a pair of walks while Difo took one free pass in the 2nd and connected for a double in the 4th.

Matt Skole came off the bench to replace Tyler Moore at 1B and also walked. He scored in the 8th on a Scott Sizemore double.

Christopher Bostick went 0-for-1 with a walk as Jason Martinson’s sub at 3B. The Nats notched six walks total during the game.

Andrew Stevenson was the final watchlister to see game action, coming in during the bottom of the 9th as a defensive replacement in CF. He made one putout.

The Nats stay on the road with a visit to Lakeland to face the Tigers this afternoon. Gio Gonzalez is expected to get the start. The game can be heard on MLB Audio (with the away feed).