Quick Links

Dodgers well-aware of Nationals' Trea Turner and his threat to steal

Dodgers well-aware of Nationals' Trea Turner and his threat to steal

During his postseason press conference ahead of Game 2 of the NL Division Series, Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal was asked a general question about the Nationals and their aggressive approach on the basepaths, how they like to put pressure on opposing teams with their speed.

Halfway through his answer, Grandal filled in a blank.

"If you're referring to Trea Turner, I've seen him. We've studied him. We've scouted him," Grandal said.

While not a household name among baseball fans, Turner is becoming well-known among opposing teams. He's played in just 101 big league games - including the playoffs - but has already established himself as one of the most dangerous runners in the game. Turner stole 33 bases this season in the majors and 25 in the minors. His speed is not to be underestimated and the Dodgers are well-aware.

Grandal and his manager, in fact, have a history with the Nationals rookie.

"He's fast. When I was in San Diego, he was drafted [in the first round]," Grandal said. "I saw his highlight reel. Josh Byrnes came up to me and he was very excited about him. I've seen this guy play. It's not -- it's not news that the guy can play and he's fast."

[RELATED: Nats blow big opportunity by letting Kershaw off the hook]

Grandal was on the Padres when Turner was drafted. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was on their coaching staff.

"He's a great kid, good worker, can really run, defend, throw, and he checks all the boxes, wanting to learn. We spent some time together, actually, on stealing bases and talking about the bunt game," Roberts said. 

"Just to see him now, very happy for him, very excited. Not a surprise, because he's just so level-headed and a very confident young man. You just see the strength. He's a lot stronger than I remember him. Sky is the limit [for him]. Us going into this series, keeping him off the bases was probably top of the list."

Turner, 23, has become an integral member of the Nationals in his first full season in the majors. In a lineup full of veterans, he is as important as any setting the table in the leadoff spot.

Turner didn't have the greatest outing in Game 1 with three strikeouts, but he still walked and brought in a run on a sacrifice fly. At some point in this series, he's likely to make a larger impact and manager Dusty Baker expects this to just be the start of a long postseason career.

"We were standing on the line [Friday evening] during [Game 1] introductions, and I said, 'Hey, man, this is going to be one of many for you,'" Baker said. "So this is the sort of hopefully, you know, many playoffs for him."

[RELATED: Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats]

Quick Links

Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time

Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time

HOUSTON -- Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer, Howie Kendrick had a two-run triple and the Washington Nationals beat Houston for the ninth straight time, 4-3 Tuesday night in a matchup of division leaders.

Washington's winning streak over the Astros dates to 2012. The Nationals have won 13 of 14 against Houston since 2011.

Kendrick's triple tied it in the third before the Astros went back on top with an RBI single by Josh Reddick in the bottom half. Anthony Rendon doubled with two outs in the fourth before the homer by Wieters, which landed just to the right of straightaway center field, gave the NL East leaders a 4-3 lead.

Tanner Roark (10-8) allowed six hits and two earned runs in 5 2-3 innings and Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Charlie Morton (10-6) gave up four runs in six innings for the AL West-leading Astros.

The Astros threatened in the eighth against Brandon Kintzler when Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles and the Nationals intentionally walked Carlos Beltran with one out to load the bases. But Max Stassi grounded into a double play to leave Houston trailing.

George Springer led off the Houston first with a single, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Reddick.

Beltran doubled off the wall in left-center field in the second and scored on a single by Derek Fisher.

Quick Links

Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

Why Nationals' Max Scherzer picked college over pros — at first

When Max Scherzer was a teenager, he didn't know that one day he'd actually become a two-time Cy Young Award winner. He had no guarantee he'd make it to the majors, much less play in five consecutive MLB All-Star games. 

All he knew was that he had the option to go pro as a kid or go to college, and back then, the Nationals' ace needed a contingency plan in case baseball didn't work out. Fortunately for Scherzer, it did, but he doesn't regret going to college at the University of Missouri, telling Santana Moss on CSN's "Route 89" going to school was a no-brainer.

"It was actually a really easy decision," Scherzer told Moss. "When you get drafted out of high school, you're going to be going into the minor leagues, and that can take three to five or six years — multiple years — in the minor leagues, and you're forfeiting your right to further your education."

Scherzer was drafted in the 43rd round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2003, but he opted to play for Mizzou for three years, which turned out to be a great decision. The Arizona Diamondbacks then drafted him in 2006 in the first round as the 11th overall pick. 

"A lot of times when you sign out of high school, you don't make it to the major leagues," Scherzer continued. "So I realize that your education — that's your safety net.

"You need to further your education in college, and if you do get drafted out of college, you're in a much better position to try to chase your dreams because if it doesn't work out, you still have one year left of school and that's much easier to obtain rather than try to go through four years when you're not coming out of high school."

MORE NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg returns to the mound