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Nats-Rockies LIVE game thread - 1:35 p.m.

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Nats-Rockies LIVE game thread - 1:35 p.m.

Chase Hughes here for the final game of the Nationals vs. Rockies series and the final game before the All-Star Break. Mark will pick things up tomorrow for what should be an exciting week for Nationals fans.Jordan Zimmermann will pitch for the Nationals in his 17th start of the season. He has a 2.70 ERA which leads Nationals starting pitchers and ranks 7th in the National League. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a game since May and has allowed two or fewer in four consecutive outings.Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound for Colorado, he is 3-8 on the season with a 6.28 ERA. He allowed three runs in four innings to the Nationals back on June 27. Washington goes for the series win and a chance to hit the 50 mark at the break. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day and feel free to add your comments below.COLORADO ROCKIES at WASHINGTON NATIONALSWhere: Nationals Park
Gametime: 1:35 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN, WDCW 50, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 185
Weather: Mostly clear, 97 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF NATIONALS (49-33)

LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
RF Michael Morse
1B Adam LaRoche
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jhonatan Solano
RHP Jordan Zimmermann

ROCKIES (32-52)
CF Dexter Fowler
2B Marco Scutaro
LF Carlos Gonzalez
RF Tyler Colvin
1B Todd Helton
3B Jordan Pacheco
SS Jonathan Herrera
C Wil Nieves
RHP Jeremy Guthrie UMPIRES HP Jim Reynolds
1B James Hoye
2B Jim Joyce
3B Mike DiMuro

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Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

Former Nationals outfielder admits to drinking vodka before MLB games

When it comes to sports, we sometimes forget that the athletes we look up to are just normal people.  Normal people who have a lot to prove to millions of people on a weekly basis.  Former Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel has discussed one his human moments in an interview with 590 The Fan in St. Louis.

Ankiel admitted to drinking vodka during his plight as a pitcher. He referenced his first two starts of the 2001 season, in particular against the his opener Arizona Diamondbacks where he allowed his anxiety to giving in to alcohol to soothe him. In the previous postseason, he became the first pitcher since 1980 to throw five wild pitches in a single inning. 

It may have worked for a couple of games but Ankiel eventually realized it was only making matters worse.

Ankiel began playing in the MLB at the age of 19 and has had a fluctuating career through six teams.  All the while, he has keep a “never give up” mentality.

Why the sudden need to vent? The St. Louis baseball pitcher is getting up close and personal with his upcoming book, “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed my Life” which is co-written with sports writer, Tim Brown will be released on April 18.  

His two seasons with the Nationals, resulted in 127 hits and 52 RBIs as an outfielder. 

MORE NATS: Can't miss Nationals promotional schedule

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Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

Nationals sign former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters

The Washington Nationals have signed former Orioles All-Star catcher Matt Wieters to a one-year deal with a player option for a second year, according to multiple reports. 

Wieters spent the first eight years in the Majors with the Baltimore Orioles, being named to the AL All-Star team four times and winning two gold glove awards. Last season the switch-hitting catcher posted a .243 average with 17 homers and 66 RBI.  

The Nationals have been in the market for catchers all offseason after Wilson Ramos left for Tampa Bay in free agency. The team traded for former Padres catcher Derek Norris, whose role is now in question. The Nationals still have Jose Lobaton on the roster as a strong defensive backup catcher who has a proven rapport with many of the pitchers in the Nationals rotation. Wieters had been linked to the Nationals all offseason because of the team's need a the position and because of the Nationals close relationship with Wieters' agent Scott Boras. 

The only significant time that Wieters has missed due to injury in his career came in 2014-15 when he had Tommy John surgury. Prior to that surgury, however, Wieters had played in at least 130 games for four straight seasons and became a large part of the Orioles' identity. 

The 30-year-old backstop will give the Nationals lineup more depth and power. Wieters had three consecutive 20-homer seasons from 2011-13 and since 2009 when his career began, he ranks fifth among catchers in all of baseball in home runs with 117. 

Related: Nationals 2017 promotional schedule includes snow globes and fedoras