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Revisiting Opening Day media predictions on the Nats

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Revisiting Opening Day media predictions on the Nats

I've often said it's important that we as sportswriters be held accountable for what we write. We ask players and managers to be accountable for their performance. It's only right that we hold ourselves to the same standard.

Which makes this day-after-the-season tradition one of the more enjoyable -- albeit embarrassing -- posts of the year.

You may recall back on Opening Day when I and eight of my counterparts who cover the Nationals made our season predictions. Well, it's time to revisit those predictions and see how we did. (Hint: We didn't do nearly as well in 2012 as the Nationals did.)

As an added bonus, I'm also including my Opening Day predicted standings, postseason results and major award winners. Yeah, I'd like to have a few of those back, too.

Enjoy, and try not to mock us too much...

2012 OPENING DAY MEDIA PREDICTIONS

Who will represent the Nats at the All-Star Game?
Mark Zuckerman (CSNwashington.com) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann
Adam Kilgore (Washington Post) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Jayson Werth
Dave Sheinin (Washington Post) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
Amanda Comak (Washington Times) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
Bill Ladson (MLB.com) -- Ryan Zimmermann, Jordan Zimmermann, Ian Desmond
Dan Kolko (MASNsports.com) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg
Pete Kerzel (MASNsports.com) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Gio Gonzalez
Brian McNally (Washington Examiner) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg
Craig Heist (WTOP) -- Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Zimmermann
WINNER: Ladson was the only one to get Desmond right (though I suppose we could raise the technicality that Desmond never actually represented the Nats AT the game). Zuckerman, Kilgore, Kolko and McNally got Strasburg right. Nobody had Gio.

What will total home attendance be?
Bill Ladson -- 3,000,000
Amanda Comak -- 2,745,670
Brian McNally -- 2,700,000
Craig Heist -- 2,550,000
Mark Zuckerman -- 2,368,914
Dan Kolko -- 2,280,000
Dave Sheinin -- 2,313,753
Adam Kilgore -- 2,226,652
Pete Kerzel -- 2,099,631
WINNER: Actual attendance was 2,379,794, so the winner is me, missing by only 10,880. If only I could put my attendance savant skills to something of actual significance.

When will Bryce Harper make his MLB debut?
Pete Kerzel -- May 6 vs. Phillies
Adam Kilgore -- May 17 vs. Pirates
Brian McNally -- May 25 at Braves
Craig Heist -- May 27 at Braves
Bill Ladson -- June 1 vs. Braves
Mark Zuckerman -- June 19 vs. Rays
Amanda Comak -- June 19 vs. Rays
Dan Kolko -- June 20 vs. Rays
Dave Sheinin -- July 6 vs. Rockies
WINNER: Harper debuted on April 28, so Kerzel came closest, missing by 8 days.

How many home runs will Harper hit in the majors this season?
Craig Heist -- 13
Adam Kilgore -- 12
Pete Kerzel -- 12
Mark Zuckerman -- 11
Amanda Comak -- 11
Bill Ladson -- 10
Dan Kolko -- 9
Brian McNally -- 7
Dave Sheinin -- 7
WINNER: Harper hit 22 homers, so nobody actually came close, but Heist came closest.

How many strikeouts will Stephen Strasburg record?
Brian McNally -- 180
Mark Zuckerman -- 177
Bill Ladson -- 177
Dave Sheinin -- 165
Adam Kilgore -- 155
Craig Heist -- 150
Amanda Comak -- 147
Pete Kerzel -- 142
Dan Kolko -- 140
WINNER: Strasburg struck out 197 batters, so McNally was closest, missing by 17.

What will Jayson Werth's batting average be?
Bill Ladson -- .290
Pete Kerzel -- .287
Amanda Comak -- .273
Brian McNally -- .272
Craig Heist -- .270
Mark Zuckerman -- .268
Dan Kolko -- .268
Adam Kilgore -- .265
Dave Sheinin -- .264
WINNER: Werth finished right at .300, a surprise to everyone but Ladson.

How many home runs will Michael Morse hit?
Mark Zuckerman -- 28
Amanda Comak -- 28
Brian McNally -- 26
Adam Kilgore -- 23
Craig Heist -- 23
Dan Kolko -- 21
Pete Kerzel -- 21
Bill Ladson -- 20
Dave Sheinin -- 18
WINNER: Sheinin hit this one right on the money. He gets to spin the big wheel again for a chance at 10,000.

What will Ian Desmond's on-base percentage be?
Bill Ladson -- .360
Amanda Comak -- .326
Brian McNally -- .325
Pete Kerzel -- .325
Craig Heist -- .320
Mark Zuckerman -- .318
Dave Sheinin -- .315
Adam Kilgore -- .314
Dan Kolko -- .310
WINNER: Desmond set a career-high with a .335 OBP. Comak came closest at .326.

How many games will Adam LaRoche play for the Nationals?
Pete Kerzel -- 132
Adam Kilgore -- 130
Bill Ladson -- 130
Mark Zuckerman -- 127
Dan Kolko -- 125
Craig Heist -- 110
Brian McNally -- 98
Amanda Comak -- 91
Dave Sheinin -- 31
WINNER: Nobody predicted LaRoche would play in as many as 154 games, but Kerzel was the closest at 132.

Who will lead the pitching staff in wins? How many?
Bill Ladson -- Jordan Zimmermann, 20
Dan Kolko -- Gio Gonzalez, 17
Amanda Comak -- Gio Gonzalez, 17
Mark Zuckerman -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Brian McNally -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Dave Sheinin -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Craig Heist -- Jordan Zimmermann, 16
Adam Kilgore -- Jordan Zimmermann, 15
Pete Kerzel -- Jordan Zimmermann, 14
WINNER: Gonzalez beat everyone's expectations with 21 wins. Kolko and Comak had him leading the staff, but with only 17 wins.

How many games will Drew Storen save?
Dave Sheinin -- 40
Amanda Comak -- 39
Mark Zuckerman -- 37
Dan Kolko -- 34
Brian McNally -- 32
Pete Kerzel -- 31
Bill Ladson -- 30
Adam Kilgore -- 28
Craig Heist -- 28
WINNER: Nobody. Storen saved 4 games. Even if we counted the postseason, he can't finish with any more than 15, which is still nowhere close to the lowest prediction.

How many games will the Nats win?
Pete Kerzel -- 88
Adam Kilgore -- 87
Dan Kolko -- 87
Brian McNally -- 87
Amanda Comak -- 86
Bill Ladson -- 85
Craig Heist -- 85
Mark Zuckerman -- 84
Dave Sheinin -- 83
WINNER: The Nats proved us all wrong, winning an MLB-best 98 games. Kerzel came closest at 88.

MARK ZUCKERMAN'S OPENING DAY MLB PREDICTIONS
NL EAST
1. Phillies
2. Marlins
3. Nationals
4. Braves
5. Mets

NL CENTRAL
1. Brewers
2. Reds
3. Cardinals
4. Pirates
5. Cubs
6. Astros

NL WEST
1. Giants
2. Diamondbacks
3. Dodgers
4. Rockies
5. Padres
-Wild-card winners

NL WILD-CARD GAME: Reds over Diamondbacks
NLDS: Giants over Reds, Brewers over Phillies
NLCS: Giants over Brewers
NL MVP: Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
NL Cy Young: Josh Johnson, Marlins
NL Rookie of the Year: Drew Pomeranz, Rockies

AL EAST
1. Rays
2. Yankees
3. Red Sox
4. Blue Jays
5. Orioles

AL CENTRAL
1. Tigers
2. Indians
3. Royals
4. White Sox
5. Twins

AL WEST
1. Rangers
2. Angels
3. Mariners
4. Athletics
-Wild-card winners

AL WILD-CARD GAME: Angels over Yankees
ALDS: Tigers over Angels, Rays over Rangers
ALCS: Tigers over Rays
AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
AL Cy Young: Jered Weaver, Angels
AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore, Rays

WORLD SERIES: Tigers over Giants

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Harper Among 4 Nats' Starters Out Vs. Padres Sunday

Harper Among 4 Nats' Starters Out Vs. Padres Sunday

National League home run leader Bryce Harper is among four starters out of the lineup for the Washington Nationals in their series finale against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters also did not start for the Nationals, who open a nine-game, 10-day road trip Monday afternoon in San Francisco.

Murphy missed the previous two games due to illness, Chris Speier said Saturday. Speier, serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, did not meet with the media before Sunday's game.

RELATED: Nationals' Joe Ross to Start Against Team That Drafted Him

Harper is batting .337 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs.

Washington won the first two matchups in the three-game series.

Joe Ross (2-0, 5.32) faces fellow right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.74) on Sunday.

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Nationals' Joe Ross to start against team that drafted him

Nationals' Joe Ross to start against team that drafted him

WASHINGTON -- On Dec. 19, 2014, the San Diego Padres traded pitcher Joe Ross and a player to be named later -- it would be Trea Turner -- to the Washington Nationals in a three-team deal that included the Tampa Bay Rays.

Since that trade, the Padres have posted a record of 160-215 while the Nationals are 208-166 after they won 3-0 Saturday as Stephen Strasburg struck out a career-high 15 batters in seven innings and the Washington staff fanned 17.

As a reminder of what could have been, Ross (2-0, 5.32) makes the start Sunday against San Diego right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.74) in the finale of the three-game series at Nationals Park.

First-place Washington is 30-18 while last-place San Diego is 18-33.

Ross was drafted by the Padres in the first round out of his California high school in 2011. Ross is 2-0 in his career against San Diego with a 2.25 ERA in two starts. Last year, he went six innings and allowed six hits and three earned runs in a win against the Padres.

"I was not around Joe at all," said Andy Green, in his second year as the San Diego manager. "We saw him last year; he is a sinkerballer."

The Padres did acquire All-Star first baseman Wil Myers in the trade.

The Nationals have scored a record 62 runs in the four starts made this year by Ross, more than any other pitcher has received in his first four starts of a season. That included a 23-5 victory at home April 30 against the New York Mets and a 10-1 win Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners.

Ross, who broke into the majors with the Nationals in 2015, was in the rotation last season and made 19 starts before going on the disabled list. He was in line to be the No. 5 starter, but began the season at Triple-A Syracuse.

Chacin is 3-2 in six starts against Washington and has a 3.09 ERA. He has made three career starts at Nationals Park and is 1-1 with a 0.45 ERA while allowing only one run in 20 innings.

The Nationals played their second game in a row Saturday without second baseman Daniel Murphy, who was ill.

Nationals bench coach Chris Speier, filling in for manager Dusty Baker, said before the game that Murphy was ill. Murphy entered the day hitting .316 with nine homers and 33 RBIs.

"He's available. This is Dusty's theory: Usually when somebody comes in and says, 'I'm ready,' then he usually gives him one more day. But he's available," Speier told reporters before the game.

Murphy entered Saturday seventh in the National League in hits with 56, just ahead of teammate Bryce Harper (55). Murphy was also among the league leaders in multi-hit games and road batting average.

Washington shortstop Turner, drafted by the Padres in the first round out of North Carolina State, had two hits, including a homer, Friday and was 1-for-4 Saturday.

Another hot hitter for Washington is center fielder Michael A. Taylor, who hit a homer for the second day in a row Saturday and has four homers in his last 14 games.

"I'm looking for my pitch and staying in my zone," Taylor said. "I'm not trying to do too much."

MORE NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg has career-high 15 strikeouts in Nationals win over Padres