Capital Sports Report: Outside of Redskins, a Good Week for DC Sports
Well the Redskins season is officially over. They were eliminated from the playoffs with their debacle of a performance on Sunday Night Football with a loss to the New York Giants. They fell to 3-9 and guaranteed another sub .500 season. So as the Redskins start displaying their Christmas lights, the rest of the D.C. sports teams are grabbing the attention of the frustrated Skins fans.
The Washington Capitals did not have a great week with just one game since Saturday. They got blown out at home to the Carolina Hurricanes, but hey, at least Mike Green scored his first goal of the season! It isn’t all bad at the phone booth, the reigning MVP, Alexander Ovechkin is still playing some of his best hockey. He leads the league in goals with 21 through 28 games. That means he is on pace for 62 goals, which would be the second most of his career (2008-65). The Caps sit at second place in the Metropolitan Division tied with the Rangers and both are 11 points behind the Penguins. As the Caps duke it out in Verizon Center, their roommates, the Washington Wizards are starting to put it all together.
The Wiz Kids are .500 for the first time in November since 2009. Their record holds at 9-9 going into tonight’s home game against the 3-15 Milwaukee Bucks. They are playing the best basketball during the John Wall era. They have won seven of their last nine and can easily get over the .500 hump tonight. They sit at third in the Eastern Conference, just behind the Pacers and Heat. Since Bradley Beal went down, they haven’t skipped a beat by winning four of five. But the biggest news out of the Nation’s Capital was made by the Washington Nationals.
The only team not in-season team made the biggest splash in sporting news in D.C. The Nats traded Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol, and Robbie Ray for Doug Fister. They gave up a utility infielder/outfielder, a young lefty reliever and a lefty prospect for a top-20 arm. Fister ranked in the top 10 in ERA last year. Fister fits right in in this starting rotation. He would be a number two starter for most teams, but in D.C. he is the fourth. It adds depth after “losing” Dan Haren. Now they have four solid starters and one open spot in the rotation. The favorite to win the spot would be lefty Ross Detwiler, who was slotted as the fifth starter last year before getting hurt early in the season. But Mike Rizzo also said that Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan, two young starters, who filled Detwiler’s spot last year, are also competing for the last spot in the rotation. The only hole now to fill is a solid southpaw in the pen. If Detwiler doesn’t win the spot, expect him to be a long lefty reliever. Even if he doesn’t win the spot, expect the Nats to try and sign a lefty specialist before the season begins. Otherwise the bullpen is solid. Storen, Clippard and Soriano are all back, and now should be on the same page with their roles for the staff. The Fister move puts the Nats back on top as the NL East favorites for 2014.
-Ethan Gaba, @HebrewHammer9