2008 Washington Nationals season

Last updated

2008 Washington Nationals
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Lerner Enterprises
General manager(s) Jim Bowden
Manager(s) Manny Acta
Local television MASN
WDCA (My 20)
Local radio WWWT
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The Washington Nationals' 2008 season was the fourth season for the franchise in the District of Columbia, and the 40th since the original team was started in Montreal, Quebec, in 1969. It also marked the first season the Nationals played at Nationals Park. The team finished in last place in the National League East with a record of 59–102, the worst record in Major League Baseball. This prompted an updated version of a running joke that originated with the American League's Senators: "Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the National League."



On November 30, 2007, the Nationals traded Ryan Church and Brian Schneider to the New York Mets for Lastings Milledge. [1] On December 3, 2007, they traded minor-leaguer Glenn Gibson to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Elijah Dukes, [2] and on the following day they traded Jonathan Albaladejo to the New York Yankees for Tyler Clippard. [3]

Advertising and marketing

The Nationals′ marketing slogan for 2008 was "Welcome Home." The slogan welcomed Nationals fans to their new "home" at Nationals Park, where the Nationals began play in 2008 after three seasons at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. [4]

Spring training

The Nationals held their 2008 spring training in Viera, Florida, with home games played at Space Coast Stadium.

Regular season


President George W. Bush throws the ceremonial first pitch before a sold out crowd at the Washington Nationals' season opener on March 30, 2008 Bush Nationals season open.jpg
President George W. Bush throws the ceremonial first pitch before a sold out crowd at the Washington Nationals' season opener on March 30, 2008

The Nationals opened the 2008 MLB season by hosting the Atlanta Braves in a nationally televised night game on March 30, 2008. It was the first professional regular-season game to be played at the Nationals' new facility Nationals Park. President George W. Bush threw the ceremonial first pitch to Nationals' manager Manny Acta, and Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-out, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to mark an exciting beginning to the 2008 season. The Nationals also blew out the Phillies 11-6.


The Nationals clinched the series against the Phillies, winning 1-0. However, the Nationals struggled after a promising 3-0 start, losing 16 of their next 19 games to start off 6-16. They improved for the rest of the month, earning splits at Atlanta and at home against the Mets, and winning series against the Braves and the Pirates. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at Nationals Park in front of 47,000 people on April 17 while the Nationals were on a road trip.


The Nats started May winning 3 of the first 4 games of the month, earning them a 14-18 record, but lost 2 of 3 at Houston and were swept by the Florida Marlins at home. Then they took 3 of 4 against the struggling Mets at Shea Stadium, but in the first Beltway Series of 2008 they were nipped by the Orioles at Baltimore and lost two of three against the high-powered Phillies' offense. They split a series two games apiece against the Brewers and lost a series to the Padres. The Nats then beat up on the Diamondbacks in the first game of a series.





The team finished 59-102, the worst record in Major League Baseball. Six of the team's coaches were dismissed the day before the final game (a loss to the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies); only manager Manny Acta and pitching coach Randy St. Clair were retained.

Season standings

NL East W L Pct. GB Home Road
Philadelphia Phillies 92700.56848–3344–37
New York Mets 89730.549348–3341–40
Florida Marlins 84770.52245–3639–41
Atlanta Braves 72900.4442043–3829–52
Washington Nationals 591020.36632½34–4625–56

Record vs. opponents

2008 National League Records

Arizona 3–52–42–415–32–74–28–102–53–33–44–310–811–73–44–26–9
Atlanta 5–30–63–34–310–83–34–23–611–74–142–55–12–52–56–128–7
Chicago 4–26–08–75–14–38–95–29–74–23–414–45–24–39–63–36–9
Cincinnati 4–23–37–81–56–23–121–710–83–43–56–94–35–15–104–39–6
Colorado 3–153–41–55–15–33–38–104–33–60–55–29–911–73–44–37–8
Florida 7–28–103–42–63–54–23–45–18–1010–83–24–23–32–514–35–10
Houston 2–43–39–812–33–32–44–37–85–23–48–83–37–17–84–27–11
Los Angeles 10–82–42–57–110–84–33–44–23–44–45–211–79–92–43–35–10
Milwaukee 5–26–37–98–103–41–58–72–42–41–514–14–36–010–56–27–8
New York 3–37–112–44–36–310–82–54–34–211–74–32–55–14–312–69–6
Philadelphia 4–314–44–35–35–08–104–34–45–17–114–24–23–35–412–64–11
Pittsburgh 3–45–24–149–62–52–38–82–51–143–42–43–44–210–73–46–9
San Diego 8–101–52–53–49–92–43–37–113–45–22–44–35–131–65–13–15
San Francisco 7–115–23–41–57–113–31–79–90–61–53–32–413–54–37–06–12
St. Louis 4–35–26–910–54–35–28–74–25–103–44–57–106–13–45–17–8
Washington 2–412–63–33–43–43–142–43–32–66–126–124–31–50–71–58–10

Opening Day lineup

Opening Day Starters
Cristian Guzmán Shortstop
Lastings Milledge Center fielder
Ryan Zimmerman Third baseman
Nick Johnson First baseman
Austin Kearns Right fielder
Paul Lo Duca Catcher
Elijah Dukes Left fielder
Ronnie Belliard Second baseman
Odalis Pérez Starting pitcher

Notable transactions


The 2008 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft took place on June 5 and 6. With their first pick the ninth pick overall the Nationals selected pitcher Aaron Crow. Other notable players the Nationals selected were shortstop Danny Espinosa (third round, 87th overall), catcher Adrián Nieto (fifth round, 151st overall), pitcher Tommy Milone (10th round, 301st overall), pitcher Louis Coleman (14th round, 421st overall), first baseman Tyler Moore (16th round, 481st overall), shortstop Steve Lombardozzi, Jr. (19th round, 571st overall), pitcher Cory Mazzoni (26th round, 781st overall), pitcher Chris Heston (29th round, 871st overall), catcher Rob Brantly (46th round, 1,378th overall), and outfielder Alex Dickerson (48th round, 1,432nd overall). [6] Crow, Coleman, Mazzoni, Heston, Brantly, and Dickerson all opted not to sign with the team. Moore finally did sign with the Nationals; it was the third time they had drafted him, but he had opted not to sign with them the first two times (in 2005 and 2006).


2008 Washington Nationals






The Nationals drew 2,320,400 fans at Nationals Park in 2008, placing them 13th in attendance for the season among the 16 National League teams. Boosted by the opening of Nationals Park at the beginning of the season, it was their second-best attendance total in their short history in Washington, exceeded only by the 2,731,993 they drew in 2005, their first season in Washington. [7] [8]

Game log

2008 Game Log

Player stats


Table is sortable.

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases

LF Willie Harris 14036728921441343.25113
CF Lastings Milledge 138523651402421461.26824
SS Christian Guzman 13857977183355955.3166
3B Ryan Zimmerman 106428511212411451.2831
1B Aaron Boone 1042322356131628.2410
2B Felipe López 1003253476200225.2344
IF Ronnie Belliard 9629637852201146.2873
C Jesus Flores 903012377181859.2560
RF Austin Kearns 863134068100732.2172
RF Elijah Dukes 8127648731621344.26413
OF Ryan Langerhans 73111172652312.2342
P Saúl Rivera 721000000.0000
C Wil Nieves 68176154691120.2610
CI Kory Casto 661631535100216.2151
P Joel Hanrahan 652000000.0000
LF Wily Mo Pena 64195104060210.2050
P Luis Ayala 601000000.0000
P Jesús Colomé 5800000000
P Charlie Manning 5600000000
1B Dmitri Young 50150154260410.2800
UT Pete Orr 497510192107.2531
UT Paul Lo Duca 46139133270012.2301
P Jon Rauch 441000000.0000
2B Emilio Bonifacio 41157263955012.2486
P Steven Shell 394000000.0000
1B Nick Johnson 38109152480520.2200
OF Rob Mackowiak 3853771014.1320
P Tim Redding 3447281003.1700
P Odalis Perez 3053482002.1510
P John Lannan 2945010000.0220
P Jason Bergmann 2940000000.0000
2B Anderson Hernandez 2881112740017.3330
P Garrett Mock 264000000.0000
OF Roger Bernadina 267610161102.2114
C Johnny Estrada 2353090004.1700
IF Alberto González 17499176019.3470
P Collin Balester 1515130001.2000
P Mike Hinckley 1400000000
P Ray King 1200000000
P Marco Estrada 1101000000
P Matt Chico 1013220000.1540
C Luke Montz 1021230013.1430
P Brian Sanches 1000000000
P Shawn Hill 97000000.0000
P Levale Speigner 700000000
P Chad Cordero 600000000
P Shairon Martis 57000000.0000
P Michael O'Connor 52000000.0000
P Chris Schroder 400000000
P Tyler Clippard 110100001.0000


Table is sortable.

Note: Pos = Position; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts

SP Tim Redding 10114.9533330182.011010065120
SP John Lannan 9153.9131310182.0897972117
SP Odalis Perez 7124.3430300159.2877755119
RP Joel Hanrahan 633.95690984.140374293
RP Saúl Rivera 563.96760084.041373565
CL Jon Rauch 422.984801748.11816744
SP Collin Balester 375.511515080.053492850
SP Jason Bergmann 2115.0930220139.294794796
Steven Shell 222.16390250.014122041
Brian Sanches 207.36120011.1109510
RP Jesús Colomé 224.31610071.038343955
Tyler Clippard 114.3522010.15578
Charlie Manning 135.14570042.025243137
Garrett Mock 134.17263041.020192346
Shairon Martis 135.6654020.214131223
Mike O'Connor 1113.005109.01313114
Shawn Hill 155.831212063.147412339
RP Luis Ayala 185.77620057.241372236
Marco Estrada 007.82110012.21311510
Ray King 005.6812006.14441
Levale Speigner 0111.257008.0101061
Chris Schroder 005.44005.03363
Matt Chico 066.19118048.034341731
Chad Cordero 002.086004.11135
Mike Hinckley 000.00140013.21039

Team leaders

Qualifying players only.


Avg. Christian Guzman.316
HR Lastings Milledge
Ryan Zimmerman
RBI Lastings Milledge 61
R Christian Guzman77
H Christian Guzman183
SB Lastings Milledge 24


W Tim Redding 10
L John Lannan 15
ERA John Lannan 3.91
SO Tim Redding 120
SV Jon Rauch 17
IP John Lannan
Tim Redding

Awards and honors


Washington's Top 20 Prospects

1. Chris Marrero, 1B/OF
2. Ross Detwiler, LHP
3. Collin Balester, RHP
4. Michael Burgess, OF
5. Jack McGeary, LHP
6. Josh Smoker, LHP
7. Jordan Zimmermann, RHP
8. Justin Maxwell, OF
9. Colton Willems, RHP
10. John Lannan, LHP
11. Jake Smolinski, OF
12. Tyler Clippard, RHP
13. Adam Carr, RHP
14. Ian Desmond, SS
15. Garrett Mock, RHP
16. Stephen King, SS
17. Esmailyn Gonzalez, SS
18. Shairon Martis, RHP
19. Brad Peacock, RHP
20. Kory Casto, OF/3B

Farm system

AAA Columbus Clippers International League Tim Foli
AA Harrisburg Senators Eastern League John Stearns
A Potomac Nationals Carolina League Randy Knorr
A Hagerstown Suns South Atlantic League Darnell Coles
A-Short Season Vermont Lake Monsters New York–Penn League Ramón Avilés
Rookie GCL Nationals Gulf Coast League Bob Henley


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