|2008 Washington Nationals|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Jim Bowden|
|Local television|| MASN |
WDCA (My 20)
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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.On December 3, 2007, they traded minor-leaguer Glenn Gibson to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Elijah Dukes, and on the following day they traded Jonathan Albaladejo to the New York Yankees for Tyler Clippard.
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.
The Nationals held their 2008 spring training in Viera, Florida, with home games played at Space Coast Stadium.
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.
|New York Mets||89||73||0.549||3||48–33||41–40|
2008 National League Records
|Opening Day Starters|
|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|
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). 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.
|2008 Game Log|
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||Wily Mo Pena||64||195||10||40||6||0||2||10||.205||0|
|UT||Paul Lo Duca||46||139||13||32||7||0||0||12||.230||1|
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
Qualifying players only.
|HR|| Lastings Milledge |
|IP|| John Lannan |
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
|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|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Potomac
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