2009 Washington Nationals season
The Washington Nationals' 2009 season was the fifth season for the American baseball franchise of Major League Baseball in the District of Columbia, and the 41st since the original team was started in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It involved the Nationals attempting to win the National League East Division after a disappointing 59–102 season the year before.
|2009 Washington Nationals|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Jim Bowden, Mike Rizzo|
|Manager(s)||Manny Acta, Jim Riggleman|
WDCW (CW 50)
Bob Carpenter, Ray Knight, Rob Dibble
Charlie Slowes, Dave Jageler
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On July 12, manager Manny Acta was fired and replaced with bench coach Jim Riggleman, though only as an interim manager. Under Acta, the Nationals compiled an MLB worst 26–61 record in 2009 through the All-Star break and a 158–252 record in Acta's three seasons with the Nationals. Riggleman would be named full-time manager in November 2009.
The Nationals finished the year with a 59–103 record, worse than the year before by one loss. For the second straight season, they finished with the worst record in Major League Baseball.
Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman won a Gold Glove Award as the best defensive third baseman in the National League and a Silver Slugger Award as the best offensive third baseman in the league.
On November 3, 2008, the Nationals traded minor-leaguer Ryan Buchter to the Chicago Cubs for minor-leaguer Matt Avery. On November 10, 2008, they traded Emilio Bonifacio and minor-leaguers Jake Smolinski and P. J. Dean to the Florida Marlins for Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham.
For the 2009 season, the Nationals altered their uniforms. The interlocking "DC" was removed from the star-spangled circle and moved to the left sleeve of both the home and away uniforms. It also has removed from the alternate red jersey and replaced with the "curly W" from the team's cap. A new navy alternate jersey with the interlocked "DC" on the left chest in a "stars and stripes" flag pattern, which has also been emulated on the alternate navy cap, which was worn several times in 2009. Finally, in a tribute to the former baseball teams in the District of Columbia, a script writing of the city name replaced the block lettering, emulating the Senators' script of the 1950s and 1960s – though as those teams used "Senators" on both their home and away uniforms, this marks the first time the "curly W" has actually appeared as part of the word "Washington" on an MLB jersey.
The uniforms gained notoriety when on April 17 in a game against the Florida Marlins, the jerseys of Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn read "Natinals" on the front of the jersey instead of "Nationals" for the first three innings of the game. The Nationals did not catch the error as they only checked the back of the shirts, not the front, but were able to assign to Dunn and Zimmerman the correct jerseys later in the game. The company who manufactured the jerseys, Majestic Athletic, apologized for the error.
Advertising and marketingEdit
The Nationals′ marketing and advertising theme for the 2009 season was "Natstown," capturing the idea that all Nationals fans at the ballpark, in the community, and in their everyday lives were participating in a single community centered around the team. The marketing campaign urged fans to "Get Your Red On," a reference to wearing the team's colors to show one′s team spirit.
In March 2009, the Nationals introduced a new version of Screech, their bald eagle mascot who wears the home cap and jersey of the team. The original Screech who "hatched" at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in 2005 during the third home game in Nationals history and had appeared at the team's home games during its first four seasons in Washington, was chubby, but the new Screech was slim. The Nationals explained that they had redesigned Screech because he had "grown up" and become a "teenager."
|New York Mets||70||92||0.432||23||41–40||29–52|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
2009 National League Records
Opening Day lineupEdit
- April 29, 2009: The Nationals traded minor-leaguer Kyle Gunderson to the Florida Marlins for Aaron Thompson.
- June 17, 2009: The Nationals sent Mike O'Connor to the San Diego Padres as part of a conditional deal.
- June 28, 2009: The Nationals traded Ryan Langerhans to the Seattle Mariners for Michael Morse.
- June 30, 2009: The Nationals traded Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan.
- July 31, 2009: The Nationals traded Joe Beimel to the Colorado Rockies for minor-leaguers Robinson Fabian and Ryan Mattheus and traded Nick Johnson to the Florida Marlins for Logan Kensing.
- August 6, 2009: The Nationals purchased minor-leaguers Norris Hopper and Daryle Ward from the Chicago White Sox and traded Anderson Hernández to the New York Mets for minor-leaguer Greg Veloz.
- August 31, 2009: The Nationals traded Ronnie Belliard to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor-leaguer Luis Garcia and a player to be named later. The Dodgers sent minor-leaguer Víctor Gárate to the Nationals on September 2, 2009, to complete the trade.
- September 18, 2009: The Nationals purchased Jamie Burke from the Seattle Mariners.
The 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft took place from June 9 to June 11. With their first pick – the first pick overall – the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg. Other notable players the Nationals selected were pitcher Drew Storen (10th overall, a first-round supplemental pick they received for failing to sign Aaron Crow in 2008), second baseman Jeff Kobernus (second round, 50th overall), shortstop Michael A. Taylor (sixth round, 172nd overall), pitcher Taylor Jordan (ninth round, 262nd overall), pitcher Nate Karns (12th round, 352nd overall), and pitcher Marcus Stroman (18th round, 532nd overall). Stroman opted not to sign with the team.
|2009 Washington Nationals|
Finishing with the worst record in Major League Baseball for the second consecutive year, the Nationals drew only 1,817,226 fans at Nationals Park in 2009, placing them 13th in attendance among the 16 National League teams for the second year in a row. It was the lowest attendance total in their short history in Washington. Their highest attendance at a home game was on April 5, when they drew 41,290 for a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Opening Day, while their lowest was 10,999 for a game against the Houston Astros on September 20. Their average home attendance was 22,716 per game, their lowest since arriving in Washington in 2005, but slightly higher than their average the following season.
|Bold||Nationals team member|
|2009 Game Log|
*Game suspended by rain at 10–10 in the bottom of the 11th inning, completed on July 9 at Minute Maid Park.
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
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.
Awards and honorsEdit
- Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
Minor League SystemEdit
The future for the Nationals seemed to show promise in 2009 with their Gulf Coast League affiliate qualifying for the playoffs. The significance of this to the 2009 Major League team was that it demonstrated that the team was attempting to improve on its performance and had the prospects to do so.
|AAA||Syracuse Chiefs||International League||Tim Foli||76–68 .528||2nd North Division|
|AA||Harrisburg Senators||Eastern League||John Stearns||70–72 .493||5th Southern Division|
|High A||Potomac Nationals||Carolina League||Trent Jewett||79–58 .577||2nd Northern Division|
|Low A||Hagerstown Suns||South Atlantic League||Matthew LeCroy||56–78 .418||8th Northern Division|
|Short Season A||Vermont Lake Monsters||New York–Penn League||Jeff Garber||34–41 .453||3rd Stedler Division|
|Rookie||Gulf Coast League Nationals||Gulf Coast League||Bob Henley||36–19 .655||2nd East Division, Won Wild Card, Lost GCL Finals 2–0 to Gulf Coast League Marlins|
|Rookie||DSL Nationals||Dominican Summer League||Juan Benhardt||29–42 .408||10th Boca Chica Division|
- The two games on June 4 were played as a single-admission doubleheader with attendance counted only for the two games combined.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Chicago Cubs - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Miami Marlins - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Company apologizes for 'Natinals' jersey error". ESPN.com. April 22, 2009.
- "Meet your new MLB team: The Washington Natinals". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Anonymous, "Washington Nationals invite Nationals fans to visit NatsTown and get your red on," Washington Nationals press release, February 5, 2009, 11:47 AM EST".
- Steinberg, Dan, "About Screech's Unveiling", washingtonpost.com, March 2, 2009
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & San Diego Padres - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Seattle Mariners - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Pittsburgh Pirates - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Colorado Rockies - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Chicago White Sox - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & New York Mets - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Find Franchise Trade History between Washington Nationals & Los Angeles Dodgers - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "2009 Washington Nationals Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "2009 Washington Nationals Schedule - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
- "Washington Nationals Attendance Records (1969 - 2018) by Baseball Almanac". www.baseball-almanac.com.