Photo by Brian Murphy for The Sports Capitol

TSC daily: Rendon's toe now among nationals' growing problems

BY TODD DYBAS | APRIL 14, 2018

We told you about that weather. Doug Kammerer better watch out if we ever get out of the sports writing business.

Anyway, we learned a few things following Thursday’s gloomy state. Tom Wilson did not receive a suspension for his Game 1 hit that has made Alexander Wennberg “doubtful” to play when the two teams meet in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round series on Sunday. Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny may not play either. We were informed that Jodie Meeks has been suspended 25 games for using a PED and Otto Porter and Mike Scott are questionable for Game 1 of the Wizards’ first-round series with the Toronto Raptors. Then, the Nationals lost again.

Let’s start with the Wizards. Ben talked to an NBA insider, a current player and a scout to analyze the Raptors-Wizards series. We know a few things: Porter’s health will be crucial. Porter had a 133 offensive rating (100 is average, higher is better) against the Raptors this season. He also shot 59.2 percent from the field against them. If Porter can’t play, that means more Kelly Oubre Jr., who has been in a two-month slump.

“The key to this series is the key to the previous series — unleash Otto,” a league insider told The Sports Capitol. “If he’s not healthy, it’s a wrap. But, Paul Pierce moving to power forward opened up things for Otto to shine. Otto is their most important player. John and Brad are more talented but the team’s ceiling resides where Otto lives.”

The Capitals spent Friday wound-licking and wondering if Wilson would be back. He is available for Game 2. That’s the good news. We’ll have more information on Kempny after Barry Trotz talks Saturday morning. In case you missed it, Philadelphia rebounded to trounce Pittsburgh, 5-1, and tie that series 1-1. The Capitals will play the winner of that series if they can figure out a way to advance.

The Nationals dealt with noise and quiet Friday. The park was full for the first time since the home opener. The warm night also provided an engaged crowd. The silence once again came at the plate. The only Nationals player to score a run? Tanner Roark, who started Friday and pitched well (six innings, three hits, one earned run). A Bryce Harper sacrifice fly with the bases loaded drove him in. Adding to the problems is Anthony Rendon’s toe. He smashed a baseball off it and had to come out of the game. The Nationals are six games behind the red-hot New York Mets and have scored just 11 runs in five home games this week. Todd has more from Nationals Park, including a fresh podcast that includes a one-on-one with longtime Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.

Still to come this weekend: Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, Game 1 of the Wizards’ playoff series and Game 2 for the Capitals and Blue Jackets. We’ll roll on.Thanks for subscribing.

Talk to you soon.  Ben, Brian and Todd

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