Andy Kostka

Sports intern at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

University of Maryland Class of 2020. Former sports editor of The Diamondback, the independent student newspaper.

Four Region 2 SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards. Seventh-place finish in Hearst Sports Writing Competition.

Blake Treinen returns to Nationals Park as first-time All-Star

A year and a day after the Washington Nationals shipped closer Blake Treinen to the Oakland Athletics along with two minor leaguers in exchange for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, Treinen returned to Nationals Park with an A’s insignia on his hat and a No. 1 inside a black star on his left shoulder. Treinen departed Washington on July 16, 2017, with a 5.73 ERA. On Tuesday, he returned to the District as an All-Star, sporting a 0.94 ERA with 24 saves for Oakland.

Josh Hader making All-Star debut

Before an offseason trade brought Christian Yelich from Miami to Milwaukee, the All-Star outfielder faced Brewers reliever Josh Hader twice in 2017. Yelich struck out both times. “It’s not a comfortable at-bat,” Yelich said Monday. “It’s really good to be on his side, that’s for sure.” Yelich’s past struggles against the 24-year-old from Millersville, Maryland, are emblematic of Hader’s overall dominance since joining the big leagues with Milwaukee last season — and why he’s primed to make his first All-Star appearance about an hour away from his hometown.

Rooney records assist in D.C. United debut

Wayne Rooney started Saturday like he did any other match day. He had breakfast. He laid in bed, watching England and Belgium play the World Cup’s third-place game. He took a walk and ate lunch. Then, he jogged onto Audi Field for the first time in the 58th minute against the Vancouver Whitecaps and played a part in D.C. United’s final two goals, securing three points for the inaugural match at Washington’s new Southwest D.C. home.

All-Star FanFest to highlight high-end baseball memorabilia

When someone reached out to Dave Hunt wanting to put a 1938 Lou Gehrig jersey up for auction, Mr. Hunt was skeptical. As president of Hunt Auctions, he had to be. The Philadelphia-based sports memorabilia auction house needs to authenticate items, and pristine Gehrig jerseys don’t often materialize. But in 2007, one did. “I’ll never forget it,” Mr. Hunt said. “The gentleman walked in, just pulled out a duffle bag and just laid it right on the table.”

Scott Boras says defensive shifts hurting Harper

Deep in the right field grass Monday, Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt scooped a hard bouncer off Bryce Harper’s bat and fired to first to nab the Washington Nationals star. Without a shift, one which moved all four infielders to Harper’s pull side against a right-handed pitcher, Harper’s hit could’ve been a base knock, helping to raise a career-low .217 batting average. Harper’s 21 home runs are still tied for the National League lead, and his 439-foot blast later in the series opener displayed that threat. His 67 walks lead the NL, too.

Babe Ruth shoes, more at Library of Congress baseball exhibit

The “that-was-then-this-is-now” element of the Library of Congress’s new baseball exhibit is evident as soon as visitors walk in. On the left, a screen displays the flickering images of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax throwing the final pitch of his perfect game in 1965. That’s the “then.” On the right, another screen shows footage of three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer rejoicing after one of his no-hitters in 2015. That’s the “now.”

Bryce Harper, Nationals rally to 8-6 win over Phillies

Something changed between Bryce Harper’s second and third at-bat Sunday night. On the fourth pitch he saw in the third inning, Harper swung and whiffed, down on strikes for the second time in the game. On the first pitch he saw in the fifth, a fastball left over the plate, Harper swung and crushed it for a double into left-center field. Earlier in the night, Harper had fouled off a fastball left hanging. He made no mistake on the heater that caught just enough of the zone in the sixth. Harper

Erick Fedde’s solid start not enough for Nationals in loss to Phillies

By the time Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez marched to the pitcher’s mound in the seventh inning to pull starter Erick Fedde on Saturday, Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco was on second following a leadoff double. Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler didn’t hesitate to pull his starting pitcher Aaron Nola, who had allowed four hits through six innings, when Nola’s spot came to bat with one out in the seventh and Franco on third. Nola had thrown 83 pitches. But pinch hitte

Darren Mattocks feels he can bring more for United

Darren Mattocks put his hands on his head, staring at the linesman with his flag raised for offsides. The D.C. United forward had gotten on the end of a through ball, cut left past the diving Orlando City, S.C., goalkeeper and slotted home for what would’ve been Mattocks’ eighth goal in 11 starts this season. It would’ve been the go-ahead goal in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup fixture between D.C. and Orlando, in which United was ultimately eliminated in the round of 16. According to coach Ben Olsen

Nationals catch World Cup fever

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy took the field pregame for batting practice sporting a Harry Kane England soccer jersey, representing a player on his favorite Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur. In the locker room, right-hander Erick Fedde was sprawled on the couch watching the final moments between Croatia and Argentina in the 2018 World Cup. When Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic struck the post in the 86th minute of his side’s 3-0 victory over Lionel Messi and Argentina,

Washington D.C. bars see World Cup boom despite U.S.’s absence

When Philippe Coutinho’s shot curled through the air and ricocheted off the right upright for Brazil’s opening goal at the 2018 World Cup against Switzerland, everyone at The Grill From Ipanema, even a waitress holding a tray of food, stopped to cheer. The Brazilian bar and restaurant in Adams Morgan was packed with soccer fans wearing green and yellow and sipping caipirinhas. “Brazilians love this,” manager Ester DiGiovanni said. “The more people the better. They just feel a sense of pride fo

Jakub Vrana wraps up-and-down season on high note

Before the win over the Las Vegas Golden Knights, before the victory parade down Constitution Avenue and before the new tattoo of the Stanley Cup on his inner left forearm, Capitals left winger Jakob Vrana watched the second game of the playoffs in street clothes — a healthy scratch by coach Barry Trotz. The 22-year-old — Washington’s 2014 first round pick completing his first full season with the Capitals — had been there before. He was benched during last year’s AHL Calder Cup with the Hershe

Doug Williams, Redskins honor 1987’s ‘replacements’

David Windham sat on the edge of his seat, anticipating the moment his name would be called. When he had heard that former Washington Redskins replacement players would be awarded Super Bowl rings in alphabetical order for their part in the 1987 season, filling in for three games during a 24-day strike, he groaned, knowing he’d be toward the end. Windham had already waited 31 years. Now, he was minutes away from placing the long-coveted Super Bowl ring on his finger. “Heart’s pumping,” the one-time linebacker, now 57, said.