Updates on Werth, Glover, Kelley, Solís and Heisey

Updates on Werth, Glover, Kelley, Solís and Heisey
Your daily injury updates from the Nationals clubhouse, with several recovering players making progress and others still in a holding pattern as the season's first half nears its conclusion ... * Jayson Werth participated in some portions of pregame workouts today with his teammates, the first time the veteran outfielder has done that since going on the disabled list more than three weeks ago. Werth, out since June 4 with a bone bruise in his left foot, stretched with teammates prior to...
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Game 77 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

Game 77 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs
Rarely do you get truly elite pitching matchups like this, with the last two National League Cy Young Award winners squaring off in a game between two very good teams. So let's appreciate Max Scherzer vs. Jake Arrieta for what it is. And then, if you're the Nationals, hope Scherzer has yet another gem in him while Arrieta shows up hittable (as he has been more this year than in the past). Scherzer is on a remarkable run right now; over his last six starts he has an 0.94 ERA and 69 strikeouts...
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Cubs' strategy vs. Harper changes, results with Zimmerman remain

Cubs' strategy vs. Harper changes, results with Zimmerman remain
On Monday night, the Cubs pitched to Bryce Harper in the opener of their four-game series with the Nationals. Which may not sound like a big deal, until you recall how little they pitched to the young slugger one year ago when the two clubs met. Over the course of four agonizing days at Wrigley Field in May 2016, the Cubs walked Harper an astounding 13 times. That included six times in one game, with three of those walks handed out intentionally by manager Joe Maddon. The strategy was simple:...
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Nats experience range of emotions after comeback falls short

Nats experience range of emotions after comeback falls short
After seven innings tonight, the Nationals were headed toward a frustrating-but-acceptable loss to a very good opponent, unable to do anything at the plate and perhaps destined for a 1-0 defeat. After 8 1/2 innings, the Nationals were headed toward an aggravating, now-less-acceptable loss, letting the Cubs open up a 5-0 lead via a flurry of defensive miscues and fundamental execution by the visitors. But after nine innings, how exactly were the Nationals supposed to feel about this game now?...
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Late rally not enough for Nats, who fall 5-4 to Cubs

Late rally not enough for Nats, who fall 5-4 to Cubs
No matter the Cubs' current record, no matter what issues the defending champs are dealing with right now, the Nationals know they're facing a real challenge this week. And if anyone didn't realize it before tonight's series opener on South Capitol Street, they certainly know it now. Behind stellar pitching and the kind of fundamental execution the home team lacked, the Cubs won tonight's game 5-4, sending their legion of their fans that invaded Nationals Park home happy and nearly sending...
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Nats working to finalize minor league deal with Francisco Rodríguez

Nats working to finalize minor league deal with Francisco Rodríguez
The Nationals are finalizing a minor league deal with Francisco Rodríguez, hoping the veteran closer might resurrect himself after a horrible start to his season in Detroit that got him released last week. The deal isn't done yet, but a club source said it is expected to be completed soon. At that point, Rodríguez would report to Triple-A Syracuse and attempt to right his wayward ship in a low-pressure environment. Rodríguez, 35, owns 437 saves and a 2.86 ERA over 16 big league...
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Game 76 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs

Game 76 lineups: Nats vs. Cubs
There is a distinct big-game vibe here at Nationals Park, with the Cubs in town for the first of a four-game series that promises to bring big crowds, plenty of media and (hopefully) some compelling baseball to South Capitol Street. The opener sees Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the Nationals, looking to continue his resurgent first half and improve to 8-1. The left-hander has been brilliant at pitching his way out of jams all season, highlighted by his .107 opponents' batting average with...
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Trio of Nats continue to lead in final days of All-Star voting

Trio of Nats continue to lead in final days of All-Star voting
They'll have to wait along with everyone else until All-Star roster are fully announced Sunday night, but based on voting results throughout the last two months, the Nationals sure look like they're going to be well-represented in Miami. The final ballot update was released this afternoon by Major League Baseball, and Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman continue to lead their respective positions in voting, leaving each in position to earn the starting nod for the National...
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Underachieving Cubs come to town for rare big series with Nats

Underachieving Cubs come to town for rare big series with Nats
The nature of the Nationals' schedule so far in 2017 - and the overall state of both the National League East Division and the National League as a whole - has left this team in an unusual position: They haven't played very many games the average observer would consider to have been "big." The 10 head-to-head contests with the Mets to date may have drawn some extra attention, but at the time they've played the Nats have led their expected division rivals by a minimum of 3 1/2 games and a...
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As ERA balloons to 5.15, Roark tries to find the positives

As ERA balloons to 5.15, Roark tries to find the positives
This is what it has come to for Tanner Roark, who at this stage of a frustrating season has to try to find the positives, even in a start in which he gave up five runs in the top of the first and dug his team into an insurmountable hole. "I'll build off this one and keep chugging along," the right-hander said. For Roark, this was better than previous outings. That five-run first, awful results notwithstanding, featured a flurry of well-placed, soft-contact ground balls that eluded Nationals...
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Reds jump on Roark early, Nationals never rally in 6-2 loss

Reds jump on Roark early, Nationals never rally in 6-2 loss
They already had won the first two games of this weekend's series - one via dramatic comeback, one via complete blowout - so the Nationals essentially were playing the bonus round against the Reds this afternoon. Then Tanner Roark got shelled in the top of the first, and today's game became less about trying to get extra credit and more about just trying to survive and keep everybody in one piece before the Cubs get to town Monday. Roark was roughed up for the third straight time he's taken...
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News and notes before today's series finale

News and notes before today's series finale
Some pregame news and notes before the Nationals and Reds wrap up their series ... * It got lost in the shuffle of Friday night's extra-inning comeback win, but Daniel Murphy reached a nice career milestone: his 100th home run. That number may not carry a whole lot of weight in today's game, but what's most impressive in Murphy's case is that nearly half of those homers have come in the last two calendar years. Yes, Murphy has hit 48 home runs since July 2015, a span of 1,163 plate...
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Game 75 lineups: Nats vs. Reds

Game 75 lineups: Nats vs. Reds
The Nationals go for a series sweep today, having already beaten the Reds twice (a 10-inning thriller on Friday, then an 18-3 rout on Saturday) this weekend. They'll attempt to do so with several regulars getting a rest, including Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters. That's nothing new, of course, and with this series in the bag and the Cubs coming to town tomorrow for a big four-game set, it's understandable that Dusty Baker would want to ease off the gas pedal a bit today. Not that the...
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More on the bullpen, Difo's debut in center and Storen's return

More on the bullpen, Difo's debut in center and Storen's return
There were no shortage of noteworthy developments in last night's 6-5 10-inning win. We've already addressed a few of them - the game-winning rally, Brian Goodwin's two-homer night, Stephen Strasburg's struggles in the humidity - but let's run through some more items of interest before turning the page to today's game ... * The Nationals bullpen was good. Really good. Like, five scoreless innings good. When Strasburg was pulled after five innings and 95 pitches, the notion that the Nats'...
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With two-out rally, Nationals find a way to walk off Reds

With two-out rally, Nationals find a way to walk off Reds
It takes a certain kind of mentality to bat second in the big leagues, where the job often is less about producing yourself and more about making sure the big boppers behind you get the best opportunities to produce with runners on base. That feeling is only magnified when the guy batting second is a rookie with 130 career plate appearances and the guys batting third, fourth and fifth are All-Stars and MVP candidates. Brian Goodwin has learned this in the last few weeks, a stretch during which...
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Harper's clutch hit propels Nats to 6-5 win in 10 innings

Harper's clutch hit propels Nats to 6-5 win in 10 innings
The Nationals waited 10 innings to produce their first hit with a man in scoring position all night. The wait was worth it. Bryce Harper's laser of a single to the warning track in right field brought home Trea Turner from third base and gave the Nationals a 6-5, 10-inning victory over the Reds to cap a night that included plenty of frustrating moments but ended in jubilation for the home team. The Nationals had been 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position throughout the game, squandering...
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Solís close to returning from DL, Werth and Glover need more time

Solís close to returning from DL, Werth and Glover need more time
The Nationals hoped they'd have Jayson Werth and Koda Glover back by now. Turns out the player closest to returning from the disabled list is Sammy Solís. Solís has made four rehab appearances for Triple-A Syracuse, including back-to-back games earlier this week, and appears to be on the verge of rejoining the Nationals bullpen. "Sammy Solis is getting close," manager Dusty Baker said this afternoon. "He's getting very close." The left-hander has been on the DL since April 19 with...
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Game 73 lineups: Nats vs. Reds

Game 73 lineups: Nats vs. Reds
And we're back on South Capitol Street, where the Nationals return home for the better part of the last stretch of the season's first half. They are scheduled to play each of the next 17 days before the All-Star break, but 14 of those games will take place right here at Nationals Park, a welcome relief. It begins tonight with the opener of a weekend series against the rebuilding Reds, who come in having lost 11 of 12. Cincinnati actually has a good lineup and a decent bullpen, but its...
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Friday morning Nats Q&A

Friday morning Nats Q&A
The Nationals just enjoyed their first day off in three weeks and now prepare to play 17 more games in 17 days before the All-Star break. And if the season's first 2 3/4 months are any indication, this last stretch of the first half should end up being quite interesting. Before they get back to work tonight against the Reds, though, let's take some time this morning to delve into whatever topics are currently on your mind. Bullpen? (Obviously.) The bottom of the eighth inning of Wednesday's...
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After 20 games in 20 days, finally a break for weary Nationals

After 20 games in 20 days, finally a break for weary Nationals
MIAMI - It began nearly three weeks ago in Oakland, with Bryce Harper serving his suspension, Jayson Werth and Koda Glover healthy, the Nationals coming off a sweep in San Francisco and the NBA Finals just getting underway next door. It finally ended yesterday afternoon in Miami, with Max Scherzer losing a no-hitter (and the game) in the bottom of the eighth, Anthony Rendon returning to the lineup after suffering a neck stinger and Ryan Raburn (who wasn't even on the roster at the beginning of...
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