Scherzer OK after comebacker scare

Scherzer OK after comebacker scare
There is much that could be said about the Nationals bullpen right now. And yet, what else can be said about that group except that it is a mess and requires nightly manipulating by Dusty Baker that occasionally works and frequently does not. The Nationals won tonight's doubleheader finale over the Phillies, 6-5, thanks to Michael A. Taylor's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth that made up for Matt Grace and Jacob Turner blowing a lead moments earlier. And they won because the last man...
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Taylor's late homer bails out bullpen, Nats hold on for 6-5 win

Taylor's late homer bails out bullpen, Nats hold on for 6-5 win
They can get the gutsiest of performances from their ace. They can scratch out runs and take a lead into the late innings. It doesn't matter what happens up to that point, though, because every single Nationals game these days is decided in the eighth inning or later, good or bad. And you can now add tonight's doubleheader finale to the good column. Despite blowing a one-run lead in the top of the eighth, the Nationals stormed back in the bottom of the inning, getting a two-run homer from...
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Scherzer stays in after comebacker off knee (Nationals win 6-5)

Scherzer stays in after comebacker off knee (Nationals win 6-5)
Few images would cause the Nationals and their fans to clutch their hearts right now more than the sight of Max Scherzer writhing in the ground in pain. Thus, the reaction inside Nationals Park tonight in the top of the fourth when the ace right-hander went down in a heap after taking a comebacker off his left knee was one of shock and then panic. Scherzer stayed in the game and completed the inning, though not until after several tense minutes in which he convinced manager Dusty Baker and head...
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Game 37 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Game 37 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies
On the heels of another in a growing list of soul-crushing losses suffered so far this season, the Nationals are right back out on the field tonight for the second half of their doubleheader with the Phillies, hoping to salvage one game and win the weekend series. The good news: Max Scherzer is on the mound. To ask for a complete game would be to ask for too much. But to ask for at least seven innings, with the possibility of more if his pitch count isn't bad, is perfectly reasonable right...
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Bolstered by Glover and Kelley, bullpen puts up zeros in victory

Bolstered by Glover and Kelley, bullpen puts up zeros in victory
Lost among the excitement of Bryce Harper's walk-off homer last night was the fact it would not have been possible if not for some stellar work by the Nationals bullpen, which turned in its best collective effort in weeks. After Tanner Roark was pulled with two outs in the fifth and his pitch count at 110, a quintet of Nationals relievers combined to toss 4 1/3 scoreless innings, keeping the game tied 4-4 to set the stage for Harper's game-winning blast in the bottom of the ninth. It's...
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After Harper's latest: "Nobody can say he ain't worth the money"

After Harper's latest: "Nobody can say he ain't worth the money"
In explaining how and why the Nationals decided to agree to terms now with Bryce Harper on a 2018 contract, some seven months before that sort of thing would normally be done, Mike Rizzo offered up a fairly simple rationale. "He's a unique player," the general manager said, "with a unique talent set that is our own." There's only one Bryce Harper, and so why wouldn't the Nationals be willing to secure him now for 2018 for $21.625 million? Especially when he keeps delivering iconic...
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Harper walks off Phillies again, leads Nats to 6-4 victory

Harper walks off Phillies again, leads Nats to 6-4 victory
Bryce Harper walked off the Phillies again. Harper blasted a pitch from Edubray Ramos over the center field wall with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Nationals a 6-4 victory to complete another impressive comeback. Harper's 11th homer of the season was the fifth walk-off blast of his career, his second this season. Both of those have come against the Phillies, his latest blast bringing the Nats back from an early 4-0 deficit. Tied heading into the bottom of the ninth, the...
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Phillies making Roark work once again (Nats win 6-4)

Phillies making Roark work once again (Nats win 6-4)
The Phillies made Tanner Roark work five days ago at Citizens Bank Park but couldn't make much of a dent into the right-hander. Tonight, they're making Roark work once again, and this time they're taking advantage of it. Roark surrendered a pair of two-out RBI singles in the top of the fourth - one to Michael Saunders, one to Cameron Rupp - that plated three runs and leaves the Nationals trailing 3-0 with their starter's pitch count very high early in this game. Roark has needed 86 pitches...
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Harper and Rizzo on the deal for 2018, and what comes next

Harper and Rizzo on the deal for 2018, and what comes next
The Nationals didn't have to offer Bryce Harper a 2018 contract right now. And Harper didn't have to accept the Nationals' 2018 offer right now. So why did the two sides believe now was the time to take care of negotiations that would've been taken care of this winter and agree to a $21.625 million salary for next year? "Why now is just because it's a good time to have a comfortable player throughout the rest of the season," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We don't have to worry...
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Game 35 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies

Game 35 lineups: Nats vs. Phillies
This turned into a busier Saturday than initially expected, what with the surprise announcement that the Nationals and Bryce Harper have agreed to terms on a contract for 2018, buying out his final year of arbitration for $21.625 million. That agreement, general manager Mike Rizzo said, should give Harper some comfort and peace of mind as he takes the field every day for the rest of this season. That begins tonight when Harper and the Nationals host the Phillies in a series opener that was...
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Nats, Harper agree to $21.625 million salary for 2018 season

Nats, Harper agree to $21.625 million salary for 2018 season
The Nationals and Bryce Harper today agreed to terms on a contract for next year, a surprisingly early move that doesn't change the fact Harper can still become a free agent after the 2018 season, but does suggest the two sides are maintaining a productive relationship as they head toward that critical moment. In essence, the Nationals and Harper are avoiding the arbitration process they would have gone through next winter, agreeing on a 2018 salary now, even though standard procedure is to...
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Series finale postponed, makeup scheduled for June 8

Series finale postponed, makeup scheduled for June 8
The Nationals' series finale against the Orioles has been postponed after a day and evening filled with rain - and not enough reason to believe it would end early enough to get the game in at a reasonable hour. The game will be made up June 8 at 7:05 p.m., one of only two common off-days the clubs had the rest of the season. One of those off-days is Monday, though a makeup that day would have required the Orioles to fly back to Washington in the middle of a road trip to Kansas City and...
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Kelley and Glover on track to return from DL on Friday

Kelley and Glover on track to return from DL on Friday
They won't, by their mere presence alone, turn the Nationals bullpen from a major problem into a major asset. But the anticipated return this weekend of both Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover from the disabled list certainly won't hurt the Nats' attempt to stabilize the shakiest unit on their roster. The Nationals haven't made final decisions yet, but both Kelley and Glover are on track to be activated off the disabled list Friday and be available to pitch in their series opener against the...
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Game 35 lineups: Nats vs. Orioles

Game 35 lineups: Nats vs. Orioles
To answer the question you all want answered: I have no idea. It's been raining all day. It's supposed to continue raining through most of the night. The tarp is covering the infield. But no word yet about the status of tonight's series finale between the Nationals and Orioles. As always, stay tuned. As soon as we know anything, you'll know it. Promise. If they play, it'll be A.J. Cole on the mound for the Nationals, trying to keep this potent Orioles lineup in check and give his own...
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Breaking down Werth's latest epic home run at-bat

Breaking down Werth's latest epic home run at-bat
We've seen him do it so many times now during his Nationals career, we've come to expect that every time Jayson Werth engages in a long at-bat late in a ballgame, he's going to cap it off with a home run. Werth, of course, doesn't actually do that every single time. But he sure does it a lot. And it certainly did it Wednesday night to ignite the Nationals' ninth-inning rally that ended in a 7-6 walk-off victory over the Orioles. With an 11-pitch epic battle against right-hander Brad Brach,...
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Nats take advantage of last at-bat for "best win of the year"

Nats take advantage of last at-bat for "best win of the year"
The Nationals had become too familiar in recent days with the slow trudge off the field after losing a road game in walk-off fashion. It's the worst feeling in baseball, and they had experienced it Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia and again Tuesday night in Baltimore. So, if nothing else, the Nationals took the field tonight on South Capitol Street knowing they could not lose another walk-off. And if they played their cards just right, they might even put themselves in position to win one of...
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Nationals complete stunning rally to topple Orioles 7-6

Nationals complete stunning rally to topple Orioles 7-6
On a night that was looking absolutely dreadful for Washington sports fans, the local baseball club managed to bring a ray of sunshine with its most dramatic comeback of the young season, toppling a previously thorn-in-their-side rival in the process. Matt Wieters' bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth brought home the tying and winning runs and took down his former team while catapulting the Nationals to a stunning 7-6 victory over the Orioles. Wieters' smoked liner past first...
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Eaton has ACL reconstruction, faces long rehab

Eaton has ACL reconstruction, faces long rehab
Adam Eaton had surgery Tuesday to repair the torn ACL - as well as other injuries - in his left knee, immediately moving into the long rehab phase that now will consume the outfielder for some time. Eaton's surgery was performed in Washington by Nationals team orthopedist Robin West, who in addition to the full ACL reconstruction also did repair work on other ligaments and the meniscus that was torn in the area. "There was some other ligament ... the meniscus, and there was some other...
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Game 34 lineups: Nats vs. Orioles

Game 34 lineups: Nats vs. Orioles
After a couple of frustrating losses in Baltimore, the Nationals now come home for the second half of this year's Battle of the Beltways, hoping to at least salvage a four-game split of the season series with the Orioles (which would match the best they've done against their interleague rivals for the last decade). Stephen Strasburg gets the start tonight, hoping to do what Max Scherzer did last night during a dominant performance. And then Dusty Baker can only hope his lineup scores enough...
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Baker concerned about fundamental mistakes late in games

Baker concerned about fundamental mistakes late in games
BALTIMORE - The Nationals' 12-inning loss Tuesday night was attributable, first and foremost, to their makeshift bullpen, which could not hold a two-run lead in the ninth and eventually was charged with the loss. But there were other problems, especially late, when the Nationals started making careless mistakes at the plate, in the field and on the bases, and in one case let their emotions get the best of them. It was enough to make their manager openly worry about their state of mind in...
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