Saturday morning notes on Turner, Roark and Mets pitching

Saturday morning notes on Turner, Roark and Mets pitching
NEW YORK - Some Saturday morning notes to chew over while contemplating the Nationals' 4-3 11-inning victory over the Mets, their five-game winning streak and their three-game lead in the division ... * Even though Trea Turner was activated off the disabled list Friday, Dusty Baker didn't want to throw his young star right back into the lineup, especially on a cold night at Citi Field. But Baker did want Turner available off the bench in case his services were needed at some point. Well, they...
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Another night, another win, another string of highlights for Harper

Another night, another win, another string of highlights for Harper
NEW YORK - What's the most impressive thing Bryce Harper is doing right now? Take your pick. He's hitting home runs, including his first career blast off Matt Harvey tonight, giving him a league-leading seven for the young season. He's driving in runs, two more tonight to give him 20 RBIs, tops in the majors. He's hitting for average, going 2-for-4 tonight to raise his season number to .407, tops in the National League. He's drawing walks, including one tonight to leave him with 14 for the...
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Nationals outlast Mets, win 4-3 in 11 innings

Nationals outlast Mets, win 4-3 in 11 innings
NEW YORK - Dusty Baker didn't hesitate to throw Trea Turner back to the wolves tonight, sending his leadoff man up to bat for the first time in 13 days with the bases loaded and one out in a tie game in the top of the 11th, with Jeurys Familia on the mound for the Mets. Turns out Turner didn't need to take the bat off his shoulder to drive in the winning run. Turner drew a four-pitch walk off Familia to allow Bryce Harper to trot home with the run that gave the Nationals a 4-3, extra-inning...
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Harper finally connects off Harvey (Nats win 4-3 in 11)

Harper finally connects off Harvey (Nats win 4-3 in 11)
NEW YORK - Bryce Harper entered tonight's game with one hit in 26 career at-bats against Matt Harvey. No opposing pitcher has confounded the Nationals slugger like the Mets right-hander. Is there a reasonable explanation for Harvey's one-sided domination of one of the best hitters in baseball? "I don't know," manager Dusty Baker said this afternoon. "I don't think he knows. Matt knows it. Bryce knows it. But one thing: The law of averages is on Bryce's side. I'm hoping the law of...
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Updates on Turner, Werth, Zimmerman and Drew

Updates on Turner, Werth, Zimmerman and Drew
NEW YORK - Trea Turner is in the Nationals dugout tonight, available to come off the bench if needed. But he's not in the starting lineup just yet, with manager Dusty Baker wanting to give the just-activated shortstop a chance to rest his legs a bit after playing rehab games at extended spring training the last two days. "The thinking was: Today was supposed to be his day off from the rehab assignment," Baker said. "And we thought, 'OK, who would you rather have available on the bench?...
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Turner activated off DL, Green designated for assignment

Turner activated off DL, Green designated for assignment
NEW YORK - Trea Turner is back on the Nationals' 25-man roster, activated off the disabled list in time for tonight's series opener against the Mets. Turner, out since April 8 with a strained right hamstring, may not be in manager Dusty Baker's starting lineup on a chilly evening at Citi Field, but he will be available off the bench if needed and is expected to start at shortstop Saturday afternoon. To make room for Turner on the active roster, the Nationals designated infielder Grant Green...
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Game 16 lineups: Nats at Mets

Game 16 lineups: Nats at Mets
NEW YORK - Hello from Citi Field, where it's about 30 degrees colder than it was yesterday at SunTrust Park in suburban Atlanta. It's going to be quite chilly out there for the series opener between the Nationals and Mets, and that's not what you ideally want for a team dealing with several minor leg injuries. With that in mind, several regulars are not in tonight's starting lineup: Trea Turner (who has been activated off the disabled list), Jayson Werth (groin), Ryan Zimmerman and Matt...
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Friday morning Nats Q&A from 35,000 feet over America

Friday morning Nats Q&A from 35,000 feet over America
OK, these are always fun for me. I'm not just answering your Nats questions today. I'm answering them from seat 27F on my flight from Atlanta to New York, roughly 35,000 feet up in the skies over the East Coast. (That's assuming Delta's on-board WiFi works with no problems, of course.) If all goes according to plan, I should be able to start answering questions around 11 a.m. EDT. I'll try my best to get to everything before the descent into LaGuardia. So, as always, submit your questions...
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Reworked bullpen wraps up a win ignited by Strasburg, Zimmerman

Reworked bullpen wraps up a win ignited by Strasburg, Zimmerman
ATLANTA - There are any number of key moments in a one-run game, and there were plenty to choose from in the Nationals' 3-2 victory over the Braves tonight. But the one that may resonate the most, the one that felt like the most significant moment in this game, came from a guy who had all but disappeared from the roster. Oliver Pérez was last seen on the mound throwing a pitch 12 days ago, way back on April 8, as one of the four relievers forced to put in yeoman's work after Jeremy Guthrie...
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Nationals top Braves 3-2 to complete series sweep

Nationals top Braves 3-2 to complete series sweep
ATLANTA - Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg were up to their old tricks, providing the Nationals the slimmest of leads heading into the late innings of tonight's game. The Nats bullpen then found some new tricks to seal the deal in a 3-2 victory and complete a sweep of the Braves. Zimmerman's two-run homer off R.A. Dickey gave the Nationals the lead for good, Strasburg churned out seven more quality innings and then the relief trio of Oliver Pérez, Koda Glover and Shawn Kelley held that...
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Dickey's knuckleball presenting challenges tonight (Nats win 3-2)

Dickey's knuckleball presenting challenges tonight (Nats win 3-2)
ATLANTA - The Nationals haven't seen too many knuckleballs the last few years, but they're seeing one tonight, and they'd better be ready to see a lot more of it as this season plays out. R.A. Dickey is on the mound for the Braves tonight at SunTrust Park for the first of what should be several starts against the Nationals in 2017. The 42-year-old right-hander used to be a regular conundrum for veteran Nats hitters when he pitched for the Mets, but he spent the last four years in Toronto, so...
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Murphy scratched with leg tightness, plus more injury updates

Murphy scratched with leg tightness, plus more injury updates
ATLANTA - The Nationals aren't dealing with any major injuries right now, but they are dealing with a growing list of nagging injuries, and Daniel Murphy joined that list today. Murphy was initially penciled into Dusty Baker's lineup for tonight's series finale against the Braves but had to be scratched after telling his manager he was dealing with "tightness" in his right leg. The veteran second baseman had started all 14 games to date and had a 10-game hitting streak to open the season....
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Game 15 lineups: Nats at Braves (update: Murphy scratched)

Game 15 lineups: Nats at Braves (update: Murphy scratched)
ATLANTA - The Nationals go for the series sweep of the Braves tonight, which wouldn't be a bad way at all to end the first leg of a tough, 10-game road trip that continues Friday night at Citi Field and then heads west Monday to Coors Field. Dusty Baker will hope for a continuation of last night's offensive explosion, though he'll have a different lineup out there for this one. Daniel Murphy has been scratched. Jayson Werth, who had to leave last night's game in the third inning with groin...
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Ross impresses in long-awaited Nationals season debut

Ross impresses in long-awaited Nationals season debut
ATLANTA - In his perfect world, Joe Ross would have spent opening day at Nationals Park, not NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse. But Ross didn't take his season-opening demotion to Triple-A personally, recognizing that the Nationals weren't sending him down for performance reasons, but rather because it made the most sense for a club that didn't need a full-time fifth starter until now. Wasn't that still difficult to accept for a guy whose last start came in Game 4 of the National League Division...
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Minor ailments and issues aside, Nats are rolling early in 2017

Minor ailments and issues aside, Nats are rolling early in 2017
ATLANTA - There are valid reasons to be concerned about the Nationals, most notably a bullpen that fewer than three weeks into the season has required a reshuffling of roles and a spate of minor injuries including the groin spasm suffered by Jayson Werth tonight. This is not a perfect team. Let's not confuse a couple of problem areas, though, for a bad team. Or even a mediocre one. The Nationals are quite good, with a rotation that has been dynamite and a lineup that has proven it is capable...
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Pair of grand slams propels Nats to 14-4 win over Braves

Pair of grand slams propels Nats to 14-4 win over Braves
ATLANTA - Freddie Freeman may own the Nationals, but Bryce Harper's ownage of Julio Teheran supersedes even the mightiest of opponents. Harper added two more homers to his deep collection off Teheran, including a grand slam that helped the Nationals overcome Freeman's latest blast off them and propel them to a 14-4 victory tonight at SunTrust Park. Joe Ross bounced back from a shaky first inning in his first major league start of the season to pitch seven strong innings and earn the win. Ryan...
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Werth injured on checked swing, leaves game (Nats win 14-4)

Werth injured on checked swing, leaves game (Nats win 14-4)
ATLANTA - Jayson Werth had to depart tonight's game after injuring himself on a check-swing in the top of the third inning, the latest Nationals player to go down in the season's first month. Werth checked his swing on a 1-0 pitch from the Braves' Julio Teheran in his second at-bat of the night and appeared to grimace, his left leg perhaps tweaked. After stepping out of the batter's box, he signaled to the dugout for Nationals director of athletic training Paul Lessard, who came out to talk...
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Solís lands on DL with elbow inflammation (Nats lead 6-2)

Solís lands on DL with elbow inflammation (Nats lead 6-2)
ATLANTA - Sammy Solís pitched a key scoreless inning during Tuesday night's victory over the Braves. Turns out he did so with something less than a perfectly healthy left arm. The Nationals placed Solís on the 10-day disabled list today with elbow inflammation, an injury that is not believed to be serious but was concerning enough to convince the club to shelve its top left-handed reliever for the rest of a daunting road trip. Needing to remove somebody from the active roster to clear a...
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Treinen out as closer; Nats will "mix and match" Kelley, Glover

Treinen out as closer; Nats will "mix and match" Kelley, Glover
ATLANTA - Blake Treinen is no longer going to pitch the ninth inning for the Nationals, but the club isn't going to designate one replacement closer for now, choosing instead to split those duties between veteran Shawn Kelley and rookie Koda Glover. The decision was made in the wake of Treinen's latest near-meltdown Tuesday night, when the right-hander entered with a 3-0 lead in hand over the Braves and proceeded to give up two singles and issue two walks (one with the bases loaded) while...
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Game 14 lineups: Nats at Braves (Solís to DL)

Game 14 lineups: Nats at Braves (Solís to DL)
ATLANTA - And we're back at SunTrust Park, as the Nationals and Braves prepare for the second game of their three-game series, hoping for a little less drama (or at least a lot less umpiring drama) than they got last night during what ended as a 3-1 Nats victory. We know who will be pitching the first inning for the Nationals tonight: Joe Ross, who makes his long-awaited 2017 debut after spending the last 2 1/2 weeks at Triple-A Syracuse. We don't know yet who will be pitching the ninth...
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