More from last night's win over the Mets

More from last night's win over the Mets
Last night's game looked awfully familiar for the Nationals. Stephen Strasburg dominated. Matt Harvey did not. The end result was a lopsided victory, something we saw only five days earlier when the same two pitchers matched up in New York. Here are some other notable things that happened that perhaps didn't draw the big headlines... * The Nationals bullpen delivered big again in a big spot. Though this turned into a lopsided affair, the outcome still was very much in doubt in the top of the...
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Nats take down Harvey again with five-homer barrage

Nats take down Harvey again with five-homer barrage
The bottom of the fourth had arrived at Nationals Park, the home team was trailing 1-0 and the cheers from the sizeable pockets of Mets fans was far more noticeable than anything that could be heard from those dressed in red. And yet ... It was the first truly warm evening of the season on South Capitol Street (first pitch temperature: 83 degrees), the Nationals were making solid contact despite nothing to show for it on the scoreboard and Matt Harvey was on the mound for New York. If ever...
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Home run barrage follows early zeros (Nats win 7-4)

Home run barrage follows early zeros (Nats win 7-4)
Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg spent the first three innings of tonight's rematch trying to one-up each other, posting dueling zeros on the scoreboard to the delight of many in the crowd and the disgust of others in what has turned into a bipartisan ballpark. But then came the fourth inning, which featured three solo homers: one from the Mets' Asdrubal Cabrera, then back-to-back shots from the Nats' Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon to give their team a 2-1 lead. Strasburg had retired the...
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Baker understands Harper's extra work to break out of slump

Baker understands Harper's extra work to break out of slump
Dusty Baker knows what it's like to endure a slump and knows the tricks for trying to snap out of a prolonged slide at the plate. So the Nationals manager knows what must be going through Bryce Harper's mind right now, and he understands what the struggling right fielder is trying to do to get himself back on track. When Harper went to the cage underneath the stands at Nationals Park following last night's loss to the Mets, still in full uniform with batting gloves and bat in hand, Baker...
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Game 46 lineups: Nats vs. Mets

Game 46 lineups: Nats vs. Mets
As we saw last night, just because two starting pitchers are facing each other for the second time in six days, there's no guarantee the result will stay the same. And yet, the Nationals will be hoping for just that tonight when Stephen Strasburg faces Matt Harvey in a rematch of Thursday night's 9-1 victory for the Nats at Citi Field. They will hope Strasburg continues his torrid start to the season, which is really just a continuation of his torrid conclusion to last season. For those who...
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Tuesday morning Q&A from D.C.

Tuesday morning Q&A from D.C.
Sorry for the lack of the supposedly weekly Q&A last week. Because I didn't travel to Miami, there wasn't an opportunity to squeeze the feature in during the series in New York. But never fear, because we're bumping this up to Tuesday this week, and we're ready to answer all your questions on the Nationals. Ask about last week's Mets series. Ask about this week's Mets series. Ask about Bryce Harper's slump. Ask about Stephen Strasburg's attempt to improve to 8-0 tonight. (Just...
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Nats can't make adjustments in flip-flopped loss to Mets

Nats can't make adjustments in flip-flopped loss to Mets
Baseball, you probably have heard, is a game of constant adjustments. This is especially true on those more-frequent-than-you-think occasions when a starting pitcher faces the same opponent twice in a row. So when Gio Gonzalez faced the Mets tonight for the second time in five days, with Bartolo Colon facing the Nationals also for the second time in five days, the challenge for each side was clear: Make the necessary adjustments to change the outcome from the first head-to-head meeting. Which...
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Colon bests Gonzalez 7-1 in reversal of last week's matchup

Colon bests Gonzalez 7-1 in reversal of last week's matchup
The prospect of a rainout couldn't have been particularly appealing to the Nationals, who only five days after winning a lopsided matchup between Gio Gonzalez and Bartolo Colon had to be licking their chops at tonight's scheduled rematch. But after waiting out a 1-hour, 7-minute delay to start their series opener against the Mets, the Nationals found themselves on the wrong end of a lopsided game, unable to touch Colon while New York's lineup battered Gonzalez all around the park during a...
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Series opener delayed by rain (Nats lose 7-1)

Series opener delayed by rain (Nats lose 7-1)
Rain had been in the forecast all day, and sure enough it came as expected, delaying the start of the Nationals' series opener against the Mets. For now, the Nats say they plan to begin at 8:10 p.m., hoping the skies clear enough and soon enough to get the full game in as scheduled and avoid a makeup date down the road at some point. If it comes to that, the Nationals and Mets have options. With New York making two more trips to D.C. this season (June 27-29, September 12-14), there's no need...
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Why Dusty Baker doesn't believe in personal catchers

Why Dusty Baker doesn't believe in personal catchers
Dusty Baker isn't a big believer in the concept of personal catchers, but when he took the job as Nationals manager over the winter, he inherited the Gio Gonzalez-Jose Lobaton pairing. Gonzalez and Lobaton never formally were named as permanent batterymates, but the two had worked together in 19 of the left-hander's final 23 starts in 2015 and enjoyed success. So Baker kept them together each of the first eight times Gonzalez pitched this season. Until tonight. Seeking more offense from his...
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Game 45 lineups: Nats vs. Mets

Game 45 lineups: Nats vs. Mets
OK, let's get the answer to your most important question out of the way: I don't know. The question: Are they going to be able to play tonight? You know as much as I know. And if you don't, just click on any weather forecast and look at the Doppler map. It's probably going to rain, pretty hard, at some point late this afternoon/early this evening. It's probably not going to rain straight through the night. Will it not rain long enough for the Nationals and Mets to be able to play their...
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More on last night's blowout victory in New York

More on last night's blowout victory in New York
NEW YORK - While the focus of last night's game was squarely on the Stephen Strasburg-Matt Harvey pitching matchup, there was plenty else notable about the Nationals' 9-1 victory over the Mets. Before they get to Miami and open this weekend's series with the Marlins (and before my colleague Byron Kerr takes the reins of the blog for the second leg of the road trip), here are some more things worth mentioning from last night... * Daniel Murphy completed his Citi Field homecoming in style....
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Nats praise dominant Strasburg, defend struggling Harvey

Nats praise dominant Strasburg, defend struggling Harvey
NEW YORK - The comparisons are inevitable and likely will follow both Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey through the ends of their respective careers. Both are hard-throwing right-handers who burst onto the scene as rookies, only to suffer torn elbow ligaments that required Tommy John surgery and a long road to recovery. That, of course, is where Strasburg and Harvey's paths moved in alternate directions. Where the Nationals took the overly cautious route with their young ace, shutting him down...
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Strasburg cruises while Nats pummel Harvey in 9-1 victory

Strasburg cruises while Nats pummel Harvey in 9-1 victory
NEW YORK - Slump? What slump? Who said the Nationals couldn't score runs in bunches? All they needed was to face Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey on consecutive nights. With a swift and emphatic flurry of hard-hit balls off the once-feared, suddenly-ineffective Harvey, the Nationals cruised to a 9-1 victory over the Mets tonight, following up last's lopsided win with another one to capture the first of six regular season series with their chief division rivals. A Nats lineup that looked tepid...
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Lineup knocks out Harvey in third inning (Nats win 9-1)

Lineup knocks out Harvey in third inning (Nats win 9-1)
NEW YORK - Who would have guessed the cure for what ailed the Nationals lineup was ... Matt Harvey? These are strange times indeed, because the Nationals just got really healthy facing a remarkably ineffective Harvey, pounding the one-time Mets ace for nine runs in only 2 2/3 innings to open up a commanding 9-1 lead in tonight's series finale. Daniel Murphy's two-run homer in the first jumpstarted the Nats offense, but then a rapid flurry of scorched balls off Harvey in the top of the third...
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Bryce Harper's unusual slump: Few hits, tons of walks

Bryce Harper's unusual slump: Few hits, tons of walks
NEW YORK - Bryce Harper doesn't do most things like most other ballplayers. So it should come as no surprise that even Harper's slumps aren't like most slumps. Harper legitimately is slumping at the plate. Since April 27 (a span of 20 games), he's batting just .167, which ranks 190th out of 195 qualifying major league hitters. Now, the catch: In that same timeframe, Harper's on-base percentage is .477, which ranks third in the big leagues. It makes for a bit of an odd situation for the...
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Game 41 lineups: Nats vs. Mets

Game 41 lineups: Nats vs. Mets
NEW YORK - It's rare you get two legitimate marquee pitching matchups in the same series, but the Nationals and Mets are the rare teams with the rotation depth to be able to pull that off. And so two days after Max Scherzer and Noah Syndergaard dueled, Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey will attempt to the same in tonight's series finale at Citi Field. Strasburg, of course, has been outstanding for the Nats so far, becoming the first pitcher in club history to open a season 6-0 and going 12-2...
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After lineup switch, Werth turns into table-setter again

After lineup switch, Werth turns into table-setter again
NEW YORK - The last time he reached base five times in a game, Jayson Werth was serving as the Nationals' leadoff man. It was Sept. 2012, and manager Davey Johnson's unconventional move to put Werth atop his lineup was paying significant dividends. Werth actually reached base five times on two separate occasions in the span of two weeks that fall, becoming an unlikely but excellent table-setter for a Nationals lineup that was in peak form on its way to 98 wins and its first-ever division...
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Patience, contact help Nationals lineup break through vs. Mets

Patience, contact help Nationals lineup break through vs. Mets
NEW YORK - Gio Gonzalez has been a constant for the Nationals through the first quarter of the season, a welcome development from a pitcher who in the past befuddled with his inconsistency. Consistency at the plate has not been a hallmark for the Nats so far in 2016, and that has been a source of frustration. But when the lineup clicks on the same night Gonzalez takes the mound, the result is particularly encouraging. Like a 7-1 thumping of the Mets in a game of at least moderate...
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Nats scratch out runs, Gonzalez effective again in 7-1 win

Nats scratch out runs, Gonzalez effective again in 7-1 win
NEW YORK - There was no offensive outburst from a lineup that has sorely needed of one of those. But there were a whole lot of quality plate appearances, plenty of patience when necessary and a couple of clutch hits at opportune moments. Combine that with another strong pitching performance by Gio Gonzalez, and the Nationals did just enough things right tonight to beat the Mets, 7-1, and hold their tenuous position atop the NL East as the season reaches the quarter mark. Daniel Murphy and...
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