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Scherzer No-Hits Pirates

Max Scherzer made history at Nationals Park on Saturday. The right-hander hurled a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates (39-29), a performance that led the way as the Washington Nationals (36-33) won by a final of 6-0.

Scherzer’s No-Hitter

Starting with a six-pitch top of the first, Scherzer dominated the Pirates, retiring 27 of 28 batters, including 10 on strikeouts. The lone batter to reach base was Jose Tabata, who—with two strikes and two outs in the ninth—moved his way into baseball notoriety by taking a Scherzer slider off of his elbow. According to a tweet from ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, Scherzer is the second hurler in baseball history—and the first since 1908—to lose a perfect game on a hit by pitch. Continue reading…

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The Nats Are Really Top Heavy And That’s (Probably) OK

This year, the Washington Nationals still have one of the most talented teams in baseball, despite being ravaged by injuries. As Joe pointed out a few weeks ago, they can lay a claim to having the top starter (Max Scherzer), position player (Bryce Harper) and reliever (Drew Storen) in baseball.

However, despite the elite performances of that trio, the Nationals still find themselves with a middling 34-33 record at a game and a half back of the unremarkable Mets.

So, how top-heavy must the Nationals be to have three elite performers and still be straddling the .500 mark? Continue reading…

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Harper Hurt As Nats Defeated By Rays

On a rain-soaked night in the nation’s capital, the Tampa Bay Rays (38-30) added injury to insult by not only handing the Washington Nationals (34-33) their 11th loss out of 17 games in June, but also witnessing superstar Bryce Harper go down with a hamstring strain. The 5-3 loss put the Nationals just one game above .500 with a serious concern over how long Harper’s injury will put him out of commission.

Nobody Panic…

Going into the sixth inning, the game was leaning in the Nationals’ favor. But it didn’t take long for things to take a turn for the much, much worse. With the go-ahead runs on base, fans have come to expect Harper to do everything in his power to prevent those runs from scoring if a ball his hit his way. But as he planted his leg to make the throw, his left knee bent awkwardly beneath him. He was left writhing in pain on the rain-dampened outfield grass, and Nats fans were left wondering if their worst nightmare was happening. Continue reading…

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The Impact of Losing Bryce Harper

The Washington Nationals community as a whole exhaled when Matt Williams announced after tonight’s game that Bryce Harper suffered only a “mild hamstring strain” tonight, instead of a major injury to his knee. But as Anthony Rendon’s injury demonstrates, no player’s recovery is certain. While his injury is not as bad as was feared, Harper’s contributions to the Nationals’ offense and how much they would suffer without him cannot be overstated.

Continue reading…

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Federal Reserve: The Arrival Of Trea Turner

After several months in limbo, Trea Turner finally made his debut in the Washington Nationals’ system on Tuesday. The shortstop prospect—a first-round pick by the San Diego Padres last year, whom the Nationals acquired as a player to be named later in December—was assigned to Harrisburg, where he has played two games thus far.

Getting Turner, along with right-handed starter Joe Ross, from the Padres should work out for the Nationals in the long run. As Ross emerges at the major league level, Turner immediately becomes one of the best position players in the farm system. Along with excellent speed, he features a compact line drive stroke that not only allows him to hit to all fields, but occasionally leverage power to the left side of the field. On defense, he should rate as an at least above average shortstop. Continue reading…

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Bats Go Limp, Rays Shut Out Nats

They say all good things must come to an end. The Washington Nationals’ offensive barrage Tuesday was, by any definition, a good thing, and Wednesday night showed that it was no exception to the rule. The Nats (34-32) were shut out by the Tampa Bay Rays (37-30) a day after scoring 16 runs against them, falling 5-0. Continue reading…

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Nats Set Franchise Hits Record, Obliterate Rays

There’s a feeling of relief when you find something that’s been missing for a long time. Something that you used on a daily basis and were this close to replacing. That relief flooded through the Washington Nationals organization Tuesday night when the Nats (34-31) eviscerated the Tampa Bay Rays (36-30) 16-4, suddenly rediscovering all the run support that had been missing over the past month or so.

Continue reading…