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The Washington Nationals clinched their third National League East title in five years, beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Saturday night behind 5 1/3 scoreless innings from rookie reliever Reynaldo Lopez.
Washington sent reliever Felipe Rivero and pitching prospect Taylor Hearn to the Pirates for Mark Melancon, who supplants struggling Jonathan Papelbon as Washington’s closer.
A day after Stephen Strasburg deflected questions about a new contract, the Washington Nationals announced that they had, indeed, agreed to a seven-year deal with the right-hander that starts next season.
By 2019, we could all be underwater or living under Sharia law, depending on whether your doomsday is of the Democratic or Republican flavor. In the interim, I’m going to eat, drink and watch Harper.
Jonathan Papelbon expressed remorse and apologized for going after Harper in the dugout during the Nationals’ Sept. 27 game against the Philadelphia Phillies
Baseball executives headed home from Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday with top free-agent sluggers still on the market and trade talk percolating that could lead to more swaps in coming weeks.
Bryce Harper became the youngest unanimous MVP winner in baseball history, capturing the National League award during a season in which his Washington Nationals missed the playoffs.
Dusty Baker got another managing job, this time with the Washington Nationals. And Major League Baseball got another black skipper, something the man in charge of the sport called “encouraging.”
NEW YORK – Max Scherzer says he can get even better. Imagine that.
The Washington Nationals have suspended closer Jonathan Papelbon for four games without pay for his dugout fight with star slugger Bryce Harper, which will end the pitcher’s season. General manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement Monday that Papelbon’s actions Sunday during a game against Philadelphia are “not acceptable.” Rizzo adds, they are “not at all in line with the way our players are expected to conduct themselves, and the Nationals organization will not tolerate it in any way.”
WASHINGTON – Just one strike from a perfect game, Max Scherzer saw it slip away with a misplaced slider. Or, some thought, a misplaced elbow. Scherzer lost his bid in agonizing fashion, plunking a batter with two outs in the ninth inning before finishing off a no-hitter Saturday in the Washington Nationals’ 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bryce Harper has temporarily avoided a trip to the disabled list, although his ailing left hamstring sidelined the right fielder for Washington’s Friday home game against Pittsburgh. Nationals manager Matt Williams says Harper received medical treatment and was going to try to take a few practice swings. Williams said the team will wait to see how the two-time All-Star progresses before deciding when he can play again. Williams said, “He’s sore. We’re evaluating every day, and we’ll take the appropriate steps necessary to make sure that he’s 100 percent ready to go when he’s ready to go.” Harper slipped on damp grass in the sixth inning Thursday night against Tampa Bay and gingerly walked off the field. The 22-year-old is hitting .344 with 22 home runs and 53 RBIs. – AP
MILWAUKEE – Max Scherzer struck out a team-record 16 and threw a one-hitter, losing his perfect-game bid on a bloop single that barely fell in during the seventh inning while pitching Washington to a 4-0 win over Milwaukee on Sunday. Carlos Gomez got the Brewers’ only hit, leading off the seventh with a broken-bat looper to right field just beyond the outstretched glove of second baseman Anthony Rendon. Scherzer looked the other away after the ball dropped.
Let the chocolate syrup flow. As the Washington Nationals have set aside a slow start and grabbed a one-game lead in the N.L. East, they developed an unusual way to celebrate their mounting collection of comeback victories: Starting pitcher Max Scherzer pours chocolate from a bottle on the player responsible for producing the winning run.
The way Ryan Zimmerman sees it, change is not something to get all worked up about. After being the Washington Nationals opening day third baseman for the past nine seasons, the 30-year-old is making the transition to first base this spring.
Max Scherzer will become the highest-paid right-handed pitcher in the major leagues after agreeing to a $210 million, seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals that includes a record $50 million signing bonus. Scherzer, the 2013 A.L. Cy Young Award winner for the Detroit Tigers, will receive the money over 14 years, which will lower its present-day value.
Alex Rodriguez appears to be returning to the New York Yankees as a man without a position. Chase Headley agreed Monday to a $52 million, four-year contract and said the Yankees assured him the third-base job was his.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that the club was “disappointed” that outfielder Bryce Harper did not show up Saturday at the NatsFest fan festival in Washington. In a statement emailed by one of his agent’s employees, Harper said: “I have attended NatsFest each year and always enjoy my experience with the fans, but was unable to attend this year’s event due to matters out of my control.” The Major League Baseball Players Association has filed a grievance on Harper’s behalf over whether he should be able to void the 2015 terms in the final season of a $9.9 million, five-year contract he signed when drafted. An arbitrator hearing could happen next week. “We’re disappointed he’s not here, but he chose not to be here because of the grievance,” Rizzo said. – AP
Joe Panik scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on Aaron Barrett’s bases-loaded wild pitch, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday night to return to the NL Championship Series.
SAN FRANCISCO – Eye black and uniform still on, Bryce Harper emerged from a different kind of fog than is typically seen in San Francisco. This was the celebratory stuff from a Washington Nationals victory party, and he had earned it, all right. Harper screamed out in delight as he crossed the plate with Washington ahead at last. After all those extra innings and a subdued cross-country flight, the Nationals had broken through – with some help from Madison Bumgarner’s big blunder.