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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kershaw looks to reverse postseason trend

WASHINGTON – It is one of baseball’s enduring mysteries in recent years and will be front-and-center in Game 1 of the N.L. Division Series between the Dodgers and Nationals that begins Friday: Why is LA lefty Clayton Kershaw so downright masterful during the regular season and so decidedly mediocre during the playoffs?

Dusty Baker takes reins in nation’s capital

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.”

MLB notes: Washington National suspend closer Jonathan Papelbon for dugout fight

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.”

Max Scherzer pitches no-hitter after losing perfect game in 9th

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.

Nationals OF Bryce Harper sore, but avoids disabled list for now

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

Scherzer strikes out 16 in throwing one-hitter

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.

MLB notes: Surging Nationals celebrate wins with chocolate syrup dousing

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.

Baseball Notebook: Nationals sign ace Max Scherzer to bolster rotation

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.

Nats ‘disappointed’ in Byrce Harper no-show at fan event

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

Giants top Nationals 3-2, return to NLCS vs Cards

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.