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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.
WASHINGTON – Brandon Belt, Yusmeiro Petit and the rest of the San Francisco Giants did what they do so well in October: They never give in, never give up, and win. Simple as that. No matter what it takes — or how long. Even 18 innings.
WASHINGTON – Put Jake Peavy on the San Francisco Giants, and he suddenly turns into quite a postseason performer. Same for a couple of rookies, Hunter Strickland and Joe Panik.
N.L. Division Series 6: Season series: Nationals won 5-2.
WASHINGTON – One out away from pitching the Washington Nationals’ first no-hitter, Jordan Zimmermann watched his 104th pitch on a crisp, clear Sunday afternoon get smacked toward deep left-center. Zimmermann leaned his head back and winced. His first thought: “Double. No-doubt double.”
SEATTLE – If there is such a thing as momentum in baseball, the Seattle Mariners had plenty of it entering this homestand. They won six of nine games on their most recent road trip and returned to Safeco Field in control of a playoff spot and showing the confidence of a team playing winning baseball.
Stephen Strasburg pitched into the eighth inning and Jayson Werth hit his second home run in two nights to lead the Washington Nationals past the Seattle Mariners 3-1 on Saturday.
SEATTLE – Is it a disturbing trend and a sign of things to come? Or is it just a small bump in an otherwise brilliant season? Given two days’ worth of extra rest and a packed Safeco Field – something that usually brings out the best in him – Felix Hernandez didn’t pitch like the Felix Hernandez who has been taking the mound for the Mariners much of this season.
Yu Darvish showed up to the ballpark on Wednesday with his stiff neck feeling much better, and the Texas Rangers were able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing their Japanese ace won’t have to join a long list of teammates on the disabled list. Darvish was scratched from his start on Tuesday night because of that neck discomfort, but Rangers manager Ron Washington said before a game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday that the right-hander will start at Washington on Sunday.
Former major league third baseman Matt Williams is the new manager of the Washington Nationals. The Nationals will hold a news conference today to introduce Williams as the team’s fifth manager since it moved to Washington from Montreal in 2005. He replaces Davey Johnson, who is retiring. It is Williams’ first job as a major league manager. He has only brief managerial experience at any level, having spent time in the Arizona Fall League and five weeks at Double-A in the minors. He’s been the Arizona Diamondbacks’ third-base coach the past three seasons. The 47-year-old Williams was a five-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove recipient during 17 years as a player for the Giants, Indians and Diamondbacks. – Associated Press
Thanks to strong pitching from Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper’s burst of energy and Adam LaRoche’s slugging, the Washington Nationals won enough from April through September that even a loss on the first day of October could not stop them from clinching the N.L. East. Despite being beaten 2-0 by the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night in Washington, the Nationals earned their first division title since moving from Montreal in 2005, because the second-place Atlanta Braves lost 2-1 at the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Stephen Strasburg has “probably” two or three starts remaining before he’s done for the season, and he can no longer claim he wasn’t told it was coming. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he spoke to Strasburg about the right-hander’s innings limit Wednesday on a flight home from Miami.
WASHINGTON – Three All-Stars, first place on the Fourth of July and a 19-year-old sensation who is mature enough to defer to a 40-year-old from another team. Baseball in the nation’s capital hasn’t looked this good in decades. And decades. And decades.
WASHINGTON – Don’t expect Bryce Harper to return to the minors anytime soon. When it comes to the 19-year-old outfielder, Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo explained Friday, “We’re not dumb.” During Rizzo’s speaking appearance at the National Press Club, the first three questions directed his way were about Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft who already is making a mark, less than a week after being brought to the major leagues for the first time.
Bryce Harper tends to do things ahead of schedule, so it should surprise no one that he’s already heading to the major leagues. The 19-year-old outfielder, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft, will be recalled by the Washington Nationals from Triple-A Syracuse today.
WASHINGTON – Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman abruptly resigned from one of the hottest teams in baseball Thursday, saying he felt the franchise wasn’t committed to him over the long term. Bench coach John McLaren will manage the Nationals on a short-term basis, according to a club official who informed The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Pinch-hitter Laynce Nix hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Washington Nationals a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday in an appropriately close game between a pair of .500 teams.