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Nationals place faith in Gio Gonzalez, name him Game 5 starter vs. Cubs

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Nationals place faith in Gio Gonzalez, name him Game 5 starter vs. Cubs

The Washington Nationals have named Gio Gonzalez the Game 5 starter vs. the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on Thursday night.

Gonzalez gets the call in the pivotal winner-take-all contest coming off of normal regular season rest, four days from his last appearance. Originally Stephen Strasburg was the anticipated starter in Game 5 coming into the series, but a rainout on Tuesday evening allowed manager Dusty Baker to change up the rotation. Strasburg got pushed up to the Game 4 starting role, in place of Tanner Roark, after starting Game 1.

It is the second straight game that Roark has been passed over for one of the Nationals top three pitchers. The Wilmington, Illinois native will be available out of the bullpen, looking for his fourth ever postseason appearance.


Starting Game 2 for the Nationals this past Saturday, Gonzalez pitched a respectable 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits and six strikeouts.

Including his postseason start, the 32-year-old is 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs in 2017 with a 3.27 ERA.

Throughout his 10-year career, Gonzalez has five postseason starts all resulting in no decisions and a 4.24 ERA.

This is the second winner-take-all Game 5 Gonzalez has pitched. His first was back in 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals where the Nationals blew a 6-0 lead after three.


Gonzalez will duel the Cubs starter, Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 0.00 ERA in 2017 postseason) in Game 5. As the Game 1 starter in this series, Hendricks completely shut down the Nationals to only two hits, while only striking out five. He lasted seven innings handing off the game to Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis to preserve the shutout.

In an all-hands on deck move, the Nationals also have their ace Max Scherzer available coming out of the bullpen in an attempt to advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time as the Nationals..

The D.C. four professional sports franchises have lost their last 12 games with a conference finals appearance on the line, according to the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg.

Since relocating to Washington, the franchise has ended two of their three postseason runs in a Game 5 situation in the NLDS. Both of those series were at home as well.


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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.