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Adrian Sanchez gets hit in chest, still drives in 3 runs as Nationals beat Mets

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Adrian Sanchez gets hit in chest, still drives in 3 runs as Nationals beat Mets

WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a decade in the minors, not even a body blow from a hard-thrown baseball was going to keep Adrian Sanchez from taking another swing.

Sanchez shrugged off a 96 mph sinker to the chest and delivered an RBI single to cap off his impressive performance as the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 9-4 on Saturday. The rookie from Venezuela drove in three runs and made a big defensive play to help Gio Gonzalez get the final out of the seventh inning in a game that featured mostly reserves for both teams.

When a pitch from Mets reliever Jeurys Familia struck Sanchez squarely in the chest as he tried to bunt in the eighth, the 27-year-old remained on the ground for several minutes. Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Sanchez wanted to stay in the game and continue the at-bat and was glad to see him deliver for an important insurance run.

"I would've had to bring a truck to pull him off the field because he wanted that at-bat," Baker said of Sanchez, who wasn't available for interviews because he was still getting tests. "That picked our team up and it brought the house down, too, because everybody here loves Sanchy and we're all pulling for him big-time."

Sanchez was a big part of Washington's production against New York starter Robert Gsellman (5-6), who allowed six runs (two earned) on nine hits in four innings and was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas afterward. Gsellman's own fielding error made his numbers look better but put the Mets in a hole.

Gonzalez (13-5) allowed two earned runs on six hits and struck out two in 6 2/3 innings and earned a standing ovation from the crowd as he departed. His only blemishes came on Juan Lagares' RBI single in the third that scored Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores' 16th home run in the sixth.

"It's just trying to lock it in, stay focused, try not to get out of my game and try to do too much," Gonzalez said. "Every time I go out there I want to try to go deep in the game and save as much arm in the bullpen as possible."

With only one player starting who was in their opening day lineup, the Nationals also got two RBIs from Adam Lind and a big day from center fielder Michael A. Taylor, who went 3 for 4 with his sixth outfield assist and 11th stolen base of the season.

FAMILIA RETURNS

In his first appearance since May 10 after surgery to repair a blood clot in his right arm, Familia allowed three runs on four hits in a rough eighth inning. Mets manager Terry Collins, who wanted to ease Familia back in a non-save situation, called the right-hander "rusty."

"What's the proper rehab? Nobody knows, be it five innings or five appearances or whatever it might be, there's no guarantees," Collins said. "It just tells you how hard this league is."

Familia said he "tried too much" and didn't have his command. He added that his arm feels 100 percent and he expects to be OK after two more outings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes went on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring and will be examined Monday in New York. ... David Wright (cervical disk herniation) played five innings at third base for Class A St. Lucie and went 0 for 3 with a strikeout. ... RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) tossed 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Double-A Binghamton at Portland, allowing five runs (three earned) and five hits. He struck out two, walked one and threw 47 of 72 pitches for strikes. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) threw batting practice in Florida.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman was out again after injuring his triceps muscle on a headfirst slide Thursday. Baker expects Zimmerman to play one game during Sunday's doubleheader. ... SS Trea Turner (broken right wrist) and OF Jayson Werth (bruised left foot) continued rehab assignments with Class A Potomac and are close to returning.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Erick Fedde (0-1, 5.61 ERA) makes his second career start against Mets LHP Tommy Milone (1-3, 8.12) in the day game of the split doubleheader. With ace Max Scherzer pushed back to pitch Monday, Washington will start RHP Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.64 ERA) in the night game against RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.85), who has been out with a shoulder injury.

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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.