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Baker, Turner own up to key mistakes after Nats' 18-inning loss

Baker, Turner own up to key mistakes after Nats' 18-inning loss

So much went on over the course of the Nationals' 18-inning loss to the Pirates on Sunday, one in which they managed only one run across two games-worth of baseball, that it's difficult to harp on just one or two mistakes now that everything is finished and the dust has settled.

The Nationals themselves made plenty of mistakes. So did the Pirates. That's why they played 18 darn innings, because neither team could do much of anything on offense in a game that somehow ended at just 2-1 despite its length.

But in the 17th and 18th innings, there were two key mistakes by the Nationals that proved pivotal in their defeat to Pittsburgh. The first was in the bottom of the 17th. Trea Turner led off with a single to left field and as he rounded first, his instincts kicked in. Turner thought he had a chance for a double.

The 23-year-old took off and was beaten easily to the bag by a Starling Marte throw. Turner's fast, but not that fast. And afterwards he owned up to the costly mistake.

"Long game. Very minimal chances to get into scoring position," he said. "The basehit that I had the other day, I saw [Marte] not lob it in, but take his time. When you hit the ball to left field, the middle infielders have their back to you at first base. So, a lot of times the shortstop will cut the ball off not knowing where the baserunner is. I just wanted to be aggressive and take a chance. Looking back at it, obviously it was a dumb play because it didn't work out. But that's baseball, learn from it and move on."

Manager Dusty Baker was glad to see his young infielder be aggressive rather than timid, but hopes Turner understands that was not the time for it.

"That wasn't a bad play. I've seen Hank Aaron do that," Baker said. "Turner was cursed by his own speed. If he didn't have speed, he wouldn't have even thought about it. He probably won't make that mistake again. But when you've got speed, then you try things. That just wasn't the right time to try it."

The second crucial mistake was not nearly as noticable. It wasn't until after the game when Baker pointed it out that it was realized.

This was on Marte's go-ahead homer in the top of the 18th. Marte blasted a first-pitch fastball deep into the stands in left field to put the Pirates up for good.

Baker, though, said Marte should have been intentionally walked. The Pirates were running out of players just like the Nats were, and they had reliever Jon Niese on deck.

"That was a tough one to lose. At the end of the game I saw Niese on deck. That was my fault. I didn't put the fingers up soon enough to walk him and before I could, he hit the first pitch out of the ballpark. I knew they were out of men. I knew they were out of players and pitchers just like we were. It hurts to make a mistake like that. I was aware of the situation, but [it happened] before I could get Wilson [Ramos'] attention. I said to Mike [Maddux], 'hey man, we've got Niese on deck.' Before I could respond, he hit the first pitch out of the ballpark," Baker explained.

Like Turner, Baker didn't put blame on anyone else but himself.

"It falls on me. I got a scorecard right next to me," Baker said. "I couldn't get Wilson's attention. It just happened so fast. First pitch. I take full responsibility for that action."



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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.