Quick Links

Bryce Harper has best game in months as Nats beat Rockies

Bryce Harper has best game in months as Nats beat Rockies

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-4 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night at Coors Field.

How it happened: Maybe a week off was just what Bryce Harper needed.

The reigning MVP helped lead the Nats to victory on Monday night in his second game back from the neck stiffness that sidelined him for five games. Harper, in fact, had his best game in months. He doubled twice and singled to record his first multi-hit game since July 7. It was his first three-hit game since June 8 and his first game with at least two extra-base knocks since June 28.

Harper also walked twice in the Nats' win. It was the second time this season he's reached base at least five times, the other was the six-walk game back on May 8 against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Harper, though, wasn't the only one who pitched in for the Nats on offense. Jayson Werth had two hits, including a two-run homer in the third inning. He tied a Nationals record by reaching base for the 43rd straight game.

Wilson Ramos hit his 19th homer of the season and also walked. Daniel Murphy singled, walked and drove in his 87th RBI. Trea Turner singled and swiped his 11th and 12th steals of the season.

The Nats won despite Max Scherzer only making it four innings in his shortest start of the season and the second-shortest of his Nationals career. He gave up four earned runs on seven hits, two walks and a homer.

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa also had a rough night. He made it six innings, but gave up four earned runs on six hits - including two homers - and four walks. Colorado pitchers walked the Nats six times on Monday.

The Nationals won their third straight game and have now won nine of their last 12.

What it means: The Nats moved to 70-47 on the season. The Marlins beat the Reds, so the Nats' division lead remains at 8 1/2 games.

Scherzer can't solve the Rockies: Scherzer surely wasn't happy he got the hook so early, but it was clear from the start that he was not himself. The Nats ace gave up three runs in the first inning alone, two of them off a David Dahl double and another on a Daniel Descalso sacrifice fly. Those plays both happened after Scherzer loaded the bases with one out, including back-to-back walks to Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado. Scherzer's fourth run came in the fourth inning on a Charlie Blackmon homer. 

Coors Field is a tough place to pitch and Scherzer has had an ugly history there. He has now given up 17 earned runs in 26 innings across five career starts in Colorado. As a National, Scherzer has had trouble with the Rockies in general. He lost both times he faced them in 2015 and has now surrendered 11 earned in 16 innings in his three total starts.

Treinen saves the day: When manager Dusty Baker needs a double play groundball, he knows exactly who to call on. And once again, Blake Treinen came through on Monday night in a huge spot. It was in the seventh inning and Treinen replaced Sammy Solis, who had just given up singles to D.J. LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez. Up next was Nolan Arenado, one of baseball's most dangerous hitters. Treinen stared him down and only needed one pitch to induce a double play grounder right to Anthony Rendon at third base. It was Treinen's 13th double play this season, which leads all MLB relievers. After Treinen, Shawn Kelley struck out two in a perfect eighth inning, and Mark Melancon needed only four pitches to retire the side in the ninth on three groundballs. It was Melancon's third save as a National and his 34th of the this season.

Werth ties Nats record: Werth tied Ryan Zimmerman's record of consecutive games reaching base, set back in 2009. At 43 straight, Werth is now just one short of Tim Raines, who got on in 44 straight games in 1985-86, for second in franchise history. First is Rusty Staub, who reached in 46 straight games in 1969-70. The MLB record is 84, held by Ted Williams, of course.

Werth's homer was his 16th of the season and his fourth in his last nine games. Werth has already tied his season-high for homers in a month in just his 10th game of August. 

Up next: The Nats and Rockies continue their series with another 8:40 p.m. first pitch. Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 4.24) will get the start for the Nats opposite right-hander Chad Bettis (10-6, 5.27).

[RELATED: Zimmerman homers in 1st minor league rehab outing]


Quick Links

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. 


Quick Links

Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.

Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:

It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.

Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.