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Cashner gets homer help, pitches Rangers over Nationals 5-2

Cashner gets homer help, pitches Rangers over Nationals 5-2

WASHINGTON -- It was Tanner Roark bobblehead night, and he got the start for Washington. Once the game began, the Nationals were the ones with the bobbles.

Andrew Cashner quieted the NL's top-hitting lineup, Jonathan Lucroy and Rougned Odor homered, and the Texas Rangers beat the sloppy Nationals 5-2 on Friday night.

Texas took advantage of three errors, two by shortstop Trea Turner, and won for just the fourth time in 15 games.

"We didn't play very well on defense," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "We usually don't make those. It wasn't a very good day at the ballpark."

Cashner (3-5) allowed one run and six hits in seven innings. The NL East-leading Nationals began the day topping the league in runs, homers, batting, and slugging.

"Our rotation needed a performance like this," said Rangers manager Jeff Banister after his struggling squad opened a six-game road trip with a win.

Cashner, who gave up five earned runs in two of his previous three starts, struck out four and walked two.

Lucroy had three of the Rangers' 13 hits, including a two-run homer and RBI single. Odor's solo homer in the seventh came on the final pitch from Roark (6-3).

The Rangers face Houston, owners of the best record in the majors, after two more games against the NL leaders.

"It's always important to get a win, and it's even more important with the two teams we're facing this road trip," Lucroy said.

Matt Bush entered with two runners on in the ninth and allowed Stephen Drew's pinch-hit RBI single, but recorded two outs for his seventh save.

Roark allowed five runs, only two of them earned, and 11 hits.

Anthony Rendon hit an RBI single in the sixth that pulled Washington within 4-1. Odor homered leading off the seventh.

Lucroy's homer came with two outs in the fifth. Both runs on the homer were unearned after first baseman Ryan Zimmerman's error on a hard-hit grounder by leadoff batter Shin-Soo Choo.

Turner's first error on Joey Gallo's grounder in the sixth eventually led to another unearned run. Roark, acquired via trade by Washington from Texas in 2010, walked Nomar Mazara with the bases loaded, scoring Gallo.

Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single, the first of three against Roark opening the third, and scored on Lucroy's hit.

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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.

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Nats' Max Scherzer wins second straight NL Cy Young Award

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Nats' Max Scherzer wins second straight NL Cy Young Award

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has coasted to his third Cy Young Award and second straight in the National League.

Scherzer breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The honor was announced Wednesday on MLB Network.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit. He became the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs.

RELATED: WIETERS WILL RETURN TO NATS IN 2018 

Scherzer was 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a league-leading 268 strikeouts for the NL East champion Nationals.

Kershaw has already won three NL Cy Youngs, and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians easily won his second AL Cy Young Award earlier in the day. He got 28 of the 30 first-place votes, with Boston's Chris Sale second and Luis Severino of the New York Yankees third.

Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball.