Nationals

Quick Links

Crazy MLB playoffs continue with two ALDS Game 5s

usatsi_8844203.jpg

Crazy MLB playoffs continue with two ALDS Game 5s

CLICK TO LAUNCH GAME THREAD

ALDS GAME 5: TEXAS RANGERS AT TORONTO BLUE JAYS

Series: Tied at 2-2
Where:
 Rogers Centre, Toronto
Gametime: 4:00 p.m.
TV: FS1
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Indoors
Starting pitchers: TEX LHP Cole Hamels (13-8, 3.65 ERA) / TOR RHP Marcus Stroman (4-0, 1.67 ERA)

The MLB playoffs have been good to us so far with compelling games in each series, perhaps highlighted by the Cubs beating the Cardinals yesterday and earning their first trip to the NLCS in 12 years. On Wednesday night, we have a good chance for more thrilling playoff action with two do-or-die Game 5s scheduled to determine the two AL Championship Series teams.

The first game is in Toronto where the Blue Jays will try to overcome even more recent misery than the Cubs have endured. In order to advance, though, they will have to beat Cole Hamels, who helped lead Texas to a Game 2 win with seven innings and two earned runs allowed.

Marcus Stroman will pitch for the Blue Jays. He was opposite Hamels in Game 2 and lost despite going a solid seven innings with three earned runs surrendered.

ALDS GAME 5: HOUSTON ASTROS AT KANSAS CITY ROYALS

Series: Tied at 2-2
Where:
 Kaufmann Stadium, Kansas City
Gametime: 8:00 p.m.
TV: FS1
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Clear, 66 degrees, wind 4 mph
Starting pitchers: HOU RHP Collin McHugh (19-7, 3.89 ERA) / KCR RHP Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44 ERA)

The Astros were oh so close to clinching an ALCS berth in Game 4 before they let a four-run lead slip away in the eight inning. They will now hope to not only win Game 5 to advance, but also prevent becoming one of the bigger playoff meltdowns in recent playoff history, perhaps since the Nationals in 2012.

Johnny Cueto will try to put them down for good as the Royals' starter in his second appearance of this postseason. He pitched Game 2, which Kansas City won despite Cueto allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings.

Collin McHugh will start for Houston after leading them to a win in Game 1. He tossed six innings of two-run ball in what was his first career postseason game.

CLICK TO LAUNCH GAME THREAD

Quick Links

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Quick Links

Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

usatsi_9977852.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Nationals Spring Training Schedule 2018

Now that pitchers and catchers have reported, the next step in our long journey to Opening Day is the spring training games themselves. Not every game is televised, so get ready to follow along with your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll still be exciting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Bryce Harper homered again, or if Max Scherzer is perfect through 4 innings (spoiler: both of these will happen).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing contracts in the next few weeks. The Nats are always willing to make a big splash, and even beyond the available free agents, have been linked to impact players like J.T. Realmuto in trade rumors.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the roster has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be happening while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for their seasons, so bookmark this page to check on the Nationals spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Nationals 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Braves at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Feb. 26 - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 1 (SS) - Nationals at Braves, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Tigers at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 (SS) - Nationals at Mets, 1:10 pm
Monday, Mar. 5 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 6 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 - Nationals at Astros, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Nationals at Tigers, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 13 (SS) - Mets at Nationals, 7:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 (SS) - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Mar. 17 - Mets at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Nationals at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Nationals at Marlins, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Astros at Nationals, 1:05 pm (ESPN2) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Nationals at Mets, 6:10 pm
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Astros at Nationals, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 - Nationals at Marlins, 7:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Marlins at Nationals, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Cardinals at Nationals, 1:05 pm (MLBN)
Tuesday, Mar. 27 (at Nationals Park) - Twins at Nationals, 4:05 pm