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Dodgers well-aware of Nationals' Trea Turner and his threat to steal

Dodgers well-aware of Nationals' Trea Turner and his threat to steal

During his postseason press conference ahead of Game 2 of the NL Division Series, Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal was asked a general question about the Nationals and their aggressive approach on the basepaths, how they like to put pressure on opposing teams with their speed.

Halfway through his answer, Grandal filled in a blank.

"If you're referring to Trea Turner, I've seen him. We've studied him. We've scouted him," Grandal said.

While not a household name among baseball fans, Turner is becoming well-known among opposing teams. He's played in just 101 big league games - including the playoffs - but has already established himself as one of the most dangerous runners in the game. Turner stole 33 bases this season in the majors and 25 in the minors. His speed is not to be underestimated and the Dodgers are well-aware.

Grandal and his manager, in fact, have a history with the Nationals rookie.

"He's fast. When I was in San Diego, he was drafted [in the first round]," Grandal said. "I saw his highlight reel. Josh Byrnes came up to me and he was very excited about him. I've seen this guy play. It's not -- it's not news that the guy can play and he's fast."

[RELATED: Nats blow big opportunity by letting Kershaw off the hook]

Grandal was on the Padres when Turner was drafted. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was on their coaching staff.

"He's a great kid, good worker, can really run, defend, throw, and he checks all the boxes, wanting to learn. We spent some time together, actually, on stealing bases and talking about the bunt game," Roberts said. 

"Just to see him now, very happy for him, very excited. Not a surprise, because he's just so level-headed and a very confident young man. You just see the strength. He's a lot stronger than I remember him. Sky is the limit [for him]. Us going into this series, keeping him off the bases was probably top of the list."

Turner, 23, has become an integral member of the Nationals in his first full season in the majors. In a lineup full of veterans, he is as important as any setting the table in the leadoff spot.

Turner didn't have the greatest outing in Game 1 with three strikeouts, but he still walked and brought in a run on a sacrifice fly. At some point in this series, he's likely to make a larger impact and manager Dusty Baker expects this to just be the start of a long postseason career.

"We were standing on the line [Friday evening] during [Game 1] introductions, and I said, 'Hey, man, this is going to be one of many for you,'" Baker said. "So this is the sort of hopefully, you know, many playoffs for him."

[RELATED: Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats]

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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. 


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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.