Dusty Baker is still undecided on which of his starting pitchers will take the mound in Game 4 of the Nationals' division series against the Dodgers.
The Nats' skipper told reporters Sunday morning that who he taps is entirely dependent on the results of Game 2 and Game 3. Though it appears right hander Joe Ross is likely get the nod, Baker isn’t making any promises.
“I'd like to give you the starter, but I can't,” he said. “Because of injuries, we're kind of upside-down in our pitching. After Gio [Gonzalez], then until we get to game No. 5, we really don't know. Do we go to a combination of guys? Ross is coming off an injury himself. So depends on how far he can go.”
Ross, who missed most of the second half with right shoulder inflammation, hasn’t pitched more than five innings in a start since July 2. In his three appearances since his return from injury, he was able to make it to the 90-pitch plateau just once.
If Ross starts and only throws a few innings Tuesday, it’s likely he’d be relieved by rookie long man Reynaldo Lopez. The 23-year-old impressed since his move to the bullpen, so much so that he was added to the playoff roster over veteran reliever Yusmeiro Petit.
“We're just mixing and matching and trying to piece this thing together,” Baker said “And if I could give you a definitive answer, I'd love to. I'd love to give it to myself.”
Of course, the Nats must find a way to win either Game 2 or Game 3 before worrying about what happens on Tuesday. They hope Tanner Roark can help them even the series before they board their flight to L.A.
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.
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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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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.