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Former Nationals minor leaguer shuts out Washington

Former Nationals minor leaguer shuts out Washington

MIAMI -- Vance Worley pitched seven innings and faced the minimum number of batters to earn his first victory since May 2016, helping the Miami Marlins beat the Washington Nationals 7-0 on Wednesday.

Worley (1-2) allowed only two hits, and both baserunners were erased on double play grounders hit by Bryce Harper. Worley lowered his ERA from 6.42 to 5.31 while facing the highest-scoring team in the National League.

Dee Gordon tripled, singled twice, scored three times, drove in a run, stole two bases and made an acrobatic defensive play. Gordon extended his hitting streak to 13 games, matching his career high.

Teammates Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich hit two-run homers. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton leaped at the wall to rob Brian Goodwin of a home run for the final out to preserve a four-hit shutout.

By taking the rubber game of the three-game set, the Marlins have won four consecutive series for the first time since late 2015. They're still 12 games behind the NL East-leading Nationals, however.

Worley, making his sixth start of the season, retired the final 11 batters he faced in his longest outing in more than a year. Second baseman Gordon and center fielder Christian Yelich helped Worley with terrific plays.

Washington's A.J. Cole (1-1), recalled from Triple-A to make his second start of the year, allowed five runs in six innings.

Harper went 0 for 3, ending his 12-game hitting streak. Washington totaled only seven runs in the series against Miami's injury-ravaged pitching staff.

Newly acquired reliever Brandon Kintzler made his Nationals debut and retired all four batters he faced with two strikeouts.

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Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

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Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

It's been a week since the air was sucked out of D.C. in the Nationals Game 5, 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs. 

And now that we've had a few days to decompress from another early D.C. playoff exit, Nats right fielder Bryce Harper decided to take some time to thank fans for their support this season.

Harper posted an Instagram video Wednesday afternoon, with a fresh cut, and thanked fans for continuing to pack Nats Park. In the video he says he looks forward to "chasing that championship" again next spring. 

The 2017 season could be described as a rough one for Harper after missing the last few weeks of the season with a bone bruise in his left knee. 

Harper had a .319 average during the 2017 season, along with 29 home runs, 97 RBI's, 95 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. He is entering the final year of his contract.

RELATED: 20 THINGS SAD D.C. SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT

National Fans. Thank you!💯 #RedLightRecording

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on

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Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

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Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

On Thursday night, a Washington, D.C. pro sports team did something Washington, D.C. pro sports teams are very good at doing: fall short of making a league or championship game.

The Nationals' disastrous fifth inning against the Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series was the beginning of the end, not to mention yet another in a long line of disappointing playoff results for Washington, D.C. sports teams.

You see, Washington, D.C. is the only city with at least three major pro sports teams to not have a single one make a conference or league championship game since 2000.

To make matters worse, Washington, D.C. sports teams have now lost 16 consecutive playoff games in which a win would've advanced the team to the conference or league championship. 

Think about that for a second. Four teams. Zero conference championship appearances since 1998. 

Here's the list.

Washington, D.C. sports fans are not greedy. We can't be. We've had some very good teams recently, with the type of talent, coaching and intangibles needed to win a championship. 

TRY THIS: 20 THINGS DC SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT. YES, HAPPY.

The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team won a world championship was in 1992 when the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI.  The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team even made a conference championship game was in 1998, when the Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, defeating the Sabres to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Washington, D.C. isn't allowed to have nice sports things.

Sure, we have great players and great teams, but when the playoffs roll around, all the nice things go away. We aren't privy to plucky upstarts who run the table and we aren't privy to dominant teams that make long postseason runs.

Washington, D.C. will have its day, eventually. Sure it may only be a conference championship appearance, but for us, that's fine. We don't expect world championships. We just want something to get invested in.

Early playoff exits are rarely worth the investment.