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Freeman again kills Nats in loss to Braves: 'It was too much Freddie'

Freeman again kills Nats in loss to Braves: 'It was too much Freddie'

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been so good against the Nationals over the years, particularly on the road in Washington, that Dusty Baker was given a warning as the first-year skipper of the Nats.

Those in the organization who have been around a while know full well how Freeman has tormented them often as a division foe. Baker, though, is new to the NL East. He needed to be filled in.

"I was told before that Freddie has had a tremendous amount of success in this ballpark," Baker said after the Nats' 8-5 loss to the Braves. 

"It continued tonight."

Indeed, it did. Freeman again led the way for the Braves with a three-run homer, a double, two runs, a walk and four RBI. He is now batting .327 with 11 homers, 49 RBI and 26 doubles in 92 games against the Nats in his career.

"I seem to always play well against the Nationals," Freeman said.

Freeman's three-run homer on Friday night was an opposite field bomb, a high-flyball that cleared the fence in left field. His double also scored a run in the first inning.

Both of those hits came off Nats starter Stephen Strasburg, who Freeman has a particularly good history against. Freeman has hit .412 with four homers and 13 RBI off the Nats right-hander.

“I can’t give you a specific answer," Freeman said about his success off Strasburg.

"He’s got overpowering stuff. He’s got four plus-pitches. I got him into a 3-2 count in my first at-bat and he threw me a fastball and I was able to [hit a double] and he hung a changeup and there’s not much more than that. I’m not trying to do anything different, trying to hit a hard line drive up the middle. I was able to back spin a ball today.”

Strasburg gave his side of the story after giving up six total earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against Atlanta.

"It's just count leverage and falling behind. Not getting into positive counts. He's a really good hitter. It's kind of been a back-and-forth for years now. I've just gotta do a better job of hitting my spots with him. I didn't do that tonight and he beat me on it," Strasburg said.

The Nationals have always had trouble with Freeman and he now has some decent protection with the power-hitting Matt Kemp behind him. The Nats need to find a way to stop Freeman, but their 92-game sample size of trouble against him doesn't bode well for the future.

"It was too much Freddie Freeman," Baker said. 

[RELATED: Strasburg stumbles again in Nats' loss to Braves]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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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