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Game 3 short turnaround? No problem, Nats say

Game 3 short turnaround? No problem, Nats say

WASHINGTON—Gio Gonzalez flew ahead of the rest of the Nationals on Sunday morning. Kenta Maeda, Gonzalez’s opponent and the Los Angeles Dodgers starter for Game 3 of the Division Series, left immediately after his interview session before Game 2. 

Saturday’s postponement of Game 2 inconvenienced everyone, and Major League Baseball had already scheduled Game 3 for a 4:08 pm start time. 

The early time wouldn’t have been a problem had there been no postponement. 

The Nationals flew right after Game 2, and hoped for some rest since Monday’s game begins 23 hours after Sunday’s ended. 

“We’re both at a disadvantage without a day off,” Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. 

He hoped that MLB would change the start time, but Monday was already a full day of Division Series play, and the Chicago Cubs-San Francisco Giants game at AT&T Park was already set for a 6:38 p.m. West Coast start, 2 ½ hours after the Nationals-Dodgers is supposed to begin. 

“I’m just hoping that we play the late game rather than the early game. I would wish that. But, hey, whatever time they say we’ve got to play, we’vet got to  play, and you’ve got to put it out of your head whatever time it is,” Baker said. 

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said that the quick turnaround wouldn’t be a factor. 


“We've flown to the West Coast during the regular season and usually don't have a day off,” Zimmerman said. “If you can't get excited to play or if you're tired, then you should just stay here and go home.”

Jayson Werth, who has played in 55 postseason games, his first with the Dodgers in 2004, is realistic about the challenges. 

“Food and sleep are probably the two biggest things. Game like this, emotions are running high. You may have to get yourself to eat on the plane. We'll get in late. Stuff some food down and hydrate. It's challenging, but they have to go through the same stuff. Get in, get some sleep and get back at it tomorrow. This is a crazy turnaround,” Werth said. 

“It's going to be like Opening Day tomorrow. We'll have to go through intros. Those games are always challenging. They have to go through the same thing. We've gotta dig deep and find a way.”

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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.