Some have viewed the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants as a potential playoff preview as both teams look primed to play in October. The Giants, however, will look a lot different moving forward as Melky Cabrera has been suspended for 50 games due to a positive drug test involving a performance enhancing substance.
Cabrera has been a huge part of the Giants success this season with the second best batting average on the majors at .359. He bats in the middle of their order and has been a consistent complement to Buster Posey.
Here is a statement Cabrera released on his suspension:
"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used. I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."
Cabrera holds a slash of .346.516.906 in 113 games this season and leads the National League with 84 runs. He and the Giants are currently tied with the L.A. Dodgers at the top of the N.L. West with records of 64-53. With 45 games left this year, he will miss the rest of the regular season and five playoff games if they make it. Needless to say, their chances to contend have been significantly altered by his absence.
This blow to the Giants could affect their hopes to make the playoffs and presents a significant advantage to the Dodgers in their division. It looks to also help the chances of the St. Louis Cardinals who are one game behind San Francisco in the N.L. wild card race and the Arizona Diamondbacks who are six games out.
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.