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Gio Gonzalez's no-hit bid falls one inning short in hometown Miami

Gio Gonzalez's no-hit bid falls one inning short in hometown Miami

MIAMI -- Washington lefty Gio Gonzalez lost his no-hit bid in the ninth inning when Dee Gordon led off with a clean single, and the Nationals beat the Miami Marlins 1-0 Monday night.

Gonzalez was pulled after Gordon hit a soft liner the opposite way to left-center field. He threw 106 pitches.

Gonzalez (9-5), who grew up in nearby Hialeah, walked three, hit a batter and struck out five. He retired 14 in a row during one stretch.

MORE NATS: Another bullpen piece added at deadline

Sean Doolittle relieved and got NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton to ground into a double play. After Christian Yelich beat out an infield single, Marcell Ozuna popped out, giving Doolittle his fourth save since being acquired from Oakland and seventh this season.

The game was the Nationals' first at Marlins Park since ace Max Scherzer took a no-hitter into the eighth but lost on June 21. There has been only one no-hitter in the majors this year -- Miami's Edinson Volquez threw it at this ballpark last month against Arizona.

Jose Urena (9-5) matched zeroes with Gonzalez until the sixth, when Bryce Harper's RBI single put the Nationals ahead. Urena allowed just three hits in eight innings.

The closest Miami came to a hit before the ninth came when shortstop Wilmer Difo made a diving backhanded grab of Miguel Rojas' soft line drive in the sixth.

Gonzalez made the Marlins look bad at times. To end the sixth he struck out Gordon, who badly missed a breaking pitch while throwing his bat at the ball. Gonzalez picked up the bat and handed it back to Gordon as he walked to the dugout.

Doolittle is part of a bullpen further fortified when the Nationals acquired Minnesota Twins All-Star right-hander Brandon Kintzler earlier in the day.

The game matched the top teams in the NL East -- but the Nationals began the week with a 13-game lead.

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.

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Nats' Max Scherzer wins second straight NL Cy Young Award

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Nats' Max Scherzer wins second straight NL Cy Young Award

Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals has coasted to his third Cy Young Award and second straight in the National League.

Scherzer breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The honor was announced Wednesday on MLB Network.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit. He became the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs.

RELATED: WIETERS WILL RETURN TO NATS IN 2018 

Scherzer was 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a league-leading 268 strikeouts for the NL East champion Nationals.

Kershaw has already won three NL Cy Youngs, and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts.

Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians easily won his second AL Cy Young Award earlier in the day. He got 28 of the 30 first-place votes, with Boston's Chris Sale second and Luis Severino of the New York Yankees third.

Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball.