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Gio pitches well, but Nats' offense goes cold in 3-1 loss to White Sox

Gio pitches well, but Nats' offense goes cold in 3-1 loss to White Sox

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

How it happened: After exploding for 31 runs over a three-game span, the Nationals looked like a completely different team on Thursday night, a team that was no match for White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez in the final game of an 11-day road trip.

The good news is that their own starter, Gio Gonzalez, bounced back from three consecutive poor outings. It just wasn't enough to overcome a one-run performance by the Nats' offense in their 3-1 loss. 

The Nationals' bats went collectively cold on Thursday. Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon went hitless amid hot streaks. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy each notched one hit. Murphy's was his 11th homer and it gave the Nationals their only run of the evening.

Werth and Harper's hits came in the top of the ninth against closer David Robertston to put runners on the corners with two outs. Murphy, however, then lined out to deep left field to end the game.

What it means: The Nationals saw their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-3 on their road trip. Next they return home to host the Phillies.

Gio bounces back: For one inning on Thursday night, it looked like Gonzalez was in for another terrible outing, another clunker after three straight disasters that raised questions about whether his strong start to the 2016 season was all a mirage. He gave up three runs in the bottom of the first thanks to two two-strike walks and back-to-back doubles by Melky Cabrera and Brett Lawrie. It was the first time in 31 starts that Gonzalez allowed a run in the first inning.

But after that, Gio settled in and retired 11 straight batters until Tyler Saladino singled in the fifth inning. All told, Gonzalez went seven innings of three-run ball with five hits and two walks allowed. His 10 strikeouts were a season-high and the 14th time in his career he's reached double digits. Gio ended up throwing 116 pitches, which was also a season-high.

Murphy hits No. 11: Murphy launched his 11th homer to his favorite spot in right field off Gonzalez, his fourth homer in his last nine games. He's now on pace for 30 home runs and 105 RBI this season. Considering his career-highs in those categories are 14 and 78, that's quite remarkable.

Lobaton thrown out at home: The Nationals had another good scoring chance in the sixth inning after catcher Jose Lobaton led off with a single and then went first-to-third on a double by Michael Taylor. Lobaton was ruled safe and the call was upheld despite a challenge by the White Sox. Lobaton, though, would get thrown out at home on the next play, on a groundball to Saladino at shortstop. It was a close play, but catcher Dioner Navarro placed a good tag on Lobaton. Werth then grounded into a double play to end the frame. The Nats had a great opportunity with men on second and third with no outs, but came away with nothing to show for it.

Up next: The Nationals return home after a lengthy, 11-day road trip with a weekend series in store against the Philadelphia Phillies. Stephen Strasburg (9-0, 2.85) will pitch the opener for the Nats opposite Phillies right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 3.80).

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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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.