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Harper homers, as Nats take 1st of doubleheader at Mets


Harper homers, as Nats take 1st of doubleheader at Mets

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: On a raw, wet, windy Saturday afternoon at Citi Field, the Nationals gathered for the opener of a day-night doubleheader in advance of Sunday's season finale, with very little still on the line. They still managed to show up and give a strong performance, riding Gio Gonzalez's six innings of scoreless ball and homers from Clint Robinson and Bryce Harper to beat the Mets in Game 1 of the day.

Gonzalez was effective, if inefficient, in matching Noah Syndergaard pitch for pitch for six innings before turning things over to his bullpen. That bullpen couldn't hold the 1-0 lead Robinson provided with his solo homer, with Blake Treinen and Matt Grace combining to surrender the tying run in the seventh.

But Harper's 2-run bomb off Addison Reed (his 42nd of the year) gave the Nationals the lead back in the eighth, and Casey Janssen and Felipe Rivero closed out their team's 82nd victory of the year. If nothing else, the Nats are assured of their fourth consecutive winning season.

HITTING HIGHLIGHT: Harper had been mired in a 4-for-32 slump when he stepped to the plate in the top of the eighth. He also had taken a 97-mph fastball off his left knee in his previous at-bat. No matter, because Harper launched a slider from Addison Reed into the second deck in right field. Harper now has 42 homers, 99 RBI and a .331 batting average as he attempts to hold off Dee Gordon for the NL batting title.

PITCHING HIGHLIGHT: You never really know which version of Gonzalez you're going to get anytime he takes the mound, but the good version most definitely showed up today. Gonzalez tossed six scoreless innings of 3-hit ball, keeping the Mets lineup at bay throughout. Gio being Gio, he of course endured through a 3-walk bottom of the third that tested everyone's patience, but the lefty battled through it to post another zero and keep his shutout intact. This was an inconsistent season for Gonzalez, but he finished with more-than-respectable numbers: 11-8, 3.79 ERA, 169 strikeouts in 175 2/3 innings. the biggest bugaboos: 69 walks and an average of only 5.6 innings per start.

KEY STAT: Over his last 12 games, Matt den Dekker is hitting .440 (11-for-25) with four doubles, two homers and five RBI.

UP NEXT: Both clubs will be back at it at 7:10 p.m. for the regularly scheduled portion of today's doubleheader. Max Scherzer (13-12, 2.91) faces Matt Harvey (13-7, 1.80) in a star-studded pitching matchup.

[RELATED: Where does Escobar fit in 2016 Nats' infield?]

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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.