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Instant Analysis: Eight straight for Nats


Instant Analysis: Eight straight for Nats

Nats 6, Diamondbacks 5

Game in a nutshell: What could have been a nice pitchers' duel between Edwin Jackson and Wade Miley instead turned into a slugfest almost from the moment each guy toed the rubber in the first inning. Jackson gave up four early runs and looked to be in serious trouble, only to right his ship for a little while and reach the sixth inning. That bought some time for the Nationals' lineup to figure out Miley and torch the NL Rookie of the Year candidate for six runs (five in the top of the fifth alone). Perhaps the most credit for this victory, though, goes to Washington's bullpen, which managed to strand runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Tyler Clippard closed it out for his 24th save. Thus, the Nationals extended their winning streak to a season-high eight games. At at 71-43, they continue to hold baseball's best record by three full games.

Hitting highlight: It's amazing what a difference some depth has done for the Nationals lineup. With Jayson Werth back healthy and just about everyone contributing in some way, the Nats are capable of exploding for a big inning at any moment. Which they did in the top of the fifth, plating five runs on five hits: a Steve Lombardozzi bunt single, a Werth RBI double, a Ryan Zimmerman two-run single, a Michael Morse RBI double and a Jesus Flores RBI single. Remember when it looked like this team was seriously lacking in offensive ability? Yeah, not so much anymore.

Pitching lowlight: This was a laborious outing for Jackson, who gave up runs in the first, second and third innings, gave up five extra-base hits and needed 111 pitches to navigate his way through 5 23 innings. Not that the start was entirely negative for the right-hander. He faced the minimum in the fourth and fifth innings and struck out three batters in a row at one point. It wasn't a high-quality start, but Jackson did manage to get past his early struggles and actually depart with the Nationals holding a lead.

Key stat: Jackson recorded the 51st win by a Nationals starter this season. That's only one shy of the team record for an ENTIRE season, set by the 2005 rotation.

Up next: The series concludes with a Sunday matinee inside Chase Field. Left-handers Ross Detwiler and Patrick Corbin square off at 4:10 p.m. EDT.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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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.