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Instant analysis: Nats 6, Giants 4


Instant analysis: Nats 6, Giants 4

Game in a nutshell: The Stephen Strasburg-Tim Lincecum pitching showdown was overshadowed first by news of Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension after testing positive for testosterone, then by Lincecum's ineffective start. The Nationals knocked the struggling, two-time Cy Young Award winner out after only four innings, getting his pitch count all the way up to 96. Strasburg, meanwhile, battled his way through a laborious second inning and wound up tossing six strong frames to earn his 14th win of the season. Throw in some timely hits from Jayson Werth (2-for-4, three RBI), Danny Espinosa (2-run homer) and Steve Lombardozzi (4-for-5) and the Nationals emerged with a series victory, an 8-2 road trip and will return home still holding baseball's best record at 73-45.

Hitting highlight: How important has Werth been to the Nationals' overall fortunes since returning from the disabled list? Very. With a pair of run-scoring hits today that drove in three total runs, the veteran outfielder is now hitting .402 (17-for-42) with a .490 on-base percentage and .548 slugging percentage in 13 total games since his return. Perhaps most impressively, Werth is showing more aggressiveness at the plate, looking to drive in runs more than taking walks, especially with men in scoring position (a bit of a problem last season). Ultimately, Werth's biggest impact has been on the Nationals' won-loss record. He's now started 11 games since coming off the DL, and the Nats have gone 10-1 in those games.

Pitching highlight: Strasburg labored through a tough second inning, issuing a pair of walks to Buster Posey and Hunter Pence (both wound up coming around to score on Brandon Belt's single) but that was his only real hiccup of the afternoon. The right-hander retired 12 of the last 15 batters he faced, cruising through the sixth inning having allowed only those two early runs on four hits. But his pitch count was once again elevated at 100, so Davey Johnson decided not to take any chances and turn to his bullpen for the seventh. So, for those keeping track, Strasburg is now 14-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 21 starts, having struck out a league-leading 173 batters in 139 13 innings.

Key stat: Over the last six games of this trip, Lombardozzi went 13-for-25, raising his batting average from .261 to .280.

Up next: After 10 games in three cities in two time zones, the Nationals get a well-deserved day off Thursday. They'll then return to South Capitol Street Friday at 7:05 p.m. to face the Mets. Ross Detwiler is scheduled to face Johan Santana, and shortstop Ian Desmond is likely to return from the DL.

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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.