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Instant analysis: Yankees-Nationals


Instant analysis: Yankees-Nationals

Game in a nutshell: The most-anticipated series in Nationals history got off to a ragged start. A couple of early scoring opportunities were mostly squandered, and Gio Gonzalez got himself into trouble during a two-run third inning. Despite that, the Nats were in the game most of the night and only trailed 2-1 in the seventh. That's when the wheels fell off. Brad Lidge replaced Gonzalez and let three of four batters he faced reach safely, though the key "blow" was an infield single by Derek Jeter that wound up scoring two runs thanks to Ian Desmond' throwing error. Michael Gonzalez then added fuel to the fire by serving up a two-run double to Curtis Granderson. That four-run inning completely turned the game around and left a sellout crowd of 41,406 (that is, everyone not wearing Yankees gear) with little reason to cheer.

Hitting lowlight: You can't realistically expect to hold a thunderous lineup like the Yankees have entirely in check, so the only way the Nationals were going to win this game was with some semblance of a productive lineup. They never got it. The Nats did have a couple of early scoring opportunities. They put two on with one out in the first (and watching as Adam LaRoche and Michael Morse each struck out) and then loaded the bases with one out in the third (getting an RBI single from Morse but then a killer, 6-4-3 double play from Desmond). After that, the Nationals' lineup was completely shut down by the New York pitching staff

Pitching lowlight: Sitting on 107 pitches through six innings, Gio Gonzalez was allowed to start the top of the seventh. But after a leadoff single to Andruw Jones, Davey Johnson came out with the hook. Enter Lidge, who immediately turned a tight ballgame into a mess. It's not that anyone hit the ball hard off Lidge (actually, none of the four batters he faced got the ball out of the infield). But a leadoff walk to Russell Martin set the tone, and after intentionally walking Robinson Cano to load the bases for Jeter, Lidge really found himself in a spot. He got a groundball out of the Yankee captain, but it was perfectly placed and (after Desmond's throwing error) led to a pair of runs scoring for the Yankees. Tough spot for Lidge, but he's got to be able to get out of that situation without so much self-inflicted damage.

Key stat: Entering tonight, the Yankees were 17-0 this season when Alex Rodriguez drove in a run. He recorded an RBI single in the third for New York's first run of the night, and the Yankees went on to win and improve that record to 18-0.

Up next: Game 2 of this series features the emerging Jordan Zimmermann and the ageless Andy Pettitte. First pitch at Nationals Park will be at 1:05 p.m. Saturday.

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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.