Nationals

Quick Links

Marlins score seven unanswered after Max Scherzer injury

Marlins score seven unanswered after Max Scherzer injury

MIAMI -- Max Scherzer hit his first career homer to help build a six-run lead, but he pitched only one inning before departing with a neck spasm, and the Miami Marlins rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 7-6 Tuesday.

WATCH: Scherzer homers in top half of inning, then leaves after one pitch?

Scherzer slept funny and left the game as a precaution, the Nationals said.

The Marlins took the lead with a four-run fifth inning. Marcell Ozuna hit a three-run homer off Matt Albers (5-2), and Derek Dietrich's RBI triple put Miami ahead 7-6.

Six pitchers combined to blank Washington over the final 7 2/3 innings. Dustin McGowan (7-1) pitched two scoreless innings during Miami's comeback.

Brad Ziegler, promoted to closer after A.J. Ramos was traded last week, pitched the ninth and worked around a pair of two-out singles for his 86th career save and first this year. Ryan Zimmerman grounded out to end the game.

Scherzer pitched a 1-2-3 first inning, and in the top of the second he hit a three-run homer. He went to the mound for the bottom of the inning, but after throwing a wild warmup pitch, he walked off pointing to his neck and shaking his head.

Manager Dusty Baker came out of the dugout to meet Scherzer, who said, "I can't go." He left with the Nationals leading 6-0, thanks partly to Howie Kendrick's first homer since being acquired Friday by Washington.

Kendrick went 5 for 5.

Scherzer pulled an 0-2 off-speed pitch into the first row in left field, and Baker laughed as he watched his ace circle the bases. When Scherzer returned to the dugout, teammates gave him the silent treatment, so he high-fived the air before being mobbed with congratulations.

But for the Nationals, the game wasn't a laugher for long.

The second-place Marlins still trail the NL East-leading Nationals by 13 games. Injury-plagued Miami took another hit with the announcement that opening day starter Edinson Volquez will undergo Tommy John surgery Friday.

Quick Links

Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

usatsi_9347711.jpg

Whoa. Dusty Baker not returning as Nationals' manager. What comes next?

The Washington Nationals announced Friday Dusty Baker will not return as manager of the club in 2018. 

Baker led the team to the first back-to-back division titles in franchise history, and the Nationals were 192-132 under Baker, but they failed to make it to an NLCS.

Baker is 14th in MLB history with 1,863 career wins.

The next Nationals' manager will be their seventh since they arrived in DC.

Only the Marlins have had as many.

"I'm surprised and disappointed," Baker told USA TODAY Sports. "They told me they would get back to me and I told them I was leaving town yesterday and they waited 10 days to tell me."

"I really thought this was my best year. We won at least 95 games each year and won the division back to back years but they said they wanted to go a different direction. It's hard to understand." 

The team also announced the contracts for the Major League coaching staff have also expired, and the search for a new manager will begin immediately.

RELATED: BRYCE HARPER THANKS NATIONALS' FANS FOR SUPPORT

Quick Links

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

usatsi_10333033_141983962_lowres.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

It's been a week since the air was sucked out of D.C. in the Nationals Game 5, 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs. 

And now that we've had a few days to decompress from another early D.C. playoff exit, Nats right fielder Bryce Harper decided to take some time to thank fans for their support this season.

Harper posted an Instagram video Wednesday afternoon, with a fresh cut, and thanked fans for continuing to pack Nats Park. In the video he says he looks forward to "chasing that championship" again next spring. 

The 2017 season could be described as a rough one for Harper after missing the last few weeks of the season with a bone bruise in his left knee. 

Harper had a .319 average during the 2017 season, along with 29 home runs, 97 RBI's, 95 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. He is entering the final year of his contract.

RELATED: 20 THINGS SAD D.C. SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT

National Fans. Thank you!💯 #RedLightRecording

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on