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Mets hold off Nats 6-5 in first game of doubleheader

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Mets hold off Nats 6-5 in first game of doubleheader

WASHINGTON -- Amed Rosario's bat and Asdrubal Cabrera's arm helped the New York Mets hold on.

Rosario hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and the Mets, after blowing a five-run lead, cut down the potential tying run at the plate for the final out of a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Sunday.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and pitcher Edwin Jackson pinch-running at first base, ex-Met Daniel Murphy sent a sharp grounder into right-center field for a double. When rookie right fielder Travis Taijeron booted the ball, Jackson was waved around third.

Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares, quickly backing up Taijeron, grabbed the ball and threw to second baseman Cabrera, who relayed a strike to catcher Travis d'Arnaud at the plate in time to get Jackson as he made a headfirst slide.

"Instincts take over," Jackson said. "I figure the only way for me to get around the shin guards without sliding into him was to slide headfirst and try to manipulate my slide going into home."

Nationals manager Dusty Baker challenged the call, but it was upheld after a replay review.

"We thought that (d'Arnaud) blocked the plate; he didn't give him a lane," Baker said. "It didn't take them very long to make that decision from New York. From where I was, it didn't look like (Jackson) had any chance of touching the plate."

Rosario fell behind in the count 0-2 against Joe Blanton (2-3) with two outs in the eighth before launching a solo shot to center for the rookie's fourth home run and third in the eighth inning or later.

"I don't worry about home runs," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He goes up there to swing and he's dangerous."

A.J. Ramos pitched out of trouble in the eighth and worked two innings for his 25th save in 27 chances.

Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the first and Wilmer Flores added a two-run shot in the third (his career-high 17th) to stake New York to a 5-0 lead.

Alejandro De Aza had a triple, double and two RBIs for the Nationals, who left 13 runners on. Howie Kendrick added three singles.

With the Nationals trailing 5-3, Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Wieters singled off Paul Sewald with one out in the seventh and Michael A. Taylor's double scored Zimmerman to make it 5-4. Jerry Blevins (6-0) came on to face De Aza, whose sacrifice fly scored Wieters.

New York lefty Tommy Milone made his second start since a long stint on the disabled list due to a left knee sprain. He held the Nationals scoreless through four innings, but allowed a run in the fifth before Hansel Robles came on to strike out Anthony Rendon and Zimmerman, both looking, with two on.

The Nationals pulled within two in the sixth on De Aza's RBI double and Kendrick's sacrifice fly.

Washington starter Erik Fedde, recalled from Triple-A Syracuse for the doubleheader, gave up five runs and seven hits over six innings.

HARVEY IS CLOSE

Mets RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) tossed 4 2/3 innings in a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Binghamton at Portland, allowing five runs (three earned) and five hits. He struck out two, walked one and threw 47 of 72 pitches for strikes. "Yeah, we're hoping his next one is a start with us," Collins said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mets: RHP Seth Lugo (right shoulder impingement) was activated from the disabled list in advance of his Sunday night start in the second game of the twinbill. ... RHP Noah Syndergaard (torn lat muscle) is expected to throw batting practice again Wednesday in Florida.

Nationals: INF Adrian Sanchez was sent to the hospital for a CT scan Saturday night after being hit in the chest with a pitch while attempting to bunt. A team spokesman said Sanchez checked out fine, was kept overnight to monitor his breathing, and discharged. . Zimmerman (triceps) was in the lineup after missing two games.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (10-8, 4.46 ERA) starts the night game of the split doubleheader. He is 6-2 with a 2.61 career ERA versus the Mets. Lugo (5-3, 4.85) is 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA against the Nationals.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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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.