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Nationals can't figure out Rockies' Marquez, lose 4-2

Nationals can't figure out Rockies' Marquez, lose 4-2

WASHINGTON -- German Marquez is rolling along quite nicely for the Colorado Rockies. Just ask Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals.

Marquez carried a perfect game into the sixth inning, Trevor Story homered and Colorado beat Washington 4-2 on Saturday night in a matchup of playoff contenders.

Marquez (9-4) set down his first 16 batters before allowing three hits in a span of four hitters in the sixth inning. The right-hander struck out a career-high 10 while allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings in his 20th career start.

"That's a really special performance when you take a perfecto into the sixth inning," Colorado manager Bud Black said.

Pat Neshek, who was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia on Wednesday, pitched a perfect eighth in his Rockies debut. Greg Holland, who was activated from the paternity list Saturday, completed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 32nd save in 33 tries.

Marquez won his fourth consecutive start. He also joined teammates Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela as the only rookies in the majors with at least nine victories this season.

"He had great stuff going tonight," Nationals catcher Matt Wieters said. "He had a curveball that was really sharp. It was tough. He was able to throw it for strikes early and then throw a hard one below. He got rolling there the first time through the lineup."

Harper went 0 for 4 to end his 19-game hitting streak. Tanner Roark (8-7) labored through five innings, allowing four runs and five hits with four walks.

"He was wild wide off the plate," Washington manager Dusty Baker said. "Every time he tried to go away, it'd be off the plate."

Story hit a two-run drive to right-center in the second for his 15th homer this season. Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds added consecutive RBI doubles in the fifth.

Marquez struck out Adam Lind to open the sixth. Wieters then poked a single to left to break up Marquez's bid for a perfect game and pinch hitter Howie Kendrick, making his Washington debut a day after he was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia, doubled.

Wilmer Difo got Washington on the board with a two-run single, but Harper struck out to end the threat.

Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Lind, the Nationals' Nos. 3-7 hitters, each entered the night hitting at least .317. They combined to go 0 for 16.

"To hold this lineup that they have to what he did tonight, he obviously had electric stuff throwing 98, 99," Reynolds said. "He was dotting his slider and curveball and threw his changeup when he had to. He was impressive."

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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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.