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Nats silent bats hand Scherzer tough-luck loss to Brewers

Nats silent bats hand Scherzer tough-luck loss to Brewers

Coming off a game in which they pounded out 12 runs on 15 hits, the Nationals seemed more than equipped to come back from a measly 1-0 deficit to a rookie pitcher. 

But, as baseball lifers say, momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher — and that belonged to the Milwaukee Brewers on Independence Day. For one afternoon, Junior Guerra proved to be the answer to the red-hot Nats lineup, preventing it from giving the holiday crowd at Nats Park anything to cheer about on an otherwise dreary, overcast day. 

"We don't get shutout much," Dusty Baker said afterward. 

Milwaukee's 31-year-old right hander shut down NL's most homer-happy offense, not only just keeping Nats hitters inside the park, but handing them just their fifth shutout of the season. Washington only had two opportunities to make noise with men in scoring position, and failed to come through with the big hit. 

"You can't take anything away from him," the manager said of Guerra. "He threw an outstanding game. It was kind of an uneventful type day."

As a result of the silent bats, starter Max Scherzer suffered a tough-luck loss, with his only blemish coming in the fifth inning when he allowed a solo home run to Martin Maldonado.

"Most of the times, solo bombs, they don’t beat you,” Scherzer said. “That’s usually a mentality that works and keeps you on the attack. It’s the only time in my life you lose on a solo bomb, but it happened today.”

The 31-year-old Nats ace pitched six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking three in 116 pitches. It was by no means a dominant outing, but more than good enough to earn a win when the offense has a typical day.   

“Just couldn’t manufacture runs for Scherzer, [he] pitched a good game,” Ben Revere said. “Always frustrating like that when you get shutout. One of those deals you got to put behind you and get going tomorrow.”

Loss aside, Scherzer has quietly rebounded from an uneven start to his season. Including Monday's outing, he owns a 1.90 over his last 47 1/3 innings. Though his quality effort wasn't rewarded, he knows that he'll be on the winning side more often than that if he continues his recent performance. 

“I threw the ball well today,” said Scherzer. “I had good stuff. Obviously you would like to pitch seven innings, but when you go six innings and give up one run, you’re giving your team a chance to win. So you don’t beat yourself up.”

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE