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Nats Stock Watch: Bullpen has a rough week


Nats Stock Watch: Bullpen has a rough week

Each week this season, we’ll take the temperature of the Nationals roster to see whose stock is rising or falling.  

Record: 2-4

Team slash: .230/.307/.320

Team ERA: 4.94

Runs per game:  2.83



Jordan Zimmermann, SP: 1-0/ 8.0 IP/ 0.00 ERA

During a week in which most of the starters had off-nights or were injured, Zimmermann's performance Tuesday afternoon start against the Blue Jays was the rotation's bright spot --  and it wasn't even close. He didn't allow a run over eight innings, helping out a struggling bullpen (more on that later) while handing Toronto its first shut out of the season. The outing also continued a hot streak for Zimmerman, who is starting to resemble his old self lately; in his last four outings, he's allowed just three earned runs combined over 28 innings. As a result, his ERA has now dropped to 2.88 while he's run his record to 5-2. 

Bryce Harper, RF: .313 AVG/ 1.063 OPS

Interestingly enough, this has been the week where Harper's cooled off a bit, and yet he still lead the team in average and OPS over the last seven days. Indeed, everyone's favorite selfie-taking, beef-creating right fielder keeps chugging along, continuing to stake his claim as the best player in the NL this season. The 22-year-old who was voted the sport's most overrated player before the year started now leads the league in home runs (18), walks (45), slugging (.718) and OPS (1.188). Hard to overrate that, yeah? 

Yunel Escobar, 3B: .304 AVG/ .385 OBP

Of all the moves the Nats made over the winter, perhaps the most underrated to this point was the team's acquisition of Escobar. Through two months, he might be the team's most consistent hitter (besides you-know-who, of course). He hasn't provided big-time power, but he's a steadying presence in a lineup that's been without key pieces for stretches. In fact, it's not Harper who leads the team in hits -- it's Escobar. And to think, he wasn't even slated to be the everyday third baseman before the season started. 


Blake Treinen, RP: 3 GP/ 15.43 ERA/ 2.57 WHIP 

For the majority of May, the bullpen looked like it had finally turned the corner. But after an ugly series in Cincinnati and a poor showing Tuesday night against the Blue Jays, perhaps the journey to get to Drew Storen in the ninth could be a struggle all year. To be fair to Treinen, the Nats were already trailing in two of his three appearances this past week, albeit by small margins. But he was unable to keep those deficits manageable, leading to a 5-2 loss in Cincy and a 7-3 defeat at home against Toronto. 

Casey Janssen, RP:  3 GP/ 12.00 ERA/ 2.33 WHIP 

Janssen's return from injury gave the Nats hope that perhaps the back end of the bullpen would be stabilized. And though it's too soon to say whether or not he'll do that, his weekend outing against the struggling Reds can't be encouraging. Clinging to a 5-4 eighth inning lead, the 33-year-old righty couldn't make it stand up, as he was shelled for four earned runs and was charged with a loss. Even with Janssen back in the fold, it seems Matt Williams hasn't been able to rely on someone to handle the eighth inning with consistency. Whether he goes with Janssen, Treinen or someone else, so far none of the options have been able to fill the void created by Tyler Clippard's departure. 

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

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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.