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Nats' Strasburg sharp before final spring start rained out


Nats' Strasburg sharp before final spring start rained out

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) -- Rain cut short Adam Wainwright's and Stephen Strasburg's final spring starts, canceling the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals in the top of the fourth inning Tuesday.

Wainwright allowed the lone run moments before lightning halted play. The Cardinals' opening day starter wasn't as crisp as he would have liked to be in his final spring start.

"I could have pitched seven or eight innings today and I would have thrown 115 pitches -- it would have been kind of sloppy," Wainwright said. "I want to tighten that up. I'm not worried about anything that's going on, but I'm not overly excited about my start today. It could have been a lot better."

Nationals manager Dusty Baker liked what he saw from Strasburg, who struck out five in three innings, including the side in the third.

Tuesday marked the second straight rainout for the Nationals, and the forecast for Wednesday's Grapefruit League finale against the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie isn't promising. Nor is the extended forecast for Friday's and Saturday's exhibition games against Minnesota in Washington.

Baker pushed Monday's scheduled pitchers to Tuesday following that rainout. While Strasburg threw enough on Tuesday, there is now a backlog of relievers who need work in the coming days before the regular season begins.

"We'll get our work done inside I guess," Baker said. "We'll adjust."


The Cardinals plan to break camp on Wednesday more than the 25-player maximum roster permitted for opening day. St. Louis plays the New York Yankees in Tampa on Thursday. Afterward, the major league-bound players will head to Pittsburgh, where the Cardinals open the season. The handful of players destined for the minor leagues will bus back from Tampa to the Cardinals' spring training complex in Jupiter to join their new teams.


Washington wants to see top prospect Trea Turner work on his footwork, arm strength and leadership skills while in the minors this season. "A shortstop's got to have energy," Baker said. "It gives everybody else energy." The Nationals optioned Turner to Triple-A on Monday but had the Palm Beach County native hit lead-off as a minor league call-up on Tuesday. Turner entered Tuesday's game hitting .250 with a home run and four RBI this spring.


Nationals: Strasburg helped himself with the bat on Tuesday, singling in the third inning off Wainwright.

Cardinals: St. Louis manager Mike Matheny announced that Michael Wacha will start the second game of the season and Mike Leake the third in Pittsburgh. The number of off days built into the Cardinals' end of spring and early season schedule will lead St. Louis to leave a couple pitchers from the starting rotation behind when it breaks camp. Jaime Garcia will throw in a minor league spring training game on Friday and Carlos Martinez will do the same on Saturday before joining the club in Pittsburgh.


Cardinals: C Yadier Molina was a late addition to the lineup on Tuesday. St. Louis scratched Molina from Monday's game because of a bruised toe incurred in the weight room. ... RHP Jordan Walden (sore shoulder) didn't experience any ill effects following Monday's scoreless inning. Walden hadn't pitched since March 21. He is expected to pitch again on Wednesday.


Nationals: Max Scherzer will start against Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets at Port St. Lucie on Wednesday in Washington's final Grapefruit League game.

Cardinals: St. Louis plays its final Grapefruit League game in Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday. The Cardinals will be the visiting team when Wacha takes the mound against Miami's David Phelps.

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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.