The Nationals and Mets prepare to meet on Tuesday in New York with just a game-and-a-half separating them in the NL East standings. Both teams are good as expected and their matchup should provide an excellent indication of who is the best team in the division right now. That is depending on your opinion of the Phillies, of course.
With the Mets getting set to host the Nats, there is one big question looming for the reigning NL East champions: what is wrong with Matt Harvey?
The former All-Star is off to the worst start of his career at 3-5 with a 4.93 ERA. He just got blasted for five runs off 11 hits against the Rockies. And his velocity is reportedly down a few ticks.
One theory for his struggles involves his arm slot, which is thought to be higher now than it was in 2013 when he became a superstar.
“One of the things you will see after guys have arm injuries is that their arm slot changes a little bit. We’re trying to rekindle the old one, nothing wrong with that,” manager Terry Collins told the New York Daily News.
Harvey is currently lined up to face the Nationals in the series finale on Thursday opposite Stephen Strasburg. But New York may opt to pitch lefty Steven Matz in the series. Matz is getting his elbow checked by doctors on Monday, but could face the Nats if he gets a clean bill.
Harvey has killed the Nationals over the years with a 1.77 ERA in 10 total starts. It will be interesting to see what version of him the Nats see, if they see him at all.
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.
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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.
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We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.
Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:
It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.
Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.