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Previewing Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals


Previewing Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON -- Nationals Park is not foreign to left-hander Alex Wood, who is slated to start there Friday for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he hasn't tasted victory in the nation's capital.

Wood (14-3, 2.81 ERA) used to pitch for the Atlanta Braves, who make three trips a year to Washington. He is 3-3 with a 2.78 ERA in nine career starts against the Nationals and 0-2, 2.84 in four turns at Nationals Park.

After going 10-0 with a 1.67 ERA in the first half of the season, he is 4-3 with a mark of 4.53 in the second half.


Wood went only five innings Saturday in his most recent start, giving up five runs and eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in a 6-5 home loss to the Colorado Rockies.

"My command wasn't great," Wood said after the game. "Overall, I thought my stuff was there. I got to hopefully lock the command back in. It's time to bear down and hopefully turn this thing around."

Wood is 6-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 11 road starts this year.

The Nationals will start Edwin Jackson (5-5, 4.14 ERA), who is 4-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 career games (eight starts) against Los Angeles.

The Dodgers (94-52) beat the Nationals (89-57) in five games last year in the National League Division Series, and the teams are on track to finish with the two best records in the league this year.

Washington clinched the NL East on Sunday, and the Dodgers are closing in on the NL West title. The Nationals won two of three in Los Angeles June 5-7.

"I don't think we need to make a statement," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of facing Washington, "but I do think it's important for us to play good baseball. With baseball, there is a psychological component to pitcher-batter, team vs. team, that you can't really quantify, but there is something to it.

"We lost a series to these guys at home, so for us to go into their ballpark, with their team playing pretty good baseball, I think it's important. Not only because it's the Nationals, but for us internally to play good baseball. If we do that, it's a statement enough."

Washington manager Dusty Baker played in the World Series for the Dodgers in 1977, 1978 and 1981.

Speaking of the current Dodgers team, Baker said, "I'd watch them every day, it's just too late to stay up and watch. I've been paying attention to them the whole time, teams (that had) a better record than us or near us."

The Nationals are trying to get several regulars healthy as they prepare to host playoff games Oct. 6 and 7.

Jayson Werth returned to the starting lineup Wednesday after missing five games due to a sore left shoulder. Bryce Harper, who is on the disabled list because of knee and calf injuries, has started to ramp up his activities. He ran in the outfield before the Thursday game.


There was good news about shortstop Trea Turner, who missed 51 games with a wrist injury but had three hits Wednesday and stole his 40th base of the year. Turner added a double Thursday.

The Nationals beat the Braves 5-2 on Thursday with strong games from young players such as Victor Robles and Adrian Sanchez. Regulars Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon and Daniel Murphy all got the night off.

"We got some energy tonight," Baker said Thursday, "and so hopefully that will transfer into tomorrow with our veteran guys against the Dodgers. And hopefully they'll be rested and ready to go tomorrow."

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

USA Today Sports

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.