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Roark, HRs lead Nats over Braves to extend best start in team history


Roark, HRs lead Nats over Braves to extend best start in team history

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 3-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday at Nationals Park:

How it happened: Despite their original starter Stephen Strasburg getting scratched due to illness and off-days for Ryan Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon, there was no stopping the Nationals on Wednesday night, as they beat the Braves to extend the best start in team history and continue the worst start for Atlanta in 27 years. Both teams are making history these days, but for much different reasons. The Nats were led by starter Tanner Roark, who stepped up in Strasburg's absence to dominate a Braves team he has tormented since he entered the league. On offense it was a pair of homers by Stephen Drew and Jayson Werth in the fourth inning that gave the Nats all the runs they would need in this one. They are now 6-1 on the season and sitting pretty atop an otherwise struggling NL East. 

What it means: The Nationals are making things miserable for the Braves so far, as Atlanta searches for their first win of 2016. The Braves are now 0-8, which is their worst start since 1988. The Nats have a chance for their second sweep of the Braves already this season on Thursday as they square off against Opening Day starter Julio Teheran. If the Nats get that one, they will head into Philly on Friday night with considerable momentum and another chance to beat up on a young and less-talented team.

Roark continues to dominate Braves: Roark bounced back nicely from his uneven season debut in the home opener to go seven scoreless innings vs. the Braves, a team he has enjoyed a ton of success against over the years. Manager Dusty Baker actually joked earlier in the day he hoped Roark could pitch a shutout to save his bullpen with Stephen Strasburg, the game's original starter, getting scratched. Roark didn't go the distance, but he got close and gave Baker a good rest for his relievers. Roark allowed four hits and three walks, and he hit one batter and threw a wild pitch, but overall he was very effective, particularly with his fastball which had a little extra movement. This was Roark's 13th career appearances against the Braves, the team he faced in his MLB debut in 2013. He now holds a 1.78 ERA in 60 2/3 total innings vs. Atlanta.

Werth, Drew notch first homers: Veterans Drew and Werth both notched their first homers of the season in the fourth inning to give the Nats three runs, enough for a win on Wednesday night. Drew has now homered for five different franchises, while Werth now has 199 career bombs. Next stop: 200. Will he get there before Bryce Harper hits No. 100?

Taylor still scuffling: Werth may have had a good night, but his fellow outfielder Michael Taylor just can't break out of his slump. Taylor went 0-for-4 on Wednesday night and is now batting just .138 on the season. He had hits in three straight games entering this game, but it was not enough to ease any concerns about him in the leadoff spot. With Ben Revere now in the second week of his rehab from a strained oblique, Baker has to be considering an adjustment to his lineup. Taylor was excellent this spring, but has just not been able to get going and set the table for the Nats so far in the regular season.

Up next: The Nats and Braves close their four-game series with a 4:05 p.m. start at Nationals Park in the final game before the Nats head on the road for a seven-game road trip beginning Friday night in Philly. Thursday night's game will feature Braves right-hander Julio Teheran against either Stephen Strasburg - if he feels better - or Yusmeiro Petit in a spot start.

[RELATED: Nats issue statement on disappearance of Espinosa's beard]

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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.