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Roark not worried after off day; Dusty impressed with Treinen


Roark not worried after off day; Dusty impressed with Treinen

It was a mixed bag for the Nationals' pitching staff in their penultimate exhibition game on Friday night against the Twins, as starter Tanner Roark struggled for the first time this spring, but was followed by an impressive performance of five scoreless innings by the bullpen behind him.

Roark allowed three earned runs in four innings off seven hits. He had previously surrendered just one run in 14 innings spread across four spring outings. Despite him not allowing any walks, Dusty Baker thought Roark was a bit off compared to what he had seen in Viera.

"He ran into trouble because he was getting the ball up some," Baker explained. "His command hadn't been quite as good as it had been prior to this, but they're a good team over there. They're an American League team and they're built to hit. They used their DH tonight and they didn't."

Roark saw a Twins lineup that placed 12th in MLB in runs scored last year, and could be even better this season. They have a host of young players trending up including top prospects Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. 

The Nationals' right-hander felt he should have been more aggressive as the game went on.

"I felt good. I just didn't stick to my fastball and got a little off-speed happy, I guess," Roark explained. "I wasn't making them uncomfortable. I was letting them stay comfortable in the box and not moving their feet. My stuff towards the end, in the fourth inning, wasn't the sharpest."

Roark's next outing will be in the regular season, but exactly when that will be is unclear. The Nats plan to adjust their rotation with two off-days in the first week of their schedule.

Roark left after the fourth inning with the game locked at 3-3. The Nationals would end up winning thanks to a go-ahead sac fly by Trea Turner, but it was all made possible by their bullpen.

Blake Treinen was particularly impressive in the eighth inning, needing only eight pitches - seven of them strikes - to record a 1-2-3 frame. He got Trevor Plouffe to strike out swinging before inducing two groundballs to get out of the frame.

Baker had some nice things to say about Treinen afterwards.

"He's figured it out. His sinker is something and his slider is working big time. He's throwing the ball up more on left-handers. He knew and Mike [Maddux] knew what they had to work on in spring training. Whenever somebody talks trades with us they always mention Treinen. He has tremendous value, especially at the tail end of the ballgame," he said.

Baker added that his ideal role for Treinen will not involve him pitching multiple innings. The skipper believes Treinen can be a huge asset for his bullpen and would like to have him for consecutive days during the season.

[RELATED: Baker after Papelbon booed at Nats Park: 'Let bygones be]

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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.