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Ryan Zimmerman breaks franchise record against Marlins

Ryan Zimmerman breaks franchise record against Marlins

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez went from changing diapers to fooling the Marlins with his changeup once again while Ryan Zimmerman continued re-writing the Nationals record book.

Zimmerman had four run-scoring hits, including two solo home runs, drove in five runs, received two curtain calls and became the franchise's all-time RBI leader as the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 10-1 on Wednesday night.

MORE NATS: RYAN ZIMMERMAN BREAKS HOME RUN RECORD

Gonzalez (10-5) allowed one run over seven innings after nearly tossing a no-hitter against the Marlins in his previous start. In between, he missed a turn to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

The left-hander gladly discussed son Gabriel and the time spent with his family - "It was a beautiful thing" -- but started his postgame talk with lavish praise of Zimmerman.

The first baseman also walked, scored four runs and finished a triple shy of the cycle. He passed Tim Wallach (905), now the Marlins bench coach, for most RBIs in Expos and Nationals history with his second-inning homer. Last month Zimmerman became the franchise's all-time leader in home runs.

"RBI, home run leader. Just put a crown on him," Gonzalez said of Zimmerman. "He's the best."

That's probably what Miami thinks of Gonzalez. In Washington's 1-0 win on July 31, Gonzalez held Miami hitless through eight innings and finished with a one-hitter. He allowed seven hits, struck out six and didn't walk a batter in the rematch. The left-hander has won at least 10 games in eight consecutive seasons.

"He kept us off-balance," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We got more hits out there, but we weren't really able to get to him."

The Marlins ended any no-hit drama early, but didn't score until Ichiro Suzuki's RBI hit in the fourth. Suzuki had three hits.

Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went hitless for Miami after homering twice this series.

"Everyone talks about his curveball," Zimmerman said of Gonzalez, "but I feel like he gets a lot of groundballs with the changeup."

Washington's offense typically doesn't support Gonzalez -- nine runs over his last seven starts -- but it had five runs and 11 hits off Miami starter Adam Conley (4-5).

Bryce Harper had two hits and two RBIs for Washington. He scored from first on Zimmerman's double in the third for a 3-0 lead after reaching with a run-scoring single.

During a two-run fifth inning, Zimmerman knocked in Harper after the slugger's drag bunt single and Conley's wild pitch.

Conley was 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four starts since his recall from Triple-A New Orleans on July 18.

"They just kind of kept nicking at (Conley) in that fifth," Mattingly said. "He looked like he had run out of steam and had trouble getting through that. . Zimmerman obviously was all over him tonight."

Zimmerman entered Wednesday batting .076 (2 for 27) since July 31.

"It's been a rough 10 days," he admitted.

Washington's first draft pick after the franchise relocated from Montreal following the 2004 season received loud roars from the crowd after both homers.

"I have a special connection with all the people here," he said. "Kind of grown up together."

Stanton smacked home run No. 38 in Tuesday's 7-3 win. The right fielder had five homers and nine RBIs with a .368 (7 for 19) batting average over the opening five games of the seven-game road trip.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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USA Today Sports Images

Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

By Ryan Wormeli

Max Scherzer is the ace of the Nationals staff, a fan favorite, and the 2017 National League Cy Young award winner. He's also a soon-to-be father whose wife, Erica May-Scherzer, once accidentally threw out the jersey he wore when throwing his 2nd career no-hitter. This time around, I'm guessing they talked it over first before deciding to sell some of his memorabilia garage-style for a new fundraiser.

We don't have any more information about the fundraiser yet, but May-Scherzer posted some photos on Twitter this afternoon. 

And in case you're wondering, no, the Scherzer family cat featured in one of the pictures isn't for sale (we assume). Plus, even if they were willing to part with their cat, considering Scherzer is on a contract worth over $200 Million, their price would probably be pretty steep. How much would you pay to adopt the cat of a 3-time Cy Young winner?

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Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

Why Bryce Harper would be a bargain at $500 million

$500 million.

That number is so hard to wrap your brain around, but it's a number a lot of professional baseball players may soon start seeing on their contracts.

One player who could be the first to see that amount within the next year is Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper.

Harper will become a free agent in 2018 and people are already projecting his market value at close to $500 million, if not more.

Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton signed a contract back in 2014 for 13 years, $325 million, holding the league record.

For Fancy Stats writer Neil Greenberg, $500 million is a bargain for someone of Harper's caliber.

"Harper is every bit as good [as Stanton] but he's also young," Greenberg told the Sports Junkies Friday.

"I mean, we don't see a player that's as good as Harper, that's as young a Harper, hit the market almost ever I want to say. You look at how many years of his prime he has left and then even if you start to give him just the typical aging curb off of that prime, he's probably worth close to 570 million dollars starting from 2019 and going forward ten years. And that includes also the price of free agency going up and other factors."

Harper, who is only 25 years-old, brings more to a team than just talent. He's one of the most recognizable figures in baseball, bringing tremendous marketing opportunities to an organization. Greenberg dove deeper into how that will increase his market value.

"And that's just for the on-the-field product. You talk about all the marketing that's done around Bryce Harper [and] what he does for the game. In my opinion, and based on the numbers that I saw, he's a bargain at $500 million."

Don't we all wish someone would say $500 million is a bargain for us?

After crunching the numbers, the biggest takeaway for Greenberg is the return on investment the Nationals have gotten out of Harper.

"Like if you look at his wins above replacement throughout his career, he's given you 200 million dollars in value for 21 million dollars in cash and he's due what another 26 or 27 million this year. I mean he's already given you an amazing return on investment."

"So, if you're the Nationals having - benefited from that - you know you have a little bit of, I guess, wiggle room in terms of maybe you're paying a little bit for past performance 'cause, you know, when a player is on arbitration in their early years they don't really get paid that much."

The Nationals still have Harper for one more season and many feel they need to make him an offer sooner than later. Whenever and whoever he gets an offer from, it's going to be a nice pay day for him.