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Scherzer hit by line drive, Nationals find way to win

Scherzer hit by line drive, Nationals find way to win

MILWAUKEE -- The Washington Nationals snapped out of their hitting slump just in time and survived a scare when a line drive slammed into ace Max Scherzer's left calf in the first inning.

Trea Turner's double to the center field wall scored Wilmer Difo from first base in the eighth, and the Nationals rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 3-2 on Saturday night.

The Brewers took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, when Michael Taylor homered on the first pitch from rookie reliever Josh Hader (1-2). Difo bunted Hader's second pitch for a single and later scored on Turner's double.

The Nationals have scored at least 10 runs in 20 games this year, but managed only four in the first 25 innings of the four-game series in Milwaukee.

"Things weren't going our way most of the night," Washington manager Dusty Baker said.

Scherzer was lifted after throwing 75 pitches over five innings. A liner from Milwaukee's Travis Shaw hit him in the first. In Scherzer's fifth-inning plate appearance, he hit a grounder to shortstop, limped to first and was thrown out easily.

The right-hander pitched the bottom half of the inning before being removed to open the sixth in a 1-1 game. He allowed two hits and two walks while striking out two.

"It tightened up in the second," Scherzer said. "I could pitch on it but I couldn't run. I could feel in my mechanics that I was still getting through the ball so I knew I wasn't in danger of hurting my arm."

Scherzer said he didn't expect to miss an extended period of time.

The Brewers fell 4 games behind Chicago in the NL Central, the farthest Milwaukee has been out of first place all season.

Ryan Madson (5-4) pitched a scoreless seventh in his first outing since Aug. 12. He was reinstated from the disabled list on Friday.

Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances with the NL East-leading Nationals since being obtained from Oakland on July 16. With one runner on, Manny Pina hit a fly near the center field wall that Taylor caught to end the game.

"He hit it good. It sounded good," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "It just wasn't enough."

It was just the second time that Hader had appeared in back-to-back games this season. He allowed two runs on three hits and only retired one batter.

"I felt good," Hader said. "My arm was ready. I just left pitches over the plate and they got hit."

Milwaukee rookie Brandon Woodruff, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday, allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out eight in seven innings. In four starts this year, he has a 1.52 ERA.

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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.