Quick Links

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.

Quick Links

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. 


Quick Links

Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.

Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:

It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.

Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.