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Scherzer on track to return Friday vs. Harvey


Scherzer on track to return Friday vs. Harvey

ATLANTA — Max Scherzer was able to throw off a bullpen mound Tuesday with no issues, putting the Nationals ace on track to start Friday night against Matt Harvey and the Mets at Citi Field.

Scherzer, who was originally scheduled to pitch Tuesday but was pushed back with a sprained ligament in his right thumb, crossed his biggest remaining hurdle when he threw a full bullpen session at Turner Field and reported no pain with any of his pitches.

“I was able to get off the mound today and throw all my pitches at 100 percent,” Scherzer said. “I’m good to go.”

Scherzer typically throws a bullpen session three days before he starts, so this puts him on track to start Friday night in New York. The Nationals will wait to make sure he feels fine Wednesday before finalizing that plan.

“Given this location of the injury, you can have lingering effects from after pitching on it, so I’ve got to see how I feel tomorrow,” Scherzer said. “If I am compensating for any of those pitches, it’s going to come through and I’m going to feel some tightness, probably my forearm would be the most likely location if there is anything I’m compensating for. I don’t anticipate that. I anticipate feeling good for Wednesday … and I’m ready to get back into a game.”

Scherzer would slot back into the Nationals’ rotation in a new spot, between Stephen Strasburg (who starts Thursday) and Gio Gonzalez (who would be bumped a day and start Saturday). That would line him up to face Harvey in a high-profile showdown between the struggling Nationals and the surprising, first-place Mets.

Scherzer, who hurt himself at the plate last week when he was jammed by an inside pitch, was asked if he’ll have any concerns hitting moving forward.

“Yes and no,” he replied.” Obviously, once you have this injury, it’s there. Like I said, I’m clearing it up. I’m getting better. Definitely looking to be wearing a thumb guard next time, to say the least.”

Scherzer became the subject of a mini controversy over the last 48 hours when he was quoted by’s Jon Heyman saying in the wake of his injury and the torn Achilles’ tendon suffered by Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright he “wouldn’t be opposed” to the NL adopting the designated hitter.

“Who would people rather see, a real hitter hitting home runs or a pitcher swinging a wet newspaper?” Scherzer later was quoted as saying. “Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules.”

That set off some controversy, exacerbated when Giants ace Madison Bumgarner told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News: “Oh, well, my wet newspaper is 34 1/2 inches, 33 1/2 ounces, and I’m waiting on some new ones right now.”

Scherzer issued a lengthy and well-crafted clarification of his stance on Tuesday via his Twitter account.

“Anyone who knows me knows I am an outgoing, fun and jokester kind of guy,” Scherzer wrote.  “I was making an attempt to be funny with those comments and nothing more.”

MORE NATIONALS: Rendon out again, this time with tight side

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

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Former Nats manager Jim Riggleman named interim manager of Reds

Remember Jim Riggleman, the infamous Nats manager that resigned from the position back in 2011 after a win against the Seattle Mariners? Well he's back in a managerial position.

Bryan Price was fired as manager of the Cinncinati Reds Thursday, after the team started the 2018 season 3-15. Riggleman, who spent four seasons as their bench coach, was named the interim manager to replace Price.

Riggleman was promoted to interim manager of the Nats in July of 2009, after Manny Acta was let go midseason. He stayed on as manager for 2010 and 2011, and he then resigned from the team on June 23, 2011 after a win agaisnt the Seattle Mariners. He had lead the team to a win in 11 of their last 12 games prior to stepping away.

The reason behind the dramatic exit was due to the organization not yet picking up his 2012 contract option. He had reportedly requested a conversation with the front office about his future with the organization, and was upset after they declined. At 58 years-old, he felt he deserved more respect.

He's been with the Reds organization since 2012, and has spent time managing the Padres, Cubs and Mariners, in addition to the Nationals. His career winning pct. with each team has been below-.500.


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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

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Nationals fall after Mets score 9 runs in 8th inning

NEW YORK -- Yoenis Cespedes launched a grand slam during a nine-run outburst in the eighth inning that rallied the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 11-5 on Wednesday night, preventing a three-game sweep.

Todd Frazier tied it at 4 with a two-run single and pinch-hitter Juan Lagares put New York ahead for the first time with a two-run double off ineffective setup man Ryan Madson (0-2).

Shut down by Tanner Roark for seven innings, the first-place Mets broke loose in the eighth and improved to 13-4 with a stirring victory against their NL East rivals.

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs for the Nationals, who pulled off their own big comeback in the eighth inning of the series opener.

Two nights later, New York returned the favor.

Roark limited the Mets to two hits and left leading 4-2. Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera singled off Madson to load the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Jay Bruce fouled out before Frazier smacked a two-run single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw home.

After an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez loaded the bases again, pinch-hitter Wilmer Flores struck out. Lagares then lined a two-run double the other way, just inside the right-field line at the outer edge of the infield grass, to put the Mets up 6-4.

Sammy Solis walked Amed Rosario and Conforto to force in a run. Cespedes connected for his sixth career slam -- the third by the Mets already this season -- off A.J. Cole, sending fans into a frenzy.

Both of Cespedes' hits in the inning came on 0-2 pitches.

AJ Ramos (1-1) worked a perfect inning for his first win with the Mets since being acquired from Miami last July.

Howie Kendrick reached on an infield single for Washington in the first and Bryce Harper drew his 24th walk, most in the majors. Zimmerman, batting .121 at that point and struggling to make opponents pay for bypassing Harper, came through with a drive to left-center off Steven Matz for his second home run of the season.

Matz steadied himself after a 33-pitch first inning and retired his final 10 batters. He was pulled for a pinch hitter in the fourth after throwing 74 pitches.

Cabrera doubled to open the fourth and scored on Gonzalez's single. Zimmerman had a chance to start an inning-ending double play, but his throwing error from first base allowed another run to score on Jose Lobaton's RBI grounder as the Mets cut it to 3-2.

After Mets pitchers retired 16 in a row, Zimmerman's leadoff triple in the seventh got past a diving Bruce in right field, and Moises Sierra followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

Zimmerman also hit a solo homer in the ninth.