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State of the Nats: Big series vs. Mets up next, Thor hates the wave?

State of the Nats: Big series vs. Mets up next, Thor hates the wave?

Team Record: 85-58

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New York Mets up next - Though it still appears to be a foregone conclusion that the Nationals will win the NL East, the Mets have certainly made things interesting by winning seven of their last eight games, including two against the Nats earlier this month. They have ensured that this week's series in Washington will mean something, which wasn't a certainty just over a week ago.

Now the Mets find themselves holding an NL Wild Card spot. They are playing their best baseball in a while and have their sights set on what is realistically their last chance to get back into the division race. They have three games at the Nats and currently trail by nine in the division. A sweep would get them to six games back with 16 left to play. It would preserve the Nats' magic number at 11. 

Conversely, with any number of wins against the Mets this week, the Nats can essentially put New York down for good in the NL East. If they sweep, they will be up 12 games coming out of the series with a magic number of just five. That could put clinching the division well in play for their upcoming road trip. 

The Nats lost two of three the last time they played the Mets, but they have had the upperhand this season. They are 10-6 in their head-to-head matchups with a 69-45 advantage in runs scored.

Now, the Mets are playing like a much different team than they were back in May, June and July. They are actually scoring runs and have the third-highest scoring lineup in the NL so far this month. Asdrubal Cabrera has been on fire with a 1.077 OPS in September, while Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson each have 10 RBI in nine September games.

The Nationals, though, have also been playing well. And like the Mets, they have been beating up on some bad teams. The Nats have won six of their last seven and 10 of their last 13. 

This will be the last time the Nats and Mets match up in the regular season this year and there is plenty on the line, particularly for the Mets who are clinging to their playoff hopes in a heated wild card race.

Syndergaard hates the wave? - Pitching for the Mets on Tuesday will be Noah Syndergaard, one of the top candidates for NL Cy Young this season. He's very good, but it turns out Syndergaard really doesn't like the wave. A lot of people don't, so that's fine. But Syndergaard doesn't like it to the point that he tweeted this about a video of Navy midshipmen doing the wave at Nats Park:

Syndergaard then backed off from those comments a bit with this tweet:

Under normal circumstances, Nats fans may agree with all that Syndergaard said. But now they know what gets under his skin, just in time for his start on Tuesday night. There have already been some Nats fans on Twitter trying to organize the effort to do the wave while he's pitching on Tuesday.

NL East Standings

Offensive game of the week: Trea Turner 9/9 vs. Phillies - 2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI

Pitching line of the week: Max Scherzer 9/10 vs. Phillies - 6.2 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 8 SO, BB, 117 pitches (76 strikes)

Quote of the Week 

"He's perfect."

- Tanner Roark on Trea Turner after his walk-off homer vs. Phillies

Tweet (or Instagram) of the Week

Road Ahead

Mon. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Latos vs. Montero)
Tue. - 7:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Cole vs. Syndergaard)
Wed. - 4:05 p.m. vs. New York Mets (Roark vs. Gsellman)
Thu. - OFF
Fri. - 7:35 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Scherzer vs. Gant)
Sat. - 1:05 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (Gonzalez vs. Perez)
Sun. - 1:35 p.m. at Atlanta Braves (TBA vs. Foltynewicz)

[RELATED: Nats players share funniest, most disturbing stories of fan heckling]


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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. 


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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.