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Stephen Strasburg lifts Nationals to 17 game lead in NL East


Stephen Strasburg lifts Nationals to 17 game lead in NL East

MIAMI -- The results for Stephen Strasburg looked like a pitcher in top form.

However, Strasburg had to battle through a leg cramp in six innings extending his scoreless innings streak to 26 to help the Washington Nationals to a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.


"I felt like my arm was in good shape," Strasburg said. "I was just getting into some humidity and stuff, and have been dealing with that a little bit. It just seems like I lose a lot of fluids no matter how much I drink, it kind of just goes right through me. IVs were seemingly helping me in the past, but they weren't going to give me one here so it was just part of it. I've just got to find a way and I went as long as I could."

Strasburg (12-4) allowed a single in each of his six innings, but was able to keep the Marlins from getting into scoring position after tossing a shutout against the Marlins in his last start on Aug. 30.

"We obviously didn't get to him but still had better at-bats tonight than we did the other day," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You just need to have production at some point and we really weren't able to do that."

He struck out eight and did not walk a batter throwing 60 of his 90 pitches for strikes and lowering his ERA to 2.78

"If he was 100 percent good, I think he would have thrown eight or nine innings today," Nationals catcher Pedro Severino said. "He would have thrown a complete game again today, but he did an excellent job. I give respect because nobody goes through that situation hurt and wants to keep pitching. That's what I call a man."

Strasburg worked through the cramp while on the mound stretching at times.

"He threw the ball great," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It just came up again and I don't know what to make of it because our trainers are working on it, just taking anti-cramping medicine and all of that kind of stuff."

Daniel Murphy hit his 22nd home run and Severino also drove in a run for the Nationals, who have won seven straight against the Marlins.

"One-nothing didn't seem like it was going to hold up especially against this team here so that was a great victory for us," Baker said. "We're back to 30-over (84-54) so we want to keep marching from here and our magic number goes down every day."

Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances. Doolittle allowed a lead-off bloop single to Marcell Ozuna, who eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Derek Dietrich, but got Brian Anderson to line out to end the game.

Miami's Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and did not add to his major league-leading home run total of 53, but did take a home run away from Murphy when he leaped above the right-center field wall to make a catch in the third.

Miami's Odrisamer Despaigne (0-3) nearly matched Strasburg allowing one run and five hits in seven innings.

Severino's RBI single in the second scored Adam Lind, who doubled to lead off, and gave the Nationals an early lead.

Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth dropped a fly ball hit by Miguel Rojas in the seventh giving the Marlins a runner on second base for the first time. However, Sammy Solis got pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki to ground out to end the inning.

Murphy's home run to right field off Kyle Barraclough in the eighth pushed the lead to 2-0.

Ozuna had three hits for the Marlins, who have lost eight of nine.

"What's most important now is to win and get out of this bad stretch we're experiencing," Despaigne said. "We were one of the teams playing the best baseball to one that is playing poorly. We are trying to find that moment to get out of this bad situation."

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

USA Today Sports

Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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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.