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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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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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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.