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Strasburg has worst start of his career as Nats lose 12-10 to Rockies

Strasburg has worst start of his career as Nats lose 12-10 to Rockies

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 12-10 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field.

How it happened: Stephen Strasburg had been trending in the wrong direction, and the Rockies are a tough test for any pitcher, especially on the road at Coors Field. But this? No one would have predicted this.

Strasburg wasn't just bad on Wednesday afternoon, he had the worst start of his career. The Nats right-hander only made it 1 2/3 innings before he was pulled and that was after he allowed nine runs, the most he's ever given up in a start. The Nats were hoping for a deep outing from Strasburg to help rest their bullpen, and that they did not get.

Strasburg gave up seven runs in the first inning and another two in the second. The Nats chipped away and managed 10 runs themselves, but the struggling Oliver Perez - now the Nats' only lefty reliever - gave up three more runs in the fifth. That was all the insurance the Rockies would need.

The Nats did score 10 runs, so there were some positives to report, including Bryce Harper's 21st homer of the season. Pedro Severino hit the first homer of his career, a solo shot in the seventh inning. Chris Heisey then hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth.

Anthony Rendon had two hits, one an RBI double. Brian Goodwin also had two hits, the first time in his young career that he's done that. And Trea Turner added two hits, a double and a triple. It was his sixth triple of the season in just his 30th game. He leads all MLB rookies in the category.

Jayson Werth walked to extend his streak of reaching base to 45 straight games. That puts him in sole possession of second place in Nats/Expos franchise history. He only trails Rusty Staub, who got on in 46 straight back in 1969-70.

The 12 runs for the Rockies were the most the Nats have allowed all season. Washington lost for the second straight game and once again had to heavily use their already-tired bullpen. That will definitely be something to watch over the next few days when they play in Atlanta.

What it means: The Nats dropped to 70-49 on the season. They lost their first series since July 22-24 against the Padres. It was the first road series they have lost since June 24-26 at the Brewers.

Strasburg gets shelled: Strasburg ran into trouble immediately by allowing four runs before he even recorded an out in the first inning. Charlie Blackmon started the game off with a double on the second pitch and Nolan Arenado later singled him home. Gerardo Parra doubled in three runs and Tony Wolters doubled in another to make it 5-0. Pitcher Jon Gray then doubled home two more runs to make it 7-0 in the first. That was the most runs the Nats have allowed in a single inning this season.

Strasburg gave up an RBI triple to Gerardo Parra and then an RBI single to Ben Paulsen in the second inning. That was enough for manager Dusty Baker, who pulled Strasburg for Koda Glover.

Strasburg has now allowed at least four earned runs in four of his last six starts. He's given up 19 earned in his last three outings across just 11 2/3 innings. This is the first time in Strasburg's career he's given up four or more earned runs in three straight games. It's also the first time he's surrendered six or more in two straight outings.

All in a span of just three starts, Strasburg has raised his season ERA from 2.63 to 3.59. It was just a few weeks ago that Strasburg was one of the favorites for NL Cy Young. Now he'll need a major turnaround just to be in the conversation.

Harper hits it a mile: Harper didn't just homer on Wednesday, he hit the longest bomb of any Nats player this season. That's according to whatever measurement you choose, though there was a discrepancy between StatCast and ESPN on the distance. StatCast says Harper's upper deck shot went 461 feet, while ESPN said it was 481. Either way, it's the longest homer of Harper's career. If we're going with the 481-foot reading, that's the longest ever hit by a Nats player since ESPN has been tracking them back in 2006.

The home run was Harper's first since July 20. He also singled, walked and scored two runs in the game. Since returning from his neck issue, Harper is 6-for-13 with a homer, three doubles, five RBI, five walks and four runs scored. It's too early to say he's back, but those are obviously very positive signs.

Up next: The Nats move on to Atlanta for four games against the Atlanta Braves. Rookie Reynaldo Lopez (1-1, 5.74) will start for the Nats, while right-hander Rob Whalen (1-1, 7.31) gets the nod for Atlanta. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

[RELATED: Nats call up Koda Glover, send Solis to disabled list]

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With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

With Ross placed on 60-day DL, Nationals agree to 1-year deal with veteran reliever

WASHINGTON  -- The Washington Nationals say they have agreed to a one-year deal with 40-year-old reliever Joaquin Benoit.

The team announced the move Wednesday, along with placing pitcher Joe Ross on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery in July.

The Nationals didn't release terms of the agreement, though a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Monday that it was for $1 million.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't official at the time.

MORE NATIONALS: FULL 2018 SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE

Benoit is a right-hander who first reached the big leagues in 2001. 

He has played for eight teams, finishing last year with Pittsburgh.

He has 764 career appearances, going 58-49 with a 3.83 ERA and 53 saves.

RELATED: 2018 MLB BETTING ODDS

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It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

It's Day 1 of spring training and Bryce Harper is already done taking questions regarding his future

So if you have not heard, Bryce Harper is going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2018 season.

All off-season talking heads, baseball aficionados, radio hosts, etc. were speculating on where the outfielder’s destination will be next year.

And we are still a year away from it actually happening.

RELATED: VEGAS SETS OVER/UNDERS FOR 2018 MLB SEASON

Reporting to spring training on Monday, Harper did not waste any time telling the media how his press conferences were going to play out this season.

“If guys do [ask], or talk anything about that, I will be walking right out the door.”

Entering his seventh season with the Washington Nationals, the 25-year-old is coming off the second-best season, statistically, of his career. The 2015 NL MVP has hit .285 in his career, with 150 home runs and 421 RBIs. Unquestionably he is the face of the Nationals’ organization, if not, the best player in the team’s history.

If he does end the season without a contract extension, he will join Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, and Barry Bonds as the top sought out free agents in MLB history.

One thing is for certain in terms of Harper’s free agency; Harper has given no inclination on where his landing spot will be.  The top three cities are of course his favorite childhood team, the New York Yankees; joining with one of his closest friends with the Chicago Cubs; or just staying with Washington.

Wherever he does land, it does appear that it will be the largest contract given to a free agent ever.

As for now we just wait and direct any of your calls to his agent Scott Boras.

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