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Strasburg moves to 10-0, this time thanks to Nats' run support

Strasburg moves to 10-0, this time thanks to Nats' run support

With the importance of run support in deciding whether a pitcher earns a victory, a starter's win-loss record can only tell so much of the story, even in the National League when pitchers also take part in the offense.

Take Stephen Strasburg, for instance. He's 10-0 through 13 starts this season with a 3.03 ERA. His rotation mate Joe Ross has a 2.92 ERA, yet he's 5-4. 

Strasburg has enjoyed tremendous help from his teammates this season, who have averaged 6.85 runs per game in his outings. At that rate, you could double his ERA and the odds for a win would still be in his favor.

The win is by no means a perfect stat, but that 10-0 record sure does look pretty.

"It's just one of those things this year. Sometimes it comes in waves," outfielder Jayson Werth said. "Sometimes guys don't get any run support, sometimes they get a lot."

"There's no sense in thinking about the end, just keep it going," manager Dusty Baker said.

The 6.85 runs per start the Nationals are handing Strasburg ranks second in majors. Only Jake Arrieta (6.92) has enjoyed better run support.

It's a trend that just keeps continuing and shortstop Danny Espinosa - though he too believes it's ultimately a coincididence - does offer one theory.

"He's working at a good pace and he's keeping everyone on their toes. You're always getting a lot of turnover and getting at-bats. There's never a lot of dead time defensively. You're kind of feeling fresh," he said.

And Strasburg, of course, isn't complaining.

“That’s great," he said of his perfect record. "I think there’s other guys in the rotation who’ve pitched well enough to win. But it’s just about trying to go out there and do your job. They’ve been swinging the bat great for me and I’m going to continue to try and keep it close for them.”

The Nationals blasted the Phillies for nine runs on Friday, but Strasburg did do his part in overcoming a rocky first three innings to give the Nationals a solid outing overall. He allowed four runs combined in the second and third before settling in to retire 14 straight batters to finish his seven-inning night. It was during that stretch his teammates were shoveling runs onto the scoreboard.

Strasburg finished with 10 strikeouts for the 28th double-digit strikeout game of his career and extended his winning streak to 13 games. Strasburg hasn't taken a loss since Sept. 15 of last year.

"He came back and shut it down and gave us an opportunity to win the ballgame," Espinosa said of Strasburg's in-game turnaround.

"After that he got very determined not to give up anymore," Baker said. "We gave him some run support which always helps big-time."

Strasburg earned his 10th victory in a game he allowed four earned runs. The night before, Gio Gonzalez took a loss after only giving up three. 

That's how baseball works sometimes.

"Gio wishes he probably had some of those runs for himself, you know what I mean? We're going to get them for Gio, too," Baker said.

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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.

READ ALSO: NATIONALS FULL SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE