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Strasburg, offense shine as Nationals beat Athletics

Strasburg, offense shine as Nationals beat Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Daniel Murphy and Brian Goodwin each had four hits, including a home run, and Stephen Strasburg pitched seven strong innings as the Washington Nationals defeated the Oakland Athletics 13-3 on Friday night.

Murphy was 4 for 5 with two RBIs including his 10th home run. He's 10 for 18 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs over his last four games since missing three games last weekend with an illness.

Goodwin played right field in place of Bryce Harper, who was serving the third of his four-game suspension for his role in Monday's brawl with the San Francisco Giants. His home run was his first in the majors and the four hits were a career high.

Dusty Baker's 1,800th managerial win was Washington's fourth straight and ninth in 11 games. The Nationals combined for 20 hits.

Oakland lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Strasburg (7-1) struck out seven and allowed two runs, four hits and three walks.

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon was 2 for 5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs.

The Nationals broke a 2-2 tie in a decisive four-run fourth inning rally in which they sent 10 batters to the plate, five of whom reached safely with two outs.

Murphy and Michael Taylor hit solo home runs off A's starter Andrew Triggs (5-5) to give the Nationals a 2-0 lead.

Matt Joyce hit a two-run home run off a 0-1 94 mph fastball Strasburg left over heart of the plate in the bottom of the third.

Triggs lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs and nine hits including two home runs in his shortest start of the season.

Reliever Zach Neal gave up seven runs and nine hits including three home runs in 3 1/3 innings.

A's first baseman Yonder Alonso hit his 15th home run.

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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USA Today Sports Images

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.