Nationals

Quick Links

Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy lead Nationals to dominant game-one win over Cubs

Tanner Roark, Daniel Murphy lead Nationals to dominant game-one win over Cubs

CHICAGO -- Daniel Murphy hit two home runs to back Tanner Roark, and the Washington Nationals won the opener of a series between division leaders by beating the Chicago Cubs 4-2 on a chilly Friday afternoon.

With the game-time temperature at 63, Murphy hit a two-run homer in the first and connected off Kyle Hendricks leading off the sixth for a 3-0 lead.

Roark (9-7) didn't allow a run until Javier Baez chased him with a two-run homer with one out in the seventh. Roark allowed five hits while improving to 3-1 in his past four starts.

Hendricks (4-4) gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. Chicago has lost three straight after winning 14 of 17 following the All-Star break.

Murphy hit a two-run drive halfway up the bleachers in right-center in the first, then went the opposite way in the sixth, driving his 19th home run to left-center. That gave him two multi-homer games this season and five in his career.

After Baez cut the lead to one in the seventh with his 15th home run, Brian Kintzler got the final two outs of the inning.

Anthony Rendon hit a sacrifice fly against Carl Edwards Jr. in the eighth.

Ryan Madson worked the bottom half, and Sean Doolittle finished for his fifth save in as many chances since he was acquired from Oakland on July 16. He gave up a leadoff single to Jason Heyward before striking out Baez and getting Ian Happ to ground into a double play.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: Two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez will miss their scheduled starts this weekend. Manager Dusty Baker decided to give Scherzer at least an extra day rather than have him pitch Sunday after the right-hander exited Tuesday's game against Florida because of neck spasms. Gonzalez won't pitch Saturday with his wife expects to give birth to their second child within the next few days. ... Baker said RHP Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is getting better, but Baker did not say when he will make his next start. ... The Nationals placed LHP Enny Romero on the 10-daydDL on Friday because of forearm tightness.

Cubs: SS Addison Russell was placed on the 10-day DL on Friday because of a strained right foot. The Cubs recalled LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa.

UP NEXT

Cubs RHP John Lackey (8-9, 4.87 ERA) looks to improve to 4-0 since the All-Star break when he starts Saturday, while RHP Edwin Jackson (2-1, 2.84) gets the ball for Washington in Gonzalez's place.

Quick Links

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

usatsi_10333033_141983962_lowres.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper thanks Nationals fans for support during 2017 season

It's been a week since the air was sucked out of D.C. in the Nationals Game 5, 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs. 

And now that we've had a few days to decompress from another early D.C. playoff exit, Nats right fielder Bryce Harper decided to take some time to thank fans for their support this season.

Harper posted an Instagram video Wednesday afternoon, with a fresh cut, and thanked fans for continuing to pack Nats Park. In the video he says he looks forward to "chasing that championship" again next spring. 

The 2017 season could be described as a rough one for Harper after missing the last few weeks of the season with a bone bruise in his left knee. 

Harper had a .319 average during the 2017 season, along with 29 home runs, 97 RBI's, 95 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. He is entering the final year of his contract.

RELATED: 20 THINGS SAD D.C. SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT

National Fans. Thank you!💯 #RedLightRecording

A post shared by Bryce Harper (@bharper3407) on

Quick Links

Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

usatsi_10342243.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Nationals Game 5 meltdown yet another reminder why D.C. can't have nice things

On Thursday night, a Washington, D.C. pro sports team did something Washington, D.C. pro sports teams are very good at doing: fall short of making a league or championship game.

The Nationals' disastrous fifth inning against the Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series was the beginning of the end, not to mention yet another in a long line of disappointing playoff results for Washington, D.C. sports teams.

You see, Washington, D.C. is the only city with at least three major pro sports teams to not have a single one make a conference or league championship game since 2000.

To make matters worse, Washington, D.C. sports teams have now lost 16 consecutive playoff games in which a win would've advanced the team to the conference or league championship. 

Think about that for a second. Four teams. Zero conference championship appearances since 1998. 

Here's the list.

Washington, D.C. sports fans are not greedy. We can't be. We've had some very good teams recently, with the type of talent, coaching and intangibles needed to win a championship. 

TRY THIS: 20 THINGS DC SPORTS FANS SHOULD BE HAPPY ABOUT. YES, HAPPY.

The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team won a world championship was in 1992 when the Redskins won Super Bowl XXVI.  The last time a major Washington, D.C. pro sports team even made a conference championship game was in 1998, when the Capitals advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, defeating the Sabres to advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Washington, D.C. isn't allowed to have nice sports things.

Sure, we have great players and great teams, but when the playoffs roll around, all the nice things go away. We aren't privy to plucky upstarts who run the table and we aren't privy to dominant teams that make long postseason runs.

Washington, D.C. will have its day, eventually. Sure it may only be a conference championship appearance, but for us, that's fine. We don't expect world championships. We just want something to get invested in.

Early playoff exits are rarely worth the investment.