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Who starts for the Nats on Sunday?


Who starts for the Nats on Sunday?

Perhaps the most significant domino effect of yesterday's doubleheader against the Dodgers is the fact the Nationals will need to find a fill-in starter for Sunday's game against the Brewers.

Not wanting to bring back either Jordan Zimmermann or John Lannan on short rest, manager Davey Johnson has said he'll use someone out of his bullpen, almost certainly a right-hander (to combat Milwaukee's right-handed-heavy lineup).

The two prime candidates, then, are Chien-Ming Wang and Craig Stammen, creating a bit of a dilemma for Johnson.

Wang, obviously, has more experience as a starter, both over his career and over this season. But the veteran has been plagued by injuries and until last night hadn't appeared in any game at any level since a 2-inning, Sept. 1 rehab start for Class AA Harrisburg.

Summoned out of the bullpen last night when Lannan couldn't complete the fourth inning, Wang immediately uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch, then gave up a scorched grounder to third base that wound up allowing another run to score (though the run shouldn't have counted after umpire Alan Porter missed the fact Ryan Zimmerman tagged baserunner Adrian Gonzalez before Matt Kemp crossed the plate).

Wang did settle down after that and tossed two more scoreless innings, but was that enough to convince the Nationals he's ready to start a meaningful, late-September game against a potent lineup?

That uncertainty perhaps makes Stammen a stronger candidate to get the assignment. The right-hander has pitched well all season out of the bullpen, whether serving as a long reliever or a setup man. He does have starting experience -- 38 games in the big leagues -- but the last one of them came in 2010.

Johnson hadn't approached Stammen about the possibility as of yesterday afternoon, but when asked, the 28-year-old said he's perfectly willing to accept the challenge.

"I always said I'd do whatever they ask me to do," he said. "So I guess that's part of the job description."

Stammen has thrown 40 or more pitches only twice this year, so there's some question how deep he could go if asked to start.

"In my head, I think I could throw as many as I wanted to throw," he said. "I don't know what my body will feel. I think I could go a while. I definitely would try to get through five (innings). There's no use starting if you can't get through five, just as a personal pride thing."

We may find out on Sunday.

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

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Did Max Scherzer's dance moves cause the Junkies' broadcast to lose power?

Watching Max Scherzrer rack up Ks during a game is a usual sight for fans.

Dancing is not.

On Wednesday while the Sports Junkies were broadcasting at Nats Spring Training in West Palm Beach, we got a taste of what the back-to-back Cy Young Award winner has to offer on the dance floor. 

With just about a week left until their season kicks off, manager Dave Martinez hired a DJ for the day's workout, saying he wanted to "turn it up a notch." 

Well he turned it up a few too many notches, causing the back end of the complex where the Junkies were broadcasting to lose power.

While the Junkies were put in a pickle because of said DJ, we were able to get a glance of Scherzer dancing to Drakes' "God's Plan."


It's nice to see the usually lazer-focused pitcher let loose.

While Scherzer's dance moves didn't actually cause the Junkies to lose power, it's nice to think they were too much for the ballpark to handle. 

106.7 The Fans Sports Junkies simulcasts on NBC Sports Washington every weekday morning from 6:00 to 10:00 am ET. You can stream the Sports Junkies right here

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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats.