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Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0

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Wood, Dodgers bats overpower Nationals 7-0

WASHINGTON -- The Los Angeles Dodgers aren't so blue anymore.

Alex Wood threw six shutout innings, Corey Seager hit a three-run homer during a five-run second and the Dodgers' rebound continued with a 7-0 win over the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Wood (15-3) allowed three hits with eight strikeouts and one walk for Los Angeles, which has won three in a row after losing 11 consecutive games and 16 of 17. The Dodgers lowered their magic number to clinch the NL West to six. They also took another step toward feeling like the monster team that sat 55 games over .500 on Aug. 25.

"We got challenged, we got beat up over there for a couple of weeks," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "It was nice for us to come into this environment against a club like that and to play well."

The teams entered the highly anticipated three-game series having clinched playoff berths and owning the top two records in the National League.

Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig homered in the Dodgers' first Washington appearance since winning Game 5 of the NL Division Series last October.

Los Angeles starting pitchers have allowed one earned run over 19 innings during the winning streak.

"In those 11 games, things didn't seem to work out," Puig said. "The pitchers are (now) getting outs in the precise moments and we're getting hits in the precise moments."

The NL East champion Nationals fell six games back of Los Angeles in the chase for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

"It's kind of like recon," Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth said of the potential playoff preview. "Good to see these guys if you do play them. ... Outside chance we can get home field advantage throughout."

Relievers Pedro Baez and Brock Stewart kept the shutout intact against the NL's top-scoring team.

The Dodgers scored all seven runs over the first three innings against Edwin Jackson (5-6).

Turner hit his 20th homer of the season in the first. Los Angeles battered Jackson for four extra-base hits in the second, starting with Puig's solo homer and ending with Seager's 3-run blast to center.

Andre Ethier was credited with a RBI ground-rule double in the second. His fly ball bounced into the stands after Werth lost track of its flight. Chase Utley had a run-scoring groundout in the third.

Jackson only lasted 2 1/3 innings, surrendering seven runs and six hits in his third consecutive loss.

"They didn't miss any fastball that I threw," Jackson said. "They were able to put it in play and get big hits off of it."

Wood also entered with back-to-back losses as his breakout season took a wrong turn during the Dodgers' slide. The All-Star left-hander had allowed nine runs in 11 innings over his previous two starts.

Wood struck out All-Star Daniel Murphy three times, including in the third with two outs and two runners on.

"I felt good about tonight," Wood said. "Those bats came alive early. I just wanted to put zeroes after we scored all those runs."

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Max Scherzer Giving Away Memorabilia For Good Cause

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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.