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Zimmerman still out, Span happy to return as Nats host Giants

Zimmerman still out, Span happy to return as Nats host Giants

Updated: 5:44 p.m.

Nationals (64-44) vs. Giants (62-46) at Nationals Park

After a quick break for both teams, the Nationals and Giants are back at it in another matchup between the two first-place powers. This time it will be on the Nats' home turf, as they begin an eight-game homestand. First pitch in Friday night is at 7:05 p.m.

Gio Gonzalez (6-9, 4.29) gets the start as he aims to keep his positive momentum going. He has allowed nine earned runs over his last five starts across 30 1/3 innings. Gonzalez tossed six innings with just one earned run in his last start, which was also against the Giants on July 31.

The Nats will be without Ryan Zimmerman for the fourth straight game. He has a sore left wrist after getting hit by a pitch in Sunday's loss in San Francisco.

 “Zim’s getting better, but he’s still not available tonight," manager Dusty Baker said. "When you get hit like that, ball on bone, it doesn’t heal. There’s no muscle in there. You can treat it all you want. Anybody who’s ever had a bone bruise knows it stays sore for a long time, especially in your hands when you have to make that movement — that’s what’s bothering him — to make that final movement. So, we just hope that he’s better in a day or so.”

Baker went on to discuss whether a stint on the disabled list will be necessary. The team does not know yet.

“Well, we haven’t talked about it. Naturally, the longer you go, the more you think about it. But so far, so good," Baker said.

Starting for San Francisco will be right-hander Jeff Samardzija (9-7, 4.30). Samardzija gave up four earned runs on seven hits and two walks in a loss to the Nats on July 29, his last outing.

Denard Span is batting leadoff for the Giants, which means this will be his official return to Washington since he signed away in free agency. CSN caught up with Span before the game and he said he is excited to be back.

"It feels a little awkward, to be honest. But it feels good. When I walked into the stadium, I almost walked into the home clubhouse because I did that for so many years. But it feels good to be here," he said.

He will have the first at-bat of the game, which will give Nationals fans a good opportunity to show their respect for his three seasons in D.C. He hopes it's a positive reaction.

"I hope it's a warm one," he said. "I hope that they appreciated the three years that I gave to this team and this organization. I'm looking forward to just going out there and seeing the fans and some of my old teammates."

First pitch: 7:05 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Gio Gonzalez vs. Giants - Jeff Samardzija


CF Trea Turner
LF Jayson Werth
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
C Wilson Ramos
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Clint Robinson
SS Danny Espinosa
LHP Gio Gonzalez


CF Denard Span
LF Angel Pagan
3B Eduardo Nunez
1B Buster Posey
RF Hunter Pence
SS Brandon Crawford
C Trevor Brown
2B Ehire Adrianza
RHP Jeff Samardzija


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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.


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.


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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.


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.