Best of MLB: Ryan Zimmerman has record-setting night in Nationals' win

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Best of MLB: Ryan Zimmerman has record-setting night in Nationals' win

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Zimmerman had four run-scoring hits, including two solo home runs, drove in five runs and became the franchise's all-time RBI leader as the Washington Nationals defeated the Miami Marlins 10-1 on Wednesday night.

Gio Gonzalez (10-5) allowed one run over seven innings after nearly tossing a no-hitter against the Marlins in his previous start. In between, he missed a turn to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.

Bryce Harper had two hits and two RBIs for Washington while Howie Kendrick added three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.

Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went hitless for Miami after homering twice this series (see full recap).

Bumgarner gets 2nd win since return from accident
SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner allowed four hits over seven innings to win for the second time since returning from a dirt bike accident, helping the San Francisco Giants defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Wednesday and complete a winning homestand for only the second time this season.

Bumgarner (2-5) struck out seven, walked one and gave up five hits -- including a third-inning home run by Albert Almora Jr. Bumgarner is 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA in five starts since returning July 12 after missing nearly three months because of injuries sustained April 20. Since beating Pittsburgh on July 25, he did not get a decision against the Los Angeles Dodgers and lost to Arizona.

Bumgarner has a 1.38 ERA in his last four starts and has received two runs or fewer of support in seven of 10 starts this year (see full recap).

Yankees overcome shaky Tanaka start for victory
TORONTO -- Todd Frazier homered and had three RBIs, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius also went deep and the New York Yankees overcame a shaky start by Masahiro Tanaka to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-5 on Wednesday night.

Rookie Garrett Cooper had four hits for the Yankees, who had not scored in double figures since a 13-4 win at Houston on June 30. New York's 17 hits were one shy of its season high, set June 10 against Baltimore.

Frazier, who entered in a 5-for-33 slide, went back-to-back with Sanchez in the second, hit a two-run double in the fifth, then added a leadoff single in the eighth for his first three-hit game since the Yankees acquired him from the Chicago White Sox. He was hit by a pitch in his final plate appearance.

Cooper was not in the original starting lineup but replaced Clint Frazier, who felt tightness in his oblique during batting practice and is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday.

Gregorius hit his 18th homer in a third, a two-out drive off Nick Tepesch (0-2) (see full recap).

2018 MLB Home Run Derby: Preview, time, format, rules, and how to watch

2018 MLB Home Run Derby: Preview, time, format, rules, and how to watch

Rhys Hoskins made some Phillies history in June when he became the franchise's fastest player to reach 30 career home runs, doing so in 119 games to outpace Chuck Klein (132) and Ryan Howard (134).

Hoskins will try to make more club history when he slugs away in Monday night's 2018 Home Run Derby. The leftfielder can become the first Phillie to win the event since Howard did so in 2006, the year directly after Bobby Abreu hoisted the trophy.

What do you need to know for this year's edition? Let's break it all down:


When: 8 p.m. ET
Where: Nationals Park (Washington, D.C.)
Network: ESPN
Live stream: Watch ESPN
Social media: @NBCSPhilly 

The bracket

The rules

Each hitter is up against the clock with four minutes per round.

The clock can expand and stop a few ways. Players can earn bonus time by hitting at least two dingers of 440 or more feet, while each hitter is allowed a 45-second timeout, with the championship round permitting two timeouts — a 45-second stoppage and 30-second stoppage.

If the higher seed, which hits second, surpasses the total of the lower seed, the round ends without the clocking having to run out.

For more on the format, click here to read's detailed outline, which includes tiebreakers and past examples.

The favorite

Bryce Harper has a Derby background — unlike the rest — and is hitting in his home park. 

The 2010 first overall pick also owns the second-most home runs among the field this season at 23, behind only the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar, who has 24.

Harper, with 118 dingers since 2015, also has the motivation factor — he'll want to put on a show.

The sleeper

Kyle Schwarber is only 25 years old and a big boy at 6-foot, 235 pounds.

He has 18 homers in 2018 and blasted 30 last season in just 129 games.

The Cubs' outfielder also has the benefit of being on the opposite side of the bracket from Harper.

The underdog

Philly loves the underdog and of course it's Hoskins.

Perfect, right?

Hoskins will go in with no pressure as the eighth and final seed. He loves his pitcher, Chris Truby, the Phillies' minor-league infield coordinator.

"He throws money BP," Hoskins said (see story).

And the 25-year-old shouldn't be taken lightly. He has 32 homers over his first 136 big-league games and hit 67 in 250 games between Double A and Triple A from 2016 to 2017.

Aaron Nola among MLB's best bargains, and here's what next deal could look like

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Aaron Nola among MLB's best bargains, and here's what next deal could look like

Would you believe that only two players in MLB have been a better bargain in 2018 than Aaron Nola?

Spotrac, the well-known contracts website, put out its list of baseball's best values so far this season and Nola ranks No. 1 among all starting pitchers.

He also ranks No. 3 among all players, behind only Boston's Mookie Betts and Cleveland's Jose Ramirez.

Nola made his first All-Star team by going 12-3 with a 2.30 ERA in his first 20 starts. He leads the NL in wins, has the lowest home run rate in the league, ranks second in innings and ERA, third in WHIP and fourth in strikeouts. 

He has legitimately pitched like a Cy Young-winner with nearly 60 percent of the season in the books.

At some point soon, the conversation will shift toward a long-term extension. Nola is set to go through the arbitration process for the first time this winter and cannot become a free agent until after the 2021 season.

This is the last season Nola will be this drastically underpaid relative to his performance. The Phils could explore a contract that buys out his three arbitration years and the first two or three free-agent years. They did this with Odubel Herrera. 

League-wide, teams routinely do this with star players in order to save some money in those first couple post-arbitration years. Players, especially pitchers, value the long-term security because of the frequency of long-term arm injuries.

How much money are we talking? The Braves, in a similar position with Freddie Freeman before his first arbitration year, signed him to an eight-year, $135 million deal. It made sense for Freeman because it's life-changing money, and it made sense for the Braves because they got his first five post-arbitration years for an average of $21.3 million per year. That's a team-friendly deal for a perennial MVP candidate like Freeman.

The Cardinals, in the same spot with Carlos Martinez, struck a five-year, $51 million contract. It's a good deal for the Cards because they get Martinez's first two post-arb years for $23 million and hold club options for $17 million and $18 million the following two years.

That Martinez contract seems like more of a template for Nola than the Freeman megadeal, but Nola is a better and more accomplished pitcher than Martinez. If his extension has the same length as Martinez's, one would think it would be closer to $70 million than $50 million.

Regardless, Nola's cost-effectiveness is a major reason the Phillies are in first place at the All-Star break with a real chance to add top talent by the trade deadline and/or this offseason. If Nola was already making $25 million per year, the Phillies' spending options wouldn't be as seemingly limitless as they are right now.

A long-term extension with Nola would have obvious benefits to the Phils because it could allow them to save some money in 2022 and 2023, when more of their young players will have richer deals and the payroll will be more of a concern.