Trea Turner

Tuesday night's loss to Phillies a nightmare for the Nationals in so many ways

Tuesday night's loss to Phillies a nightmare for the Nationals in so many ways

WASHINGTON — What a nightmare Tuesday was for the Nationals.

Losing 8-2 to the Phillies was one thing. 

Watching ace Max Scherzer last only five innings was another.

Giving up three hits and a tape measure home run to Bryce Harper in his first game back in D.C. added insult to injury. Literally, because earlier in the game — and most importantly for them — the Nats lost shortstop and stolen base machine Trea Turner to a broken finger. He'll be out a little while, but a somber Dave Martinez didn't have much to add in the way of a timetable after the game.

Turner was hit on the right ring finger by a Zach Eflin pitch in the first inning. Turner was attempting to bunt but wrapped his fingers too far around the bat, like every young baseball player is instructed not to do for this very reason. He exited the game and X-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture in the throwing hand of a player the Nats just can't afford to lose.

With Harper now a Phillie, the Nats were relying on core offensive pieces in Turner, Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Adam Eaton. Soto is just 3 for 16 so far, and the injury bug has again bitten the top of the Nats' order. The Eaton-Turner pairing can be dynamic but they have barely played together. Eaton has missed 206 games the last two seasons and now Turner is sidelined.

The Phillies will see Wednesday who mans the two-hole now for their biggest threat to the NL East crown. It could be newcomer Brian Dozier, who's off to a slow start.

The Phils will have a chance Wednesday afternoon to improve to 5-0 and win a second straight series against an NL East team. It's Aaron Nola for the Phils and Anibal Sanchez for the Nats.

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More on the Phillies

MLB Notes: Braves' Bartolo Colon designated for assignment

MLB Notes: Braves' Bartolo Colon designated for assignment

SAN DIEGO -- Right-hander Bartolo Colon was designated for assignment by the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, one day after the 44-year-old right-hander's record dropped to 2-8.

Pitching for the first time since going on the disabled list with a strained left oblique on June 6, Colon allowed six runs, eight hits and three walks in four innings in during Wednesday night's 7-4 loss at San Diego.

Colon has an 8.14 ERA in 13 starts, unable to find the form that earned him an AL Cy Young Award winner and made him a 235-game winner.

"The reality is that I've been getting hit hard and that's the truth and you can't dance around it," Colon said through a translator after his latest loss.

Unless Colon is traded or claimed on waivers, the Braves would be responsible for the remainder of his $12.5 million salary. If he is released and signs with another team, the new club would be responsible for only a prorated share of the $535,000 minimum.

"We hated to do it," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of releasing Colon. "It wasn't easy because he is such a great guy and a wonderful teammate. But it just wasn't happening here" (see full story).

Nationals: Turner suffers broken right wrist
WASHINGTON -- Trea Turner has a broken right wrist after being hit by a pitch, and it's unclear when the Washington Nationals will get their speedy shortstop back in the lineup.

Turner was hit by Pedro Strop's 2-1 fastball in the seventh inning of Washington's 5-4 loss Thursday. Turner stayed in the game until Stephen Drew entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

Turner went for X-rays after the game. The Nationals did not provide a timetable for his return.

Turner stole two bases, bumping up his total to seven in the four-game series and 35 on the season. He entered the day tied for the NL lead with Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton. Washington's leadoff hitter is batting .279 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs.

Cubs: Bryant could be sidelined until next week
WASHINGTON -- Kris Bryant was out of the Chicago Cubs' starting lineup for a series finale at Washington, a day after spraining his right ankle, and could be sidelined until next week.

The reigning NL MVP turned his ankle on third base while catching a foul popup in the sixth inning Wednesday.

"It feels a ton better today," Bryant said Thursday. "I'm moving around pretty good. I don't think it will be too long."

X-rays Wednesday were negative. After leaving the field Bryant said he and the training staff "did a bunch of stuff that didn't feel good, but I guess it really made feel better today."

He was replaced at third base Thursday by Jeimer Candelario.

"Just got to give us a couple of days to figure it out at that point," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

Maddon acknowledged he could hold Bryant out until Chicago hosts Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

"I would think that's what it's going to be. When you sprain your ankle, it just doesn't get better overnight," Maddon said (see full story).

Giants: Hwang can earn over $700K if he stays in majors
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jae-Gyun Hwang would earn $786,885 if he remains on the San Francisco Giants' major league roster for the remainder of the season and could gain more in performance bonuses.

The South Korean third baseman homered in his major league debut Wednesday for San Francisco, a tiebreaking drive in the sixth inning of the Giants' 5-3 win against the Rockies.

When Hwang joined the Giants in January, he received a minor league deal and agreed that if added to the 40-man roster he would have a $1.5 million salary while in the major leagues and a $125,000 salary while in the minors.

His contract calls for big league performance bonuses of $125,000 each for 250, 300 and 350 plate appearances; $150,000 for 400; $300,000 apiece for 450 and 500; and $375,000 for 550.

He would earn a $100,000 roster bonus if he is on the major league active roster for 90 days, not including disabled list time.

Bullpen decision burns Pete Mackanin in form of Turner walk-off HR

Bullpen decision burns Pete Mackanin in form of Turner walk-off HR

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON — Even with the luxury of an expanded September roster, the Phillies looked like they were playing shorthanded on Friday night.
 
The Phils suffered a 5-4 loss when Washington Nationals rookie centerfielder Trea Turner hit his second homer of the game, a solo blow to dead center off reliever Frank Herrmann with two outs in the bottom of the ninth (see Instant Replay).
 
The Phillies have played the Nats 16 times this season and lost 11.
 
Turner’s first home run of the game was a two-run shot against reliever Colton Murray in the bottom of the seventh inning. It gave the Nats a 4-1 lead.
 
The Phillies responded a half inning later and tied the game on a booming 420-foot, three-run home run by Cameron Rupp.
 
Herrman, who spent most of the season in Triple A before coming up last month, kept the game tied with scoreless work in bottom of the eighth.
 
Playing at home, the Nationals went to their closer, Mark Melancon, in the top of the ninth and he survived a two-out walk in putting up a zero and getting the game to the bottom of the ninth.
 
Melancon’s ninth-inning challenge became a little easier when Phillies manager Pete Mackanin let Herrmann bat with one out in the inning. In just his second at-bat in 102 career big-league games, Herrmann struck out.
 
The decision to let the pitcher hit was highly questionable, especially with power bats Tommy Joseph, Darin Ruf and Maikel Franco sitting on the bench.
 
After the game, Mackanin said Franco was not available because of a sore thumb. The third baseman sat out his third straight game.
 
The manager went on to explain that he wanted Herrmann to go a second inning because he wanted to stay away from the back-end bullpen trio of Edubray Ramos, Hector Neris and Jeanmar Gomez because of its recent heavy workload.
 
“My biggest concern was protecting Ramos, Neris and Gomez,” Mackanin said. “I knew going in we weren’t going to have those guys available. They’ve been working a lot, five out of seven, four out of six. So we were relying on other guys to do the job.
 
“I thought about hitting Joseph there or Ruf, someone to maybe hit a home run, but my biggest concern was going 14 innings and having to go to those [relievers]. That would have been the worse-case scenario for me.”

Even in trying to stay away from his most trusted three relievers, Mackanin had veteran David Hernandez and Severino Gonzalez available in the bullpen if the game went into extra innings.
 
It never got there.
 
“Herrmann threw very well,” Mackanin said. “That’s why I liked him to go back out there. He just made a bad pitch.”
 
In addition to not having Franco, Mackanin’s bench was shortened when Aaron Altherr had to enter the game in the fifth inning after Odubel Herrerra was hit by a pitch on the right leg. He suffered a contusion and might need a couple of days off.
 
“I have to manage the bullpen and the position players,” Mackanin said. “With Franco not available and Herrera out early, that kind of shortens it a little. My concern was going 11 or 12 innings.”
 
You don’t often hear a manager say that in September. Maybe the Phillies need to bring up some more reinforcements from the minors. The Nationals are carrying 15 relief pitchers, more than double the norm.
 
The bright spots in the game were Rupp’s big home run and starter Jake Thompson’s effort. He allowed just two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
 
After debuting with four poor outings, Thompson has given up just five runs in 19 1/3 innings over his last three starts. The improvement has coincided with him simplifying his delivery.
 
“I hate to lose, but I was really happy with Thompson,” Mackanin said. “That was his third really good outing. That’s nice to see for the future. He looks like he’s going to be a guy that can pitch up here.”
 
Turner, 23, was the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft. The Phillies picked Aaron Nola seventh in that draft. Turner is hitting .345 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 52 games with the Nats this season.

“That kid Turner is a good-looking player,” Mackanin said.

He sure did a job on the Phillies in this one.