Nationals

Quick Links

Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman receive honors from fellow ballplayers

scherzer-zimmerman-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman receive honors from fellow ballplayers

NEW YORK -- Houston second baseman Jose Altuve was voted outstanding player for the second straight season in Players Choice Awards balloting by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was selected Marvin Miller Man of the Year, given to the player who most inspires other players through on-field performances and contributions to his community. Rizzo was treated for limited state classical Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008 and in 2012 founded the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which funds pediatric cancer research and supports the families of children with cancer.

RELATED: NATS HAVE 2/3 OF THE NL CY YOUNG FINALISTS

Altuve, who led the Astros to their first World Series championship, also was voted outstanding AL player for the second straight year. He hit .346 and won his third AL batting title in four years. Miami outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was the outstanding NL player, leading the major leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs.

Washington right-hander Max Scherzer was picked as the outstanding NL pitcher, going 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and an NL-leading 268 strikeouts. Cleveland right-hander Corey Kluber was the AL's outstanding pitcher with an 18-4 record and big league-best 2.25 ERA.

New York outfielder Aaron Judge was the top AL rookie, setting a major league rookie record with 52 homers. Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger was the top NL rookie, hitting an NL rookie record 39 homers after his late April debut.

RELATED: WIETERS WILL RETURN TO NATS IN 2018

Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas were the top comeback players. After shoulder, wrist, thumb, foot, hamstring and oblique injuries, the 33-year-old Zimmerman hit .303 with 36 homers and 108 RBIs, earning his first All-Star Game selection since 2009. The 29-year-old Moustakas returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in May 2016 and hit .272 with 38 homers and 85 RBIs.

Balloting among big league players took place on Sept. 19 and results were announced Wednesday.

Quick Links

Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

daniel_murphy.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Murphy's big hit helps Nats beat Mets 6-1

Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner each hit a two-run single in Washington's five-run seventh inning, helping the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-1 on Sunday.

Matt Adams added two hits and scored a run as Washington salvaged a split of its four-game set against New York. A preseason favorite to win the NL East and contend for a World Series championship, the disappointing Nationals hit the All-Star break with a 48-48 record, good for third in the division.

Jeremy Hellickson (4-1) pitched six crisp innings in his second straight win. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and two hits, struck out six and walked two.

Jose Reyes drove in Michael Conforto with a fielder's choice in the second, tying it at 1, but Washington grabbed control in the seventh.

Juan Soto and Anthony Rendon opened the inning with walks against Anthony Swarzak (0-2). Tim Peterson then came in and surrendered singles to Adams and Murphy, who came off the bench to hit for Michael A. Taylor.

Jerry Blevins replaced Peterson with two out and runners on second and third. But he hit Wilmer Difo and Adam Eaton before Turner's single gave Washington a 6-1 lead.

New York wasted a solid start by Corey Oswalt, who allowed two hits in five innings. The Mets got off to a fast start this year, but hit the break last in the division with a 39-55 record, a percentage point behind fourth-place Miami.

WAITING

A steady drizzle delayed the start by 47 minutes.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (right shoulder inflammation) pitched 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Class A Potomac. He allowed three runs, struck out seven and walked one. Strasburg has been on the disabled list since June 10.

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes is scheduled to play five simulated innings in left field at the team's facility in Florida on Monday. Mets manager Mickey Callaway said the 32-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined by a right hip flexor and strained quadriceps, could return as the designated hitter next weekend against the Yankees If he is able to play on consecutive days.

MAKING MOVES

The Nationals recalled right-hander Trevor Gott from Triple-A Syracuse. Right-hander Austin Voth, who took the loss in his big league debut Saturday, was sent back to Syracuse.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Taking a look at the numbers behind the Nationals' three All-Stars

Taking a look at the numbers behind the Nationals' three All-Stars

With a win on Sunday afternoon, the Nationals come into the All-Star break at 48-48. 

That's not great! It's certainly an underperformance given all the expectations, but the season hasn't been without some stellar individual performances . 

Take, for starters, Max Scherzer. Scherzer's on pace to have an even better year than his 2017 Cy Young-winning effort, which is mind-boggling. 

An even-more-refined command is what's made him better this season, as his walk rate is down below seven percent again after creeping up to 7.1 last year. It hasn't affected his strikeout rate, either, which has stayed steady at 34 percent. If the season ended today, it'd be the 4th straight year where he set a career-best in that department. 

Of all starting pitchers, he ranks second in WHIP, and K/BB percent. He has the third-lowest average against (.178) and third-best strikeout percentage (34.5). He's got a top-10 ERA and FIP as well. He's been the best pitcher in baseball this season, and will probably be in the conversation for N.L. MVP as well. 

If only the Nats could just go from Scherzer to Doolittle. The closer stopped walking people, too, and already has 22 saves after ending last year with 24. Had he not been put on the D.L. with a toe injury about a week before the All-Star game, he more than likely would have set his career high in saves before the break. 

He's currently on pace to post the second-best year of his career when it comes to strikeouts, too. He's getting Ks 37.1 percent of the time, which would be the highest since he posted a 37.7 in 2014. Same goes for his K/9. He also has a top-10 ERA and FIP. He's been one of the few relief pitchers that have been consistently reliable through the first half, and the Nats will need his toe to get real healthy real quick. 

And lastly there's Bryce Harper, who you've surely heard is not having an All-Star caliber season. His batting average is hovering around .200, he's striking out more than he has in four years, and he's getting eaten alive by the shift. He's also on pace to have one of his best power-hitting seasons ever and finish with close to 40 home runs, so even his bad years still find a way to be impressive. 

Harper also benefits from being one of the faces of baseball playing in front of his home fans. He's one of the most popular players in the league, and All-Star games find a way to get those people in. An All-Star game in D.C. without him would be objectively less enjoyable, so it was in everyone's interest to have him there. Stars just get the calls sometimes. 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: