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The Nationals clinched a postseason berth against Bryce Harper, but he's OK with it

The Nationals clinched a postseason berth against Bryce Harper, but he's OK with it

The Nationals eliminated the Phillies from postseason contention and clinched a wild card spot of their own on the same day, but Bryce Harper was not fazed.

It was a tough day for the Phillies and about the best possible day for the Nationals. Game 1 of the doubleheader eliminated the Phillies from postseason contention. Harper went 1-4. The Game 2 win, combined with a Pirates win over the Cubs, sent the Nationals to the postseason for the fifth time since 2012.

"They’re a really good team," Harper said. "They played really well down the stretch. I think, as a club, they’ve done a great job over the last couple months to put themselves in the driver’s seat to get into that wild-card game. So, I mean, just gotta be better. We’ve gotta be better as a team."

Trea Turner, who formerly starred as half of one of the best young duos in baseball alongside Harper, blasted a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning that was ultimately the difference in the game. Harper gave it his best counterpunch, homering off nemesis Hunter Strickland in the next half-inning, but it was all for naught.

"Like you guys said, they’re over there enjoying what they’re enjoying right now, and at the end of the day, that homer doesn’t matter," Harper said. "It’s still a 6-5 ballgame, they still got the W. They are where they are."

This isn't the first time Harper has come back to Washington to play the Nationals since signing with Philadelphia in the offseason. In fact, after Tuesday night, the Phillies have played eight games at Nationals Park this season. He still gets booed every time he comes to the plate. Even still, he said there was no extra sting on being eliminated by his old club in his old park and watching them clinch on the same day.

"I’ve got no hard feelings towards them at all. They’re a great team. They’re a great organization," Harper said. "That’s why they’re where they’re at right now. It’s a great group of guys over there, they play the game the right way. They play hard and they’ve got a pitching staff to go with it and the lineup as well so they’re gonna be tough to beat. They’re a good team and that’s why they are who they are."

Whether he meant it or was being humble is up for debate. But it also doesn't matter. The Nationals are postseason-bound and the Phillies just have five games left in the season.

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Trea Turner undergoes surgery to finally fix his broken index finger

Trea Turner undergoes surgery to finally fix his broken index finger

Trea Turner finally found the time to have his finger fixed.

A Saturday Instagram post showed Turner holding up his heavily wrapped right hand and held the caption: "Only took 7 months to get this finger fixed but now my ring will fit better! 🏆 Thank you to Dr. Carlson and all the staff at @hspecialsurgery for taking care of me! World class job by everyone! Forever thankful!"

"Can’t wait to start hitting with 10 fingers..."

Turner did not play from April 3 to May 17 after fracturing a knuckle on his right index finger when he turned to bunt, and a pitch from Philadelphia starter Zach Eflin struck his finger.

Turner's absence was among several enormous blows to the Nationals' health early in the season. His replacements -- Wilmer Difo and prospect Carter Kieboom -- both played poorly. Turner finished his shortened season as a 2.4-WAR player. Difo and Kieboom combined for -2.1 WAR in limited duty. The swing from Turner to his replacements became a massive hole and coincided with the Nationals bumbling through April and May.

When Turner returned, he still was not healed. He swung with nine fingers on the bat. Often, it flew out of his hands at the end of the swing when he first began to play again. He was never able to bend the finger enough so the tip touched the palm of his hand. Turner also went to great length not to discuss his situation through the year.

There was no immediate timeline for Turner's recovery process available Saturday.

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College GameDay sign takes dig at Astros amid sign-stealing scandal

College GameDay sign takes dig at Astros amid sign-stealing scandal

The College GameDay crew is in Waco, Texas, this weekend to set the stage for the highly touted Big 12 matchup between Baylor and Oklahoma that kicks off Saturday night at 7: 30 p.m.

Baylor fans were out in full force for the live broadcast, holding countless signs that took shots at the Sooners. But one fan went outside the college football realm for their inspiration.

The Astros are facing widespread scrutiny as a result of a report that detailed allegations claiming they used high-powered cameras to steal opposing pitchers’ signs during the 2017 season, when they went on to win the World Series.

Houston can’t do much to defend itself until MLB concludes its investigation, so for now it just has to take jabs left and right from all corners of the sports world.

And apparently, even from Waco.

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