Nationals

No. 13 Michigan State beats Wisconsin 49-47

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No. 13 Michigan State beats Wisconsin 49-47

MADISON, Wis. (AP) Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says some teams make the mistake of trying to speed up Wisconsin.

Instead, the 13th-ranked Spartans decided to grind the Badgers down.

Keith Appling scored 19 points and Branden Dawson added 18 while grabbing 13 rebounds to lead Michigan State to a 49-47 victory over Wisconsin in a defensive struggle Tuesday night.

``They don't turn it over. I don't care who they're playing,'' said Izzo, whose team finished with 10 turnovers, one more than Wisconsin. ``So we said we have to play like them in that respect. We wanted to run, but we wanted to be solid with the ball, and I think we did a good of that.''

It should be no shock the game was a grind considering Wisconsin is tops in the Big Ten in scoring defense and the Spartans are third. But defense alone doesn't explain the offensive struggles of both teams.

They both went more than 4 minutes without scoring down the stretch until Dawson broke the drought, hitting one of two from the free throw line. That put the Spartans (17-3, 6-1 Big Ten) up 48-44 with just over 2 minutes left.

The defenses clamped down again until Ryan Evans' 3-pointer from the wing with 17 seconds left pulled Wisconsin (13-6, 4-2) within 48-47.

The Badgers fouled Michigan State freshman Gary Harris. He took his time in hitting the front end of a 1-and-1, but rimmed out the second to leave the Spartans up 49-47.

Wisconsin's George Marshall, who missed practice Monday because he was sick, then drove the lane and was fouled with 3.5 seconds left. But he missed the first free throw and intentionally tried to miss the second, failing to draw iron and giving the ball to the Spartans.

After winning their first game at Wisconsin since 2001 last season, the Spartans have won two straight at the Kohl Center and have a four-game winning streak against the Badgers.

``I just love playing against Wisconsin,'' Appling said. ``Each year they have competitive guys that push me and make me better, so I just look at it as a challenge. These past couple years it's worked out in my favor and my team's favor.''

Though it was a defensive struggle for both sides, Wisconsin took the worst of it.

The Badgers shot just less than 30 percent from the field, including 8 of 27 from 3-point range. The starting frontcourt - Evans, Mike Bruesewitz and Jared Berggren - combined to shoot 9 of 32.

Wisconsin played without backup forward Frank Kaminsky, who missed his second straight game after being poked in the eye at Indiana last week. Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said it hurt to lose a post player who can score.

Bruesewitz led the Badgers with 10 points.

``You can have a guy have an off night,'' Ryan said. ``We had more than one guy have an off night, and it's a one possession game. That's frustrating because you know you had opportunities.''

It was another poor showing night at the free throw line for the Badgers. Berggren, who came in shooting 76 percent from the line, missed three straight during Wisconsin's second-half scoreless streak, including the front end of a 1-and-1. The Badgers finished 7 of 18 from the line, including 5 of 13 in the second half, and are now shooting 61 percent on the season.

Berggren said it was particularly painful that the missed free throws included two after he went in for a dunk and was fouled during the scoreless stretch, saying he needed to fight through the contact better.

``To get easy points like that and leave those on the board is frustrating,'' he said.

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Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

Max Scherzer grits his way through broken nose in stellar outing, win vs. Phillies

WASHINGTON -- With a broken nose, pronounced black eye and seven shutout innings, Max Scherzer provided a striking capper to the Washington Nationals' day-night doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Scherzer himself? He shrugged off his work in the Nationals' 2-0 victory Wednesday night as business as usual.

"Trust me, this thing looks a lot worse than it actually is," Scherzer said. "I felt zero pain. There's been plenty of other injuries where I felt a lot of pain and I've had to pitch through. I'll hang my hat on those starts, but tonight I felt zero pain. This is part of what you have to do. You take the ball every fifth time.

"That's my responsibility to the team, to make sure I always post, and I knew I could post tonight."

Brian Dozier and Victor Robles hit solo homers to support Scherzer (6-5) as Washington won for the 16th time in 23 games. Philadelphia has dropped seven of its last nine and 12 of 18.

In the first game, Patrick Corbin struck out eight while allowing one run over seven innings as the Nationals earned a 6-2 victory in the delayed series opener after the teams were rained out Monday and Tuesday.

Scherzer bunted a ball off his face during batting practice Tuesday, but it didn't stop him from making his scheduled start. His injury may have provided an extra layer of intimidation in the form of a black eye more worthy of a boxing ring than a baseball diamond.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner sported a pronounced bruise arcing beneath his right eye, adding another hue to a glare that already featured one blue eye and one brown eye.

"Going out there and throwing, the only thing I had to deal with was the swelling underneath the eye," Scherzer said. "It was kind of jiggling around, and so in warmups I just had to get used to knowing what it was feeling like to throw the ball and just have that swelling."

While he wasn't at his most efficient on a humid night, piling up 117 pitches, Scherzer was rarely threatened. He struck out 10, yielded only four hits and permitted just two runners to reach scoring position. And he finished strong, striking out three in a row after Cesar Hernandez led off the seventh with a double.

"It really is one of the most impressive things I've seen in a while," Dozier said. "He's probably the best pitcher in our generation, and you don't get that status unless you take the ball every fifth day, no matter if you're doing good, doing bad, you got a broken nose. You always want the ball."

Bryce Harper, Scherzer's former Nationals teammate, was 0 for 4 with four walks in the doubleheader and was loudly booed before each plate appearance -- especially in the better-attended nightcap. This series is his second trip back to Washington, where he played from 2012-18, since signing a 13-year, $330 million contract with Philadelphia in March.

Dozier belted a two-out solo shot in the second off Jake Arrieta (6-6), who allowed two hits and struck out three over six innings and had the misfortune of matching up with Scherzer on the wrong day.

"Max is just one of the best to ever toe the rubber, honestly," Arietta said. "We have ran into him a couple of times. That's just what he does. He is tough to square up, and he is throwing three or four pitches for strikes with electric stuff. Just a tough one."

Robles homered off reliever Pat Neshek in the eighth. Neshek departed two batters later with a left hamstring strain, and manager Gabe Kapler said he was likely to land on the injured list less than a week after returning from an absence of more than three weeks caused by a shoulder strain.

Wander Suero pitched a perfect eighth for Washington, and Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 tries.

Philadelphia was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position between the two games.

Corbin (6-5), whose start was pushed back twice this week, allowed a solo homer to Scott Kingery in the first inning of the opener. But he let just one other runner to reach third while ending a personal three-game skid.

"It's not ideal, but you have to deal with it to make sure you are ready," said Corbin, who is one strikeout shy of 1,000 for his career. "I was glad we got that one in today."

Dozier and Gerardo Parra had RBI doubles against Phillies starter Zach Eflin (6-7). They later hit back-to-back homers in the eighth inning off Cole Irvin to seal the victory.

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This Nationals fan's Max Scherzer broken nose shirt is the best thing you'll see today

This Nationals fan's Max Scherzer broken nose shirt is the best thing you'll see today

Nationals ace Max Scherzer added another incredible chapter to his legendary career Wednesday, pitching seven shutout innings against the Phillies after breaking his nose in a batting practice accident the day before. 

To honor Scherzer's toughness, one amazing Nats fan wore arguably the greatest shirt ever seen at a baseball game.

(Photo: NBC Sports Washington)

This isn't a good shirt. This is a GREAT shirt, worthy of the man who's face it features. 

Someone get this fan a signed Scherzer baseball. 

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