Nationals

Rodgers puts Green Bay up 14-0 over Texans after 1

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Rodgers puts Green Bay up 14-0 over Texans after 1

HOUSTON (AP) Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and the Green Bay Packers led the Houston Texans 14-0 after one quarter on Sunday night.

Jordy Nelson got past Johnathan Joseph for a 41-yard touchdown reception to put the Packers on top 7-0 early in the quarter. Green Bay had a fourth-and-3 on the play before the touchdown, but rookie DeVier Posey was offside, giving the Packers a first down to keep the drive going.

The second score came when Rodgers hit James Jones near the corner of the end zone on a 6-yard score with less than a minute left in the first quarter. Rodgers got that drive going when he was almost sacked by Connor Barwin, but wriggled free and found Randall Cobb on a 24-yard reception.

Rodgers ended the first quarter with 129 yards passing and Nelson had 50 yards receiving.

Houston is off to the best start in franchise history, coming into the game 5-0, joining Atlanta as the NFL's only unbeaten teams. But things didn't look good for the Texans early.

Matt Schaub, who had been sacked just three times this season entering Sunday's game, was taken down on both of Houston's first two drives as the offense sputtered and had to punt on its first three possessions.

Schaub ended the first quarter with just 31 yards passing.

Houston defensive end J.J. Watt sacked Rodgers on Green Bay's second drive, and fired up the fans by mimicking Rodgers' ``championship belt'' pose after the play. Watt came into the game with 7 1-2 sacks, just behind Green Bay's Clay Matthews, who led the league with eight through the first five games.

Texans defensive end Tim Jamison, Watt's backup, hurt his right Achilles tendon on the Packers' second scoring drive and the team said he wouldn't return. Jamison had a sack and a tipped pass in the first five games.

It is the first meeting between these teams since 2008 and Green Bay's first trip to Houston since 2004, which was also a Sunday night game that the Packers won 16-13.

Green Bay's offense came in ranked 21st (338 yards per game), and has been slowed by injuries to some of its top playmakers.

Receiver Greg Jennings missed his second straight game with a groin problem, and has said he won't play until he is 100 percent healthy so it doesn't slow him down the rest of the season. Running back Cedric Benson, who has had 71 of the team's 111 carries, is out at least eight weeks with a sprained left foot. Tight end Jermichael Finley is nursing a bum right shoulder, but played on Sunday. Tight end D.J. Williams tweaked his hamstring and didn't play Sunday.

Houston receiver Andre Johnson entered the game needing 61 yards receiving to reach 10,000 in his career. He has had four quiet games since catching eight passes in the season-opening win over Miami. He had one reception for 12 yards in the first quarter Sunday.

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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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