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Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson exits game after collision

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Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson exits game after collision

Washington Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was removed from Wednesday night's game in St. Louis in the fifth inning after colliding with Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader at the plate.

Hellickson was covering home after a wild pitch. He stumbled over Bader as Bader slid home safely.

Hellickson was charged with three runs, two earned, on three hits in his 4 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

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Zimmerman homers twice in Nationals' win over Cubs

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Zimmerman homers twice in Nationals' win over Cubs

CHICAGO — Ryan Zimmerman hit two home runs off a shaky Jon Lester and tied a career high with six RBIs, sending the Washington Nationals over the Chicago Cubs 9-4 on Saturday.

Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the first inning, had a sacrifice fly to the warning track in the third and chased Lester with a three-run drive in the fourth that made it 9-1. He is batting .355 (16 for 45) with four homers and 16 RBIs in 14 games since returning from the disabled list last month.

Daniel Murphy also homered and had three hits, helping Tanner Roark (7-12) win his fourth straight start.

Lester (12-5) was tagged for eight earned runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander is winless in his last five starts for the NL Central leaders, going 0-3 with a 10.32 ERA during that span.

Anthony Rizzo got his 1,000th career hit for the Cubs. Ben Zobrist drove in two runs and Addison Russell had three hits for Chicago.

Roark (7-12) allowed two runs on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one. The right-hander has allowed four earned runs over 29 2/3 innings during the four-start winning streak.

The native of Wilmington -- about 60 miles south of Wrigley Field -- is 4-0 with 2.74 ERA in his last five starts against the Cubs.

After Lester retired the first two batters of the game, Bryce Harper singled and Zimmerman homered to center.

Washington broke it open with six runs in the fourth. Murphy had a two-run homer, Trea Turner drove in a run with a single and Zimmerman capped the burst with his ninth home run.

Willson Contreras singled in a run in the eighth on Roark's 117th and final pitch.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (pinched nerve in neck) threw a 64-pitch bullpen on Saturday and said that he "felt really good." He's scheduled to throw a simulated game on Wednesday. If all goes well in that, a rehab start likely will be the next step. "We want to make sure when he does get back, he's going to pitch every five days," manager Dave Martinez said.

Cubs: 3B Kris Bryant (left shoulder inflammation) took ground balls and a few swings on Saturday, but there is no timetable for his return.

UP NEXT

Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (15-5, 2.28 ERA) will try to become the majors' first 16-game winner in the finale of the series on Sunday night. Scherzer also leads the majors in strikeouts with 216 in 161 2/3 innings. LHP Cole Hamels (7-9, 4.38) makes his third start with the Cubs. He has allowed just one earned in 11 innings during the first two starts.

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Former National Jayson Werth would have played for any team this season, except one

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Former National Jayson Werth would have played for any team this season, except one

Sometimes, you just can’t quit hating someone. For the recently retired Jayson Werth, that someone is his longtime NL East rivals in New York.

Werth spent some time in Toronto and Los Angeles, but the bulk of his career took place in the NL East. He rose to prominence with the Phillies, and then signed a 7-year mega contract with the Nationals, where he spent the final seasons of his time in the majors. Notably, both of those franchise are rivals with the New York Mets.

So when Werth was looking for a new baseball home last offseason, he was willing to play anywhere. Literally anywhere. Except, according to Werth himself in a recent interview, the Mets.

According to Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post, who listened to Werth’s appearance on Howard Eskin’s Philadelphia sports talk show, Werth said, “..so I took matters into my own hands and I called every team but one and tried to get a job. The only team I didn’t call? The Mets. I wouldn’t play for them.”

What’s especially interesting about this piece is how upset Werth was with his former representation, super-agent Scott Boras. In the interview, Werth mentioned that he was advised to wait it out when he was given offers in November, but then when Spring Training came and he started reaching out to teams on his own, he was told they were unaware he wanted to continue his playing career.

Werth was understandably upset finding out his own agent hadn’t been marketing him to teams, but Boras’ company has a different side to the story. According to them, Werth’s representation made it very clear to teams that Werth considered himself an available free agent, but they received no offers.

It’s not clear where the disconnect is, but Werth was incensed enough to fire Boras over it, and he of course eventually went on to retire after a short minor league stint earlier this season. Boras claims they have documented evidence that they did their due diligence, but Werth’s retirement is likely the end of the story.

One other interesting note from Janes’ article is Werth’s stance on analytics in the sport. He goes off on the place of sabermetrics in team building.

“They’ve got all these super nerds in the front office that know nothing about baseball but they like to project numbers and project players. ...I think it’s killing the game. It’s to the point where just put computers out there. Just put laptops and what have you, just put them out there and let them play. We don’t even need to go out there anymore. It’s a joke.”

These are harsh words from a guy who earned over $100 million playing a sport that’s supposedly being “killed.” Old-school baseball guys may not love losing their jobs to men and women who never played professionally, but it’s hard to argue with the results when looking at the current juggernauts of the sport.

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