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2017 MLB Power Rankings: Bryce Harper had himself a nice Mother's Day

2017 MLB Power Rankings: Bryce Harper had himself a nice Mother's Day

Signing a one-year contract for $21 million and then hitting a walkoff homerun isn't a terrible way to spend 24 hours. 

That's how Bryce Harpers weekend went, and despite the Nationals' bullpen blowing a few games to the Phillies, the Nationals continue to be one of the best teams in baseball. Outside of DC, the Yankees continue to be both shockingly young and good, the Cubs are feeling the World Series hangover, and the Twins might actually be good? It's been a weird two months. 

How'd your team do this week? To the rankings! 

2017 MLB POWER RANKINGS

30. ATLANTA BRAVES

2017 Record: 13-21
Previous Ranking: 27
Last 10 Games: 3-7
Notable Performance: Freddy Freeman (.316/.409/.632 over last week)

It's safe to say that Freeman is no longer slumping. Swanson, though, isn't looking any better. 

29. SAN DIEGO PADRES

2017 Record: 14-25
Previous Ranking: 24
Last 10 Games: 2-8
Notable Performance: Manuel Margot (.316/.364/.526 over the last week)

They're 2-8 in their last 10 and have lost six of their last seven. The bullpen, usually one of their strengths, has been awful this year. 

28. OAKLAND ATHLETICS

2017 Record: 16-21
Previous Ranking: 23
Last 10 Games: 5-5
Notable Performance: Yonder Alonso (.250/.400/.813 with 3 HRs last week)

They're five games under .500, last in the AL West, yet two games out of second place. The AL West is underwhelming this year. with four home runs last week)

27. KANSAS CITY ROYALS

2017 Record: 16-21
Previous Ranking: 28
Last 10 Games: 7-3
Notable Performance: Eric Hosmer (.375/.444/.458 over the last week)

Maybe they're not dead after all. 7-3 in their last 10 g

26. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

2017 Record: 15-24
Previous Ranking: 30
Last 10 Games: 4-6
Notable Performance: Buster Posey (.412/.524/.941 with 3 HRs last week)

They only went 4-6 last week, but they're out of the NL West cellar, they got a fun walkoff homer in the 17th inning from Buster Posey and their first three-game sweep this week. Not bad for a bad week. 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE RANKINGS

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What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

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USA Today Sports

What to make of the Strasburg-Scherzer shouting match in the Nationals' dugout

Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer had a heated exchange in the Nationals dugout Friday night.

It was another not-so-great moment in an otherwise unspectacular season for the Nats so far.

Things like this often appear worse than they are based on what we can see, not hear, on television. In any case, it has fans and pundits talking about a perceived off-the-field issue instead of the actual game. There's nothing "good" about this, but there are important factors that are "bad" and ones that are "not bad."

Davey Martinez, Strasburg and Scherzer already said this has been settled and wasn't a big deal in the first place, but for a manager who's already faced some scrutiny this year for how he manages his pitchers, having two of them go at it in the dugout isn't ideal.

It also doesn't present the best optics for a team that came out of the All-Star Break 5.5 games back of the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies. The Nationals need to build some momentum heading into the dog days of summer, and after a lackluster first half, this isn't how anybody would want to start the second half.

This was also Strasburg's first start back from a month-long stint on the disabled list. Ryan Zimmerman just rejoined the club as well. Things are shaping up to make for a solid second-half run, but all this does is detract from that.

The Nationals also just hosted the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. Having something like this happen in the dugout where everybody can see it takes away from some of that good publicity.

But there are also positives, or at least non-negatives, to take from this. Scherzer has always been ultracompetitive, and as the best pitcher on the staff, he needs to harness that into leadership. With Strasburg coming off a rough inning, Scherzer may have thought he needed a little tough love from a veteran. There's nothing wrong with that. Strasburg, to his credit, has never been one to focus too much on himself, so if there's anyone who can take something like this constructively, it'd be him.

This isn't Jonathan Paplebon fighting Bryce Harper for not running out a pop fly the day after the Nats were eliminated from playoff contention. These are two veteran guys who play the same position who are both competitive and want to win. It's akin to an older brother pushing his younger brother to do better. Strasburg even hinted at the family aspect after the game.

In the end, there's really nothing to see here. Frustration is part of the game. Talking it out is a part of remedying the frustration.

What really matters is tracking down the Braves and the Phillies. The Nationals can get started on that Sunday in the second game of a rain-shortened two-game series against the Braves.

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

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Saturday's Nationals game rained out, to be postponed

Following a dicey matchup between the Nats and Braves Friday night which featured a heated argument between Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, the Nationals are getting a much-needed opportunity to regroup.

The Washington Nationals' official Twitter account announced that Saturday evening's matchup will be postponed due to inclement weather just after 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The Nationals had planned to host "JMU Night" at the ballpark as a part of their "College Day" series, and due to more forecasted inclement weather Sunday, the Nationals decided to call the game off sooner rather than later.

The Nationals have yet to announce when the game will be made up.

If Sunday's game is played as scheduled, Max Scherzer will start.

This post will be updated when more information regarding a makeup date has been announced.

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