Moments after sending his Nationals team to a walk-off win, and an hour after they were eliminated from postseason contention, Bryce Harper took the high road when asked about how the Nats fell way short of their World Series expectations.
Knowing the Mets will represent the NL East division in the postseason, Harper hopes they go all the way and win the World Series.
"Coming from the East, I hope they win it all because they’re from the East and you want that out of your division. I hope they win it all and good luck to them," he said.
The Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-2 when the Nats were in extra innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. The victory for the Mets made official what had been inevitable for weeks, that the Nats would not be playing in the postseason despite being picked by just about everybody to win a championship.
Harper shared some thoughts on why the Mets were the better team in this particular year.
"The Mets had everything going for them. They did a lot of things. That deadline came around and they got [Yoenis] Cespedes, [Tyler] Clippard and they built their team. They did a great job this year and they’re doing it," he explained.
The All-Star break is a perfect opportunity to sit down and re-evaluate the landscape of Major League Baseball. As it turns out, however, there aren't as many meaningful moves as one might expect.
The unrivaled dominance of the Astros, Red Sox, and Yankees sets us up for a wildly entertaining October, and the uber-talented rosters of the Indians, Cubs and Dodgers will make noise as well. Still, it means the top three (and, moving down, the next three to four teams) in our power rankings haven't experienced much variance in 2018.
The gap between the haves and the have-nots has never been more pronounced than it is in this era, which means the bottom-four teams have stayed pretty steady since May. Yes, the Reds have made a nice jump since Jim Riggleman took over, and the Orioles are about 15 spots lower than we had them in March, but none of the major moves will have any real impact on who we expect to win the World Series this year.
That doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to see where each team stands, however, and these are certainly still subject to change. The Nationals, for example, have enough talent and starpower on the roster to jump into the top six or seven teams as a legitimate title contender at some point.
The stars are out in D.C. this week, as baseball converges onto the nation's capital. Are the hometown team's stars enough to keep the roster in the conversation for the playoffs?
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When it comes to having their thumb on the pulse of Major League Baseball, no one is more tuned in than Tim Kurkjian, ESPN's senior baseball analyst.
Before Sunday night's Celebrity All-Star Game, which Kurkjian was playing in, the reporter talked with NBC Sports Washington about what he thinks is plauging the Nationals.
"Well, they're really injured right now," Kurkjian said, on his way to the batting cages. "They've got to get Zimmerman healthy, they've got to get Strasburg healthy."
"They've got to get Murphy and Adam Eaton healthy too, even though they're playing. And then, of course, Bryce Harper really has to start to hit."
Before leaving to get some cuts in, though, Kurkjian offered an analysis that won't exactly sit well with Nats' fans.
"They have a lot of issues right now. And there's no way around this - the teams in front of them are not only good, but they're full of energy and full of life. That's a tough spot for the Nats to be in."
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