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Bumgarner strongly disagrees with Scherzer's DH comments


Bumgarner strongly disagrees with Scherzer's DH comments

The season-ending Achilles' injury of Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has reignited the debate around baseball involving the designated hitter and whether it should be implemented in the National League.

Among those in favor of adding the DH to the NL is Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, who told Jon Heyman of CBS Sports his thoughts on the issue this past week. Scherzer happens to be sidelined right now with a bruised right thumb, suffered during an at-bat in his last start.

Scherzer told CBS basically that fans do not pay to see pitchers hit and taking the bat out of their hands could be a solution to the league's lack of offense. He referred to him swinging a bat as a "wet newspaper."

Well, all that didn't sit well with Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who just happens to be widely regarded as the best hitting pitcher in baseball. Here is what he told the San Jose Mercury-News when asked about Scherzer's comments:

“He knew the rules,” Bumgarner said. “Whatever much he signed for – what did he get, again? – he didn’t have a problem signing his name. He didn’t have a problem with hitting then. I’m sure he had his pick of anywhere he wanted to go.”

“What if he got hurt pitching? Should we say we can’t pitch anymore?” Bumgarner said. “I hate what happened to him. He works his butt off out there. But I don’t think it was because he was hitting. What if he gets hurt getting out of his truck? You tell him not to drive anymore?"

With the "signing his name" comment, Bumgarner is referring to Scherzer inking a record-setting deal to jump from the American League back to the NL and join the Nationals. It was his choice to do so, as Bumgarner contends.

It's hard to tell exactly what portion of the league agrees with Scherzer and what share would side with Bumgarner. Most managers I've heard speak on the subject are in favor of not having a designated hitter, as it puts more of an onus on them to use their bullpen and double-switches, for example. Lots of pitchers also seem to like not having a DH, as many enjoy to hit themselves, and of course they usually do not mind getting to face a pitcher every ninth batter when on the mound.

Position players, on the other hand, generally like the designated hitter, as it creates another job and another opportunity for players who have lost a step on defense. Scherzer mentioned David Ortiz by name in the CBS Sports article, as Ortiz has become the recent face of the DH. Ortiz has enjoyed an excellent run late in his career that probably would not have been possible without the DH being in place.

It is a debate that doesn't seem likely to end soon, but any time a star player gets injured when something like this is in question, the focus will be magnified. Just look at how the injury to Buster Posey in 2011 paved the way for rule changes involving plays at the plate.

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Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series


Nats put Scherzer-Strasburg scuffle aside to split Braves series

Bryce Harper homered, Max Scherzer struck out seven in six innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Sunday.

Anthony Rendon also had two hits and drove in two runs for Washington, extending his hitting streak to 10 games and helping the Nationals earn a split of the series after Saturday's game was rained out. Adam Eaton and Juan Soto each had three hits.

Two days after a heated exchange with teammate Stephen Strasburg during Friday's 8-5 loss, Scherzer (13-5) allowed two runs and eight hits in his third straight win. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has pitched six or more innings in his last 19 starts.

Kelvin Herrera got five outs for his first save with Washington.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 55 minutes by rain, and another downpour stopped play for almost 100 minutes between the sixth and seventh innings.

Atlanta's Mike Foltynewicz (7-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Harper singled in Eaton to give Washington a 4-2 lead in the sixth. Matt Adams added another RBI single in the seventh, and Harper added a solo drive in the eighth for his 24th homer.

Scherzer was staked to an early 3-0 lead and then got some help from his defense.

Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the third with a drive off the wall in center, but he was thrown out by Harper while trying for a double. With a runner on first in the fifth, Freddie Freeman's blast to right was chased down by Eaton on the warning track.

Then in the seventh, Michael A. Taylor made a leaping catch at the wall in center to rob Dansby Swanson of extra bases with one runner on.

Washington got off to a fast start with three runs in the first. Rendon drove in Eaton and Harper with a triple down the right-field line, and then scored on Soto's groundout.

Swanson drove in Atlanta's runs with a groundout in the second and a single in the fourth.


Braves: All-Star 2B Ozzie Albies, who left Friday's game with right hamstring tightness, got the day off.

Nationals: RHP Sean Doolittle (left toe inflammation) experienced extended soreness after throwing off the mound Friday. An MRI Saturday revealed a stress reaction, comparable to a bone bruise, in the bridge of his foot and he is wearing a walking boot. ... RHP Koda Glover (right shoulder tendinitis) was reinstated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.


Braves: LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5, 3.51 ERA) pitches the opener of a two-game series in Miami on Monday. He already has beaten the Marlins twice this season, allowing one run in 12 innings.

Nationals: LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-6, 3.72 ERA) opens a three-game series in Milwaukee on Monday night. He is 2-4 with a 4.93 ERA in nine career starts versus the Brewers.

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Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

Nationals trade Brian Goodwin to Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  -- Outfielder Brian Goodwin has been acquired by the Kansas City Royals from the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Jacob Condra-Bogan.

The 27-year-old Goodwin hit .200 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 48 games for the Nationals this season. He bruised his left wrist diving for a ball and did not play from April 15 until May 15, when he had two at-bats. He went back on the disabled list, returned June 1 and is hitting .171 (7 for 41) since.

Condra-Bogan, 23, went 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in 16 relief outings with Lexington of the South Atlantic League and one appearance with Wilmington of the Carolina League, also Class A.

The trade was announced Sunday.