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Nationals' Murphy finishes second in MVP voting

Nationals' Murphy finishes second in MVP voting

Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy finished second in 2016 National League Most Valuable Player voting behind Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. The award is given by the Baseball Writers Association of America. 

Murphy posted career highs in nearly every major offensive category this season including batting average (.347), homers (25), RBI (104), doubles (47), on-base percentage (.390) and slugging percentage (.595). He was also named an all-star for the second time in his career. 

Murphy was tied for the National League lead in OPS (.989) with Reds first baseman Joey Votto, and he finished the season with the second-highest batting average in all of MLB, just one point behind Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu (.348). 

Last week Murphy was selected as the National League's Most Outstanding Player by the MLB Players Association. 

The Florida native received one first-place vote, and was tied with Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager in second-place votes (11) and third-place votes (10). 

RELATED: Nationals ace Max Scherzer wins 2016 NL Cy Young Award

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Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

When Sean Doolittle pitched Friday evening against the Milwaukee Brewers, he thought he'd made huge progress on his mechanics and felt good heading into Saturday's game.

But when things fell apart after Christian Yelich helped the Brewers rally to a 15-14 win in extra innings, Doolittle knew something was wrong.

"I thought I was every bit good enough to grind this out," Doolittle explained on Grant & Danny on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday morning.  "It was kind of a helpless feeling coming off the mound."

That helplessness led to him being placed on the injured list with a knee injury.

"I kinda battle a little bit of knee tendonitis regularly. It's something I've managed throughout my career," Doolittle said.

He thinks he tweaked it playing in San Diego early June. Since then, he believes his mechanics have suffered trying to alleviate the pain.

"Trying to compensate for it maybe favoring it a little bit subconsciously, my mechanics eroded," Doolittle noted. "It's just this beautiful chaotic circle we have to just pause, get the knee right."

Doolittle says he's going to take the time off to re-work his mechanics. Specifically, he wants to work on a toe-tap and slight hitch he has in his throwing motion, which he described as a subtler version of Clayton Kershaw's famous leg kick.

"I think there's some things I can do mechanically to get my body in a better position," Doolittle said. "This is an opportunity to get it right."

His big goal is to get his body in "better position over the rubber before the kick."

That way, he can have more momentum over the baseball, especially with a powerful four-seam fastball. "You're basically falling down the mound rather than driving and getting behind the ball." 

Throughout the season, he noted he's had good communication with manager Davey Martinez, and that blaming anybody would be a waste of time.

Since being placed on the IL, he's had a few days to rest before he started some light pitching activities Tuesday.

"It'll be a good break to get my body ready for September and October," he noted. "I'm throwing myself into this process and I'm not hanging my head."


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How to watch Loudoun South Little League in the Little League World Series

How to watch Loudoun South Little League in the Little League World Series

After throwing two consecutive no-hitters in their first two games, the South Riding, VA squad has a chance to make it three consecutive wins in their semifinal game Wednesday.

They'll face a tough Wailuku, HI squad, which is also undefeated, in order to claim their spot in the United States final.

Here's how you can watch the first Virginia Little League team in 25 years to make the LLWS

Date and Time: August 21, 7:30 PM ET

Location: Lamade Stadium

Channel: ESPN, including streaming 

Teams: Wailuku, HI  (West Region W16 ) vs. South Riding, VA (Southeast Region W14)