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Scherzer's struggles continue in Nationals' 4-3 loss to Marlins

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Scherzer's struggles continue in Nationals' 4-3 loss to Marlins

GAME IN A NUTSHELL: Max Scherzer taking the mound used to be a sure thing for the Nationals. These days, it's anything but.

Scherzer's August struggles continued when the right-hander served up a pair of early homers to the Marlins, putting his team in a hole. He did bounce back to finish his night on a high note, retiring 12 straight, but the Nationals were left trying to rally and get their wayward ace off the hook.

The Nats did chip away at Miami rookie Adam Conley, getting solo homers from Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos and then a sacrifice fly from Ryan Zimmerman. But they couldn't push across the tying run against the Marlins bullpen, and so they were left stewing over a frustrating loss in the opener of a series they desperately need to take.

HITTING LOWLIGHT: The Nats had the makings of a big rally in the bottom of the seventh, when they loaded the bases with nobody out and knocked Conley out of the game. Rookie right-hander Kyle Barraclough entered to face Zimmerman, who just got under a pitch and sent a fly ball to deep center field, a sac fly that brought home one run and trimmed the deficit to 4-3. That's where the deficit stayed, because Barraclough struck out Desmond on a breaking ball down and away, then after walking Danny Espinosa to load the bases again managed to deflect Ramos' smoked comebacker right to teammate Dee Gordon, who tossed to first to end the inning.

PITCHING LOWLIGHT: Scherzer hasn't been himself lately, we know that. We don't know why, however. Did he burn out throwing so many innings earlier this summer? Is it just bad mechanics? Whatever the case, he has been giving up way more hard-hit balls recently than he did during the season's first half, especially home runs. He gave up two more tonight, making it seven homers allowed in his last four starts alone. To his credit, Scherzer buckled down after that, eschewing his fastball for more offspeed stuff. He wound up retiring the last 12 batters he faced, at least keeping the Nationals in the game. Still, four runs in seven innings is not what this team is looking for from its ace right now.

KEY STAT: After committing 21 errors in his first 84 games this season, Desmond has been charged with only two in his last 38 games.

UP NEXT: Jordan Zimmermann (10-8, 3.54) takes the mound for the second game of the series, at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. It'll be right-hander Tom Koehler (8-12, 3.98) for the Marlins.

MORE NATIONALS: Hip surgery for Span, but Taylor's knee OK

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All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

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USA Today Sports

All-Star Game Weather: Storms causing traffic havoc, could force delay, postponement

There is inclement weather in the forecast for Tuesday evening both before and during the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.

The rain could, theoretically, force the game to be delayed or even postponed, but the forecast shows the skies clearing up as first pitch nears.

Bad weather and MLB All-Star Games share a history in Washington.

The last time Washington hosted the MLB All-Star Game, in 1969, a bad rainstorm forced the game to be postponed from Tuesday night to Wednesday afternoon.

Even if the weather does let up and the game is able to start on time, there are sure to be problems with D.C.'s already-dense traffic. Roads are flooding and with more people on them than usual, getting to the game will surely be an issue.

All-Star Game Forecast

The worst of the weather seems to have already happened on Tuesday afternoon. The rest of the evening forecast calls for a slight chance of precipitation, with mostly cloudy skies and, naturally, a lot of humidity.

The issue, if there is any, would likely be with the All-Star Game getting started on time. That said, there's obviously still the chance for delays during the game.

Luckily, a full postponement seems unlikely at this point.

All-Star Game Traffic

There's hardly a worse place to drive in the United States during rush hour than in, around or through Washington. With the All-Star Game in town, there are already significantly more cars on the road than there usually are. Add rain and flooded roads into that equation and things get extra messy.

The George Washington Parkway, a main thoroughfare in the area, has already flooded.

One road in Alexandria, Virginia, is flooded and has cars scattered about.

Public transportation would seem to be the way to go, but even the Capitol South Metro Station in Southeast D.C. is flooding.


A brief history of weather and the All-Star Game

The first and only time the MLB All-Star Game was ever postponed because of rain was in 1969, the last time Washington was the host.

Three other times, the game has either been shortened or delayed because of rain, most recently in 1990 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That game was delayed for over an hour but was still played.

All signs point to the game being played Tuesday night, but Nationals Park has definitely felt the wrath of this storm already.

On the bright side, if it's light enough when the game starts, there will probably be a rainbow somewhere in-view from the stadium, which should make for some pretty cool pictures for those in attendance.

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What to eat at the 2018 MLB All-Star FanFest

What to eat at the 2018 MLB All-Star FanFest

Before we begin, let's make one thing clear: if you're going to the MLB All-Star Game FanFest to eat, you're already doing something wrong.

There isn't really any good food there, but there are some interesting options. You can, of course, get a bunch of fried food and traditional ballpark fare. But you also have some more intriguing options, if you're feeling adventurous.

You could get what one concession stand claims to be an "Old City Style Philly Cheese Steak," some jerk chicken, various subs or even sushi, among other things.

But you're in D.C. for the day, and you only want to spend $40 on lunch for you and your date so you can still go out for what's sure to be an overpriced dinner.

The safest bet is to go to the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog stand and grab a pair of hot dogs for $7 each. There's a reason Joey Chestnut can eat 74 of these babies in 10 minutes. Having only spent $14 on your main course, you've still got money left over for drinks and a desert.

If you're over 21, there's a whole corner of the convention hall set up with a selection of adult beverages ranging between $6 and $7. If you're not, there's some fresh-squeezed lemonade at a nearby stand for only $5 — unless you want a large, that's $8.

Whatever you choose, it's time to head to the Dippin' Dots stand for dessert. They don't call it the ice cream of the future for nothing. This $6, five-ounce cup of ice cream pellets (it's better than it sounds) will soak up the rest of your lunch budget.

Riskier (and also more expensive) options include a $12 jerk, pineapple or curry chicken bowl or a variety of rice bowls from Hanaro Sushi for $15 apiece. Either of these choices will likely eliminate dessert from your meal, but who really wants dessert with lunch anyway?

When all is said and done, you're probably not getting a gourmet meal out of this experience, but you can at least enjoy a not-bad meal while you explore some of the interesting things about baseball.