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Stephen Strasburg's status still in limbo

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Stephen Strasburg's status still in limbo

Stephen Strasburg reported to Nationals Park on Friday feeling strong, his right shoulder blade having responded to chiropractic treatment, but won’t know if he’ll be able to make his next scheduled start until he first throws off a bullpen mound with no problems.

Strasburg, who departed from his last start after only three innings due to discomfort, is scheduled to pitch Monday night in Arizona. In order to do that, he would need to throw a bullpen session Saturday. The Nationals could, however, push him back one day without needing a fill-in starter, with Max Scherzer simply starting Monday against the Diamondbacks on normal rest and Strasburg following on Tuesday.

Either way, Strasburg would need to throw off a mound before the end of the weekend to avoid missing a turn in the rotation.

“We don’t know exactly until he can get out there and throw his bullpen,” manager Matt Williams said. “So we’ll determine that. But for right now, it felt good reporting here. So it’s a good sign.”

Strasburg was treated by a chiropractor on Wednesday, then played catch on the field at Nationals Park following that day’s 7-5 win over the Marlins. He was scheduled to play catch again Friday.

“Doc said he was good in his exit from the office,” Williams said. “And as everybody knows and everybody saw, he was out there throwing. So all is well in that regard. We have to monitor him as he goes.”

The Nationals have no plans for Strasburg to get an MRI or other tests of shoulder, convinced the issue was strictly one of “alignment” and not any problem with the actual shoulder joint.

“It is what we told you,” Williams said. “It’s exactly what I told you. We look to the alignment. And it’s what Stephen said, too. He felt like it was a little clunky in there as he was extending. So that’s what it is. But like I said, he reported today feeling pretty good.”

MORE NATIONALS: Werth back in lineup as Nats host Braves

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Former President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

Former President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

The academic school year is coming down to the wire which means this marks the final week of the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Baseball Academy's after-school program in southeast D.C. 

On Wednesday, the students were treated to a surprise end-of-year visit by former President Barack Obama, who took a few hacks at the plate, visited the on-site farmers market, and coached students on the value of teamwork and working hard in school. 

"I think everybody here -- if you guys work hard, work hard in school, listen to your coaches -- you guys are gonna do great things. So, I'm gonna be on the lookout for ya because I think you're gonna do something important. You guys are gonna make a real difference and we're gonna be really proud of you," Obama told the kids. 

The Obama family has stayed busy in and around D.C. since leaving office in January 2017. Former first lady Michelle Obama has hosted roundtable discussions with students at Ballou STAY High School in Washington and the former president has made additional visits to McKinley Tech High School, the Langston Terrace community, the Jelleff Boys & Girls Club, Dog Tag Bakery, and Children’s National Hospital.

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The Met whose 3-run HR buried the Nationals Wednesday night had just taken a 2-hour Uber to the game

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The Met whose 3-run HR buried the Nationals Wednesday night had just taken a 2-hour Uber to the game

The Washington Nationals just can't catch a break, now 11 games under .500 after last night's dismal 6-1 loss to the New York Mets.

This time, the loss came at the hands of usually the most reliable reliever for the Nats, Sean Doolittle, who came into the game during the 8th inning with two runners on and two outs.

Wednesday night, he was not so reliable.

Doolittle failed to get that last out, hitting Carlos Gomez, then Juan Lagares cleared the bases to make it 3-1 on a double.

Then, with two on, Rajai Davis, who had just come up from the minor leagues, stepped up to the plate.

Davis had just taken a two hour Uber ride from Lehigh Valley, PA., arriving during the third inning of the game and getting lost upon arrival when trying to find the clubhouse. Davis was put in to face Doolittle during the eighth as a pinch hitter and his first career at-bat as a Met.

Of course, Davis delivered with a three-run home run to seal the 6-1 win.

A pinch-hitter with his first career at-bat as a Met hitting a three-run homer is a poetic end for the failing Nationals, now with a 6.98 ERA, the worst in Major League Baseball.

The Nats are now in danger of being swept by the Mets, now third in the NL East, with a 12:10 matinee Thursday again at Citi Field.

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