Scherzer selected to 3rd ASG, 1st with Nats

Scherzer selected to 3rd ASG, 1st with Nats

WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Bryce Harper isn't the only member of the Nationals who is taking his talents to the Midsummer Classic. Right-hander Max Scherzer, one of the few players to have made as big a splash as Harper in the first half of the season, was selected by the players to be on the National League All-Star squad.

This will be Scherzer's third All-Star appearance, and his first as a member of the Nationals.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nationals have no answer for late long ball

Nationals have no answer for late long ball

WASHINGTON -- Eugenio Suarez's third home run of the season, a high fly ball down the left-field line in the eighth inning that just kept carrying, was all that separated the Reds and Nationals on Monday in Cincinnati's 3-2 series-opening win at Nationals Park.

"He got it enough," Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "When it's humid and warm like this, the ball carries pretty well, and he hit it in the perfect spot. Just got it over, inside the pole."

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Span, Escobar exit with injuries against Reds

Outfielder dealing with lingering back spasms; shortstop hurts hamstring on infield single

Span, Escobar exit with injuries against Reds

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals continue to be hit by the injury bug. Center fielder Denard Span and shortstop Yunel Escobar left Monday's 3-2 loss to the Reds because of back spasms and left hamstring tightness, respectively. Both players are listed as day to day.

Span had one at-bat, popping up to Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez in the first inning. He played one more inning, but he left in the top of the third.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flies and whiffs: Scherzer's unique dominance

Strikeout rate, walk rate, flyball rate all among MLB leaders

Flies and whiffs: Scherzer's unique dominance

Something you probably already know: By all the important metrics, Max Scherzer has been among the most dominant pitchers in baseball this season. His 1.94 FIP is the lowest among all qualified starters; his 1.82 ERA is second only to Zack Greinke. His 30.8 strikeout percentage is the fourth-highest; his 3.1 percent walk rate is the third-lowest. When he faces off against Cincinnati's wonderful Johnny Cueto on Tuesday night, it's no slight at all to Cueto to suggest that Scherzer will easily be the most dominant pitcher on the mound. Scherzer's that good.

So he's great, and you know that. But did you know that the particular way in which he's doing it sets him apart -- in some cases, well apart -- from his peers? There's no one right way to be a great pitcher. There's just different kinds of great. Scherzer's variety stands out more than most.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper declines invitation for Home Run Derby

Nats All-Star participated in 2013, but wouldn't be able to have dad pitch this time

Harper declines invitation for Home Run Derby

WASHINGTON -- A day after it was announced that he would be one of the starting outfielders for the National League All-Star team in Cincinnati, Nationals slugger Bryce Harper said Monday that he will not participate in the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders next Monday.

Harper had wanted his father, Ron, to pitch to him like he did in 2013 at Citi Field. But Ron Harper is recovering from rotator cuff surgery, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Bryce also hasn't taken batting practice on the field since late May, and that was at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All-Star flavor spices up Scherzer, Cueto duel

All-Star flavor spices up Scherzer, Cueto duel

A handful of All-Stars headline Tuesday night's meeting between the Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park.

Max Scherzer will make his first start since being named to the National League team on Monday night, and he will face a formidable Reds lineup that includes Todd Frazier. Frazier will start for the NL at third base.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giolito fans 10 in 6 innings for Potomac

Nationals No. 1 prospect allows 1 run; leaves game following rain delay

Giolito fans 10 in 6 innings for Potomac

A rain delay may have cut Lucas Giolito's night short during Class A Adavanced Potomac's 10-inning 2-1 loss, but fans still got a show from baseball's No. 4 overall prospect.

The Nats' No. 1 prospect made his second straight "relief" appearance for rehabbing starter Aaron Barrett, who struck out the side in the first inning. Giolito, who entered in the second inning, kept the K parade going, striking out 10 Wilmington Blue Rocks while allowing just three hits, one walk and one run in six innings of work. With the score tied 1-1, the rain came down and forced the teams to seek shelter during the 34-minute delay in the eighth inning.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats recall Solis; Carpenter to paternity list

Left-handed prospect allowed five runs over nine innings in first MLB stint

Nats recall Solis; Carpenter to paternity list

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals recalled left-handed reliever Sammy Solis on Monday in advance of their three-game series with the Reds.

The return to the Major Leagues marks Solis' second stint with the club this year. The first time up, he pitched nine innings over five appearances, allowing eight hits, five runs and two home runs. He began his MLB career with six consecutive scoreless innings.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper earns All-Star start with most NL votes

Nats outfielder headed to third Midsummer Classic

Harper earns All-Star start with most NL votes

WASHINGTON -- After dominating the headlines in the first half of the 2015 season, Bryce Harper is taking his show to one of baseball's grandest stages. Harper has been voted into the 2015 All-Star Game as a starter by the fans, marking his third All-Star appearance and his second as a starter. He garnered more votes (13,864,950) than any other National League player.

"I'm definitely excited," Harper said after the Nationals defeated the Giants, 3-1, on Sunday night. "Being able to play alongside some of the best in baseball at the All-Star Game, hang out and just have a good time with everybody, it's definitely exciting. I'm very happy and very blessed to be part of it. I have to thank our fans and all the fans across the country who voted for me. Thanks for all the support."

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ramos' homer sends Nats to sweep of Giants

Ramos' homer sends Nats to sweep of Giants

WASHINGTON -- Off the bat, Wilson Ramos thought he caught all of his sixth-inning solo home run. After seeing a replay of the shot -- his eighth of the year -- the Nationals catcher realized the ball barely found the right-center-field seats. Either way, the home run proved the difference in Washington's 3-1 win over San Francisco on Sunday, which completed a three-game sweep of the World Series champions.

"Next time I hit it," Ramos said, "I need to hit it harder and run a little bit more hard."

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NL ASG starters' highlight-reel plays

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NL ASG starters' highlight-reel plays

If you thought July 4 was full of fireworks, just wait until July 14 in Cincinnati when baseball's biggest stars converge on Great American Ball Park for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. 

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Jonathan Mayo

Skole on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Brice fans 21 in 12 shutout frames; Conley allows one run in 13 innings

Skole on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The Miami Marlins have been known to develop young pitching over the years. They've certainly gotten some help from the farm system this season, with prospects like Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino contributing to the rotation in 2015.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strasburg placed on DL with strained oblique

Reliever Jordan recalled from Triple-A; Roark headed back to rotation

Strasburg placed on DL with strained oblique

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals placed Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique and recalled right-hander Taylor Jordan from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday.

Strasburg had an MRI early Sunday and the results revealed the injury.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nats' bats provide Fourth of July fireworks

Nats' bats provide Fourth of July fireworks

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals displayed their own set of fireworks in the batter's box and defeated the Giants, 9-3, in Saturday's Independence Day matinee at Nationals Park.

Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner was on the mound when the Nationals scored three runs in the first inning on homers by Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper. By the time Bumgarner left the game, he had allowed six runs over five-plus innings.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Harper, Moore pace July 4 offensive onslaught

Harper, Moore pace July 4 offensive onslaught

WASHINGTON -- Fourth of July fireworks are usually reserved for after the sky gets dark and the grills go cold. But on Saturday in the nation's capital on its 239th birthday, the Nationals shot a few off early.

The Nats smacked four hits and two home runs in the first inning off San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner and never looked back, pummeling the Giants 9-3 at Nationals Park.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roark is there to pick up the Nationals again

Roark is there to pick up the Nationals again

WASHINGTON -- Once he saw manager Matt Williams and assistant athletic trainer Steve Gober go to the mound to check on Stephen Strasburg during Saturday's 9-3 victory over the Giants, Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark had a feeling he would enter the game.

Roark entered the game with two outs in the fourth inning. After warming up for about 10 minutes, Roark was solid, pitching 4 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out three batters and picking up his fourth victory of the season.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Span serves coffee to raise funds for his foundation

Span serves coffee to raise funds for his foundation

WASHINGTON -- Hours before Denard Span extended his on-base streak to 23 games with a leadoff single on Friday night, the Nationals' center fielder padded his resume for a potential career after baseball.

If Span chooses to become a barista after his playing days are over, it would surely turn more than a few heads. But on Friday morning, the eight-year veteran spent the better part of an hour behind the counter of a Peet's Coffee in D.C., in a fundraising effort for the Denard Span Foundation.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gio outpitches Peavy with help from homer

Gio outpitches Peavy with help from homer

WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez and right-hander Jake Peavy found themselves in a pitchers' duel Friday night at Nationals Park. When it was over, Gonzalez won the battle as the Nationals edged the Giants, 2-1.

After the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning on a Buster Posey home run, the Nationals answered back in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a two-run homer by Clint Robinson.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robinson gets curtain-call moment with homer

Longtime Minor Leaguer clubs game-winning shot for Nationals

Robinson gets curtain-call moment with homer

WASHINGTON -- Since Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list, Clint Robinson has been given the opportunity to play often at first base for the Nationals, and he has been productive. Robinson is 17-for-61 (.279) with four home runs, 12 RBIs and a .371 on-base percentage in his last 18 games.

"Every day in the big leagues is a good day," Robinson said after having a big game in the Nationals' 2-1 victory over the Giants on Friday night at Nationals Park. "As long as I'm up here, I'm going to do the best I can to help this team win and, hopefully, take us in the playoffs."

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gio unfazed by long layoff in beating Giants

Nationals lefty allows just Posey's solo homer over seven stellar innings

Gio unfazed by long layoff in beating Giants

WASHINGTON -- Gio Gonzalez's start last Saturday in Philadelphia won't show up in any record books. It lasted 18 pitches and, with the game being postponed after a little more than one inning due to rain, officially, it never happened.

So, with 10 days between starts, Gonzalez's seven innings of one-run ball against San Francisco in Washington's 2-1 win Friday night is all the more impressive.

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Werth feels close to beginning rehab games

Nationals outfielder says he's 'days' away from playing

Werth feels close to beginning rehab games

WASHINGTON -- Jayson Werth's left wrist is getting stronger, he says. While he has not swung the bat, the Nationals left fielder has been swinging a broomstick without any problems.

Werth is hoping to get back on the field by August. Werth suffered two small fractures in the wrist May 15 after he was hit by a pitch thrown by Padres right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne in the top of the second inning.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bats flies into stands, fan catches in mid-air

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Bats flies into stands, fan catches in mid-air

It's important to pay attention to baseball games. That's true in general, but especially for baseball games that are taking place right in front of you, as you watch them in-person from the stands.

Case in point: This fan in attendance for the Giants-Nationals matchup in DC on Friday.

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Werth recalls special moment with artist sister

Hillary Werth's bats piece auctioned for $26,000 at Dream Gala

Werth recalls special moment with artist sister

WASHINGTON -- Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth made it known Friday that he was proud of his sister, Hillary Werth, a professional artist.

Take what happened June 6 at the Dream Gala, which was hosted by the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation. Hillary Werth's artwork, Maxbat American Flag, was auctioned for $26,000. The piece includes 13 bats and looks like an American flag. The artwork also includes the signatures of every Nationals player.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer goes distance, but Braves walk off in 9th

Scherzer goes distance, but Braves walk off in 9th

ATLANTA -- It took a fortunate hop, but the Braves found a way to conquer Max Scherzer, courtesy of a one-out, walk-off single that Cameron Maybin bounced over the third-base bag to conclude Thursday night's 2-1 win over the Nationals at Turner Field.

Scherzer entered the ninth having retired 10 straight batters, going back to Andrelton Simmons' fifth-inning RBI single. But the tide turned when Pedro Ciriaco opened the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Two batters later, Maybin bounced his game-winning hit over the third-base bag and into left field. Against Washington manager Matt Williams' wishes, the umpires didn't review the play because it was a ruling that occurred in front of the bag.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

Close, non-reviewable call ends it in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The Nationals stayed on the field longer than most losing teams Thursday night, after the Braves' 2-1 walk-off victory in the series finale at Turner Field, but only because of a close call on Cameron Maybin's game-winning hit down the third-base line.

Maybin went down in the zone and connected with a low slider from Max Scherzer with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, driving the ball into the dirt just in front of home plate and then watched it bounce over Yunel Escobar and third base and land in foul territory past the bag.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scherzer named NL Pitcher of the Month

Nationals ace earns second straight honor after no-hitter in June

Scherzer named NL Pitcher of the Month

WASHINGTON -- Right-hander Max Scherzer was clearly the ace of the Nationals' pitching staff during the month of June.

After a slow start to begin June, Scherzer became virtually unhittable, finishing with a 3-2 record and a 2.33 ERA on the month, and it earned him the National League Pitcher of the Month Award. It marked the second straight month he won the award.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Desmond sits out, makes mechanical changes

Desmond sits out, makes mechanical changes

ATLANTA -- After a second straight 0-for-4 night on Wednesday, Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond got the day off Thursday to work on mechanical adjustments at the plate.

Nationals manager Matt Williams said that Desmond worked late Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday on his hand placement, which had started to drop in recent at-bats.

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Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.