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Joe Conroy
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Gio Gonzales posted by Nationals News

Born September 19, 1985, Gio Gonzales plays MLB for Washington Nationals as their pitcher. For right-handers, Gio uses the four-seam and two-seam fastballs, curveball, and the changeup. He mainly reserves the curveball for left-handers, when being ahead in the count. His whiff rate is above average, with curveball at 36%, and changeup at 35%. His curveball also has an excellent ground ball to fly ball ratio of 7:1.

Gonzales played baseball in high school and his school team won the state championships twice. His professional career started when he was drafted in the first round of the 2004 MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox. In 2005, the White Sox traded Gonzales to Philadelphia Phillies, where he was considered the number two prospect. In 2007, he was back with the White Sox, and in that season, he played 150 innings and struck out 185.

In 2008, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics, and was called up to play the majors in August, when he made his MLB debut. However, in 2009, he was back with the minor leagues, playing for Sacramento River Cats, a Triple-A team. In 2011, Gonzales was chosen to play in the MLB All-Star game.

In December 2011, the Athletics traded Gonzales to the Washington Nationals. He went on to make the national record for pitching 25 scoreless innings consecutively. Gonzales was included in the 2012 roster, and by the end of the season, he managed to improve his record to 12-3 with a 2.92 ERA. In August 2012, Gonzales pitched the second complete game of his career, and hit his first home run against Houston Astros. In the same month, he also pitched the first shut out game of his career against St Louis Cardinals 10-0. In July 2014, Gonzales made the 1000th strikeout of his career against Milwaukee Brewers.

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Nationals News

MLB Betting And Gambling in the United States posted by Nationals News

Betting on MLB teams is not simply a game of chance, as you can reduce your odds of losing by carefully studying the players in the teams and their stats. It is just like improving your skills in certain casino games like poker and so on. Although there is always the element of luck involved, you can make a major difference and bring down the odds by being skillful in placing your bets. There are many resources available online for sports betting where you can gather detailed information on team statistics, news about individual players, and expert tips by people who have vast experience in this field.

Gambling in United States has come a long way from shady bookies and dim casinos to legalized gambling from the comfort of your home. Placing bets has not only become easy and safe, but there are various resources also available to improve your skills, and increase your chances of winning.

The gambling industry saw a major growth in the United States in the past few decades, when different states adopted specific policies and laws to promote casinos. The excellent model shown by Las Vegas in attracting tourism and stimulating growth could not be ignored by other states, and several laws were implemented to legalize gambling. This also eventually promoted the growth of the online betting industry and online casinos like These casinos have been growing at an impressive rate since their inception roughly a decade ago, and with innovative ideas like sports-themed slots games they have managed to tap into the sports betting audience somewhat as well.

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Nationals News

Gio Gonzalez owns Houston Astros and gets his first win with the Nationals posted by Nationals News

Gio Gonzalez dominated over seven innings and had to wait out a nervous ninth with Brad Lidge on the mound just before his very first win with the Washington Nationals was secure. If you're interested in placing a bet on the next Nats game check out Sportsbook reviews.

Lidge gave up a double to his 1st hitter and walked the subsequent batter before retiring 3 in a row and earning his second save in the Nationals' 1- win against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

"Man, one of these instances I'll get a 1-two-three (inning)," Lidge said. "I'm sure I gave a lot of men and women a heart attack these days. That's type of how I've accomplished it for a even though."

Gonzalez didn't acknowledge possessing any doubts over the outcome.

"I was attempting to be cool, calm and collected with a massive smile on my face being aware of he was going to shut it down," Gonzalez stated of the last inning.

The late dramatics stood in sharp contrast to the innings with Gonzalez on the mound, when the Astros hardly ever got the ball out of the infield. Gonzalez (1-) allowed two hits, walked two and struck out eight in his third commence for Washington. The left-hander, acquired from Oakland in the offseason, also earned a standing ovation at the plate when he flied out to the warning track.

It was an additional close game for the Nationals, who enhanced to 9-three -- their ideal start given that moving from Montreal to Washington in 2005. Half of Washington's first 12 games have been decided by one particular run and the Nationals are four-2 in these contests.
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Nationals News

Nationals get Gio Gonzalez Nationals get Gio Gonzalez posted by Nationals News

The Washington Nationals held a news conference Wednesday at their ballpark to show off their most important offseason acquisition and pat themselves on the back for locking him down with a big contract.

No, not Prince Fielder, but Gio Gonzalez.

Gio Gonzalez is "going
to become portion in the furniture for a extended time," common manager Mike Rizzo stated in the pitcher's introductory news conference.
Much more than a month after joining Washington in a trade from Oakland, and 1½ weeks soon after agreeing to a $42 million, five-year deal, Gonzalez produced it official by signing on the dotted line Wednesday.

really like the pressure scenarios," Gonzalez stated.

Sports betting should be heavy this year on the Nationals.

Nationals common manager Mike Rizzo said the left-hander is "going to be element with the furniture for a extended time."

The GM also repeatedly talked about his belief that the Nationals
lastly are ready to play "meaningful games in September." In 2011, Washington went 80-81 and wound up in third place, its highest NL East finish considering that moving from Montreal just before the 2005 season.

The 26-year-old Gonzalez was an All-Star last season, when he went 16-12

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Nationals News

Pitchers Trying To Hold It Together In Washington posted by Nationals News

No one really thinks that Washington is going to seriously compete in the National League East, and why would they? You have Philadelphia and their incredible starting rotation, Atlanta, who made it to the playoffs last season, and even Florida and the New York Mets are probably given more credit than the Nationals. But Washington is starting to show signs of forming their own impressive pitching staff, even without their injured phenom, and they’re going to be needed as the Nationals can’t score any runs.

Washington is currently eighth in the National League in ERA, and if you’re going to hang your hat on their  MLB odds, pitching is the way to go. The wily vets, 36-year-old  Livan Hernandez and 32-year-old Jason Marquis have led the way for the Nationals, while the rest of the rotation is filled out by 28-year-old Tom Gorzelanny, 26-year-old John Lannan and 24-year-old Jordan Zimmerman. The five of them have 11 quality starts, and while they’re not great, they don’t lose many games for the Nationals, either. Don’t forget, Washington still has the injured Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list, although the 22-year-old likely won’t pitch this year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. We all saw what he did in his brief time in the majors last season, and he will be a welcome addition for the Nationals.

But the bullpen isn’t bad either, led by Tyler Clippard and Chad Gaudin, while Drew Storen and Sean Burnett are currently sharing the closing duties. The two have managed to save six of the nine opportunities that the Nationals have had, which is a decent ratio. If the Nationals could put some runs on the board (Ryan Zimmermann is almost back from injury), Washington could turn some heads in 2011….definitely in 2012.

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Michael McGauley

"The Giants' Bats Show Some Signs of Life Against the Nats" posted by Michael McGauley

Hey, nothing like snapping out of a five-game slide with some timely hitting! The Giants beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 Tuesday night in the first game of a fresh nine-game home stand after limping through a miserable 1-and-6 road-trip.  The Giants took a few innings, by finally settled in against old friend Livan Hernandez with two outs in the fith. Five consecutive hits plated all four runs, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Freddy Sanchez. Pablo Sandoval folliwed with a double off the left field wall to score Sanchez. The rally against Livan was rare thus far in 2010, as the veteran Nationals right-hander came into the game with an ERA below two (it ballooned to 2.08 after last night).  Four runs was enough for Todd Wellemeyer: a guy who was really pitching with his back against the wall, and one foot out the door if he didn't come through. Not only did Wellemeyer toss a solid six-innings (two runs and four hits and two strikeouts), but he actually ignited "the rally" at the plate with a two-out bloop single. Wellemeyer actually has one more victory (three) than both Matt Cain and Jonothan Sanchez (two each). The line-up: I like the changes, and I'm very impressed that Aubrey Huff didn't blink. He just went out there and manned left field like he'd been out there all season. Unfortunately, Mark DeRosa is probably not going to contribute much this year if anything at all, and moving Huff to left allows Juan Uribe to play everyday at third base, and takes some pressure off Pablo by moving him over to first base. This one-Continue reading ""The Giants' Bats Show Some Signs ..."

Colin Linneweber

Stephen Strasburg Will Be a Top-Ten Pitcher This Season posted by Colin Linneweber

Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg made his spring training debut Tuesday in a 9-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Viera, Fla. 

Strasburg, who was selected by the Nationals with the number one overall pick out of San Diego State University in the 2009 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, fanned two batters in two scoreless innings before the was relieved. 

Despite his solid statistics, the former Aztecs standout struggled a tad with his command. 

In total, Strasburg managed to throw only 15 of his 27 pitches for strikes. 

“Command really wasn’t there, but I think a lot of that had to do with the adrenaline going on,” said Strasburg, 21, who signed a record four-year contract worth $15.1 million with Washington this past August. “It’s something that happens to me every time – even in college, even in high school. That first outing, there’s all this excitement and it’s really difficult to control the adrenaline and make sure you’re staying nice and relaxed.” 

Regardless of the control issues he experienced, it is evident that Strasburg is a burgeoning superstar. 

The native of San Diego had his fastball consistently clocked in the 97-98 mph range and his curveball was measured between 79 and 81 mph. 

“I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes,” said Strasburg, who tossed a no-hitter and whiffed 17 batters in his final collegiate home start against the Air Force last May. “If they hit it, they hit it. Big deal. I have enough confidence in my stuff that if I can go out there and make them put the ball in play, I’ve got a great defense behind me that’s going to back me up.” 

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Joe Gunderson

A new shortstop and new uniforms! posted by Joe Gunderson

Hey Everyone,

Not sure who is out there but hopefully someone is!  Smile  Anyway, for those that don't know my name is Joe and I've been a Twins fan since I was six years old.  I hope you find this blog entertaining and thought provoking.  Let's get started shall we?!

In my first entry I'd like to discuss how the Twins acquired a new shortstop for the 2010 season and what I think of the acquisition and also the news that was announced today, that they are going to be wearing new uniforms next year.

The Twins have acquired shortstop J.J. Hardy from the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Carlos Gomez.  I am excited about this acquisition.  It potentially fills a very big need for the Twins, a right-handed bat with good power and an infielder at a position of need.  It thins out the Twins depth in the outfield but they still have four guys who are capable of playing out there everyday and you can only have three out there everyday.  Gomez is very talented but he gets way too excited when he's at the plate a lot of the time which causes him to swing wildly and strike out a lot.  He has the potential to be special at the plate if he ever calms down his approach.  He is an excellent defender as well.

Hardy, while he is coming off a bad year offensively is capable of hitting in the upper .200's to .300 and has pop enough to hit 20+ home runs a season and plays consistent defense.  Overall for 2010, the trade favors the Twins.  In the future, it could favor the Brewers but the Twins had to take that chance to give themselves a better chance to compete in 2010.

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Eric Hatleback

More Thoughts on MLB Pitching Statistics posted by Eric Hatleback

In the National League, the elongated double switch shows again why pitching statistics are quite poorly attributed.  A traditional double switch involves the manager inserting a position player into the game  for the current pitcher and a new pitcher for a position player--typically one who just made an out, so that the new pitcher won't be batting for nearly a full trip through the lineup.

However, this same basic maneuver can also occur by simply pinch-hitting for the pitcher while on offense and then placing the pitcher in for whichever player makes the last out of the inning.  If the team takes the lead (and subsequently does not lose it), the just-substituted-for pitcher gets credited with the win.

The problem is this: if this scenario occurs before the 5th inning, the starting pitcher cannot get the win, so it'll almost certainly be the next guy who pitches that will get the win.  But given that a position player is the opne who was inserted for the pitcher, why wouldn't that guy get the win?  He is technically inserted for the pitcher.  Of course, I'm not advocating that he really should get the win; I'm arguing that the statistics need to be reconfigured so that there are categories such as "Team Wins / Losses."  See some of my earlier posts for more good examples of why this should be the case.

One other note--it also wouldn't help to require a pitcher to actually throw a pitch before earning a win, as we saw last month:  Both Embree and B.J. Ryan (in 2003) have recently earned Wins without throwing a pitch.  This makes it possible for a reliever to enter for a starter before the 5th (after an offensive rally when his team took the lead), warm up for the inning, then leave without doing

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Keith trussell

Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Break Analysis posted by Keith trussell

   Pittsburgh Pirates Mid-Season Analysis

     I moved to Western Maryland a couple of weeks ago and this is part of my ongoing attempt to learn about the sports interests here.  Baseball-wise it’s the Pirates, Orioles, and Nationals, and I wanted to get into the one with the best current chance of a playoff push.  The Nats are obviously out and the Orioles are 14 games behind first in a ridiculously hard division, so that leaves the Pirates, a tantalizing Homer-pick at 9.5 behind in the absurdly mediocre NL Central.  On paper it looks possible that any team could take it, and I hoped that statistical analysis would show some obscure Pirates advantage that could take them over the top, but I just can’t find it.  I’m not saying that an X-factor doesn’t exist, just that anyone who claims there is one is obviously from Pittsburgh.  In fact, this team so cries for the use of the “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” comparison that I spent ten whole minutes looking up how I could work it in.  And here it is:  Mario Brega, who played Cpl. Wallace, the big cross-eyed prison guard in the film who beat up Tuco to get the name of the cemetery the money was buried in for Angel Eyes ,died 15 years ago this month.  So to honor his memory, here’s a breakdown of the Pirates in the spirit of that great film (I resisted using a corresponding pirate-based ranking system, i.e.; Avast Ye Maties, Walk the Plank, and Totally Somalian because even I have standards).

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Washington Nationals News

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The Walk Off: Chris Heisey lifts Nationals over Twins in the 16th (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about. Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper was supposed to have the day off Sunday, but the Baseball Gods had other plans. Harper did not start the game, and only received one at-bat, but he played a key role in the Nationals 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] With his club down by one run in the ninth, Harper was called upon to work his magic. He would deliver. On the seventh pitch of his at-bat against Kevin Jepsen, Harper sent a game-tying solo home run into the seats in center. Harper, however, was replaced in the 10th inning by outfielder Chris Heisey. While normally that move would never pan out, baseball has a silly way of focusing in on those types of things. Harper was just warming up the crowd for Heisey's future theatrics.  In the bottom of the 16th inning, Heisey blasted a 79 mph slider from Michael Tonkin out to left center for a walk-off home run. Yes, the man who replaced Harper wound up winning the game for the Nationals. With the win, Washington is now 14-4 on the season. TOP PERFORMERS Paul Goldschmidt: The Diamondbacks may not have won Sunday, but it wasn't Goldschmidt's fault. He did everything in his power to help his club. Goldschmidt started things off by giving his team the lead with a solo home run in the first inning. With his club trailing by two in the ninth, Goldschmidt hit a game-tying two-run blast off Pittsburgh Pirates closer Mark Melancon. At that point, the Pirates no longer wanted to take their chances with the slugger. Goldschmidt was intentionally walked the next two times he came to the plate. That worked, as the Pirates managed to pull out the 12-10 win in a crazy game .  Steven Souza Jr.: Souza had plenty of success against New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda on Sunday. In the first inning, Souza tagged the big righty for a two-run shot, giving his team a 5-0 lead. He would pile on just a few innings later. In the fifth, Souza against went deep, this time adding a solo shot off Pineda. He finished two-for-four, with two runs scored and three RBI in the 8-1 victory. Jason Hammel: The Cubs may not have had one of their big three on the mound, but Jason Hammel came through. Hammel tossed six strong innings, giving up three hits and two walks during the scoreless outing. He struck out seven. Through four starts this season, Hammel is 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA. That third win came during the Cubs 9-0 drubbing of the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. [Elsewhere: Shelby Miller saw time in the outfield during Sunday's crazy game ] Jedd Gyorko: Gyorko found a way to get some payback against his former club during the St. Louis Cardinals' 8-5 win over the San Diego Padres. Gyorko went 3-for-5, with a single, triple and home run. He finished just a double shy of the cycle. MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT Heisey may have played the hero for Washington on Sunday, but none of it was possible with Harper's game-tying blast. And, let's face it, watching Bryce Harper destroys baseballs always makes for entertaining highlights. Harper only received one at-bat during his off day, but made it count in the biggest way. He's so locked in right now that you can't help but respect the performance. The 23-year-old is hitting .323/.405/.855 with nine home runs and just nine strikeouts(!) in 74 plate appearances.  THE SCOREBOARD Blue Jays 6, Athletics 3: Jose Bautista hit an early two-run shot, andthat was enough to propel Drew Hutchison to a win. Indians 6, Tigers 3: The Indians won, but Carlos Carrasco left early with a hamstring injury. Trevor Bauer came on in relief and managed to pick up the victory. Mets 3, Braves 2: Jacob deGrom wasn't dominant, but pitched well in his return. He allowed one run on eights hits in 5 2/3 innings during the win. deGrom struck out three and did not issue any walks.  Brewers 8, Phillies 5: Ryan Braun smacked his fifth home run of the season in the fourth inning. He also had a single during the contest. After being limited in the spring due to offseason surgery, Braun is hitting .364 through 74 plate appearances. White Sox 4, Rangers 1: Offseason reclamation project Mat Latos pitched another gem for Chicago. The righty lasted six innings, giving up just one run on seven hits. He struck out two and walked two during the outing. Latos now has a 0.74 ERA with his new club. Royals 6, Orioles 1: Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer each hit their second home runs of the season while Yordano Ventura gave the Royals seven strong innings during the win. Mariners 9, Angels 4: Kyle Seager's first inning home run padded the Mariners lead, while Leonys Martin and Seth Smith each added long balls of their own later to put the game out of reach. Marlins 5, Giants 4: J.T. Realmuto's eighth inning home run provided the go-ahead run for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton also homered earlier in the contest. Dodgers 12, Rockies 10: Jake McGee collapsed in the ninth, allowing five runs on five hits and one walk in just 2/3 of an inning. He received a blown save and a loss. Red Sox 7, Astros 5: A late Colby Rasmus home run couldn't save the Astros. Jackie Bradley Jr. managed a knock in a run in the 12th and Ryan Hanigan scored on a wild pitch, giving Boston the win. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The Walk Off: Bryce Harper off to the best start of his career (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with the ridiculous start Bryce Harper is having to this season. Only seven players in history have won the National League MVP award in back-to-back seasons and while there is a long way to go this year, Bryce Harper is well on his way to adding his name to that list. The Washington Nationals slugger crushed his second Grand Slam of the season on Tuesday night in a 7-0 win at Miami and is now hitting .333 with seven home runs and 20 RBI in his first 45 at-bats of the season. The Nationals scored all seven of their runs in the seventh inning. Harper’s 413-foot home run came off Miami reliever Chris Narveson and it came less than a week after he hit his first Grand Slam of the season against Atlanta. This is easily the best start to a season in Harper’s young career. His previous best came in 2013, his second season in the big leagues when he was hitting .320 with five home runs and 10 RBI after 13 games. [ Giants fan leaves game in shame after making a huge mistake ] Harper was 22 years, 353 days old on the final day of the regular season last year when he won his first MVP award. He was the third youngest position player to achieve the feat trailing only Johnny Bench and Stan Musial. Neither of those legends repeated as the NL MVP the following year, which means if Harper can sustain this level of play over the course of 162 games, he would be the youngest player in history to win consecutive MVP awards. There is an ongoing debate in baseball about who the best position player in the game is right now with many picking Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout over Harper. Bu the Nationals young star is making it an increasingly closer call. He hit .330 last season with 42 home runs and 99 RBI and while we don’t expect Harper to keep up this pace all season, all those numbers could be surpassed this year assuming he stays healthy. It’s going to be fun to watch. TOP PERFORMERS Salvador Perez : One of the best hitting catchers in baseball went 2-for-4 with five RBI in Kansas City’s 8-6 win over Detroit. Perez drove in two in the third inning with a double to left field and then hit a three-run homer to left in the fifth inning. He has 10 RBI this season. Drew Smyly : The Tampa Bay lefty threw eight strong innings allowing only one hit and made a stellar catch in foul territory to earn his first win of the season 3-0 at Boston . He struck out 11 Red Sox and now has 27 strikeouts in 212/3 innings. The game was scoreless after nine innings but Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run to start a three-run 10th inning for the Rays. Mat Latos : The 28-year-old journeyman right-hander signed a $3 million deal with the Chicago White Sox in the offseason and has looked like he’s going to be worth every penny through his first three starts. In fact, Latos has looked as good as any pitcher in baseball the first three times through the rotation. He went 61/3 innings and gave up two runs in the White Sox 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels. He has now pitched 181/3 innings this season and has a 0.49 ERA. Tyler Flowers : After seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Flowers enjoyed his first big game with the Braves going 4-for-4 and driving in three runs to lead Atlanta to its fourth win of the season 8-1 over the Dodgers. Flowers hit four singles and drove in one run on three of those hits, including an infield single in the fourth inning. Jed Lowrie: In the top of the 11th inning, Lowrie belted his fourth hit of the night and later scored the game winning run in the Oakland’s 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees. Lowrie went 4-for-5 in the game with two runs scored and an RBI off his sixth-inning single to right field. Lowrie is hitting .286 to start the season. [ Noah Syndergaard throws so hard he branded his catcher's chest ] MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward has gone 0-for-9 in his return to St. Louis, but he hasn’t let the way he is struggling at the plate affect his defense. He showed why he is considered one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball in the fourth inning Tuesday night when he threw out Matt Holliday who was trying to score from third base. Heyward’s stellar throw to Miguel Montero preserved the Cubs one-run lead and Chicago made it hold up for five more innings winning 2-1 . The Cubs will go for the sweep over their division rivals on Wednesday. THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD Brewers 6, Twins 5 : Milwaukee gave up a three-run lead in the eighth inning but came back in the ninth to win thanks to RBI single from Scooter Gennett. Reliever Tyler Thornburg gave up two home runs and three runs in the eighth but earned the win thanks to Gennett who drove in Yadiel Rivera. Indians 3, Mariners 2: Carlos Carrasco allowed one run over 61/3 innings to earn his second win of the season for Cleveland. Seattle starter Wade Miley issued two walks with the bases loaded and didn’t survive the fourth inning. Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3 : Troy Tulowitzki drove in two runs with a third-inning double to left field and Toronto never trailed in winning its third straight. Marcus Stroman earned his third win of the season allowing three runs over seven innings with three strikeouts. Reds 4, Rockies 3 : Billy Hamilton doubled to left field driving in two in Cincinnati’s four-run second inning. Brandon Phillips went 4-for-4 and scored a run as Robert Stephenson earned his second win of the season with seven innings on the mound allowing one earned run. Mets 11, Phillies 1 : Neil Walker hit two of New York’s six home runs on the road at Philadelphia as the Mets pummeled the Phillies. Both of Walker’s blasts were the solo variety. Mets’starter Logan Verrett didn’t allow a run over six innings and struck out four to earn his first win of the season. Juan Lagares made a stellar catch in the eighth inning in center field possibly robbing Maikel Franco of a home run. Rangers 7, Astros 5 : Six different players drove in a run for the Rangers, including Prince Fielder who hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Derek Holland earned his first win of the season for Texas, despite needing 105 pitches to get through five innings of work. George Springer and Carlos Correa hit back-to-back home runs for Houston in the seventh inning. Diamondbacks 3, Giants 0 : Robbie Ray and three relievers combined to shut out San Francisco. Ray pitched six innings, allowing five hits and striking out eight. Arizona scored all of its runs in the fifth inningJean Segura, Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt each driving in a run. Padres 5, Pirates 4: Wil Myers, Derek Norris and Adam Rosales each hit home runs and starter Colin Rea pitched five innings and combined with five relievers to beat Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen had a chance to tie the game for the Pirates in the eighth inning but grounded into a double play to end the inning. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Kyle Ringo is a contributing writer to Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KyleRingo [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The Walk Off: Nationals win seventh straight, improve to 9-1 (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about. The Washington Nationals really have things rolling under new manager Dusty Baker. With Saturday's 8-1 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Nationals have now won seven straight games overall. They also extended their best start in franchise history (that even covers the Montreal years) by improving to 9-1. [Related: Fan gets attention for misspelled 'Bruce' Harper sign ] Is Washington's talented roster finally living up to the potential? It's a relatively small sample size to be sure, but the results are promising.  Of course, the success really begins at the top of that roster, where Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer reside. Both played a key role in Saturday's win, with Harper delivering the knockout punch with his fifth-inning two-run homer. Harper now has five homers on the season, and has homered in each of his last five games in Philadelphia.  On the hill, Scherzer predictably dominant, tossing seven innings of one-run ball. He even chipped in on offense, cracking a two-run double in the fourth. Scherzer is 2-0 on the young season to go along with a 3.15 ERA.  Other Nationals are playing well too. Daniel Murphy, who's hitting .438, added a run-scoring hit. Wilson Ramos is batting .389 and doing a fine job behind the plate. If they can get Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman and Jayson Werth going too, they'll be even more dangerous. Then there's young prospect Trea Turner just waiting his turn in Triple A, where he's tearing it up with a .500 average. And no, don't forget about the rotation either . This is a talented Washington team that may finally have the guidance and perspective it needed.   TOP PERFORMERS Jake Arrieta: Chicago's ace continued his remarkable run of success at Wrigley Field in the Cubs 6-2 win against the Rockies . Arrieta pitched eight shutout innings, running his scoreless innings in home games to 48.2. That dates back to July 25, 2015, which is the same day Cole Hamels no-hit Chicago. In 34 career starts at Wrigley overall, Arrieta has posted a 1.94 ERA. That's the lowest mark for any pitcher with a minimum of 150 innings at the famed ballpark. He's on fire.  Johnny Cueto: San Francisco's new right-hander didn't make a great impression in his home debut against the Dodgers last Sunday. In seven innings, he allowed six runs on 10 hits, but still managed to earn the win. He was much better in Saturday's rematch at Dodger Stadium, allowing just one run on three hits over 7.1 innings. And he earned the win again, as the Giants topped the Dodgers 4-3 .  [Elsewhere: Rays wisely add more protective netting following injury to fan ] Nick Markakis: Don't look now, but the Braves have a two-game winning streak. The veteran Markakis keyed Saturday's 6-4 win over the Marlins by collecting three hits and driving in three runs. His hits were timely as well, as he opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run double in the second inning. He also drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the fourth.  Nomar Mazara: The Rangers rookie is still raking. In Saturday's  8-4 win against the Orioles , Mazara went 3-for-4 with a walk, one RBI and two runs scored. It was all needed too, as Baltimore continued slugging with three more home runs. On the season, Mazara is now hitting .444 (12-for-27) through seven games and he looks mighty comfortable doing it.  MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT Twins rookie Byung-ho Park is struggling to make contact as he adjusts to major-league pitching. Entering Saturday's game, he had struck out in 14 of his 28 career at-bats. No one is questioning his power though. When he hits them, they stay hit, as evidenced by this 462-foot shot to straight away center field. Park went back-to-back with Oswaldo Arcia in the eighth inning as the Twins topped the Angels 4-2 .   THE SCOREBOARD Mariners 3, Yankees 2 : Felix Hernandez walked six in a mostly uneven outing but still picked up his first win of the season. Seattle's ace pitched five innings, allowing just one run on five hits. By striking out five, Hernandez also tied Randy Johnson on the Mariners all-time strikeout list with 2,162.  Reds 9, Cardinals 8 : Cincinnati hit nine doubles to overcome an early 4-0 deficit and defeat Adam Wainwright.  Red Sox  4, Blue Jays 2 : This is the formula Boston is looking for. David Price pitched seven innings of two-run ball before turning it over the Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel, who closed the door on Toronto. Xander Bogaerts had the key hit, smashing a three-run homer in the third inning.  Indians 7, Mets 5 : After retiring the first 13 batters, Matt Harvey hit a wall in Cleveland. Over the next inning and two-thirds, he allowed five runs on six hits while adding three walks. On the season, Harvey is now 0-3 with a 5.71 ERA.  A's 5, Royals 3 : Sonny Gray was excellent again, limiting Kansas City to two runs (one earned) over seven innings. He was supported by Josh Reddick, who connected for a three-run homer in the first, and Stephen Vogt, who added a solo blast in the seventh.  [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

The Walk Off: Cubs win again and are off to best start since '69 (Big League Stew)

Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about. It's safe to say there's no early-season disappointment with the Chicago Cubs. And Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Reds just reinforced that. [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ] The Cubs won their fifth straight game, beating the Reds 8-1 to complete a three-game sweep. The Cubs have the same record as the score — 8-1, which is their best start since 1969. That year, the Cubs won 11 of 12 games to start the season. Things didn't end so well that season , of course, but that team didn't have Kris Bryant and Addison Russell.  Bryant hit his second homer of the season while Russell had three hits and scored two runs. Cubs starter Jason Hammel threw six scoreless innings too. Perhaps most impressive about these Cubs is just how forceful their wins have been. Their run differential is +43, by far the most in MLB. The Cardinals are +24 and nobody else is even in the 20s. Enjoy these additional factoids about the Cubs' early-season onslaught: Highest Run Differential - 1st 9 Games of Season In Modern Era 1999 Indians +44 1905Giants +43 2016 @Cubs +43 Via @EliasSports — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 15, 2016 The last @Cubs team to post a better run differential through 9 games played in 1885 … as the White Stockings. — MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) April 15, 2016 The Cubs have a +43 run differential through 9 games. Last year, only 11 teams had a run differential that good over 162 games. — Matt Clapp (@TheBlogfines) April 15, 2016 These are all nice things. TOP PERFORMERS • Jaime Garcia: What's the best-possible scenario for the St. Louis Cardinals and starter Jaime Garcia? Exactly what happened Thursday. Garcia threw a one-hit shutout and struck out 13 as the Cards beat the Brewers 7-0 . He did it all in 104 pitches. • Vince Velasquez: Get this: Garcia's performance might not have even been the best of the day. Vince Velasquez, the 23-year-old Philadelphia Phillies starter, K'd 16 San Diego Padres while throwing a three-hitter that put him in the record books . The Phils won 3-0 and Velasquez went the distance, hitting 97 mph on his final pitch of the day.  Vince Velasquez, wow. He'd be the 5th-youngest pitcher to have a scoreless start of 14+ K, 0 BB behind Gooden, K. Wood, J. Fernandez, Blue. — Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) April 14, 2016 • Ian Kennedy:  We'll end this trifecta of pitchers with Kennedy, the new Kansas City Royals starter, who kept the Houston Astros offense quite most of the night. In fact, he carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. All told, he gave up two hits and one run while striking out seven as the Royals beat the Astros 6-2 . MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT This is Bryce Harper's 100th career homer and his first career grand slam. Nice, both of them. He's also 23, so that's important to note. One more thing: This gave the Washington Nationals enough offense to beat the Atlanta Braves, 6-2 . The Braves, by the way, still haven't won a game this season. THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD •  Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 2 : Dodgers score five in the seventh, as Ross Stripling throws six innings in his second MLB start. • Detroit Tigers 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 4 : New Detroit Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann has yet to surrender a run with his new squad, including his Thursday start against the Pirates.  • Chicago White Sox 3, Minnesota Twins 1 : The Twins have still won as many games as you this MLB season. Nada. • Cleveland Indians 6, Tampa Bay Rays 0 : The Indians hit three homers and rough up Rays ace Chris Archer.  • Colorado Rockies 11, San Francisco Giants 6 : Matt Cain gave up the six runs in 4.2 innings, not getting out of Colorado's nine-run fifth inning. • Toronto Blue Jays 4, New York Yankees 2 : Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki homered, while Marcus Stroman went eight strong innings.  • Texas Rangers 6, Baltimore Orioles 3 : Rougned Odor lands the go-ahead double as the Rangers rally for five in the sixth inning to beat the O's. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz [read full article]

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