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Instant analysis: Marlins-Nats

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Instant analysis: Marlins-Nats

Game in a nutshell: In their attempt to deal Anibal Sanchez a loss for the first time in 19 career starts against them, the Nationals came up short once again. They did lead 1-0 in the sixth behind Corey Brown's perfectly executed suicide squeeze (for his first career RBI). But Edwin Jackson served up an RBI double to Giancarlo Stanton in the sixth and committed a costly throwing error in the seventh that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman couldn't come through with the bases loaded in the eighth, and Hanley Ramirez's 422-foot bomb off Craig Stammen sealed the deal for the Marlins, who secured the series victory.

Hitting lowlight: Rarely in his first month in the big leagues has Harper showed a poor approach at the plate and expanded his strike zone. But the 19-year-old picked a bad time to look like a 19-year-old at last. With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Harper struck out on three pitches from reliever Steve Cishek. The last pitch was a high fastball, well out of the strike zone, but Harper chased it. That rare, undisciplined display from the rookie wound up costing the Nationals big-time.

Pitching lowlight: Though he dominated for five innings, Jackson's night fell apart quickly in the sixth and seventh. It began with a one-out double by Omar Infante, then continued with an RBI double by Stanton (in a curious move, the Nats decided to pitch to Stanton with first base open and two outs). Jackson's biggest mistake, though, wasn't a pitch but an errant pickoff throw in the seventh that allowed Chris Coghlan to take two extra bases. That set the stage for Greg Dobbs' sacrifice fly, giving the Marlins the lead for good. In the end, Jackson's final line looks strong (one earned run in 6 23 innings) but the stats tell only part of the story.

Key stat: Harper now has four triples in his first 29 big-league games. Over the last 25 years, the only rookies to produce more three-baggers in that brief span are Andrew McCutchen and Carl Crawford (five apiece).

Up next: The series wraps up at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday when Chien-Ming Wang makes his first start of the season for the Nationals, taking over Ross Detwiler's rotation spot. Struggling ace Josh Johnson will start for the Marlins.

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New York Daily News puts Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in Yankees uniforms

New York Daily News puts Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in Yankees uniforms

You can always count on the New York Daily News to run an audacious cover. The tabloid delivered again Friday with an image edited to show two of the league's best young hitters in Yankees pinstripes: Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper and Orioles short stop Manny Machado. 

"Bats to the Future" is exactly the headline you'd expect, too.  

It's hard to tell what's more odious to Washington and Baltimore fans: the image itself or the suggestion that baseball's new collective bargaining agreement makes it easier for the Yankees to poach their stars. 

The premise of that argument comes from sources who say the new CBA contains two changes beneficial to New York: reduced revenue sharing burden (due to tweaks in how sharing is calculated, plus a deduction for the cost of building and running Yankee Stadium) and an increased luxury tax threshold. 

Without going into number crunching detail, the Daily News explains how the club could afford Harper and/or Machado when they become free agents after the 2018 season. 

The article's tone of inevitability, despite its many assumptions, will rankle fans of all 29 other teams. After all, the Yankees aren't the only franchise interested in Harper and Machado. 

The Nationals and Orioles will presumably try to keep their stars. But to do that, they may have to fend off potentially historic money from the Bronx. 

MORE BASEBALL: Nats let Ben Revere walk

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Nationals decline to tender the contract of Ben Revere

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USA Today Sports

Nationals decline to tender the contract of Ben Revere

Ben Revere was brought to Washington in the hopes he could solve the centerfield and lead-off issue that plagued them the previous year. After just one year, the Nationals have decided to move on from Revere as they declined to tender him.

The move makes Revere a free agent after a .217/.260/.300 season that fell way below expectations. Revere tied his career-high with two home runs and added 24 RBI while scoring 44 runs. 

Stay tuned for more information!