Mystics add veteran Brazilian forward

Mystics add veteran Brazilian forward

The Washington Mystics signed free agent forward Iziane Castro Marques and released guard Natasha Lacy, the team announced on Sunday. Castro Marques, anine-year WNBA veteran, played most recently with Atlanta, helping the Dream reachconsecutive WNBA Finals. For her career, she's averaged 10.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.In anticipation of the 2012 summer Olympics, Castro Marques sat out the first half of the 2012 WNBA season, but was ultimately left off the Brazilian national team because of a team violation.Lacy, who had joined the team prior to the start of the 2012 campaign, averaged 3.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20 games this season.

Murphy homers, lands go-ahead hit in Nats' 4-3 win vs. Phillies

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Murphy homers, lands go-ahead hit in Nats' 4-3 win vs. Phillies

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.

How it happened: Right now, two months into the 2016 MLB season, is there any other player you'd rather have up in a key spot than Daniel Murphy?

The Nats second baseman continued his months-long Ted Williams impression on Monday night with three hits, one of them his eighth homer of the season and another the go-ahead swing in the bottom of the eighth in a 4-3 Nats victory over the Phillies. 

On a night Bryce Harper left with an injury, Murphy helped save the day with three runs driven in. The other was pushed across by Jayson Werth, who tied the game at 2-2 in the eighth to help set up Murphy's heroics. 

The Nationals hung on in the ninth, but closer Jonathan Papelbon made it interesting by allowing back-to-back doubles to lead off the frame, the second to score a run. Papelbon has surrendered six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings with two blown saves against the Phillies since he was traded from them to the Nats last summer.

What it means: The Nationals moved to 10 games over .500 and 3-4 against the Phillies this season, all three of those wins having come at Citizens Bank Park. The Nats remain in first place with a 31-21 record after 52 games. That puts them two wins ahead of their 2015 pace (29-23 after 52). In 2014 when they won 96 games and the NL East, they were 25-27. And in 2012 when they won 98 games and the division, they were 30-22. The Nats are playing at a 97-win pace right now.

Murphy's big day: Who is this guy? As impressive as Murphy's 2016 had already been, he put in one of his best games as a National on Tuesday. Murphy smacked his eighth homer of the season in the top of the fourth which put him more than halfway to his career-high of 14, which he set just last year. This is in just 50 games, which puts Murphy on pace for about 25 by the end of this season. That would not only far exceed his best season ever, it would significantly change his value as an offensive player. Murphy has six homers in the month of May, a personal career-best for the regular season. The only other month he's hit more was last October when he clubbed seven for the Mets in the playoffs. Murphy also landed a double in the second inning on Monday to notch his 25th mutli-hit game of the season, exactly half of the game he's played. This was all on top of his go-ahead, two-RBI single in the top of the eighth. Murphy is now batting a cool .395 and we're one day away from June. That's just amazing.

Harper leaves with apparent injury: In a sight that will scare the living hell out of any Nationals fan, Harper left in the top of the seventh with what appeared to be a right leg injury. He exited after taking an 88 mile per hour fastball either off his knee or off his thigh muscle right above it. Harper stayed in the game for one play by taking first, but left after getting out on a double play. Murphy flew out and Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel beat Harper with a throw to first before he got back. Chris Heisey replaced Harper in right field in the bottom of the seventh. It could be just a bruise, but Nats fans will certainly worry until they hear otherwise.

Werth's game-tying double: Aside from Murphy's three knocks, Werth was one of only two other Nationals to land a hit on Monday night. For Werth, it was a single to left field that scored Danny Espinosa from second in the top of the eighth. The RBI hit came off Phillies reliever Hector Neris, who also gave up the deciding blow against Murphy. Werth's big swing came just one day after he launched a pinch-hit grand slam in the Nats' win over the Cardinals on Sunday. 

Up next: The Nationals send Joe Ross (4-4, 2.52) to the mound for Tuesday's game with right-hander Aaron Nola (4-3, 2.86) set to pitch for Philly. It's another 7:05 p.m. first pitch.

The most defining image of the 2016 NCAA Tournament had little to do with lacrosse

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The most defining image of the 2016 NCAA Tournament had little to do with lacrosse

It was yet another heartbreaking Memorial Day afternoon for the Maryland Terrapins and head men's lacrosse coach John Tillman.

For the fourth time since 2011, the Terps fell short in the NCAA Championship game, this time with a heartbreaking, 14-13 overtime loss against North Carolina.

But even a heartbreaking championship loss can serve as a canvas for something better.

After all, this was just a sport, and sports are at there very best, a distraction from the rigors of everyday life.

Take five-year-old Fionn Crimmins, who in June of 2014 was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer.

Fionn has become the embodiment of Maryland lacrosse; overcoming odds while performing with pure happiness and childlike passion.

Fionn is, unquestionable, the biggest fan of the 2016 Terps' team. There was no one more distraught following Chris Cloutier's overtime goal than the enthusiastic kid from Kensington, Md.

And there may be no greater image from the 2016 NCAA Tournament than the one captured moments after the Terps' crushing loss.

Fionn cheered for the Terps all season long, and in turn they played for him, both in the two early-season losses and the sixteen consecutive wins before Monday's loss.

But it isn't the result that matters, but the journey to get there, and more importantly, the people you meet along the way.

RELATED: KYLE BERNLOHR AND THE GREATEST SAVE THAT DIDN'T MATTER

 

Bryce Harper exits Nats-Phillies game with apparent leg injury

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Bryce Harper exits Nats-Phillies game with apparent leg injury

Bryce Harper exited Monday night's game between the Nationals and Phillies with an apparent right leg injury after getting hit by an 88 mile per hour fastball in the area of his knee in the top of the seventh inning.

Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson hit Harper either on the knee or just above it, based on the television replay. Harper took first base and stayed in through the next at-bat. But after he got out on a double play, Harper left for the clubhouse. He was then replaced by Chris Heisey in right field when the Nationals went back out on defense.

Harper walked with a visible limp on his way to first base after getting hit. Hellickson immediately challenged him with several pickoff attempts before he got Daniel Murphy to fly out. Phillies outfielder Tyler Goeddel threw to first base before Harper could tag the bag for the double play.

Harper has dealt with a left knee injury in the past, but it was his right knee that appeared to be injured on Monday night.

Harper, 23, is batting .242 with 13 homers and 34 RBI on the season. He was 0-for-2 with a strikeout on Monday night before he left the game.