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Hill remembers his time with Nationals organization warmly

Hill remembers his time with Nationals organization warmly

WASHINGTON—It’s hard to believe that Rich Hill was also a National. Hill, the Game 2 starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched for the Nationals’ Triple-A Syracuse team in 2015. 

Last year was the year that Hill actually dropped out of organized ball and landed in Independent ball. 

Before the Long Island Ducks. Before the late season resurrection in Boston, there was Syracuse. 

Hill, who at 36 may be one of the hottest talents on an incredibly thin free agent market, could have been a National. 

No bitterness, no regret. 

“A great organization. Enjoyed the time that we had here in spring training, the guys here in spring training. Just the camaraderie that they had, the intensity of Max Scherzer, watching him prepare during spring training,” Hill remembers.

"I'll talk about Syracuse. But the selflessness of a Tanner Roark -- this is going back to last year, how many games did he win in '14? 15, right? And he goes in the bullpen, and there were 29 other teams that said, we'll put him in the rotation.” 

Hill, who spoke before Friday’s Game 1, sounds as if he’s still with the Nationals as he lauds his former teammates. 

“But to have guys that will put their own accolades aside or, not so much careers, but they will sacrifice certain things for the team, that's what I saw. There was a very good team environment.”

With the Chiefs, Hill whose big league career began in 2005 and included stops with the Cubs, Orioles, two with the Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Yankees and Athletics, went 2-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 25 relief appearances. 

“We had some older veteran guys that were on that team that weren't complaining about, well, I should be in the big leagues. You get kind of that mix when you're in Triple-A. But it was not so there, and that had a lot to do with the coaching staff. Those guys there were great,” Hill said. 

Hill exercised his opt-out at Syracuse because he didn’t see a place for him on the Nationals. 

“I told them I was going to take my release and they said, ‘Well, we'll give you an extra week to find another job if you would like. I just didn't see it working out here in Washington. You know, players have outs in their contracts that are mutual to say, you know, if you would like to go somewhere else, if you think it would work out somewhere else, you've earned the right, so be it, best of luck both ways. So that had happened.

“Would have liked to have seen it work out here, sure, no doubt, because of everything that was going on in spring training, like I had said before, just the guys on the team, it was made of a team, a team, a group of guys that everybody was pulling for each other.”

After his opt-out, Hill was at home for a month, and went to Long Island for two starts. He impressed the Red Sox, and a year later he’s facing the team that he so admires.

RELATED: Ramos' first pitch provides special moment for Nats

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Murphy, Scherzer slam Mets with 7th straight win

Murphy, Scherzer slam Mets with 7th straight win

NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy hit an early grand slam against his former team, Max Scherzer pitched eight fiery innings and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Sunday night for their seventh straight victory.

Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run homer for the Nationals, who completed a three-game sweep of the short-handed Mets in the first series this season between the NL East rivals.

Missing slugger Yoenis Cespedes and two other injured starters, New York (8-11) has lost four in a row and eight of nine to fall 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals, who own the best record in the majors at 13-5. The winning streak is their longest since a seven-game run last April.

Scherzer (3-1) struck out nine and walked one in his latest win over the Mets, a team he has often dominated -- especially since signing with Washington in January 2015. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, who fanned 17 in a no-hitter at Citi Field on Oct. 3, 2015, pumped his fist and slapped his glove after setting down the crucial hitters in this one.

Koda Glover got three outs for his second major league save, both in the past two days.

Michael Conforto hit his second leadoff homer of the series and had three hits for New York. Neil Walker's two-run homer pulled the Mets to 4-3 in the third, but that was all Scherzer allowed. He got a double-play grounder after Conforto's one-out single in the fifth and retired his final 10 batters.

Murphy connected in the first off Zack Wheeler (1-2), who had sharp stuff throughout his seven innings of four-hit ball. Zimmerman went deep in the eighth against reliever Josh Smoker to make it 6-3.

Murphy, booed by the Queens crowd, has eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 22 games against the Mets since they let him leave as a free agent before last season.

More Nationals: DOES MIKE RIZZO SEE THE NATS HAVING A CLOSER BY COMMITTEE?​

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Daniel Murphy strikes again vs. Mets with second career grand slam

Daniel Murphy strikes again vs. Mets with second career grand slam

If you can’t be with them — beat them.

That seems to be the slogan Daniel Murphy has lived by since leaving the Mets in 2015.

Tonight’s game started off with a bang… a grand slam by Murphy himself. This helped launch the Nationals to a 4-0 lead.

Just like these boys in the tweet, we “give a five” to Murphy as it was also the second grand slam of his career, both hit while playing under the Nationals. This follows his career night where he helped the Nats knock off the Cardinals

Muprhy has absolutely owned the Mets since joing the Nationals. he has recorded at least one base hit in all 19 head-to-head games.

RELATED: DOES MIKE RIZZO SEE THE NATS HAVING A CLOSER BY COMITTEE?