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Instant analysis: Nats 6, Giants 4


Instant analysis: Nats 6, Giants 4

Game in a nutshell: The Stephen Strasburg-Tim Lincecum pitching showdown was overshadowed first by news of Melky Cabrera's 50-game suspension after testing positive for testosterone, then by Lincecum's ineffective start. The Nationals knocked the struggling, two-time Cy Young Award winner out after only four innings, getting his pitch count all the way up to 96. Strasburg, meanwhile, battled his way through a laborious second inning and wound up tossing six strong frames to earn his 14th win of the season. Throw in some timely hits from Jayson Werth (2-for-4, three RBI), Danny Espinosa (2-run homer) and Steve Lombardozzi (4-for-5) and the Nationals emerged with a series victory, an 8-2 road trip and will return home still holding baseball's best record at 73-45.

Hitting highlight: How important has Werth been to the Nationals' overall fortunes since returning from the disabled list? Very. With a pair of run-scoring hits today that drove in three total runs, the veteran outfielder is now hitting .402 (17-for-42) with a .490 on-base percentage and .548 slugging percentage in 13 total games since his return. Perhaps most impressively, Werth is showing more aggressiveness at the plate, looking to drive in runs more than taking walks, especially with men in scoring position (a bit of a problem last season). Ultimately, Werth's biggest impact has been on the Nationals' won-loss record. He's now started 11 games since coming off the DL, and the Nats have gone 10-1 in those games.

Pitching highlight: Strasburg labored through a tough second inning, issuing a pair of walks to Buster Posey and Hunter Pence (both wound up coming around to score on Brandon Belt's single) but that was his only real hiccup of the afternoon. The right-hander retired 12 of the last 15 batters he faced, cruising through the sixth inning having allowed only those two early runs on four hits. But his pitch count was once again elevated at 100, so Davey Johnson decided not to take any chances and turn to his bullpen for the seventh. So, for those keeping track, Strasburg is now 14-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 21 starts, having struck out a league-leading 173 batters in 139 13 innings.

Key stat: Over the last six games of this trip, Lombardozzi went 13-for-25, raising his batting average from .261 to .280.

Up next: After 10 games in three cities in two time zones, the Nationals get a well-deserved day off Thursday. They'll then return to South Capitol Street Friday at 7:05 p.m. to face the Mets. Ross Detwiler is scheduled to face Johan Santana, and shortstop Ian Desmond is likely to return from the DL.

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After months of speculation, Nationals finally tab Blake Treinen as closer

After months of speculation, Nationals finally tab Blake Treinen as closer

With Opening Day just a week away, the Washington Nationals were still unsure of who would be the closer.

After the team didn't re-sign Mark Melancon this offseason, and missed out on top free agent Kenley Jansen, the team got dangerously close to starting the season without naming a closer.

That was, until Thursday morning, when manager Dusty Baker tabbed Blake Treinen as the pitcher who would handle the ninth inning in save situations. 

"To be in the position Dusty has put me in, I feel honored," Treinen said according to Mark Zuckerman. 

This will be Treinen's fourth season with the Nationals. In 2016, Treinen finished with a 2.28 ERA in 67 innings for the Nationals.  The 28-year-old also had 63 strikeouts in 67 innings. 

The Washington Nationals will start their season against the Miami Marlins on Monday, April 3rd at Nationals Park.  

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2017 fantasy baseball team names: The top 25

2017 fantasy baseball team names: The top 25

Baseball season is about to begin, which means fantasy baseball seasons are about to begin, which means the season of naming your fantasy baseball team(s) is about to begin.

Are you struggling to come up with a clever/cheesy/"Yo, that is 90-percent stupid but 10-percent funny" 2017 fantasy baseball team name? Allow CSNmidatlantic.com to help you with the following 25 fantasy baseball team name ideas.

The first 12 are Nationals and Orioles-related fantasy team names, and the 13 after are inspired by the names of players with the 28 other organizations. Using any of them will ensure your season gets off to a strong start. Building a potent roster to go along with the name, though? Well, that's on you.

The top 25 2017 fantasy baseball team names

Nationals and Orioles names

1) The Bryce is right

2) The Scherzey Shore

3) Alternative Max

4) Damned if you Drew, damned if you Rendon't

5) Earth, Lind & Fire

6) 50 Shades of Trea

7) Beef Welington

8) Game of Jones

9) Watch me Whip, watch me J.J.

10) 8 Miley

11) Machado About Nothing

12) You say Ma-chay-do, I say Machado


General MLB names

13) Hold the Odor!

14) Abad and Boujee

15) The Life of Pablo 

16) Catch me if Yu can

17) Bauer Rangers

18) Upton Funk

19) Wacha Flocka Flame

20) Russell & Flow

21) No Cain, no gain 

22) Gin Andrus

23) Honey Nut Ichiros

24) Soler powered

25) Gettin' Miggy Wit it