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Instant analysis: Pirates 5, Nats 3

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Instant analysis: Pirates 5, Nats 3

Game in a nutshell: Unable to do anything against Pirates right-hander James McDonald for five innings, the Nationals finally came to life during a three-run sixth that included a two-run single by Ryan Zimmerman and an RBI triple (yes, triple) by Adam LaRoche. Unfortunately, the Nationals were already trailing by four runs at that point because Jordan Zimmermann served up three home runs (two of them to Andrew McCutchen). The Pirates tacked on another run against Craig Stammen in the seventh, then hung on to salvage a two-game series split.

Hitting lowlight: Yes, they produced some runs late. But let's focus on the first five innings of this game, when the Nationals' lineup was hogtied by McDonald. The right-hander retired the first 13 batters he faced, nine via strikeout. Most of those came on breaking balls. Bryce Harper finally broke up the perfect game when he drew a walk with one out in the fifth. But it wasn't until Jesus Flores doubled to open the sixth that McDonald's no-hit bid was quashed. For a Nationals lineup that had finally broken out over the last week, this was a backward step.
Pitching lowlight: Considering he had been credited with a quality start in each of his first seven outings this year, Zimmermann certainly was allowed to have a bit of an off-night. And it's not like the right-hander was completely off; he allowed four runs in six innings. Zimmermann did, however, throw some killer mistake pitches to Rod Barajas and McCutchen, who combined for three homers. Zimmermann also labored in the early innings, ratcheting up his pitch count and giving himself no chance to make it to the seventh or beyond.
Key stat: One night after coming a triple shy of the cycle, LaRoche tripled for only the 10th time in his career. His previous three-bagger came on Aug. 3, 2010 against ... the Nationals.
Up next: Let the Battle of the Beltways begin! For the first time, the Nationals and Orioles will meet with both teams boasting winning records. Edwin Jackson and Jake Arrieta square off in Friday's 7:05 p.m. interleague series opener.

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Donald Trump will not throw out Nationals Opening Day first pitch

Donald Trump will not throw out Nationals Opening Day first pitch

One of the most iconic moments in sports is when the President of the United States throws out a first pitch at a baseball game. In fact, every president dating back to William Taft in 1910 has thrown at least one Opening Day ceremonial first pitch during their time in office. 

At least for this year, Donald Trump will not join that long lists of presidents. 

According to Bryon Kerr, President Trump will not partake in the tradition due to scheduling conflicts.

Traditionally the ceremonial first pitch by presidents has been done on Opening Day, but also there have been presidents that have thrown the first pitch at the All-Star Game, and even during the World Series; none was perhaps more memorable that George W. Bush's first pitch in the 2001 World Series. 

Regularly presidents have thrown out the first pitch on Opening Day, but it is not uncommon for presidents to miss out on one of baseball's sacred days. George W. Bush only threw the Opening Day pitch in six of his eight years as president. He would also throw a Ceremonial first pitch in 2009, his first year out of office. Barak Obama would only throw one Opening Day first pitch and that was in 2010 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the now forgotten tradition. 

Before his presidency, President Trump has thrown one first pitch to start a baseball game. It was during the 2006 regular season at Fenway Park. 

RELATED: Tim Tebow strikes out in three pitches from Max Sherzer

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Watch Max Scherzer strike out Tim Tebow on just three pitches

Watch Max Scherzer strike out Tim Tebow on just three pitches

Max Scherzer is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and widely considered one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball.

Tim Tebow is a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback and Single-A baseball prospect for the New York Mets.

That enough should tell you all you need to know about how an encounter between the two would fare. But considering Tebow is one of the most polarizing figures in sports, and despite him being the longest of longshots to crack an MLB roster, people flock to the interwebs to see how he's doing on the baseball diamond.

On Monday, he got a chance to step into the batter's box against Scherzer, who was making his first spring training start for the Nationals.

Pitch 1: 96 MPH fastball — Swing and miss

Pitch 2: 97 MPH fastball — Looking

Pitch 3: 97 MPH fastball — Swing and miss

Tebow faced Scherzer again later in the game, and managed to do only slightly better.

Scherzer struck him out on four pitches.

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