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Nationals dominate ballot for NL end-of-season awards

Nationals dominate ballot for NL end-of-season awards

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the finalists for its major individual awards on Monday, and the ballots were littered with Washington Nationals.

The Nationals became the first team since the Minnesota Twins in 2006 to have a top-three finisher for each of the four awards, and the first N.L. team to do so since the 1996 Atlanta Braves.

Daniel Murphy, who led the N.L. in slugging percentage, OBPS, and doubles, is up for the league MVP award, which was won by teammate Bryce Harper a season ago. Murphy is one of the three finalists, along with Dodgers' shortstop Corey Seager and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant.

Trea Turner played in just 73 MLB games this season, but quickly became one of the Nationals' most important players. He finished with 33 stolen bases and 13 home runs. While he is likely to fall just short of Dodgers' Corey Seager in the Rookie of the Year race, his meteoric rise to the top of the lineup was a welcomed sight in Washington.

Max Scherzer, the 2013 A.L. Cy Young award winner, is up for the N.L. award in 2016 thanks to his spot atop the N.L. leaderboard in wins (20), strikeouts (284), innings pitched (228) and WHIP (0.968). While Scherzer was often criticized for allowing home runs at a premium, the Nationals' ace had few flaws. He is up for the award along with Chicago Cubs' aces Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks.

Rounding out the Nationals' nominees is manager Busty Baker, who guided the Nationals to a 95-67 record and an N.L. East championship in his first season with the club. The Nationals finished finished tied with the Rangers for the second-best record in professional baseball last season — behind the world champion Cubs'103-58 record — a 12-win increase from the season before. Baker is up for the award along with Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Joe Maddon of the Cubs. 

 The BBWA awards announcements begin next week, with the Rookie of the Year award on monday. 

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Trea Turner hits for the cycle despite freezing Colorado temperature

Trea Turner hits for the cycle despite freezing Colorado temperature

DENVER (AP) -- Trea Turner has hit for the third cycle in Washington Nationals history against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Turner also has a career-high seven RBIs on a cold night in the Mile High City.

He had a single in the first, a two-run double in the second, a two-run homer in the sixth and a bases-loaded triple in the seventh.


The field temperature was a balmy 37 degrees when Turner recorded the final part of his cycle in the seventh inning.

It was the first cycle by the Nationals since Cristian Guzman on Aug. 28, 2008.

Overall, this was the ninth cycle in Expos/Nationals history.

In addition, Turner's seven RBIs are tied for the second-most in a single game in Nationals history.

The Nationals hung on to beat the Rockies 15-12 after giving up seven runs in the final three innings.

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Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Week

Bryce Harper named National League Player of the Week

If you've understandably been caught up with the Capitals and Wizards in their respective playoff series, you might not be aware of just how hot Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper is right now. Fresh off a three-game sweep of the rival Mets in New York, Harper was named National League Player of the Week. 

For the whole week, Harper hit .550 (11-for-20) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and 10 runs scored. 

He is now leading all of baseball in batting average (.400), he's tied for second in homers (7), and he's alone in second in RBI (20). He's also amassed a blistering 1.340 OPS through the team's first 18 games. 

Harper's biggest game of the past week came in Atlanta when he went yard twice, with his second homer being a grand slam. He finished the game 4-for-4 with two homers, one double, five RBI, one walk and four runs scored. 

With Harper's injuries from last season behind him (even though he won't completely admit to being hurt), the Nationals' right fielder is back to, or even better than, his 2015 form that ended with his first career MVP award. During that season Harper took home player of the week honors three times. 

The Nationals as a team have the best record in baseball at 13-5, and already have a three-game lead in the NL East. 

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