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Nationals survive a late rally from the Phillies after bullpen nearly implodes

Nationals survive a late rally from the Phillies after bullpen nearly implodes

PHILADELPHIA -- Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth hit homers to back Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals held on for a 7-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday.

Scherzer (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits, striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner waited until the fourth game to take the mound because a broken knuckle set him back in spring training.

The injury didn't bother him against the Phillies, who fell to 3-11 in home openers at Citizens Bank Park.

Scherzer retired the first 10 batters before Howie Kendrick hit an opposite-field double in the fourth. He left with a 7-1 lead and a runner on.

Aaron Altherr hit a two-run homer off Sammy Solis in the seventh to get the Phillies within 7-4 and Freddy Galvis hit a two-run shot off Blake Treinen in the ninth to cut it to 7-6.

A day after giving up leads in the eighth and ninth innings in a 4-3 loss to Miami in 10 innings, Washington's bullpen allowed four runs and nearly blew another one.

Koda Glover entered with two runners on in the eighth and retired three straight batters. Treinen eventually finished for his third save after Galvis went deep.

Vince Velasquez (0-1) struck out 10, but allowed four runs and five hits in four innings. He hasn't won a game since last July 8.

The defending NL East champion Nationals are off to a 3-1 start while the Phillies have lost three in a row after winning their opener.

Harper hit a two-run shot in the first and Murphy ripped a two-run drive in the third. Werth made it 7-0 with a three-run homer off Joely Rodriguez in the fifth.

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Strasburg, Nats bats power past Cubs 8-4

Strasburg, Nats bats power past Cubs 8-4

Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 in seven innings, Bryce Harper had two doubles and two RBIs, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 8-4 on Wednesday night.

Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters hit back-to-back homers against John Lackey (5-9) during Washington's four-run second inning. After the Cubs pulled within three at 6-3, Daniel Murphy went deep in the fifth.

It was a rough day for the Cubs, who cut veteran catcher Miguel Montero after he criticized pitcher Jake Arrieta for his role in the Nationals' seven steals in Tuesday's 6-1 win over the World Series champions. Then reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant departed with an apparent right ankle injury.

Bryant awkwardly clipped third base while catching a foul pop off the bat of Wieters in the sixth. He walked around gingerly before being helped off the field.

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Did Bryce Harper just hint at his future with this Instagram caption?

Did Bryce Harper just hint at his future with this Instagram caption?

With Bryce Harper's free agency approaching in 2018, the Nationals slugger has kept his options open as everyone is speculating about where he'll end up when his contract with the Nats has come to an end.

From the Yankees to the Cubs, the rumor mill simply isn't stopping. And, perhaps, another clue about his plans has appeared.

Before Tuesday night's matchup against the Cubs, Harper posted an Instagram with his wife, Kayla, along with childhood friend and Cubs third baseman, Kris Bryant, and Bryant's wife, Jess.

That was nothing unusual as the pair grew up playing baseball together in their hometown of Las Vegas. However, the caption is what stuck out.

RELATED: THE NATIONALS PLAYED A HUGE ROLE IN A CUB BEING RELEASED

"Just two Vegas boys living out our dream with the ones we love! This is what it's all about..What a time to be alive🙌🏻#MLB #702 #Back2BackOneDay"

Social media went into a frenzy over what seemed like an allusion to Harper's future: he wants to eventually join back up with his childhood buddy Kris Bryant, just like the good ol' days. 

Adding to the worry is that Harper's dog is named Wrigley. 

Are the Cubs a shoo-in for Bryce Harper with the appeal of his childhood best friend and his dog's name?

Could this allusion mean heading up the windy city and a reunion for Harper and his pal?

Did Harper just hint at his future with the Cubs with an Instagram hashtag?