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Nats best pitching staff in baseball?

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Nats best pitching staff in baseball?

The Nationals are one of several surprise MLB teams this season, a team well above .500 at this point in the year for the first time in a while. But as we move through the end of May, questions will continue to arise as to which teams can sustain their success and which ones will fall back down to Earth. One columnist at MLB.com believes they will remain contenders because of one important reason: they have the best pitching staff in baseball.

Mike Bauman of MLB.com says the "novelty value of the Nationals having, for instance, the second-best record in the National League is wearing off." He writes the Nats' success has "lost its shock effect." Washington is first in the N.L. East and Bauman believes it is something people around baseball need to get used to.

Bauman also cites an interesting quote from Chipper Jones. Jones made headlines on Friday after saying Stephen Strasburg is the best pitcher he has ever seen. Now, according to Bauman, Jones thinks the Nats have the best pitching staff in all of baseball.

"They have five guys that have established themselves as the best starting staff in the game," Jones said. "They have the best starting five in the game -- no doubt."

Jones is one of the best hitters of his generation and one of the best switch-hitters the game has ever seen. He also knows what great pitching staffs look like having been a Brave when Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and Tom Glavine dominated the opposition. For him to say their rotation is the best in the game says something and it certainly backs Bauman's claim. The season is still relatively young and lots can happen, but the Nationals definitely look stable enough pitching-wise to compete in a series with any team in the majors.

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC