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Nats have plenty to be thankful for this year

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Nats have plenty to be thankful for this year

Everyone has something to be thankful for today, and that includes the Nationals roster, coaching staff and front office.

And for the third straight year, I've somehow managed to get my hands on a comprehensive list of these fine folks' Thanksgiving blessings. I'm just that good (or creative, depending on how you choose to look at it).

So without further ado, here's what everyone in NatsTown is thankful for this holiday season...

DAVEY JOHNSON: That he said the Nats could fire him only if he didn't win the NL East in 2012 (not the NLDS).

MIKE RIZZO: That he won't have to explain to the world why he's voluntarily shutting down one of his best big-league pitchers before the end of the 2013 season.

BRYCE HARPER: That his first big-league season included way more home runs than clown questions.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN: That he never again has to explain what it's like playing for a franchise that's never enjoyed a winning season.

IAN DESMOND: That Jim Bowden and Frank Robinson actually knew what they were doing seven years ago when they touted the then 18-year-old shortstop as a future star.

ADAM LAROCHE: That the best season of his career just so happened so occur right before he hit free agency.

JAYSON WERTH: That upon jumping into a throng of giddy teammates around home plate following the greatest baseball moment in D.C. in 88 years, he might never again have to justify his decision to take $126 million from the Nationals.

MICHAEL MORSE: That Nationals fans know the words to the chorus of "Take On Me." (Or, at least, are good at faking it.)

DANNY ESPINOSA: That the Nationals have been rewarded for showing patience with a young, streaky, middle infielder before.

WILSON RAMOS: That the toughest obstacle he has to overcome this offseason is a torn knee ligament, which should feel like nothing compared to what he had to overcome one year ago.

STEPHEN STRASBURG: That the only thing he'll be shutting down in 2013 are opposing lineups.

GIO GONZALEZ: That there will always be another member of the pitching staff willing to sit next to him in the dugout during games and listen to his stream of consciousness.

JORDAN ZIMMERMANN: That after a thoroughly rewarding season he can reward himself by sitting on a frozen Wisconsin lake ice fishing for hours on end.

EDWIN JACKSON: That even after 10 seasons with seven different organizations, there are still GMs out there willing to pay him good money based more on potential than results.

DREW STOREN: That Washington sports fans place more weight on a month of dominance than one disastrous inning of relief. Unlike, say, Philadelphia sports fans.

TYLER CLIPPARD: That no one will ever question again whether he can close in the big leagues.

HENRY RODRIGUEZ: That the ability to throw a baseball 100 mph (even with location TBD) will always guarantee a steady paycheck.

JOHN LANNAN: That after the strangest season of his career, he should get a fair opportunity to pitch in the major leagues in 2013.

CHIEN-MING WANG: That he was paid about $8 million to make 16 big-league starts over the last three years (and 21 minor-league rehab starts).

MARK BUEHRLE: That he turned down the Nationals' three-year contract offer -- with no-trade clause included -- last winter and instead took four years (without a no-trade clause) from the Miami Marlins. Oh wait, he's not thankful for that decision at all.

MARK LERNER: That he's suddenly become the most successful and most popular owner in Washington.

MARK ZUCKERMAN: That I continue to be paid to perform a job that hardly ever feels like a job and have the most knowledgeable and loyal readership a sportswriter could ever hope to achieve.

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Nationals fall to Padres as four starters sit on the bench

Nationals fall to Padres as four starters sit on the bench

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Schimpf hit a two-run homer and the San Diego Padres broke out the bats, beating the Washington Nationals 5-3 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

The Padres had only one run and six hits with 31 strikeouts in back-to-back losses in games started by Washington's Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to begin the series. San Diego bounced back by matching its season high with 14 hits, with 12 coming off starter Joe Ross (2-1).

NL home run leader Bryce Harper was among four starters out of the lineup for Washington. The game was delayed 1 hour, 20 minutes by rain.

RELATED: HARPER AMONG 4 NATS' STARTERS OUT VS. PADRES SUNDAY

Four relievers, including Kirby Yates (1-0), pitched 4 2-3 hitless innings following starter Jhoulys Chacin's latest bumpy road appearance. Brandon Maurer worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Chase d'Arnaud had a two-run single and double for the Padres. Franchy Cordero singled in the third for his first major league hit and later doubled.

Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters also did not start for the Nationals. All three entered as pinch hitters, but were retired. Washington opens a nine-game, 10-day road trip Monday afternoon in San Francisco.

Adam Lind drove in two runs. His RBI double in the fifth off Chacin pulled Washington closer at 5-3.

Chacin surrendered three runs on eight hits in 4 2-3 innings. He also had two singles and an RBI.

Ross, who allowed five in four innings plus three batters in the fifth, certainly had two tough acts to follow. Strasburg struck out a career-high 15 in Saturday's 3-0 win after Scherzer fanned 13 in Friday's 5-1 series-opening victory.

San Diego doubled the amount it scored in consecutive losses after just four batters. Following a two-out walk to Wil Myers, Schimpf hit his 13th homer of the season and second in the series.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Padres: RHP Carter Capps (Tommy John surgery) remains on track to face hitters this week, manager Andy Green said.

Nationals: Murphy missed the previous two games due to illness, Chris Speier said Saturday. Speier, serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, did not meet with the media before Sunday's game.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.50 ERA) faces the Cubs at home on Monday.

Nationals: RHP Tanner Roark (4-2, 4.32) opens a three-game road series against Giants LHP Matt Moore (2-5, 5.28)

More Nationals: NATIONALS PLAYERS VISIT LOCAL LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAMS

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Harper Among 4 Nats' Starters Out Vs. Padres Sunday

Harper Among 4 Nats' Starters Out Vs. Padres Sunday

National League home run leader Bryce Harper is among four starters out of the lineup for the Washington Nationals in their series finale against the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

Daniel Murphy, Jayson Werth and Matt Wieters also did not start for the Nationals, who open a nine-game, 10-day road trip Monday afternoon in San Francisco.

Murphy missed the previous two games due to illness, Chris Speier said Saturday. Speier, serving as acting manager with Dusty Baker away this weekend to attend his son Darren's high school graduation in California, did not meet with the media before Sunday's game.

RELATED: Nationals' Joe Ross to Start Against Team That Drafted Him

Harper is batting .337 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs.

Washington won the first two matchups in the three-game series.

Joe Ross (2-0, 5.32) faces fellow right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (4-4, 5.74) on Sunday.