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Nats-Marlins instant analysis

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Nats-Marlins instant analysis

Game in a nutshell: Running on fumes after an early-morning flight from Atlanta to Miami, the Nationals came out of the gates strong, taking an early 3-1 lead behind a two-run double from Ryan Zimmerman and the first career home run from Jordan Zimmermann. Zimmermann also cruised through his first five innings on the mound. Then he hit a wall in the sixth. He served up a two-run bomb to Giancarlo Stanton, then let the go-ahead run score on two more hits and a sacrifice fly. The Nationals couldn't rally late against Carlos Zambrano or the Marlins bullpen.
Hitting highlight: You knew it was only a matter of time before Ryan Zimmerman started getting hot at the plate. Sure enough, the Face of the Franchise is starting to show signs of it. His two-run double in the fifth raised his average to .326 with nine homers over his last 10 games.
Pitching lowlight: Zimmermann's afternoon started off in fine fashion. He threw 12 of his first 13 pitches for strikes and entered the sixth having allowed only one run on four hits. But the right-hander fell apart quickly in the sixth, hanging a 3-1 slider to Stanton that turned into a home run. A double and a single later, Zimmermann was in serious trouble. He wound up failing to record a quality start for the second time in his last three outings.

Key stat: Zimmermann's home run was his first since 2007, when he pitched at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Up next: After getting some much-needed rest tonight, the Nationals return to Marlins Park tomorrow evening for Game 2 of the series. Edwin Jackson will face Anibal Sanchez at 7:10 p.m.

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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