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Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

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Nats postponed, doubleheader Wednesday

Tonight's series opener between the Nationals and Dodgers has been postponed due to the heavy storms sweeping through the area this afternoon and evening.

The two teams will play a single-admission doubleheader Wednesday, beginning at 4:05 p.m., with the nightcap starting at 7:05 p.m. or 30 minutes after completion of the first game, whichever is later.

Fans holding tickets for Wednesday's originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. can use those tickets for admissions to both games of the doubleheader. Fans holding tickets for tonight's rained out game must exchange them at the Nationals Park box office for seats of equal or lesser value to the doubleheader or any future 2012 home game (excluding Saturday's 1:05 p.m. against the Brewers or any potential playoff tiebreaker home game).

Tonight's postponement won't have much of an immediate effect on the Nationals' rotation; manager Davey Johnson said Jordan Zimmermann (who was supposed to start tonight) will now pitch the doubleheader opener, with John Lannan starting the nightcap as originally scheduled.

The Nationals will, however, need someone to make a spot start on Sunday against Milwaukee, because Johnson does not want to have to bring either Zimmermann or Lannan back on short rest.

"I just don't want any of my good, young pitchers to pitch on short rest at this point," the manager said. "I don't think Zim has done it, and he's had a little bit of that inflammation there in his right shoulder. I think he could do it, and have no problem, but it's not something I'd like to do to any of those in the rotation, at this point."

Johnson named several potential candidates to make that spot start, including September call-up Zach Duke, the recently activated Chien-Ming Wang and long reliever Craig Stammen. He sounded as though he's leaning toward using a right-hander against the Brewers, whose lineup is heavy with right-handed hitters.

"I haven't done my research on that match-up, but knowing what I know about Milwaukee, it could be I start somebody out of my 'pen," Johnson said. "I'll want a right-hander. Craig Stammen, he could be a candidate. Chien-Ming. I won't start anybody on three days' rest. So I will definitely go to the 'pen."

There is, of course, a healthy right-handed starter still on the Nationals' active roster named Stephen Strasburg.

"I'm sure Stras would volunteer," Johnson said with a laugh. "He is right-handed. He has been chomping."

Don't count on a surprise like that.

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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. 

Related: MLB Power Rankings

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Murphy, Scherzer slam Mets with 7th straight win

Murphy, Scherzer slam Mets with 7th straight win

NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy hit an early grand slam against his former team, Max Scherzer pitched eight fiery innings and the Washington Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-3 on Sunday night for their seventh straight victory.

Ryan Zimmerman added a two-run homer for the Nationals, who completed a three-game sweep of the short-handed Mets in the first series this season between the NL East rivals.

Missing slugger Yoenis Cespedes and two other injured starters, New York (8-11) has lost four in a row and eight of nine to fall 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals, who own the best record in the majors at 13-5. The winning streak is their longest since a seven-game run last April.

Scherzer (3-1) struck out nine and walked one in his latest win over the Mets, a team he has often dominated -- especially since signing with Washington in January 2015. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, who fanned 17 in a no-hitter at Citi Field on Oct. 3, 2015, pumped his fist and slapped his glove after setting down the crucial hitters in this one.

Koda Glover got three outs for his second major league save, both in the past two days.

Michael Conforto hit his second leadoff homer of the series and had three hits for New York. Neil Walker's two-run homer pulled the Mets to 4-3 in the third, but that was all Scherzer allowed. He got a double-play grounder after Conforto's one-out single in the fifth and retired his final 10 batters.

Murphy connected in the first off Zack Wheeler (1-2), who had sharp stuff throughout his seven innings of four-hit ball. Zimmerman went deep in the eighth against reliever Josh Smoker to make it 6-3.

Murphy, booed by the Queens crowd, has eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 22 games against the Mets since they let him leave as a free agent before last season.

More Nationals: DOES MIKE RIZZO SEE THE NATS HAVING A CLOSER BY COMMITTEE?​