Giants, Nationals headed in different directions


The Nationals have been in cruise control for the majority of 2017 and despite some key injuries have maintained a sizeable lead in the National League East. Giants manager Bruce Bochy realizes the situation Stratton faced.

It was the latest October disappointment for the Nationals' Dusty Baker, who has become the Greg Norman of major league managers, toothpick and wristbands included. Jackson was charged with the loss in his last start as the Nationals fell 7-4 to the Cubs in Chicago on Saturday. Given injuries to Harper, Stephen Strasburg - who has a rehab assignment Monday - and others, the Nationals' focus is getting healthy for the playoffs.

Zimmerman had an RBI double and Daniel Murphy drove in a run with a single after Harper, the third batter for the Nationals, left the game.

The Nationals now lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning. Harper was injured Saturday when he slipped on a wet first base, and Rizzo said the Nationals hope the star outfielder can return this season. And they won't have a rested starter to take the ball on Wednesday.

The Nationals and Giants will play at 10:05 a.m. and 4:05 p.m. Sunday, Pacific time.

Mets Trade Second Baseman Neil Walker to Brewers
Walker arrived in NY in a December 2015 trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Jon Niese . Walker, meanwhile, has a.264/.339/.442 batting line, hitting 10 homers and 13 doubles.

That caused Harper's leg to buckle as he went airborne before falling to the ground as his helmet went flying.

Based on examinations and results of an MRI, the team said it's possible Harper will play again this season, which prompted a sigh of relief throughout the clubhouse, front office and fan base.

The start of the game was delayed three hours, one minute by rain Saturday and there was a light rain in the first inning. Fellow outfielder Michael Taylor (right oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list in a corresponding move and will assume Harper's spot on the active roster for the time being.

Harper is now one of the leaders in the NL MVP race and is hitting.326 with 29 home runs and 87 RBI. The good thing is he's young and strong.

"He (Strickland) has, I think both of them have, it's one of those incidents you have to put behind you", Bochy said.