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16.01.2019 04:53
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WASHINGTON (AP) Bryce Harper is still a member of the Washington Nationals http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-roberto-clemente-jersey , with the two-time defending NL East champions hoping he can lead them on another playoff run after a season-long funk.Washington opted not to trade Harper, who’ll be a free agent after the season, after listening to offers for him. The Nationals didn’t do much else, either, before Tuesday’s trade deadline, shipping out a relief pitcher but otherwise standing pat as the two teams ahead of them in the division – Atlanta and Philadelphia – made moves to upgrade their rosters.General manager Mike Rizzo said he had discussions with other teams about a litany of players and Harper was one of them, with several teams having more than a passing interest. He said the team did its due diligence on Harper and five or six other players, but there wasn’t a deal that made sense.”It would have to be a spectacular set of circumstances for us to move a player of Bryce Harper’s ability level Kent Tekulve Jersey , and we didn’t get anything that met those qualifications,” Rizzo said.Rizzo said after reports surfaced that the team was looking to trade Harper, he told the 25-year-old outfielder Monday night that he wasn’t going anywhere.Harper said he was glad to be staying in Washington.”I think whenever you hear your name or see your name on stuff you always wonder, but I think that’s just the business side of the game,” Harper said. ”It’s part of the game.”Washington’s only move was to send late-inning reliever Brandon Kintzler to the Chicago Cubs for a minor league pitcher, one year after acquiring Kintzler from the Twins.The Nationals open a two-game series against the Mets having gone 10-14 in July, but they’re still within striking distance of the Braves and Phillies. Atlanta added pitchers Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day from the Orioles Tuesday, and the Phillies picked up former Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos from the Rays.”I think it’s fine http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-bill-mazeroski-jersey ,” Harper said of Washington essentially standing pat. ”I think we’ve played some of the worst baseball we can and we’re only 5 games back, and we’re getting our whole team back and hopefully (closer Sean) Doolittle back here pretty soon and (Stephen Strasburg) as well.”A six-time All-Star, Harper is hitting just .220 but has 25 home runs, tied for second in the NL entering Tuesday’s games.”I’m very happy to write Bryce’s name in the lineup still and looking forward to writing it in every day,” manager Dave Martinez said.Rizzo said the Nationals made their deadline move early – acquiring closer Kelvin Herrera from the Royals on June 18. With 57 games left, Rizzo’s inaction delivered a message.”I think it tells the team that we believe in the squad that we have, the 25 guys that are in that clubhouse we’ve felt all along have a chance to win this division,” he said. ”We’re the two-time defending champs Dave Parker Jersey , we’ve got the bulls-eye on our back and we’ve got the crown on our head. Until someone takes it away from us, we’re still the champs.”— CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs have always found reason to remain optimistic despite the times this season when they have struggled to score runs. The reason? Boasting the National League’s best record and holding down the top spot in the Central Division have kept them from losing hope.But as the Cubs wind down the regular season this week starting with Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the reality of a tight-knit race in the Central and the inability to push runs across at critical times no longer can be ignored.The Cubs were unable to do their part in reducing their magic number following a 5-1 loss to the Pirates on Monday in which Chicago left the bases loaded once and stranded a runner in scoring position with the Cubs trailing by a pair of runs. Chicago’s lone run on Monday came on a solo home run by pitcher Cole Hamels.Article continues below ...“The offense has taken a hit — there’s no question,” manager Joe Maddon told reporters earlier this month, according to the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. “There’s just no other way to look at it. I think we have to find that within ourselves.”As the Cubs finish off this week against divisional rivals, they face an increasingly growing possibility they could face either the Milwaukee Brewers or the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs as the two NL Central foes currently hold down the top spots in the wild-card race.“Who has the advantage (in the playoffs)? I don’t know. Whoever pitches better that night has the advantage,” Maddon told reporters Monday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “It’s hard to do something different or new because both sides know each other pretty well. I totally agree with that. I’ve worried about that in the past Josh Harrison Jersey , but I think I’ve learned not to because if you trust your players and put everyone out there and you’re in good health, you have just as good a shot as they do.”But before the Cubs can turn their focus to the postseason, they must still find a way to finish strong this week.Mike Montgomery (5-5, 3.75 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs on Tuesday. Montgomery is coming off a solid six-inning effort against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who he held to one earned run and four hits while striking out eight. Montgomery is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in nine career appearances (three starts) against Pittsburgh.Chris Archer will face Montgomery as he looks for his third victory since joining the Pirates earlier this season. Archer (5-8, 4.49) allowed just one run and six hits and struck out eight over seven innings in his last outing against the Kansas City Royals. Archer is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against the Cubs.After Jameson Taillon shut down the Cubs on Monday, Archer hopes to build on his recent performance.“The one thing I hang my hat on is making starts and pitching deep into ballgames,” Archer said after his last start http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-gregory-polanco-jersey , according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Giving up way more runs than I wanted to this year, but the thing that frustrates me the most is my average innings. It has to be the lowest of my career, but there’s a correlation. The better you pitch, the deeper you pitch into games.”

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