District Daily: Harper part of homer history, Nationals have foundation for 2015 success

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Oct 7, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper hits a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the 7th inning during game four of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning DoD readers! Start off your day with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web in our District Daily:

Harper part of homer history with game-tying shot

(Paul Hagen, MLB.com)

SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals left fielder Bryce Harper hit a monster home run off Hunter Strickland in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on Saturday. Afterward, the Giants reliever said he wouldn’t be afraid to challenge Harper again.

A similar situation occurred in the seventh inning of Washington’s 3-2 loss in Game 4 at AT&T Park on Tuesday night. The Nats trailed by a run. Strickland was pitching. Harper was up with one out and nobody on.

And the result looked pretty familiar, too. Harper crushed a fastball that landed in McCovey Cove to tie the score. The game-tying blast was just the third “splash hit” at AT&T Park in postseason history, and the second by an opposing player. Read full article here.

Nats have foundation to be contenders in 2015

(Bill Ladson, MLB.com)

SAN FRANCISCO — Although they were eliminated from the National League Division Series by the Giants with Tuesday’s 3-2 loss in Game 4, the Nationals are expected to be contenders for several years. The rotation is set for next season, with Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann leading the way, while Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Ian Desmond will be mainstays on offense.

“‘We have a lot of talent, good ballplayers that are under contract and coming back,” Desmond said. “The window isn’t closed. It’s important to look past this, go to Spring Training and be ready to go.” Read full article here.

For Washington Nationals, another MLB playoff exit means another offseason of regrets, questions

(Adam Kilgore, Washington Post)

SAN FRANCISCO — Jayson Werth stumbled through the clubhouse in a stupor, physically weakened and emotionally devastated, shocked at what had happened to the Washington Nationals. The room had cleared out. Expletives had been shouted. Goodbyes had been whispered. Down the hall inside AT&T Park, the scent of champagne wafted from the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse, distinct enough that Manager Matt Williams surely smelled it walking out of his postgame news conference.

Werth stood in the center of the room in a baggy black suit, a purple shirt and Italian loafers. He told a public relations official he didn’t want to talk to the straggling reporters. He placed his belongings on a table, chugged two bottles of water and stared at the ground. The season had ended with a 3-2 loss to the Giants, the Nationals’ third loss in four games of the National League Division Series. Read full article here.

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