Sign Strasburg, lose your job

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That’s what Gordon Edes is reporting, anyway:

Multiple sources insisted Tuesday that the Nationals are on the verge of announcing that Arizona Diamondbacks
vice president Jerry DiPoto is about to be named Nationals GM,
replacing [Mike] Rizzo, who has been interim GM since replacing Jim Bowden
earlier this season.

We all knew the Nats were looking, but it seemed like Rizzo was doing an OK job.  He reportedly has a good relationship with Boras, which helped with the Strasburg signing, and which could help with Bryce Harper next year, whom the Nats currently stand poised to pick.  He also made some decent moves during the season in picking up Nyjer Morgan, who has proved useful and popular, and unloading Nick Johnson. Sure, the Nats remain terrible, but there’s hope there, and a lot of that hope is based on moves Rizzo has made, either as GM or as scouting director. Frankly, I’m rather surprised that they’re not going to stick with him. 

But maybe the most surprising thing in all of this is one of the guys who was reportedly on the Nats’ short list: ESPN’s Steve Phillips. According to Edes, ”
he told associates he had no interest because of his job at ESPN.” If the Nats were seriously considering Phillips — as opposed to this being something Phillips was simply floating through is “associates” to make himself sound like a viable candidate — then it shows the Lerners’ terrible judgment and thus passing over Rizzo is understandable.

If true, it also means that we were this close to being able to watch Sunday night baseball again with the sound on.  Bummer.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.