Adam Dunn and the Nats are working on an extension

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Sanity is apparently prevailing in Washington as the team that can’t afford to lose one of the biggest bats in the game — the Nats — and the player who is on record as saying that he really wants to stay in Washington — Adam Dunn — are working to a contract extension, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. It’s not imminent or anything, but Dunn says “We’re going to work something out, I think.”

Much — maybe too much — has been made of Dunn’s defensive liabilities, but there’s not a more reliable power hitter in baseball. Sure, with Stephen Strasburg out all next year it’s not like 2011 is going to be that big step toward competitiveness the Nats were probably banking on. But you can’t punt the year either, and having Dunn in the fold will be make the Nationals a much more respectable team than they otherwise would have been.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.