The Nationals are the hottest team in baseball

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Up in San Francisco to face the team with the best record in baseball, the Nationals didn’t miss a beat and perhaps took the title of baseball’s hottest team from the Giants. Stephen Strasburg tossed six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven as Washington cruised 9-2.

It wasn’t all pitching, of course. Ian Desmond had three hits including a triple and a double while driving in five. Denard Span ripped two doubles and a triple. Jayson Werth drove in two himself. It was a total team effort.

The Nats have won eight of ten, outscoring their opponents, 62-18 in that span. Over their last 7 outings the Nats’ rotation has a 1.23 era with 51 strikeouts and only 1 walk. Most importantly, they have climbed 3.5 games up in the standings to tie the Braves.

 

Report: Twins interested in Wade Miley

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Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.

The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.

Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”