Nationals starters set franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings

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Doug Fister tossed seven scoreless innings against the Braves this afternoon as part of a 7-0 victory. In addition to extending the team’s winning streak to six games, he helped Nationals’ starters set a new franchise record along the way.

As noted by Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Nationals starters haven’t given up a run in their last 41 1/3 innings. The streak started with Joe Ross against the Pirates last Friday and followed with Max Scherzer’s no-hitter on Saturday and seven scoreless innings from Gio Gonzalez on Sunday. It has continued this week against the Braves, as Stephen Strasburg threw five shutout innings Tuesday and Jordan Zimmerman turned in eight scoreless last night before Fister kept it going today.

The previous franchise record was set by the 1981 Expos, who had 39 consecutive scoreless innings. This is the longest overall streak in MLB since the 2008 Indians, who had 44 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Scherzer will start tomorrow night against the Phillies, so the Nationals have a pretty good chance to surpass that total.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.