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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington

Nationals turned in one of their best performances on the day the meaningful portion of their season ended.Rookie Austin Voth and four relievers combined on a one-hitter Carlos Carrasco Jersey , and the Nationals beat the New York Mets 6-0 on Saturday, hours after they were eliminated from playoff contention.“It stings,” manager Dave Martinez said. “But we’ve still got seven more games. … These guys don’t quit. They came out ready to play today.”Matt Wieters and Trea Turner homered for Washington, and Bryce Harper added an RBI double.The Nationals’ loss Friday night, coupled with the Atlanta Braves’ win, knocked them out of the NL East race. Then, shortly after Saturday’s game began, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants on a 10th-inning homer, ending Washington’s slim wild card hopes.“It’s something where we felt like we had the talent in this clubhouse and we still feel like we have the talent in this clubhouse,” Wieters said. “We just didn’t play well enough and that’s why this game’s played on the field and not in the papers and that’s what’s great about it.”Favored to win a third straight division title, the Nationals slid into third place on June 22 and remained there.Ownership stood pat at the July trade deadline, and the team responded by winning six of seven games. However, a four-game losing streak soon had the Nationals nine games out of first place in mid-August, and the team unloaded players including Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams.The team dealt with injuries to pitchers Stephen Strasburg and Sean Doolittle Cliff Pennington Jersey , as well as Adam Eaton, Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman, but even when healthy, Washington was unable to put together an extended winning stretch. The Nationals are 78-77 with seven games remaining after going 97-65 a year ago.“I think all of us in here would sit here and tell you we came here every day and did everything we could to try and win. At least I did. Because of that I can go home and be at peace with it,” Zimmerman said. “Obviously, it’s frustrating. You want to come out and win every year and have a chance to go into the playoffs.”Voth (1-1), making his second major league start, allowed only an infield single to Michael Conforto leading off the fourth inning. Voth struck out five with two walks in five innings.“He kept us off balance,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He had a good curveball I thought. He was able to throw it for strikes … and then he got it down when he needed to, and his fastball command was pretty good.”Even with Saturday’s win, the Nationals will lose the season series to the fourth-place Mets.Turner’s 18th homer of the season, a two-run shot, put Washington ahead in the third, and Wieters added a three-run homer off reliever Jerry Blevins in the sixth.New York’s Corey Oswalt (3-3) allowed two runs over five innings.Matt Grace Joey Votto Jersey , Justin Miller, Jimmy Cordero and Austen Williams each worked an inning for Washington in relief of Voth.Harper drew his 125th walk of the season, a career high and a Nationals record.STREAKINGWashington’s Anthony Rendon extended his on-base streak to 30 games with a sixth-inning double, and Turner extended his on-base streak to 22 games with a first-inning double.TRAINER’S ROOMMets: 2B Jeff McNeil was given the day off.Nationals: OF Eaton (sore and stiff left knee) was out of the starting lineup for the fifth time in six games.UP NEXTLHP Steven Matz (5-11, 4.18 ERA) makes his sixth start of the season against the Nationals, who will start RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 5.02) in the series finale. Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesHere's an interesting question: Did Cole Hamels need the Chicago Cubs or did the Cubs need Hamels?Early in the veteran left-hander's North Side tenure, the answer appears to be a resounding "yes and yes."When the Cubs acquired Hamels from the Texas Rangers before the non-waiver trade deadline, their rotation was in trouble. Yu Darvish, their $126 million man, had an ugly 4.95 ERA and was dealing with triceps and elbow issues that would eventually cost him his season.Neither Jon Lester nor Jose Quintana was pitching like a top-shelf starter. Tyler Chatwood was battling command problems.Overall, Cubs pitchers posted a 4.56 ERA in July.Chicago was hoping Hamels would be the cavalry as it battled for supremacy in the National League Central and aimed for another deep postseason run. But there was no guarantee.Hamels has an ace's resume, with four All-Star appearances and four top-10 Cy Young Award finishes. He owns a 3.48 ERA across 98.1 playoff innings and won a ring with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.Lately, though , he's been less a reliable stud and more of a payroll drag. In 2017, the Rangers paid him $23.5 million, part of a $144 million extension he signed with Philadelphia in 2012. For that lofty sum, Hamels gave Texas a 4.20 ERA and career-low 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings.He turned 34 in December. It was worth wondering if his career was on an irreversible downslope.G Fiume/Getty ImagesThis season with the Rangers, he posted a 4.72 ERA with 114 strikeouts in 114.1 innings. Despite a rough July in which he coughed up 21 earned runs in 17 frames, it was enough to entice the Cubs to send a couple of minor league arms and a player to be named later to Texas in a change-of-scenery swap.So far, Hamels has been a revelation. In six starts with Chicago, he's 4-0 with an 0.69 ERA. The opportunity to pitch for a winner in the heat of a pennant race has brought out his best."To be able to change kind of the mindset, now to go on a first-place team, there's something inside of you that sparks when you get in those situations," he told reporters at the time of the trade.Hamels' average fastball has clocked in at 92.7 mph this season, per FanGraphs, a tick above his career mark of 92.3 mph. But he's throwing it just 26.8 percent of the time compared to a career average of 39.2 percent and relying more on hisoff-speed offerings.Here he is authoring a complete game August 23 against the Cincinnati Reds and throwing like a guy you'd gladly hand the ball to under the bright October lights:Most essentially, he's given the Cubs a necessary ingredient to wrest control of the division and getback to the Fall Classic."He has all the credentials Reggie Sanders Jersey ," first baseman Anthony Rizzosaid, per's Jesse Rogers. "And he seems like he's having a good time."Hamels has a $20 million team option for next season, with an innings-based $24 million vesting option that he's unlikely to qualify for and a $6 million buyout.The Cubs probably won't pull the trigger at $20 million, but Hamels has pitched well enough to earn a lucrative deal this winter, in Chicago or somewhere else.We're insmall-sampleterritory, admittedly. No one expects Hamels to maintain a sub-1.00 ERA over the long haul. But he's not that far removed from success, either. He was an All-Star who eclipsed 200 innings as recently as 2016.Now, he's turning back the clock.The Cubbies needed him. He needed the Cubbies. Sometimes, these things just work out. Allstatistics currententering Sunday and courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.

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