The Juice: Harper appears, Strasburg worries, Nationals trip Cards

Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts in our nation's capital, where the day could not have gone better for the local baseball team; Just look at Ian Desmond(notes) (center) Willie Harris(notes) (left) and Roger Bernadina(notes) frolic. But there's also the matter of a conference call regarding Stephen Strasburg(notes). It sounds like bad news.

Game of the Day: Nationals 11, Cardinals 10 (13 inn.)

Red letter: August 26 will be a day long remembered in Washington Nationals history.

• 17-year-old Bryce Harper put on a Nats uniform for the first time and wowed everyone in batting practice, then cracked a joke on TV that he'll be in the lineup for the major league team Friday night.

• Jordan Zimmermann (Strasburg 1.0) made his first start of the season after Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.

• Against a playoff contender (albeit a struggling one), the Nats survived a 4-hour, 35-minute game that featured Albert Pujols'(notes) 400th-career home run, six lead changes — including a four-run comeback by the Cardinals in the ninth — every position player being used and three pinch-hitting appearances by pitchers.

• Bernadina hit a tying homer in the ninth against closer Ryan Franklin(notes).

• After a great diving catch by Brendan Ryan(notes) preserved the Cards in the 12th, Desmond's chopper made it through the infield to score Nyjer Morgan(notes) with the winning run an inning later.

• Nats announcer Rob Dibble had the night off.

Jeezus, what now?: While all of that can be considered good news for the Nats (more or less), what's up with Strasburg? He just had a second MRI, one that was to show more detail on his strained flexor tendon, and the team has alerted the media to a conference call for this morning or afternoon.

Nats' reporter Mark Zuckerman acutely asks:

[W]ould you normally expect a team to hold a conference call to say everything's OK?

That kind of spoils the mood.

Viddie me: This game was so rich, you should just go right to the video tape for the highlights:

Watch Albert hit No. 400 on Yahoo! Sports Minute

"It's a special milestone,” Pujols said, "but I don't play for numbers."

Watch Albert roll his right ankle climbing a tarp

"It’s pretty sore right now," Pujols said. "It was pretty scary.”

Watch Bernadina's tying dinger

"I wanted the game to end," Bernadina said, "and it took forever."

Watch Desmond send 'em home happy

"I don't really know what big league playoff baseball feels like — I'm sure the atmosphere is a little bit more hectic — but that was a great-played game by both sides," said Desmond, who finished with four hits and three RBIs.

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They Also Played...

Astros 5, Phillies 1: This goes deeper than a four-game sweep in Philly; The Astros are 30-16 against the Phillies since 2004.

"Houston has been a team that, for years, has given us problems," Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins(notes) said. "Doesn't matter if they're good or bad, they give us problems."

Indians 3, Athletics 2: The real winners were the pet dogs — it was bring your pooch to Progressive Field day — who got to walk around the warning track and get love from the likes of Dallas Braden(notes) and Daric Barton(notes).

Dodgers 7, Brewers 1: In or out, Dodgers? Are ya' in or out?

Tigers 7, Blue Jays 1: Having gone 9-5 with a 2.20 ERA in 17 starts since May 30, Max Scherzer(notes) returned from Toledo an apparently confident man. Hey, I'm gonna write that down; That's a good way to start a bio: "Max Scherzer returned from Toledo a confident man." Say it with a deep voice for full effect.

D-backs 11, Padres 5: They didn't wear purple uniforms, but the Deebax did get into Throwback Thursday at PETCO by jumping to a big lead, just like it was 2001.

Twins 6, Rangers 4: I've got it: Cliff Lee(notes) isn't walking enough guys.

White Sox 8, Orioles 0: The acquisition of Edwin Jackson(notes) seemed like an accident at the time, but he's got an 0.96 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 28 innings since coming from Arizona.

Marlins 11, Mets 4: If the Logan Morrison(notes) story doesn't make you cry, you have malfunctioning tear ducts.

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