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Wire Taps: Nationals restock pitching in draft; Stephen Strasburg’s expectations and reality; Alejandro De Aza signs on MiLB contract

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the four-game set with the Mets...

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals are only 8.5 games in front of the New York Mets. “Only 8.5 games? That’s like a mile!” you say. That is true. However. HOWEVER. The Nats start what could essentially be considered a slightly chopped up seven-game set with the Mets starting tonight, with four in New York, and then three at home from July 3rd-5th. Let’s say the Mets (and, to be honest, this isn’t too outlandish) take six of seven games. Suddenly, the Nats are protecting a 3.5 game lead heading to the All-Star break. Yikes.

With that in mind, here are today’s links:

Nationals restock pitching depth in draft
Mike Rizzo may have noticed that his bullpen is bad. With that in mind, he picked nine pitchers in the first ten rounds, and twenty in the first forty picks.

On Stephen Strasburg, expectations, and reality
Strasburg was made out to be the next great arm in baseball, the future of the game. He's been good (not great) in his career. For some, that's not enough.

Strasburg could very well be elite
If he stays healthy, the stats (both advanced and standard) suggest that this could finally be "Strasburg's year."

Nats sign Alejandro De Aza to minor league contract
De Aza has been assigned to Triple-A Syracuse.

Nationals draft Darren Baker, because you're getting old
Dusty Baker's son. The World Series batboy thing. That guy.

101 year-old attends first Major League game, meets Bryce Harper
THERE'S DUST IN THE AIR, OR SOMETHING, I'M NOT CRYING

Kirk Cousins' cousin, Jake Cousins, drafted by the Nats in 20th round
Wait: Cousins' cousin, Cousins?

Today’s Game: Nationals vs Mets — 7:10 PM
Probable Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez vs Robert Gsellman