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Wire Taps: Washington welcomes World Series winning Chicago Cubs to Nationals Park....

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Washington and Chicago start a four-game series in D.C. tonight. Will the Nationals keep the good times going at home against the Cubs after taking two of three from the Cincinnati Reds.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Dusty Baker started the current homestand determined to establish home superiority in Nationals Park and improve during day games. They took 2 of 3 on the weekend and the 4:05 PM start with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, but lost another day game on Sunday.

Now it’s four games with the Chicago Cubs after Washington dropped five of seven to the eventual World Series winners last season.

The Nationals are 20-14 at home in the nation’s capital after taking two of three from the Reds.

The Cubs are just two games over .500 so far this season coming in to the four-game set in D.C. with a 16-20 record on the road so far in 2017.

Nationals vs Cubs at 7:05 PM. Till then, links...

NATS BEAT:

Bryce Harper is Back to Bat Handle Messaging
"But baseball was more fun (again) when the bat decals had 100 emojis and Harambe stickers. Let’s get back to that."

A potential playoff preview? Nationals-Cubs not quite as good a matchup these days
"The next four days likely will be among the most entertaining and perhaps the most consequential of the season at Nationals Park."

A silver lining to Nats’ 6-2 loss to Reds: The momentary reclamation of Tanner Roark
"It probably is as simple as Roark says: He is battling his mechanics and he is not winning."

Nats unable to cash in on limited chances Sunday in 6-2 loss
"Manager Dusty Baker said the Nats have done a good job in the past of finding clutch hits to get back into games."

If anyone knows how the Nationals handle managerial contracts, it's Jim Riggleman
“I want to preface it by saying I have the utmost respect for the Nationals, Mike Rizzo, his staff, the Lerners, everybody,” Riggleman said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had here."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Sunday's best: Ice plates seven in huge game for Lake County
"Nationals No. 5 prospect Andrew Stevenson continues to heat up for Triple-A Syracuse. Stevenson has bumped his average from .222 to .254 over the past seven games..."

The Nationals should trade for Trevor Rosenthal
"The Washington bullpen does not strike out a lot of batters and they give up a lot of home runs. They need to acquire someone who does the opposite."

Michael A. Taylor Is Finally Hitting Like A Major Leaguer For The Nats
"Taylor has never really worked out as an everyday player."

Storylines abound with Cubs, Nationals set to open series in Washington
"The rumor of Bryce Harper playing right field for the Cubs down the road lasted as long as a Chicago spring, and the Nationals star still doesn't know how it began."

After split in Miami, how prepared are Cubs for Nationals exposure?
"As their dance with mediocrity has stretched into late June, the Cubs have clung fiercely to the mediocrity of the rest of their division."

MLB - Fantasy Baseball Daily Notes for June 26
"Goodwin is displaying surprising pop from the two-hole, slugging a robust .575."

RANDOM LINKS:

Nationals fan's obituary blames bullpen for blowing 'yet another lead'
"A 68-year-old Nationals fan named Patrick Killebrew died peacefully June 20 'after watching the Washington Nationals relief pitchers blow yet another lead.'"