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Wire Taps: Bryce Harper progressing; Sammy Solis vying for playoff spot in Nationals’ bullpen; Manage like it’s October

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the 2nd of 3 with the Braves in SunTrust Park...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats are at 91 wins with 12 games to go, which means that another four wins will tie them with last year’s total (seems likely). Another five will tie them with the 2014 team (also likely), and another seven will get them to 98, the 2012 total (possible? not crazy?). Another 9 — which would be pretty nuts, but isn’t totally out of the question — gets them to 100. (The Dodgers only need four wins, of course.)

Just some food for thought on a hump day morning in Atlanta. Speaking of, here’s what’s going on in Georgia.

Bryce Harper progressing well, seems likely to return by October
Harper looked, well, normal on Tuesday, facing two minor-leaguers, fielding ground balls, jogging off the field, running the bases (lightly). When he returns, the Nationals will finally, finally have their full team -- full new bullpen, full outfield -- together (minus Adam Eaton).

It's time to manage the Nationals like it's the playoffs
The lineup should be built to win games, and then dealt with tactically like every out and run is life or death. Otherwise, the team may be asleep before October 1st.

Sammy Solis, vying for postseason spot, taking every out seriously
Over his last seven games, Solis has put up a 1.35 ERA. Granted, his appearances have been much more scarce than most other relievers, but you can't argue against the numbers.

Daniel Murphy scratched from Nationals lineup with left hamstring tightness
Murphy felt something during batting practice he hadn't felt the whole day, and decided to let the team know instead of playing through it. (It's possible that Murphy's been struggling with hamstring troubles for the last few weeks as well.)

Harper takes big step, could be activated soon
Bryce Harper welcomed two low-level minor leaguers to a big-league atmosphere in a sim game last night, and if things go well (namely, if he's not sore tomorrow), he could be back much sooner than later.

Three Questions: When will we see Bryce Harper?
"Though the only thing the Nationals or their fans care about is seeing a fully healthy Harper take the field for the NLDS, you know everyone would love to see him showcase that return to health at least a week or so before the playoffs start."

Today’s Game: Nationals vs Braves — 7:35 PM
Probable Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez vs Lucas Sims
Magic Number to clinch #2 spot in NL: 6