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Wire Taps: Nationals drop first of three with Mets; Nats’ postseason roster battles + more

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Dusty Baker’s Nationals try to even things up in the second game of three with the Mets in Citi Field...

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into last night’s series opener in Citi Field, the Mets had lost eight of their last ten overall, were 22 games under .500 with a 33-41 record at home in New York, and 1-6 against the Washington Nationals at home in 2017, with a 5-12 record against the NL East champs at home since the start of the 2016 campaign.

Terry Collins’ crew took the first of three with Dusty Baker’s Nationals.

Stephen Strasburg is on the mound against Mets’ right-hander Noah Syndergaard in tonight’s game, then it’s Max Scherzer vs Jacob deGrom in the finale. That’s some good pitching...

Catch up on the latest Nationals news before the start of tonight’s game...

NATS BEAT:

Nationals tie single season home run record
"The Nationals matched a franchise record for most home runs in a single season Friday night against the Mets, when Adam Lind smacked a three-run homer in the third inning."

Nationals’ Dusty Baker rests his starters Friday against the Mets in New York - The Washington Post
"Dusty Baker mentioned the late flight multiple times Thursday, bemoaning the nighttime getaway days that have forced the Nationals to leave Houston, Miami and Atlanta under similarly exhausting circumstances in the past month."

Nationals-Mets preview: Top pitching match-ups and not much else
"Wieters' slump has primarily come in September — batting only .088. While the Nationals haven’t relied on the catcher for his bat, it’s still something to keep an eye on as the playoffs approach."

Nats serve up some youth, blow five-run lead in 7-6 loss to Mets
"With the Washington Nationals trailing by a run in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, Dusty Baker had a choice..."

Bartolo 2.0? Matt Albers has been a heavyweight on the mound
"During the first half of the season, Matt Albers was the Washington Nationals' best reliever by a landslide."

Nationals History Lessons, Part One
"Welcome to the first of a two-part series titled “Nationals History Lessons,” where we look at history as it relates to current events and allow readers to utilize the post hoc fallacy to jump to conclusions!"

Nationals Victor Robles fights to make roster
"A pair of players competing for postseason spots could be trending in opposite directions following the Nats' 7-6 loss to the Mets on Friday night."

Nationals right-hander Shawn Kelley leaves Friday’s game with apparent injury
"Shawn Kelley has pitched through pain for much of this season. Some of it he admitted, and landed on the disabled list to tend to it."

Looking at NLDS roster cases for Jackson, Robles, De Aza
"While disappointed with the result, Robles said he was glad Baker gave him the opportunity with the game on the line."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Dodgers-Nationals drew terrible ratings on ESPN and Fox last weekend
"Unfortunately for ESPN — and for Major League Baseball — viewers didn’t seem particularly interested in watching the two best teams in the NL play each other, neither on Sunday night nor the weekend as a whole."

It's World Series Or Bust For LA Dodgers Who Clinch Meaningless NL West Title
"The Los Angeles Dodgers once again clinched the NL West and hold bragging rights over a formidable division. It’s just too bad it doesn’t matter."

Field is still wide open for NL MVP
"Had Bryce Harper not been injured and played a full season, this debate wouldn’t be taking place."

As playoffs near, reminders of 2014 A’s are everywhere
"The 2014 A’s never ceased to exist. They just recirculated. In large numbers, they’re heading back to the postseason."

Steven Souza Jr. vindicating big trade for Rays
"There was a time when the three-team, 11-player transaction the Rays orchestrated to get Steven Souza Jr. from the Nationals looked liked a bad deal."