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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals preparing for NLDS; rotation chatter; Bryce Harper talk + more...

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Who starts Game 1 of the NLDS? Will Bryce Harper get his timing down? Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nats news before the start of the penultimate regular season game...

Pittsburgh Pirates v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Dusty Baker’s Nationals beat the Pirates for the second straight night on Friday. Now they try to make it three in a row as they build momentum in the final regular season games. Max Scherzer makes his final regular season start tonight against the Pirates’ Jameison Taillon in what should be another good pitching matchup. Until then, links and lots of them to get you caught up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news...

NATS BEAT:

Stephen Strasburg making strong case to be Nationals' Game 1 starter
"According to ESPN Stats & Information, his 0.86 ERA since the All-Star break is the second-lowest ever by a pitcher in the second half of a season (minimum of 10 starts)..."

Strasburg strong run to the finish line, now prepares for Chicago
"If there was a start Stephen Strasburg wanted to have to get him tuned up right before the postseason begins next week, this was the one."

Nationals' Harper won't play a full game before playoffs
"Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper won’t play a full game this weekend as he continues to recover from a hyperextended left knee that he sustained on Aug. 12."

With all hands on deck, Baker can finally put out his lineup of choice
"For the first time in a long time, the Nationals finally have their projected starting lineup back. And it comes with three games left in the season."

Stephen Strasburg & Co. keep giving Nats fans a reason to believe
"Their oft-injured ace, Strasburg, will finally be healthy for October. Their long-injured superstar, Bryce Harper, is working his way back."

Why the NL pennant hinges on Bryce Harper's knee
"Bryce Harper has always been a fast starter. The question is: Can he start fast enough to help the Washington Nationals avoid another slow finish?"

No more booing, please: Late-night service up to Nats, Metro says
"Before Washington Nationals fans get upset at Metro, the agency wants to make clear it is up to the team to decide whether the rail system should stay open late for any playoff games."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Revisiting Brandon’s Warne’s 10 Bold Predictions for 2017
"4. Blake Treinen ends up being the reliever to own in the Nationals bullpen. He got owned alright."

Nationals Park Adds Doughnut Sandwiches to Postseason Dining
"With the Washington Nationals once again advancing into postseason play, Nationals Park is upping its concessions game this October by introducing some gut-busting specials."

Chris Rosenbaum helps Nationals stay a step ahead
"Rosenbaum went to the Nationals in 2011. He's made a steady rise ever since to the manager of advanced scouting position he's held with Washington since November of 2015."

Trea Turner 2017: Projections vs. reality
"The 2017 MLB season is almost over so it is time to review how things looked at the beginning of the season and compare them to what really happened, turning our attention right now to Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals."

NLDS: NATIONALS vs CUBS:

Cubs still finalizing a plan for Jake Arrieta this weekend and beyond
"Jake Arrieta will not take the ball Sunday for the Cubs in the final regular season game of 2017."

Nationals healthy and hungry to erase doubts in playoff series against Cubs
"On paper, it's a team that has the talent to win it all, but whether Bryce Harper can be Bryce Harper with only a handful of games under his belt to get ready is anyone's guess."

What the Nationals need to do to win World Series
"No team in the Majors saw its starters make more 100-plus pitch outings than manager Dusty Baker's Nationals, and no team saw fewer 100-plus pitch outings than the Dodgers."