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Wire Taps: Erick Fedde fifth starter next year?; Bryce Harper taking steps to recovery; Extending Matt Albers

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the series finale with the Marlins...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats’ magic number is single digits, and we aren’t even a week into September. They’re either really good, or the NL East is really bad. What’s that? Both, you say?

Here’s what’s going on in Miami.

Dominant Strasburg just trying to stay on mound into October
"Here’s the only problem: Strasburg hasn’t been able to stay on the mound for as many innings as he or the Nationals would have liked to him to pitch, because of a variety of minor ailments."

Will Erick Fedde get the fifth starter spot next season?
Erick Fedde was good, not great in his time in the majors (though better than when he was hiding an injury). The Nats decided to protect him at the first sign of any potential problem, but he could very well be a regular next season, especially without Joe Ross for the first few months.

Bryce Harper takes a few (literal) steps towards recovery
Harper walked up and down stairs, played catch in the outfield in Marlins Park, and is on his way -- albeit, not that far -- to returning. Harper didn't have any updates himself, though.

Bryce Harper plays catch for first time
"Harper's tossing session was very light -- his throwing partner stood less than 90 feet away -- but he was able to put weight on the knee he lands on when he throws."

With four weeks left, evaluating the situation at hand
Nobody has had any particularly remarkable months heading into the stretch run, good nor bad. As always, the main story is Bryce Harper, and wondering when he'll be back.

Matt Albers has earned an extension
Matt Albers was part of the bullpen's rise from the bottom up, and frankly deserves to be part of next year's team as much as anyone.

Bryce Harper unveils a new hairdo during the Marlins game, somehow
Harper may have visited the Marlins' official barber during the game to get, uh, cornrowed. No, we don't know why either.

Twitter roasts Bryce Harper for his new cornrows
Look. If he likes it, he should keep it, right? That said, if he’s basing his opinions on what Twitter thinks, well, another trip to the barber may be in order.

The Red Sox used Apple Watches to steal signs
Not Nats-related, but had to include it. C'mon, this one is ripe.

Today’s Game: Nationals vs Marlins — 7:10 PM
Probable Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez vs Dillon Peters
Magic Number: 8