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Wire Taps: Ryan Madson leads Dodgers; Max Scherzer wants to improve; Alex Cora, Davey Martinez and first-year managers

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the World Series tonight in Boston, MA.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The World Series starts today, meaning that we’re just five to nine days from the offseason — meaning that we’re that much closer to being done with the Bryce Harper saga. Baby steps, people.

Here’s what’s fresh at Fenway:

Dave Martinez’s coaching staff will return to the Nationals in 2019 - (WaPost)
"Dave Martinez’s entire 2018 coaching staff will return next season, according to a person familiar with the team’s plans..."

Another injury-filled year leaves uncertainty around Strasburg - (MASN)
"Strasburg insists he’ll be 100 percent healthy when he arrives for spring training, and that probably will be true."

Do the Nationals need to go modern and develop a hybrid reliever? (WaPo)
This is entirely speculative — but do the Nationals, normally strong proponents of starting pitching, need to create their own Brandon Woodruff, Andrew Miller, or Kenta Maeda type who can go multiple innings late in games? Could Jefry Rodriguez fill that profile, or Erick Fedde, even as the Nats try to rebuild their rotation for the first time this decade?

After pitching ‘really bad’ for Nationals, Ryan Madson propels Dodgers to World Series (WaPo)
“[Ryan] Madson is probably the unsung hero of this entire series — the entire postseason, really,” said Justin Turner, the Dodgers' third baseman. If you stopped paying attention to Ryan Madson's season when he left the Nats in August, you would be forgiven for doing a double-take — he pitched to a 5.28 ERA in 44.1 innings with the Nationals — or, in his own words, "really bad." (The Dodgers, he said, helped him find what pitches to throw in what counts.)

Offseason Position Discussion: Shortstop (Sweetspot — Nationals Baseball)
"Turner is fine, really. He's good. Difo as back-up is the idea — at this point you are betting on Trea playing close to full seasons."

After "best season" of career, Scherzer will still try to improve (MASN)
It constantly seems impossible for Scherzer to improve — and yet, he's done it every year he's pitched in a Nationals uniform. Now, the question: can he improve by bettering his location on his slider and cutter — or even maintain form at 300 strikeouts? Or will he finally, finally decline?

In the World Series, managers get the spotlight, but greater power sits in the shadows (WaPo)
Sure, Alex Cora and Dave Roberts have done a really good job — but the Red Sox and Dodgers spend an obscene amount of money on players, mainly driven by front office analytics, and have gotten great results from first-time managers. The trend isn't that first-time managers are great — it's that they control less and less, even though they get most of the spotlight. (Also, apparently the Nats tried to get Alex Cora, they really did.)

Most exciting postseason win for MLB teams (MLB)
Swingandalongdrive, deeprightfield, going, going, it's GONE!

Big trade decisions looming for front office? (District on Deck)
District on Deck covers Daniel Murphy, Michael A. Taylor, Adam Eaton, and catchers for next year – and there may be a player to be named later that actually causes some excitement that the Nats get back for Daniel Murphy.