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Wire Taps: Max Scherzer eclipses Clayton Kershaw; How Sean Doolittle’s fastball works; Is this 2015 again?

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of tonight’s three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks in D.C.

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats start a series with the D-Backs today, and boy would it be nice if they could win a few. Or three, three would be really nice.

Here’s the scoop from South Capitol.

The debate is over: Max Scherzer has eclipsed Clayton Kershaw
Max Scherzer has been worth two more wins than Kershaw, and is still dominating this year (knock on wood). He's remained healthier (knock on wood). His fastball is still fast (knock on wood), and he's managed to add a fifth pitch to his repitoire. He is the best pitcher in baseball (knock on wood).

Nationals acknowledge need to play better, affirm their faith in Dave Martinez as manager
The Nats have room to improve, that's for sure. But everyone has faith in the skipper.

Is this a replay of Spring 2015?
It's a fair connection, but that group was able to make it to August in first place — clubhouse problems simply led to a collapse that ruined the season. The team can certainly make it to the top — the difference this time is staying there.

Sammy Solís and relievers understand grind of season comes with the territory
Sammy Solis puts emphasis on working quickly, but after pitching in a majority of the Nats' games this year, he has to put focus on staying healthy and fresh as well.

After long trip, Nats know there's plenty of work ahead of them
The Nats are three games below .500. They're playing one of the hottest teams in baseball next. Their lineup is injured. And the team knows that they can—not only that, but they have to—do better. For the meantime, they're all happy to be home.

Sean Doolittle excelling with high fastballs
Sean Doolittle has been firing high heat since it was sabermetrically in vogue, as hitters focus on getting under the ball, meaning there's a large hole at the top of the zone (knock on wood). (Also, Doolittle gets a ton of vertical break on his fastball, along the lines of Kershaw and Estrada.)

Here's why Manny Machado will make more than Bryce Harper
Machado is simply a more valuable defender than Harper, and isn't a finished product at the plate, even seven years in, meaning he could get even better. Moreover, the O's probably won't give him a qualifying offer.

Nearly every NL East team has a bad middle bullpen and a good closer
The exception: The Marlins. The rule: the Nats and Mets. The middle: The Braves and Phillies.

How to talk to your kids about sports losses
Look, it's appropriate. This is a D.C. sports blog.

The Brave New Acuña Era
Yikes, this guy is going to be really good. In other news, the Nationals are moving to the NL West!

Today’s Game: Diamondbacks vs. Nationals — 7:05 PM
Probable Pitchers: Zack Godley vs. Stephen Strasburg