Happy June 1st. Today, we are legally required to make the conclusion for the year about the team, and here it is:
They play baseball well, most of the time.
Here’s the news from Cobb County.
The Nationals are MLB’s hottest team. What happens when the ‘good’ players return? (WaPo)
The Nats are a half game out of first, after knocking off something like six in a row and nine on the road. This with the Syracuse SkyChiefs and a Bryce Harper struggling to hit for average. What happens when Adam Eaton and Daniel Murphy return? (Also, Boswell argues to keep Soto in left and send Michael A. Taylor to the bench.)
Edwin Jackson exercises opt-out clause on contract with Nationals (NBCSN)
After two months at Syracuse, it became clear for Jackson that his path back to the show was blockaded by Fedde and Voth.
Nationals activate Ryan Madson, restoring dominant back end of bullpen
The law firm is back in order — but Davey Martinez will have to be smarter with their usage.
Somehow Max Scherzer Is Better Than Ever (Deadspin)
Could Scherzer start the All-Star Game in D.C.? Yeah, that seems likely (knock on wood). Could he win his third straight NL Cy Young? Also seems pretty likely (knock on wood), which is odd, given that it would be his best (knock) season ever at age 33.
Adam Eaton is coming back WAY sooner than expected (Fake Teams)
Everyone dropped Adam Eaton from their fantasy teams, right? Yes? Well, quick, pick him back up, NOW!
How the Nats returned to first place in 57 days (and lost it in one) (MASN)
After nearly the entire team succumbed to injury, the Nats slowly got it figured out before becoming their usual steamroller selves.
How good can the Atlanta Braves be? (WaPo)
The Braves are crushing nearly everything (the Nats last night included) in their path, and are young, scrappy, and hungry, mainly because of the young part. Anyone seeing any Nationals parallels?
Madson returns to roster, Goodwin appears to be next up (MASN)
Ryan Madson didn't appear last night, but he's back — and Brian Goodwin will probably join him by Sunday.
With iconic save, Braden Holtby joins John Riggins and Jayson Werth in D.C. sports lore (WaPo)
Holtby's "save" will likely be a spot ahead of Werth and a step behind Riggins for now — it all depends on how the next five hockey games play out.