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Wire Taps: Bryce Harper didn’t cheat in HR Derby; Stephen Strasburg returns Friday; Max Scherzer throws fastest pitch of year

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news and enjoy two days off to do something other than watch baseball. You’ll make it, we believe in you...

89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

All-Star season is over. We got to see Max Scherzer on the hill and Bryce Harper win the Derby. Even if the NL didn’t win, it was everything you could have possibly asked for.

We now return to regularly scheduled panic regarding the Washington Nationals:

How not to catch a ball at the Home Run Derby (WaPo)
Prolific ballhawk and dreamkiller Zack Hample hung out at Nationals Park during the Derby last night, and a Washington Post writer followed his tips. Unsuccessfully.

All-Star redemption for ex-Nats Blake Treinen, Wilson Ramos, and Felipe Vázquez (MASN)
“I think the cool thing is that both organizations, through the trade, got pieces that they needed for the present or the future,” Treinen said. “And I’m just honored that I could be a part of it.”

Did Bryce Harper and his dad cheat to win the 2018 Home Run Derby? (SBN)
This piece is a humor piece, featuring gems such as "ANAGRAM OF PENFED CREDIT UNION IS CEDE PUNDIT INFERNO."

Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman to return to Nationals Friday (WaPo)
Strasburg's right shoulder inflammation has subsided enough that he can return to give the Nats' rotation a much-needed boost.

Sean Doolittle enjoying All-Star festivities despite injury, Zimmerman rolls in rehab debut (MASN)
Zimmerman went 2-2 with a single, double, walk, three runs, and an RBI in a rehab game in Harrisburg Monday. He may play again there tomorrow if totally necessary.

Max Scherzer fires fastballs in All-Star Game (MLB)
Scherzer threw his four fastest pitches of the season in a meaningless game. Wait, what?

Stephen Strasburg to return from DL vs. Braves (MLB)
Stephen Strasburg an Ryan Zimmerman will be back on Friday to play the Braves, ending a tortuous ordeal during which the Nationals rotation struggled mightily.

Felipe Vazquez, Blake Treinen return to Nationals Park as first-time all-stars (WaPo)
Blake Treinen and Felipe Rivero (now Vazquez) both had torturously inconsistent years at Nationals Park before they were shipped off, both in midseason deals for relief help. Now, they're both on top of their game and got to pitch on one of baseball's biggest stages, coincidentally back in Washington. (Though Treinen probably wouldn't have been able to do it without a change of scenery.)

Some Cubs fans think Bryce Harper and his dad cheated at the Home Run Derby (WaPo)
Things the Cubs have: playoff series wins. Things the Nationals have: literally, just this. Why do you care? Why do you even care? Also, Ron Harper got the signal from the ump every time he threw.

Home Run Derby Unis Surprising, All-Star Unis Confusing (UniWatch)
The Derby uniforms were real uniforms, not BP uniforms! And they were all home uniforms! And the NL was the home team, which wasn't supposed to happen!