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BONUS Wire Taps: Davey Martinez returns to Chicago; Juan Soto for RoY; Pennant race questions

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the second of three with the Cubs in Wrigley...

Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

[ed. note - “Will usually takes the weekends off, but submitted this last night, so you get extra links today. Enjoy.”]

Yesterday felt strangely familiar. Like a combination of a playoff loss and a 2018 loss. It’s almost as if 2018 has just been one, never-ending NLDS for these Nationals.

Anyways, here’s what’s new at Wrigley:

Dave Martinez reflects on past while moving forward in return to Wrigley Field (WaPo)
Davey Martinez can't seem to escape Joe Maddon, no matter what the Chicago media or the Washington fans seem to think. Martinez still tries, though, and isolated himself among Nationals before the game -- until a horde of old Chicago friends greeted him and things got a little emotional.

Juan Soto’s historic year for Nationals should end in rookie of the year honors (WaPo)
Juan Soto has been nothing short of incredible. He has the sixth-best walk rate in the majors. He's crushing fastballs. His wRC+ is better than the teenage year of Ty freakin' Cobb, forget Bryce Harper. If he keeps his average above .300, he'll be the fourth teenager ever to do it. Brian Anderson, Jesse Winker and Ronald Acuña don't remotely compare.

In emotional return to Wrigley Field, Dave Martinez can’t stop Nationals history from repeating itself (The Athletic)
A late-game pickoff with later implications. A rough pitching outing and a bullpen collapse, to some extent. A one-run loss. Things felt rather familiar in yesterday's game against the Chicago Cubs, a show Davey Martinez has seen from both sides of the field.

Can the Nationals get to a pennant race this year? (Nationals Baseball - Sweetspot Network)
The Nationals have never gotten a dramatic finish. At the moment, they are too close to the division lead to give up and too far to be happy or excited. Over the next six games, if they stay put and lose no ground, they can maybe get to an exciting mid-September game.

The Nationals have the 6th-easiest remaining schedule (MLB.com)
They’re tied for 24th on this list of hardest schedules.They get to play the Marlins and the Mets a bunch. It makes sense.

The Return of Transaction Jackson (Fangraphs)
Unbelievably, Edwin Jackson is still around -- and the Nationals probably wish they had him right now.

[ed. note - “Will usually takes the weekends off, but submitted this last night, so you get extra links today. Enjoy.”]