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Wire Taps: Max Scherzer for MVP; Brandon Kintzler talks trade; Anthony Rendon could return today...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the series with the St. Louis Cardinals.

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Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images


A pitcher for MVP? It's rare, but this could be Max Scherzer's year (ESPN)
Given that there are no true runaway MVP candidates in the NL, plus the fact that Max Scherzer's ERA could start with a 1 by season's end -- and likely will be the lowest he's ever posted -- added on to his prolific hitting and league-leading WAR numbers -- how can you not name him MVP?

Kris Bryant compares notes with Bryce Harper and leaves no doubts about his return to Cubs lineup this season (The Athletic)
Bryant and Harper had dinner together on Friday night. Harper wore a Bulls hat. (Do you care at this point?) The rest of this article is about Kris Bryant.

Brandon Kintzler didn’t appreciate portrayal as a negative Nationals clubhouse presence (WaPo)
“I don’t go behind people’s backs like that. I would have preferred they confronted me before the trade and said, ‘This is why we’re trading you’ so I could at least defend myself. I was already out the door. . . . I didn’t think it was very fair," Kintzler said.

Anthony Rendon sits again, Sean Doolittle ready to throw off mound (MASN)
“It’s progress,” the closer said. “I know it’s baby steps, but it’s progress.”

Anthony Rendon out of lineup again, Doolittle throws - The Washington Post
Though Rendon didn't start the game offensively, he was healthy enough to enter as a defensive replacement in the ninth, and Davey says he may start today. Then again, the Nationals' X-rays haven't always been the most reliable. Sean Doolittle, in the meantime, threw on flat ground and tried to take some pressure off his foot, which hurts in the moment, but not long-term. He thinks he may move to a mound soon.

MLB jersey numbers likely to be retired next (MLB)
The Nationals, in this list, are predicted to retire Scherzer's digits.

The Mamie Johnson Little League team met up with the Orioles (MLB)
The team, which is mainly allied with the Nats, showed some friendliness to Baltimore, given that Adam Jones paid their ticket to Bristol for Little League regionals.