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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ winning season at risk; Ryan Madson dealing with back

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the second of four with the Cardinals.

Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

im·plo·sion/imˈplōZHən/noun: an instance of something collapsing violently inward.

Here’s the scoop from St. Louis:

The Washington Nationals are nearing the point of no return (WaPo)
The high-end estimate is 88 wins for the Nationals' season, but they're playing down to worse opponents and are unable to beat better opponents. They just can't win consistently.

For the Nationals, getting on playoff track is difficult but still not impossible (WaPo)
The Nationals have two options after David Bote and Paul DeJong slapped them in the face on two consecutive nights: fold over or make up some ground against the Cardinals and Phillies. Only issue? They're out of relievers.

Nats' historic run of winning seasons is at risk (MASN)
The Nationals have enjoyed six straight winning seasons, a level of consistency almost impossible to find in the world of baseball and even more difficult in Washington baseball history. It's quite possible it doesn't happen again for a while, starting with this season -- meaning the Nationals should make their focus something more attainable, like finishing over .500 to extend the run.

Nationals’ Dave Martinez was ‘very surprised’ to learn of Ryan Madson’s injury (WaPo)
"Apparently he didn't want to say anything, he wanted to pitch through it," Martinez said of his late-inning reliever.

Nats’ loss to Cubs was among their worst ever, but it doesn’t have to end the season (WaPo)
This article, despite its headline, talks about how the loss to the Cubs on Sunday was among their worst ever and part of a larger pattern.

The Time to Win is Now (The Nats Blog)
"If the Nationals want to make the playoffs at all, they need to start winning and they need to start winning immediately."

Ryan Madson dealing with back issues (MLB.com)
Dave Martinez hadn't heard anything from Madson, but he started getting treatment and received anti-inflammatories Monday morning.

Madson didn't reveal back injury until after walk-off loss (MASN)
Davey Martinez might have pulled Ryan Madson in favor of Justin Miller had he known the Madson couldn't finish his pitches. Only issue? He had no idea, and Madson gave up a walk-off grand slam.

Jefry Rodriguez impresses in Syracuse win
"He yielded a run on six hits, walking two and striking out 11. The performance lowered his season ERA to 3.40 in 19 starts between Double-A Harrisburg (13) and Syracuse (six)."

Bryce Harper hits 29th homer of 2018 (MLB)
It didn't matter, as the Cardinals walked off the Nats.