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Wire Taps: How the Nationals’ bullpen imploded; Juan Soto adjustments; Early postmortems

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of tonight’s game against the Phillies.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

At the beginning of the season, we were talking about the World Series. Last month, we were talking about trading Bryce Harper.

Today, we’ll delve into... near physical confrontation between a member of the front office and a player.

Having a very normal year, thank you very much.

Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:

The Nationals had the bullpen they wanted. Then flaring tempers and injuries tore it apart. (WaPo)
Finally, finally, Mike Rizzo had constructed the bullpen of his dreams. Then injury by injury, player by player, it fell apart. It wasn't a slow burn, either; it was a massive implosion that nearly included a physical confrontation between Mike Rizzo and Shawn Kelley, a trade that didn't need to be made, a walk-off grand slam, and an extra inning loss to the Marlins.

Juan Soto adjusting quickly to MLB pitching (
Soto went 0-for-10 over two games, and according to Kevin Long, he "thought the world was going to end." His ability to adjust day-to-day and pitch-to-pitch has prevented him from skidding for longer, and lets his 'perfect' swing that developed through the minors do the rest.

Nationals may have reached point where season can't be saved (USA Today)
USA Today makes the same points as Mark Zuckerman, but adds an intangible -- leadership -- to the team's woes that have given them a mere 13.2% chance of making the playoffs.

What happened to the Nationals? (MASN)
The injuries never went across the whole team evenly, but instead hit different parts at different times. In short, the Nats never had a sprained ankle and a broken arm at the same time -- they lost entire limbs for months. Moreover, no rotation depth, real catching option, ability to hit lefties (or throw lefty) and coaching experience have faltered behind the Braves and Phillies.

Erick Fedde and Joe Ross head to Harrisburg for rehab starts (MASN)
Fedde started last night for Harrisburg, while Joe Ross gets the nod tonight.

Koda Glover is the de facto closer of the Nationals’ banged-up bullpen (WaPo)
Since this time in 2016, the Nationals have seen Koda Glover as their closer of the future. Now, he's got the job and isn't doing so well with it -- but granted, he hasn't had a lot of time to re-acclimate himself to pitching regularly, and even he knows that.

Ramos deserves a hearty "horns up" from Nats fans this week (MASN)
"It may be hard to cheer for the Phillies this week, but when Ramos comes to the plate, hopefully with his namesake walkup song by Phish blasting through Nats Park, he deserves a hearty ovation and a hearty 'horns up!'"