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Wire Taps: Max Scherzer vs Aaron Nola; Nationals head to NY; Players’ Weekend

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of this weekend’s three-game set with the Mets.

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola went head-to-head in yesterday’s series finale in the nation’s capital.

Afterwards, the Nationals’ ace was asked about this week’s trades that sent Daniel Murphy to the Cubs and Matt Adams to the Cardinals.

“It’s frustrating,” Scherzer said, “but it’s also been a frustrating season for us as a whole, and so it is what it is.”

Okay. So, not a fan. Moving on. Read your links before the Nationals and Mets start their three-game series in Citi Field.

NATS BEAT:

Bryce Harper to wear Mondo for Players Weekend - (MLB.com)
"Bryce Harper decided to sport an old family nickname on his back during the second Players' Weekend, which begins Friday night in New York."

Nationals turn for home, and Mike Rizzo has a magic number in mind - (WaPost)
"This week, Nats General Manager Mike Rizzo predicted that 88 wins would capture the National League East."

Nationals-Mets series preview: Series wins are good, but series sweeps are necessary - (WaPost)
"So the Nationals will head north to Citi Field at .500 again, 64-64 to be exact, for a three-game series against a team considered to be vastly inferior."

Martinez offers updates on Madson and Doolittle ahead of Mets series - (MASN)
"Nationals manager Davey Martinez had some positive updates on relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson as the team prepares to face off against the New York Mets tonight at Citi Field."

In a duel of Cy Young contenders, one pitch sinks Nationals, as Phillies win, 2-0 - (WaPost)
"On a day like this, dominated by pitchers such as these, every 90 feet seemed likely to matter."

Max Scherzer falls in duel with Aaron Nola - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals came back from deficits the past two nights to beat their division rival, but in their 2-0 loss, they had no solution for Nola, who tossed eight scoreless innings."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Fantasy MLB - What to do with Stephen Strasburg - (ESPN)
"Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg returned from his latest disabled list stint on Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies, but it was far from a pristine outing."

The Athletic Fails To Raid The Washington Post Sports Desk - (Deadspin)
"According to sources at the Washington Post, The Athletic has tried to hire a significant chunk of the Post sports department, but there haven’t been any takers so far."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Aaron Nola for Cy Young? Gabe Kapler thinks so - (Philly.com)
"I described Aaron Nola's strikeout of Bryce Harper in Thursday's win over the Nationals as "huge" when I tweeted out what had happened."

‘How much can you take?’ Inside David Wright’s agonizing fight to tame his own broken body and return to the Mets – (The Athletic)
"A good day means dull pain, the kind that can be worked around with the help of a consistent workout routine."

Elieser Hernandez, Marlins lose to Braves - (MLB.com)
"No matter the setting -- SunTrust Park or Marlins Park -- the Marlins have not been able to slow down the Braves or rookie Ronald Acuna Jr."

Ronald Acuna in elite company, continues surge toward ROY - (AJC.com)
"Ronald Acuna hammered his 20th homer of the season Wednesday, becoming the 14th player in MLB history to achieve such before turning 21."