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Wire Taps: Nationals and Reds play two in D.C.; Nats’ playoff odds + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news and prepare yourself for a long day of baseball in the nation’s capital...

Cincinnati Reds v Washington Nationals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

There was no baseball last night, so we get two games today. Hope you got some rest last night, because it’s going to be a long day. Start it right with the latest Nationals news from around the baseball world...

NATS BEAT:

Harper in nice rhythm after Home Run Derby, reversing recent trend - (MASN)
"When Harper is connecting to center and left fields, and not pulling or forcing a pull on every pitch, he is lethal."

Wieters relieved, determined to improve after trade deadline - (MASN)
"I prepared myself for any way it might go, but I do feel like I can help this team win and help us get back to the playoffs.” - Matt Wieters

Bryce Harper is turning around his 2018 season - (MLB.com)
"Quick: Think about what you know about Bryce Harper's 2018 so far."

The Nationals have so many hot hitters that Ryan Zimmerman has to bat seventh - (WaPost)
"Ryan Zimmerman’s place in the Washington Nationals’ batting order did not initially change when he came off the disabled list on July 20 after dealing with oblique and calf injuries."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

The Nationals’ playoff odds are grim - (Beyond the Box Score)
"FanGraphs has also been more optimistic about their demise, still giving them a 45 percent chance of making the playoffs, but Baseball Prospectus has them at just 21 percent."

Is positionless baseball MLB's next big thing? - (ESPN)
"The Nationals seem to have come out of the deadline breathing fire, though that may simply be a matter of playing the Mets."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Shane Victorino honored, retires with Phillies - (MLB.com)
"Victorino played parts of eight seasons with the Phillies from 2005-12, winning three Gold Glove Awards and the '08 World Series. He also made two All-Star teams."

Steven Matz placed on DL with forearm injury - (MLB.com)
"Without much reason to push Steven Matz through a bout of forearm discomfort, the Mets on Friday made the obvious move, placing Matz on the disabled list with a flexor-pronator strain."

Sandy Alcantara makes third rehab start; could rejoin Marlins next week - (Sun Sentinel)
"After a month-long absence, Sandy Alcantara could be back with the Marlins next week."

A.J. Minter thriving in closer role, just as Braves hoped - (AJC.com)
When Arodys Vizcaino went down, the Braves bullpen undoubtedly took a hit. It needed players to “step up,” as the cliché goes. And A.J. Minter has.