The Nationals’ elimination number in the NL East is 9. They’re 8 games back of the Braves, but they’ll play them this weekend. They have 16 games remaining. If they win every game save 1, things get interesting. Let’s check back in a week.
Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:
The Problems with Sean Doolittle’s Challenge (Fangraphs)
According to the CBA, players aren't allowed to pay each other's fines. If Sean reimbursed players, then he would be coming close to betting. It's almost as if... he was joking.
Wander Suero, Greg Holland have strengthened Nationals bullpen (MASN)
Suero has a 3.35 ERA this year, while Greg Holland has pitched to an 0.64 ERA in Washington. If the Nats can retain Holland, the two can be valuable pieces for next year's bullpen.
Hellickson wants to start, but Nats may not have room (MASN)
“I want to start. I want to get a few more starts in. I’m a starter. I’ve never come out of the bullpen."
Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals over threshold for luxury tax (ESPN)
The Nats, whose payroll came out at $203.9 million, will pay a $2.1 million luxury tax.
Juan Soto has been the best teenage hitter ever, and it doesn’t look like a fluke (WaPo)
Mel Ott had a .921 OPS in his 19-year-old season, followed by Tony Conigliaro, who sat at .883. Everyone else was down in the .700s — except for Juan Soto, whose OPS is at .950.
Starter Erick Fedde appears to be putting it together for the Nationals (WaPo)
“I asked him, ‘What do you got?’ It’s time I treat you like a big boy,” Martinez said after the game. “He said, ‘I want to get him out.’ I said, ‘Well it’s your game, go on and get him out.’ ”
Jeremy Hellickson wants to start, but the Nationals might not have room (WaPo)
Hellickson went down at the wrong time, and now the Nats have Erick Fedde—who finally seems to have stabilized at the big-league level—and Joe Ross ready to return. But Hellickson doesn't want to be relegated to the bullpen.
Sammy Solis knows he is pitching for his future (WaPo)
Sean Doolittle is back, Greg Holland found himself, and Koda Glover seems to be on a roll. Wander Suero seems to have figured it out at the major league level. But Sammy Solis, once thought more promising than all but Doolittle and Glover, has turned from the Nats' top lefty option to an afterthought in the bullpen, seeing as he can't retire lefties anymore.
Juan Soto hits 19th home run to tie Mel Ott (MLB.com)
Stephen Strasburg compared his plate discipline to Tony Gwynn, and Soto just keeps raking.