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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals’ bullpen struggles continue; Trea Turner returns + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the second of three with the Cubs tonight in D.C.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, it got ugly late, with the Cubs scoring nine runs total in the eighth and ninth innings in the series opener last night in Nationals Park, but the game was like totally close before it got out of hand. It was like 5-4 after seven, so there’s that. There’s the positive we found out of all that negativity... Our job is done here. Go read your links....

NATS BEAT:

More from Kyle Barraclough on what's wrong with beleaguered bullpen - (MASN)
"It was a miserable night after Max Scherzer had fought back from a slow start of his own to keep his team in the game. When he left, the Nats were down only 3-2.They lost 14-6."

Nats unravel late: 'This is the bullpen we have' - (MLB.com)
"It wasn't just Friday night, the bullpen has been a problem for the Nationals all season. Four of the five relievers who pitched in this game -- Justin Miller, Joe Ross, Kyle Barraclough, Dan Jennings, Matt Grace -- all surrendered at least two runs."

Victor Robles OK after X-rays on wrist; Justin Miller to IL - (MLB.com)
"Nationals outfielder Victor Robles was removed in the fourth inning of Friday night's game against the Cubs, one inning after he was hit on the left forearm by an errant pitch from Cole Hamels."

Turner is back, plus updates on injured players and other notes - (MASN)
"Turner made sure the finger was good to go with constant rehab that included glovework, catching and throwing to first, and gripping the bat."

MLB teams struggle to get relief from overworked bullpens - (WaPost)
"In other words, it isn’t only the Washington Nationals who are struggling to piece together a capable bullpen. It’s nearly everybody..."

Nationals’ bullpen implodes again, turning series opener against Cubs into a laugher - (WaPost)
"The Washington Nationals’ cosmetic changes Friday night did little to curtail the crisis at their core."

Sunday Night Baseball will force Game of Thrones fan Sean Doolittle to miss the series finale - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The final episode of Game of Thrones airs Sunday night on HBO, and for Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, that means avoiding spoilers while the Nats play Sunday Night Baseball."

Bullpen can't help Scherzer again, Nats fall 14-6 to Cubs - (MASN)
"Reliever Justin Miller left in the seventh with a rotator cuff strain. [Davey] Martinez said Miller will get an MRI on Saturday..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Kris Bryant joins exclusive company with 3-homer game - (Big League Stew)
"Bryant really did a number on Washington’s MLB-worst bullpen."

These 30 top prospects were Draft sleepers - (MLB.com)
"Nationals: Sterling Sharp, RHP (WAS No. 8), 22nd round, 2016 - Sharp was a two-sport standout who had offers to play college basketball before taking the baseball route."

Orioles-Nats dispute set for July 12 court arguments - (WTOP)
"A New York judge has set July 12 for oral arguments in the long-running dispute between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles over money from the cable channel they jointly own."

MLB Weekend Watch -- Picks, analysis on the top matchups - (ESPN)
"With all due respect to Washington's mess of a bullpen, playing without Trea Turner for the past six weeks has been the real killer."

Seasoned 'Salt': Cubs bullpen better for Brandon Kintzler's experience - (Chicago Sun-Times)
"He was traded to the Cubs amid rumors he was the leak on a national story about -discord in the Nationals clubhouse — which was strongly refuted not only by Kintzler but by the author of the report."

Here’s a break for Braves: Maybe NL East isn’t as tough as we thought - (AJC)
"Outside the division, the Braves are the only one of the four division teams worth mention – Miami is out of the conversation – with a winning record, if barely (16-15). The combined out-of-division record for the Braves, Phillies, Nationals and Mets is 39-52."