Days like yesterday are stark reminders that baseball, all-encompassing as it is, is just an occupation; that these players have families, lives, worlds that revolve around things other than what ultimately comes out to be a game. All the best to those at Halos Heaven this morning.
Here’s the scoop from South Capitol:
Adam Eaton reacts to former teammate Tyler Skaggs' death (NBCSW)
Eaton and Skaggs were drafted in the same year, sharing a 2013 baseball card before they departed Arizona.
Max Scherzer's legend as a generational talent only grows (Sports Illustrated)
Max Scherzer texted Davey Martinez first thing in the morning after he broke his nose, selfie attached: he was ready to go. And with the best month of his career in session as he further mastered the art of pitching off-speed with insane movement and surgical precision that creates jaw-dropping deception, why wouldn't he? Scherzer, Tom Verducci argues, is a once-in-a-generation talent whose competitive side is obsessive and whose intensity of training matches only his dominance.
Anthony Rendon is finally an all-star. But his Nationals future remains uncertain. (WaPo)
Rendon cares about being respected, cares about what he's paid. He says the extension process is "out of his hands" at this point, though the Nats have to be hitting themselves in the head for not taking him when his asking price was for five years and $151 million instead of eight years and $260 million. The Post reports he's "angling" towards free agency, though he's left the door open for an extension.
‘Screw it’: Inside how the Nationals weathered catastrophe, saved Davey Martinez’s job, and resuscitated a lifeless season (The Athletic)
Sometimes, it all looks like it's there on paper — but without the clubhouse working in harmony, things don't always go as planned. Thanks to a group of veterans that are loose, positive, and easygoing with short memories (as well as a few well-timed returns from injury) Davey Martinez has been able to right the ship.
Bowden: Which players will actually be available at the trade deadline? (The Athletic)
Alex Colomé could make sense in Washington, as could Ian Kennedy, Ken Giles, Will Smith, Tony Watson, and old friend Mark Melancon.
Sean Doolittle appreciates reaching 100 saves in his career (MASN)
Doolittle started his career as an infielder/outfielder. Then, in 2011, he activated his backup plan, which has thus far netted him an even century's worth of saves.
All-Star picks only bolster pedigrees of Rendon, Scherzer (MASN)
Rendon is an insider's pick, the third baseman loved by those who love the game, who will finally get a brief second under the national spotlight before sneaking right back out. Max Scherzer, on the other hand, doesn't exactly need the boost to his reputation.
Max Scherzer posts career best month stats (MLB.com)
Scherzer is the fourth pitcher in the live ball era with an ERA of 1.00 or lower and 68+ strikeouts in a month. The other three: Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson.
DJ LeMahieu, Max Scherzer win Players of Week | MLB.com
"This is the fifth time overall and the fourth time in the NL that Scherzer has been named Player of the Week. He's the first Nationals player to win it since Bryce Harper last September."
TA30: In June’s staff-wide MLB power rankings, it’s an all All-Star affair (The Athletic)
The Nationals are ranked fifteenth, their highest slot essentially since the start of the season — and The Athletic legitimately can't decide if they should hold together their core or not.
Scherzer named NL Player of the Week (MASN)
In case you didn't know.