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Wire Taps: Nationals should target elite reliver; Max Scherzer returns today; Gerardo Parra brings joy to squad

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the series finale with the Rockies.

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MLB: Game Two-Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats are four games behind Atlanta. The Nats have ten games to play with Atlanta. This should be fun.

Here’s the news from Nationals Park:

Inside Trea Turner’s historic night for a surging Nationals team (The Athletic)
"It’s been an uphill climb since late May for the Nationals. One they’ve handled better than anyone could have expected. Nights like Tuesday are a reminder of how important Turner is in the ascent."

The Nationals shouldn’t sell short their resilience by settling for a leftover reliever (WaPo)
The Nats are pretty convinced that they'll contend for a playoff spot and are thus in the process of finding a reliever to acquire, but they're straying from the top tier, focusing instead on cheap, controllable assets. No matter how good they seem, elite relievers are hard to replace with what Boswell calls "fools gold" — so the Nats, who have been so resilient this year, deserve to get someone real to back them up down the stretch.

Nationals do enough right to win opener (MASN)
An odd note from Wednesday: the day game of the doubleheader featured the smallest crowd at Nationals Park since April 18, 2012, when the Nats played the Astros, then an NL team.

MLB Trade Deadline: Ranking Yankees', Red Sox' biggest needs (Sports Illustrated)
SI makes it clear: no team needs more help than the Washington Nationals need for their bullpen.

Trea Turner hits for cycle, 26th MLB player to do so twice (WaPo)
An official for the Nats made an interesting point: the Nationals' MVP this year has not been Max Scherzer. Instead, it's Trea Turner, whose cycle showed his power, his speed, and his ability to spark rallies for the Nationals.

Nationals ace Max Scherzer to return against Rockies on Thursday (WaPo)
“After his bullpen, after his workouts, he feels good,” Manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday. “He feels like back to normal. So he’s ready to go.”

Anthony Rendon, Patrick Corbin lift Nationals to doubleheader sweep of Rockies (WaPo)
With the win, the Nats moved within four games of the Atlanta Braves atop the NL East, the closest they've been to first since May 5th. Now, they'll get a chance to sweep Colorado with Max Scherzer on the hill, though it would work best if that game didn't involve any of Wander Suero, Sean Doolittle, or Fernando Rodney.

Gerardo Parra has helped the Nationals find their joy (WaPo)
“We have one life,” Parra said in Spanish. “And I like transmitting that [idea] to my teammates. Thank God we’re playing ball very well. We’re all having fun, like a family, and that’s the most important thing of all. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing.”

Long before Gerardo Parra’s ‘Baby Shark,’ Nats fans chomped for Roger Bernadina (WaPo)
When Roger Bernadina roamed the outfield from 2010-2013, he earned "The Shark" for his nickname, so this actually isn't the first time Nats fans have chopped vigorously.

Patrick Corbin helps Nationals stay hot (MLB.com)
Corbin wasn't economical with his pitching on Wednesday night (it was bad enough that the Nats had to use Fernando Rodney and Sean Doolittle twice in a day), but he got the Nats through six innings without allowing a run.

With one week left until the trade deadline, a look at the potential buyers and sellers in the National League (The Athletic)
"To go by playoff odds alone, the Dodgers, Braves, Cubs, Nats, Cardinals, Brewers, Phillies and Diamondbacks should all buy or stand pat, while the Mets, Reds, Rockies, Giants, Padres, Pirates and Marlins should all sell."

Matt Adams' solid play lifts Nats in Game 1 of DH (MLB.com)
Adams was on base four times in the Nats' win in the day game, providing some much needed production out of the first base slot for this ballclub.

Corbin taxed early but keeps score down (MASN)
Despite a leadoff single, two walks in the first, a triple, and some command issues, Corbin kept it together.