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Wire Taps: Max Scherzer back to IL; Anthony Rendon carries the day; Pennant race, trade deadline approaching...

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

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MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The trade deadline is in fewer than 48 hours. If the Nats are going to add a reliever, it needs to happen now. Any day now, Lerners/Mike Rizzo. Any day now, but preferably today...

Here’s the news from Nationals Park:

Pennant races are rare in Washington, but the Nationals are finally about to be in one (WaPo)
The Nats are 4.5 back of Atlanta as the trade deadline rapidly approaches. For the first time since 2005, Washington looks like it may well get an honest-to-goodness pennant race, checking the stats and standings every morning. It's a real rarity: we know what happens when the Nats are frontrunners at this point, and we know what happens when they're behind. When they're right on their frontrunners' tails, though? Well, it's anyone's guess — but there's still a whole lot more energy in the stadium.

Anthony Rendon’s grand slam helps Nationals take first round of latest bout with Braves (WaPo)
Anthony Rendon got a grand slam, a curtain call, and some much-loathed attention. Another night, another dominant performance in which he carried the team. What else is new?

Nationals put ace Max Scherzer back on 10-day IL
"[August 5th is] not by any means a target date," Martinez said. "We just want him to be 100 percent."

Anthony Rendon notches 500th career RBI in a grand way (NBCSW)
It was his 23rd home run of the season and the halfway mark to 1000 RBI.

TA30: Cat-in-an-octopus-costume trade deadline edition (The Athletic)
The Nats are in eleventh place, and The Athletic thinks they need another starting pitcher.

Nationals place Max Scherzer on 10-day injured list, recall Erick Fedde to start Tuesday (WaPo)
Max isn't excited about it, but the team decided to value his health down the stretch over a potential start tonight, meaning it'll be Erick Fedde getting the ball this evening.

Nationals seek relievers, possible starter at MLB trade deadline (WaPo)
Davey Martinez knows what it's like to be traded. He knows how to be the new guy, to open up the clubhouse to the new guy. Now, all he needs are some new guys, but it'll be too late for that very, very soon.

Corbin's slider on target again versus Braves (MASN)
Though Corbin gave up some serious contact in his final inning, he also struck out eight batters, ultimately only allowing five hits and two runs over six innings.

Rendon's slam lifts Nats a step closer to Braves (MASN)
“I think I’m able to keep it even keel,” Rendon said. “I have a good understanding that baseball is not the most important thing in the world. But at the same time, you want to get a hit. I’m competitive, and I don’t want to get out. But it’s not the end of the world.”

Adams available to pinch-hit, Nationals DFA Miller (MASN)
Matt Adams' CT scan came back negative, meaning that things are still too swollen to get a full picture or that he's okay. Also, it seems Justin Miller won't be rejoining the team any time soon.