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Wire Taps: Gerardo Parra’s value; Anthony Rendon chugs towards break; Sean Doolittle tired from workload...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the series with the Royals...

MLB: Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

For what it’s worth: 86 games into the 2018 season, the Nationals were 43-43 and in third place, 5 games behind Philadelphia and 6 behind Atlanta. This year, they’re a half game up on Philadelphia in second place and 6 behind Atlanta.

Here’s the news from Nationals Park:

Sweep, hot stretch breathe new life into Nats (MLB.com)
The Nationals are in one of the two NL Wild Card spots on July 4th. On May 23rd, they were 12 games under .500. This season has a long way to go, but as Kurt Suzuki said, the team is beginning to start thinking about how they'll win, not how they'll blow it, which is a major shift in mindset that a dominant month from their starters helped create.

In the age of analytics, what is Gerardo Parra's value? (NBCSW)
Gerardo Parra doesn't grumble and keeps the team together while sporting a .237 average — and though his value doesn't show on Fangraphs, it certainly shows in the dugout.

Gerardo Parra got the Nationals dancing, and the party is still going strong (WaPo)
Parra is emblematic of a larger theme: the bench stepping up to bring the Nationals back from the abyss at an unlikely moment. Also, the dance line is finally getting the attention it deserves, thank goodness.

Anthony Rendon helps finish sweep of Marlins in Nationals’ 5-2 win (WaPo)
It looked like Aníbal Sánchez was in for a rough game. Then, he got things under control as Anthony Rendon, Gerardo Parra, and Fernando Rodney came up clutch to finish the job.

Despite depleted bullpen, Nats sweep Marlins again (MASN)
The Nats needed to survive baserunning blunders and an eighth inning by committee as well as a ninth inning by heart attack, but they found a way to win nonetheless.

Here's why NL East fans should watch the ASG (MLB.com)
"Let’s put an asterisk here, as the Nationals' third baseman said he might not play next week because of some nagging injuries. But Rendon earned his first All-Star appearance following several seasons as one of the most consistently productive third basemen in the game. It is well deserved. The only thing better for Nationals fans than seeing Rendon on the field Tuesday is seeing Rendon sign a contract extension, but first things first."

Over-rested relievers may have to work today (MASN)
Before this game, Tony Sipp, Matt Grace, Jonny Venters, Javy Guerra, and Tanner Rainey had all gotten four or more days off in a row.

Elena Kagan attends Washington Nationals game (Holdout Sports)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Roberts were later found in the video analysis room arguing if stealing signs is constitutional.

Doolittle admits he is "a little tired" from his recent workload (MASN)
“I was a little tired with my recent workload,” Doolittle said. “That heat and humidity, man, kind of zapped my energy and I was trying to pace myself and control my energy. But it was one of those nights where the harder I tried to throw, the harder they hit it back at me which was really frustrating."