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Wire Taps: Nationals and Twins start 3-game set in Target Field; Anthony Rendon MVP & FA chatter + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the three-game series with the Twins in Target Field.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

We don’t blame anyone. Taking the day off on Monday to rest up for the stretch run was a smart move for everyone covering the Nationals.

It did make the search for links a little bit more difficult though. We found what we could.

Catch up on the latest news while you wait for the series opener in Target Field tonight...

NATS BEAT:

Daunting September stretch continues in Minnesota - (MASN)
"Nobody in the majors scores more runs per game (5.8) than Minnesota. Nobody has hit more home runs (275). Nobody has recorded more total bases (2,516)."

Nationals’ playoff picture: Closing schedule does Washington no favors - (WaPost)
"The Nationals have the second toughest remaining slate of the NL postseason competitors, but their chances of hanging onto a spot still look good."

Inbox: Would Nats tab Max for WC Game start? - (MLB.com)
"Feel free to volunteer to be the one to try and take the ball out of Scherzer’s hand if he’s not the NL Wild Card Game starter."

Bad weekend for Nationals at least ends on positive notes - (MASN)
"[Max] Scherzer needed 98 pitches to complete six innings of one-run, two-hit ball, which is not a total you’d expect given how dominant he was. "

Nationals reliever Jonny Venters can’t stay on the mound, but he can’t walk away, either - (WaPost)
"Jonny Venters isn’t sure where this goes from here. He isn’t sure if he will ever play baseball again."

Barrera living "every kids' dream' as he joins Nats - (MASN)
"Barrera hit .249 with 23 doubles, eight homers and 46 RBIs this season. He said the adjustments he made from college to the pros have paid dividends."

RENDON SECTION:

MLB rumors: More Nationals’ Anthony Rendon to Phillies chatter is out there - (nj.com)
"In recent months, Rendon-to-Philly rumors have emerged. On the surface, the Phillies would likely find starting pitching as a better allocation of resources this winter."

Buster Olney goes in-depth on Anthony Rendon's impending free agency - (NBC Sports Washington)
"'Anthony Rendon's gonna kill it,' Olney said. 'You would assume that the Texas Rangers, from his home state with a lot of money to spend, new ballpark next year, they would get involved.'"

A third name adds intrigue to NL MVP poll - (MLB.com)
"The National League Most Valuable Player race has a third name in the mix: Anthony Rendon."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Nationals remain in good spot for wild card, Arizona primed and gaining - (Yahoo!Sports)
"Baseball Reference gives Washington a 95.3 percent chance of being in the wild-card game. Fangraphs says 90.5 percent. Fivethirtyeight.com gives the Nationals a 93 percent chance."

Aaron Barrett's iconic comeback featured on The Today Show - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Aaron Barrett finally made it back to the majors and his inspiring story has gone viral..."

Man claims wife stabbed him for watching Nationals too much - (106.7 The Fan)
"Asked what provoked his wife to stab him, Bobby answered, 'Because she said I watch too much Nats. That's all I do is watch baseball.'"

MLB playoff picture: A closer look at division, wild card races - (USA TODAY)
"There's considerably more drama remaining in the NL when it comes to the wild card race. It's become a six-horse race -- led by the Washington Nationals -- in the NL and a three-horse race -- led by the Tampa Bay Rays -- in the AL."

On the Road: Hagerstown's team spirit - (MiLB.com)
"The Hagerstown Suns play in a small market and operate out of a facility, Hagerstown Municipal Stadium, that is nearly 90 years old."