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Wire Taps: Max Scherzer takes on Braves in Nationals Park tonight; Kurt Suzuki updates

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

Washington Nationals v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As mentioned below, night games on getaway days are an obnoxious trend, made worse by rain delays, but the Washington Nationals managed to win the series finale and take 2 of 3 in Minnesota before they had to fly home for the start of this weekend’s three-game set with a Braves team that’s won 7 of 10 (including 3 of 4 from the Nats) heading into the matchup.

So was Davey Martinez feeling good after getting out of Target Field with a series win over the Twins after the Nationals dropped back-to-back series to the Mets and Braves?

“It’s going to feel really good if I get some sleep,” Martinez joked. “But it’s good. The boys came out and played the last couple days. We’re swinging the bats again, which is nice.”

It is nice. We’re tired too, so this is all you get for an intro. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Max Scherzer in spotlight as Nationals-Braves starts Friday night - (WaPost)
"The Washington Nationals draw closer to a one-game playoff every day, and the scrutiny on the health of their ace who’d likely start it is intensifying."

Asdrúbal Cabrera keeps hitting, keeps getting starts - (MASN)
"Cabrera’s surge has come when the Nats have really needed it. Though [Howie] Kendrick continues to scorch the ball, his longstanding leg injuries prevent him from playing the field every day..."

Nationals could do without further schedule issues - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Why night games still exist on getaway days is an ongoing source of frustration for the participants."

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki still out with elbow inflammation - (WaPost)
"Through 144 games, Suzuki or Yan Gomes has made every start at catcher, but that could change this weekend."

Gomes starts six in a row, but Read likely to catch Saturday - (MASN)
"Davey Martinez is less worried about Gomes’ production at the moment and more worried about how he handles the pitching staff..."

WC leaders getting big boost from Zimmerman - (MLB.com)
"Ryan Zimmerman has been left to watch much of Washington's chase for a playoff spot this year since lingering foot issues have limited him to 40 games."

Anthony Rendon named Nationals' nominee for Roberto Clemente Award - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The Nationals' nominee this season is Anthony Rendon, known for his work with the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy."

Dodgers a potential playoff foe for Nationals - (Washington Times)
"Before another trip to the World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers may have to withstand a postseason challenge -- from the Washington Nationals."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Here's each team's top AFL prospect - (MLB.com)
"Luis Garcia, INF, Nationals (Nationals No. 2/MLB No. 76) - Garcia began the season as the youngest player at the Double-A level -- he turned 19 in May -- and unsurprisingly struggled out of the gate..."

Stephen Strasburg's six best landing spots if the Nationals righty hits free agency this winter - (CBSSports.com)
"The line at the Strasburg storefront will be out the door, but we believe there are six clubs who should be extra aggressive in the sweepstakes."

Atlanta Braves: What is the team's magic number? - (AJC.com)
"Any combination of wins by the Braves and losses by the Nationals that totals eight will give the Braves their second straight division title."

Is the Mets’ Wild Season Careening Into the Playoffs? - (New York Times)
"So here they are, 76-70 with 16 games to go, trailing the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers by two games for the second N.L. wild card..."

[ed. note - “Did you read this far? If you did, you might be the kind of person who could help us put together these links in the future (and do some social media/sharing stuff) since our regular linker is moving on from the job after this season. If you’re interested, contact us through the email linked in the author profile above.”]