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Wire Taps: Nationals’ bullpen issues again; Thinking of Charlie Culberson; Kurt Suzuki injury updates...

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Another day, another loss to the Braves. The Nationals have to try to avoid a sweep in the series finale this afternoon. Get caught up on the latest news while you wait for the first pitch...

Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

We’d probably prefer not to have seen the slow motion replay of Charlie Culberson getting hit in the face while he squared to bunt against Fernando Rodney yesterday in the nation’s capital.

Unfortunately for Davey Martinez, he had a front row seat, watching from the dugout as the pitch tailed in and came up on Culberson and caught him flush, below the right eye. It was not pretty, and the reaction from the hitter was even worse, making it clear that it was fairly awful.

“It was awful,” Martinez said after the game, a 10-1 loss to Atlanta. “You never wish that upon anybody. You don’t. I just hope he’s alright and my plan is to talk to [Braves’ manager Brian Snitker] here either tonight or tomorrow and make sure he’s alright.

“I know they get it. It stinks. It’s part of it, and I know Rodney feels awful. I just hope that Culberson is alright.”

Here’s hoping the same. Here are some links...

NATS BEAT:

Loss to Braves:

Meltdown vs. Braves shrinks Nats' wild card lead - (MASN)
"Unable to mount any kind of sustained offensive attack for the third time in their last five games (all losses) Davey Martinez was left to try to win a close, low-scoring game via reliever-batter matchups."

Nationals’ bullpen buckles and playoff race tightens after 10-1 loss to Braves - (WaPost)
"The Nationals’ bullpen, by the time it was all over, registered just one more out (10) than runs allowed (nine)."

As 'pen struggles, Voth makes postseason bid - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals had a one-run lead at that point as Voth walked off the mound to a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd of 39,664 fans at Nationals Park and Martinez signaled to the bullpen."

Suzuki Stories:

Yan Gomes’ workload will continue to increase for the Nationals - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Saturday he received a break. Rookie Raudy Read caught Austin Voth. However, the respite will be temporary."

Nationals’ Kurt Suzuki progressing; Raudy Read gets his shot - (WaPost)
“'We miss him,' Martinez said. 'We hope we can get him back soon, but he’s doing everything he can to try to get ready to play again as soon as possible.'"

Kurt Suzuki recovering from elbow injury - (MLB.com)
"Kurt Suzuki was out of the Nationals lineup again Saturday, missing his sixth straight game with inflammation in his right elbow that caused him to leave a game a week ago in Atlanta."

Kurt Suzuki starts swinging, but still slow to progress - (MASN)
"Suzuki did don his catcher’s gear and went down to the Nationals bullpen before today’s game, though he didn’t actually catch anything or make any throws."

Other Nats Stuff:

Nationals' bullpen will be better in MLB playoffs -- if they make it - (WaPost)
"What neither GM Mike Rizzo nor ownership provided will be granted by the calendar turning to October, when the rotation’s three aces will be options as relievers."

Nats' reaction to Culberson being hit in face by pitch - (MASN)
"Catcher Raudy Read, who said he has been hit in the face three times in his career, can understand how scary a moment like that is for a player."