The Nats needed that win — but they also need Max Scherzer to be Max Scherzer again. Tonight in his native Missouri wouldn’t be a bad time for him to kick it into high gear.
Here’s the scoop from St. Louis:
Davey Martinez out of hospital, not cleared to travel yet (MASN)
"Nothing major,” the GM said. “The procedure is the only thing that he had. He’s going to take some further testing down the road, but there is nothing vital that he has to take now. That’s to monitor him for the long term.”"
Nationals’ wild-card hopes could hinge on NL Central (WaPo)
The Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals are still locked in a lengthy battle for the NL Central — which means that the three should hypothetically beat up on each other in some way, with the Cardinals and Cubs matching up seven more times before the end of the season, making it difficult for one team to gain too much ground on the Nationals. (In other words, the Nats should be rooting for the Cardinals down the stretch.)
Nationals-Cardinals: Nats get pivotal 6-2 win in St. Louis (WaPo)
Howie Kendrick, yet again, got it done. Victor Robles came in clutch, Patrick Corbin battled through six innings of two-run ball, and the Nats, for a night, don't have to worry about hypothetical collapse.
Martinez 'upbeat' upon return home from hospital (MLB.com)
“He had more energy today,” Mike Rizzo said. “He’s upbeat, like he always is. We talked a little health and a lot of baseball, so it was kind of normal.”
Daniel Hudson's save keeps Nats in top Wild Card spot (MLB.com)
The Nats hadn't gotten to use Daniel Hudson too much lately, so they threw him for two innings, both saving Sean Doolittle's arm and locking down a big win for the ballclub.
Stark: Tiebreaker chaos? A look at the Brewers’ potential travel nightmare for the ages (The Athletic)
Okay, so say the Cubs, Brewers, and Nats all end up with the same record. The Brewers would play the Nats in Milwaukee for the first wild card spot, then they would play the Cubs for the second wild card spot, and then they would play the Nats again in Washington.
Nationals’ Dave Martinez will return when cleared to travel (WaPo)
Davey Martinez won't need any more cardiac procedures in the future, and is resting up in Washington — though he's not allowed to get on a plane for another two or three days, meaning he could be in Miami on Friday.
Nats take early lead, ride 'pen to much-needed win (MASN)
The Nats haven't been winning close games lately (which, for what it's worth, does not bear well for the playoffs if the Nats make it there), but the bullpen was more than solid en route to their 6-2 win.
Kurt Suzuki starts hitting, but still not throwing (MASN)
As the clock ticks down on the season, Kurt Suzuki still isn't cleared to throw — though he can hit in the cages.
Anthony Rendon Makes NL MVP Push (Three Up, Three Down)
"Rendon, meanwhile, just keeps getting better. The Nationals third baseman has pushed into the major league lead with a .333 batting average, ranks fourth with a .417 on-base percentage and is third with a a .629 slugging percentage."