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Wire Taps: Nationals’ bullpen melts down (again); Nats an enigma of a ballclub; Asdrúbal Cabrera comes off bench...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of this week’s five-game series with the Phillies...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Nats need to win four games to make it to October, officially salvaging the season. Then again, things could just fall apart further and somehow create more pain than any NLDS loss ever did.

Anyhow, here’s the scoop from South Capitol Street:

The Nationals are in great shape or they’re a flawed mess, depending on how you look at them (WaPo)
The Nats are an enigma: incredibly fun, incredibly frustrating; incredibly talented, painfully horrible. They salvaged their season from the brink but may not get to play the Wild Card game at home because of a bullpen meltdown in August. But hey, at least they're not the Cubs (yet) — and at least they didn't sign Craig Kimbrel or Bryce Harper. And a one-game playoff against Milwaukee with Max Scherzer on the mound sounds favorable — especially given that the top three starters may start coming out of the bullpen.

Nationals’ Asdrúbal Cabrera should avoid MRI after tweaking right ankle (WaPo)
Asdrubal Cabrera didn't need an MRI, and the bench won't get any thinner — but Brian Dozier didn't exactly put on a convincing performance regarding why he should get the starting spot back.

Local pizza chain continues to troll Bryce Harper with deal (NBCSW)
Every time Bryce Harper strikes out, you can text &Pizza for a $3 pizza. Not a joke. Enjoy your pizza.

Cabrera sits with sore ankle, could come off bench (MASN)
Cabrera did indeed come off the bench in the Nats' loss to the Marlins.

Nats have no answer for latest blown lead, fall in Miami (MASN)
Wander Suero got the ball for the third time in three days, and things fell apart yet again — and the efforts of Hunter Strickland and Tanner Rainey didn't help either. Essentially, the Nats are headed towards October—if not guaranteed to make it there—without a single reliever they can trust.

Nationals-Marlins score: Bullpen implodes in a 5-3 loss (WaPo)
Yet again, the bullpen couldn't hold it together. It's unclear who Davey Martinez can trust at this point (certainly not his own instincts at times, it would seem): everyone in the bullpen is falling apart, and it's all happening at the wrong time.

Nats fall into Wild Card tie after 'pen unravels (
Davey Martinez, yet again, claimed that he trusted his bullpen and just asked that they get consistent, which would have been cute in May, but it's now late September.

Wild-card tracker: Nationals hanging on with one week to go (NBCSW)
"Watching Milwaukee will be more important. The Brewers’ magic number is down to three. Their soft schedule continues this week with visits to Cincinnati and Colorado. Sonny Gray opens the series for the Reds. Luis Castillo closes it. So, Washington can take some solace in knowing Cincinnati’s two top pitchers will be deployed against Milwaukee."