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Wire Taps: Austin Voth vs Atlanta; Nationals’ outfield options; Nats drop second straight to Braves...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the 3rd of 4 with the Braves in SunTrust Park.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Last night’s loss left the Washington Nationals 9.0 games back in the NL East with 22 games left on the schedule (five of them against Atlanta), with losses in four of five games, but they are still up +2.0 in the Wild Card race, which, considering how the season started ...

“With the way that we started,” Ryan Zimmerman told reporters in Atlanta this weekend, “being just in the conversation and putting ourselves in the position that we’re in now, I think we’re all pretty proud of it and it’s special, but we still got some work to do.”

That work starts with actually winning one tonight to slow the Braves’ roll, with the division leaders now up to eight-straight wins overall and 12 in a row at home...

NATS BEAT:

Voth vs ATL:

Austin Voth will start Saturday for the Nationals in place of injured Joe Ross (WaPo)
The back of the Washington Nationals’ rotation continues to shift, this time because Joe Ross is experiencing right forearm pain and can’t pitch Saturday night against the Braves at SunTrust Park. Austin Voth will start in his place.

Roenis Elías MRI set for Saturday, Austin Voth in for Joe Ross (Nats fall 4-3) - (MASN)
"Manager Davey Martinez said they will wait on the MRI until Saturday to check on Eliías’ hamstring."

Ross (forearm) scratched; Voth to start Saturday - (MLB.com)
"Joe Ross has been scratched from his start Saturday night against the Braves after he felt discomfort in his right forearm during a bullpen session this week."

Last Night’s Loss:

Nationals unable to get key hit when they need it, fall again to Braves - (WaPost)
"They have just 22 games left in the regular season and have lost four of five for the first time since late May."

Nats unable to keep pace with streaking Braves - (MLB.com)
"Washington has dropped four of its past five games for the first time since July 30-Aug. 4 and now trails Atlanta in the NL East by a season-high nine games with 22 games remaining."

Zimmerman's feet feel good, in nice groove at plate - (MASN)
"Ryan Zimmerman continues to crush baseballs since his return from a second bout of plantar fasciitis in his right foot."

Other Nats Stories:

Aaron Barrett welcomes chance to face first-place Braves (Washington Times)
Aaron Barrett has already staged his own personal, tear-jerking comeback. Now the veteran pitcher hopes to be part of another one with the Nationals—who have a key series this weekend at the first-place Braves, the team they are chasing in the National League East.

Are Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto the league’s best offensive duo? The numbers say yes - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto have an argument as the best offensive coupling in the sport this season."

Statcast data loves Victor Robles, shows he should win Gold Glove (NBC Sports Washington)
The player tracking cameras that produce data for Statcast have a new favorite player on the Nationals.

Nationals have defensive choices in right field late in close games - (WaPost)
"[Davey] Martinez said that, after roster expansion, he’d look to be more aggressive with defensive substitutions, which he seldom has used this season..."

Letter to the Editor Section:

One reason a fan won’t be back to Nationals Park - Letter to the Editor - (WaPost)
"I’m not sure why others are avoiding Nationals Park this year, but I can tell you why we canceled our partial season plan, as of 2018..."

Readers share their memories from RFK Stadium (WaPo)
In light of the District’s plans to tear down RFK Stadium by 2021, The Post asked readers to share their memories from the past 58 years.

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

SF Giants move Trevor Gott to 60-day IL, claim Ricardo Pinto - (Mercury News)
"The Giants have not announced any new details regarding [Trevor] Gott’s injury, but he is no longer eligible to pitch this season after being placed on the 60-day injured list."

Big-Spending Los Angeles Dodgers Set To Win Seventh Straight NL West Title - (Forbes)
"The Washington Nationals, who let Bryce Harper walk via free agency, are eight out despite their fifth in MLB payroll of $193.6 million."

'It can’t get any worse’: Jordan Zimmermann willing to reinvent himself again and again - (mlive.com)
"For the last few years, Zimmermann has been willing to try anything and everything to keep his head above water. Sometimes it works."

Bowden: The must-extend players for each team this offseason – (The Athletic)
"The Nationals aren’t going to get the steal the Braves got in the Acuña contract, but that shouldn’t stop them from trying their best to get a 10-year deal done with [Juan] Soto this offseason..."

Nationals Park’s new entertainment venue unveiled (Washington Business Journal)
The D.C. Council is getting a first look at the contract between the Washington Nationals and Events D.C. under which the Nats will build a 35,000-square-foot entertainment venue attached to its stadium, and the city's conventions and sports authority will help pay for it.