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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals move on from Opening Day loss; Juan Soto thoughts + more Nats news...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of Game 2 of 60.

Nats Photo by Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Bad news on Juan Soto. A five-inning, rain-shortened, Opening Night loss. Thursday ended up being a long day for Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez. The good news: For now there are more games to play. So, it’s time to put it behind them, move on to tonight’s game and go 1-0 tonight.

“It turned out long,” Martinez said after the 4-1 loss on Thursday.

“Let’s just say that. From this morning till now and getting the game cut off at five innings, you know, we’ve just got to put this one behind us, we’ve got a day off tomorrow, and we come back Saturday and do it again.”

It’s 7:05 PM ET tonight in FOX and 106.7 the FAN in D.C. with Stephen Strasburg and James Paxton on the mound. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Expanded playoffs mean less urgency in MLB - (WaPost)
“Everything about the 2020 baseball season is deeply weird and profoundly different, including how the Nationals had to process their 4-1, rain-shortened defeat against the Yankees and newly minted ace Gerrit Cole.”

Nationals play first game of 2020, receive reminders of difficulties to come - (NBC Sports Washington)
"But, it was baseball, which is not a perfect salve for dire times. The sport is pursuing a dash of normalcy to present to the public. Yet, even that didn’t work Thursday without earlier hitches."

Juan Soto’s positive coronavirus test leaves Nationals unsettled - (WaPost)
Soto’s teammates clung to the possibility that he had received a false positive.”

Nationals say they have no new positive coronavirus tests - (NBC Sports Washington)
“The Washington Nationals do not have more positive coronavirus tests as of noon on Friday, despite some confusion following a press conference with Mayor Muriel Bowser and her staff.”

Nats on kneeling with black ribbon as symbol of unity prior to national anthem - (MASN)
"Doolittle said the idea for kneeling with the ribbon was something the players’ union worked on with Major League Baseball."

Baseball’s back, but the questions won’t end, and the answers won’t get easier - (WaPost)
“MLB hardly could have had a more ominous opening to its season than Thursday night’s 4-1 New York Yankees win over Washington at Nationals Park.”

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Yankees-Nationals draw record ratings on opening night - (Yahoo!Sports)
"A record number of people tuned in to watch the New York Yankees defeat the Washington Nationals on opening night."

I Really Hope This All Works - (FanGraphs)
"After everything that led to the start of its truncated 60-game season, Major League Baseball tried its hardest to fill Opening Day with all the excitement it could."

What we learned from MLB”s Opening Day - (Beyond the Box Score)
"Despite COVID-19, baseball is back, and MLB is raring to go...until Mother Nature puts a damper on everything."

12 Hours in the Life of Major League Baseball - (FanGraphs)
"Unknowns: how contact tracing has determined that everyone is 'good'; how safe the rest of the Nationals players are; how the Yankees, who along with every other team have no obligation to wear masks on the field, will have their safety ensured; when Soto will be back."

On Opening Day 2020, Locked Gates Kept Nats Fans Outside The Ballpark - (DCist)
"This abbreviated, delayed, and fan-less campaign is, of course, due to the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic. Teams are playing only 60 games (as opposed to 162), all against geographically close opponents and inside of nearly completely empty stadiums."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Bryce Harper sure knows how to make an entrance, rocks Phanatic suit - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Harper went above and beyond this time around rocking a green suit."

Yoenis Cespedes' home run leads Mets to Opening Day win - (New York Post)
"Cespedes, the DH, pounced on a Chris Martin fastball that landed in the left-field seats and then watched Justin Wilson and Edwin Diaz each pitch a scoreless inning to seal the victory."

Playoff chase feels like reality for Marlins - (MLB.com)
"From the front office to the coaching staff on down to the players, the Marlins enter Opening Day on Friday confident they will be a surprising contender in the playoff chase."

Scott Schebler acquired by Braves - (MLB.com)
"Recognizing depth has even greater value this year, the Braves added another left-handed power hitter on Friday..."