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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals blow 5-0 lead in 7-6 loss to Atlanta Braves; Freddie Freeman again; + more Nats links...

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Carch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of the second of four with the Braves...

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Davey Martinez thought about walking Freddie Freeman in the seventh, when the Braves’ slugger stepped up with a runner on and two out in a two-run game, which the Nationals led, 6-4.

“Honestly, I was this close to just walking [Freeman], but I had a strong feeling [Will] Harris with his cutter could get him out,” Martinez said.

Harris threw Freeman a 1-0 curve, however, after missing with a cutter way outside, and the breaking ball up and in, got hammered for a game-tying two-run blast, 6-6.

“I had confidence in Harris. We’re still up two runs right there, so — just didn’t make a pitch.

“When you fall behind on these guys, these guys can hit. They’re good hitters.”

“One, for me, [Freeman] murders breaking balls in the strike zone,” Martinez added.

“Two, he’s just a tough at bat because he stays on everything. He’ll fight off a bunch of really good pitches, but for me, you just can’t give in. You can’t give in.

“He’ll do that and then you try to come in on him and he’s ready for it. So you just can’t give in to those type of hitters.”

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Cavalli and Rutledge bringing the heat in Fredericksburg - (MASN)
"Top Nationals pitching prospects Cade Cavalli and Jackson Rutledge continue to get their work in at the alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Va..."

At 32, Yadiel Hernández finally gets a shot in the major leagues - (MASN)
"Hernández joined the Nats on Oct. 1, 2016. From 2009-14, he played for Cocodrilos de Matanzas of the Cuban Baseball Federation, joining the league at the age of 21."

Nats call up 32-year-old rookie Hernández - (MLB.com)
"The 32-year-old left-handed hitter has been a part of the organization’s Minor League system for the past three seasons."

Martinez, Nats coaches to wear No. 21 in honor of Clemente - (MASN)
“As you know, he’s my idol,” Martinez said. “What he represents is unity. And I thought it would be nice to have the coaches represent 21 as well.”

Davey Martinez to wear 21 for a day in honor of his idol Roberto Clemente - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Martinez idolizes Clemente. As a kid in New York, he wore No. 21 for football, but couldn’t bring himself to do so for baseball. Thursday, he plans to wear the number and has asked the Nationals coaching staff to join him."

Nats again can't keep Braves in the yard in 7-6 loss - (MASN)
"You can try to outslug one of the most powerful lineups in baseball. Or you can try to keep Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman in the ballpark."

Nats can’t hold a 5-0 lead and suffer a painful loss to Braves - (WaPost)
"The loss dropped Washington to 16-26 and was a missed opportunity to keep inching up the standings."

Eaton and offense rolled early, but then slowed down - (MASN)
"Outside of the three innings the Nats scored, the only other hit the Nats enjoyed was Cabrera’s infield single in the ninth."

Nationals fall to Braves with home runs - (MLB.com)
“'You score five runs early like that, you should win the ballgame,' manager Dave Martinez said."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Under Manfred, MLB Is Swallowing The Minors—And Extending Its Reach Into Every Level Of Baseball - (Forbes)
"During Rob Manfred's tenure as commissioner, MLB has had an internal mantra of 'One Baseball.' That now appears to be about MLB having a hand in all things baseball from cradle to grave."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves-Marlins 29-9 Madness! Plus: Are the Wheels Officially Off for the Yankees? - (The Ringer)
"We get into the nitty-gritty of a bizarre baseball night that included a 29-9 shellacking of the Marlins by the Braves..."

What it took for Pete Alonso to finally break his Mets funk - (NY Post)
"Polar Bears aren’t supposed to hibernate, but Pete Alonso spent much of August defying nature."

Phillies could be without Jose Alvarez for the remainder of regular season - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Phillies manager Joe Girardi had one tidbit of news before his team commenced a pivotal seven-game series with the Miami Marlins on Thursday night. Reliever Jose Alvarez may be out for the remainder of the regular season."

Díaz recalled; Berti to IL; Yamamoto optioned - (MLB.com)
"Díaz, who elected not to play the rest of the 2020 season at the beginning of August, was cleared to return by a joint MLB/MLB Players Association panel."