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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals drop opener to Rays; Sean Doolittle talks; Tanner Rainey to IL + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news before the start of this afternoon’s finale with the Rays...

MLB: Washington Nationals at Tampa Bay Rays Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Story time with Aaron Barrett. Here’s how he managed to get to Florida in time for the birth of his (and his wife’s) second child...

“I got the call from my wife that she was going to the hospital and so I immediately — obviously I can’t fly, so I rented a car — I don’t have a car at the Alternate Site, so I rented a car and drove 13 hours down to Florida and got there and went into labor, and that would be — I don’t even know what day it is. But Thursday morning my son was born, healthy, everyone is great. My wife is healthy, everyone is awesome. So then, I knew that I only get three days, so I knew I also needed to get back, especially if I want an opportunity to potentially have a shot to go back to the big leagues. So I get back in the rental car and drive 13 hours again, back to the Alternate Site, and I arrive, we had a game on Saturday night at 6:00, and so they call and say, ‘Hey, when are you going to get here?’

“And I’m like, ‘I’m literally showing up at game time.’ And so I there I’m on fumes, crush a Red Bull, whatever, and they ask me if I can pitch? And I said, ‘Sure, like why not, okay.’

“So I go out and dominated my inning, and then I think I passed out.”

[shows picture of daughter kissing newborn baby]

“I just got that not too long ago, and that’s what it’s about right there. That gives me all the motivation I need, regardless of what happens, that’s what it’s about.”

Barrett got called back to the majors on Tuesday, and he pitched in last night’s opener with the Rays.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Bullpen Chatter:

Cronin refining curveball as he works toward big league goal - (MASN)
"Cronin, 22, splashed onto the scene last year at Double-A Harrisburg with an attention-getting 0.82 ERA over 17 appearances."

Sean Doolittle thinks Davey Martinez is a ‘selling point’ for free agents - (NBC Sports Washington)
"It’s been a privilege to play for him. It really has. I think especially, our relationship has grown over his three years here."

Sean Doolittle wants a different ending with Washington Nationals - (WaPost)
"A voice was chiming in from the background. 'Eireann is sitting across the table from me and says, ‘I want to stay here,' Doolittle added with a laugh. 'She says: ‘Print it.’"

Rainey to IL:

With Rainey placed on the injured list, Barrett returns to the Nats - (MASN)
"Martinez said the Nats went with Barrett because of his track record, his experience, his pitching ability and his clubhouse presence."

Rainey is latest Nats reliever to land on IL with flexor strain - (MASN)
"Rainey wound up pitching six times in nine days this month, and over his last four outings he gave up four runs and three homers, charged with one blown save and one loss."

Key Nationals reliever Tanner Rainey goes on injured list - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The number of Nationals players on the injured list ballooned to 10 on Tuesday when reliever Tanner Rainey joined the group."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Steve Cohen battles pizza magnate for title of richest baseball owner - (Crains New York Business)
Cohen and Ilitch are each worth more than double the next richest baseball owner, the Washington National’s Ted Lerner." - [ed. note - "That's not the correct possessive form of Nationals."]

Aaron Barrett recalled to parent Washington Nationals - (Courier and Press)
"Aaron Barrett’s ever-evolving journey continues with a trip back to the parent Washington Nationals."

SABR CEO Scott Bush on the Business of Minor League Contraction - (Fangraphs)
"'A Triple-A market like Fresno having the Washington Nationals as a parent club… on the surface, that sounds absurd.'"

Exciting Latin stars 'hungry for the game' - (MLB.com)
“'You're seeing someone really mature every year,' Nationals manager Dave Martinez said [of Juan Soto]."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies' Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto injured, out of Monday’s Phillies lineup vs. Marlins - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"Hoskins (left forearm soreness) and Realmuto (hip soreness) missed both losses on Sunday after suffering injuries on Saturday night, and were scheduled for MRI's Monday."

5 pressing Mets questions amid grim playoff hopes - (NY Post)
"Thirteen games remain, at the conclusion of which the Mets will either be shut out from the playoffs for the fourth straight year or somehow invited to the postseason tournament."

2B Díaz (left groin strain) done for season - (MLB.com)
"A disappointing 2020 season has come to an end for Marlins second baseman Isan Díaz."

Cole Hamels intends to give Braves a boost for postseason - (AJC.com)
"Cole Hamels will throw approximately 55 to 60 pitches in his long-awaited debut Wednesday."