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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals split with Tampa Bay Rays; Luis García goes yard + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news and then enjoy your off day...

Washington Nationals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

No bunting the runner at second over to third in extras and playing for one run under Davey Martinez’s guidance. Not on the road. “When you’re on the road, you try to play just to score as many runs as possible. We had no intentions of bunting. He went up there, and like I said, I told him, ‘He’s going to go after you first pitch, so be ready for it,’ and he was ready.” <— this is Martinez in his post-game Zoom call last night talking about what he told Luis García before the second baseman stepped up to lead off the 10th in Tampa and launched a first-pitch fastball for a 2-run HR that won it for Washington. Good advice.

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

As vets struggle, rookie Nats relievers making their case - (MASN)
"If you’re looking for silver linings in this mostly disappointing baseball season, it’s not hard to find them in the Nationals' bullpen."

Nationals top Rays on Luis Garcia’s two-run homer in 10th - (WaPost)
"The Nationals are now 18-29 because of García’s bat. They left Tampa with a glimpse into their future."

Eaton's beard -- not a typo -- prevents catch - (MLB.com)
"The ball landed in his glove, but it bounced out after it hit his face. No catch."

García's homer in 10th lifts Nats to 4-2 win over Rays - (MASN)
"García drilled Anderson’s 94 mph fastball a few minutes after the Rays’ Brandon Lowe had tied the game with a homer off Hudson in the bottom of the ninth."

Youngest MLBer sends Nats to dramatic win - (MLB.com)
"Worry about playing on the biggest stage as the youngest player in the Major Leagues at age 20?"

There won’t be a 2020 repeat of Nationals’ 2019 postseason pitching plan - (NBC Sports Washington)
"There will be an MLB postseason this year, which is necessary when trying to provide justification for everything the league went through during the regular season."

Nationals GM: Dave Martinez Deserves A New Contract - (106.7 the FAN)
"'Nationals manager Dave Martinez deserves to be rewarded for "doing a good job,' says general manager and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo."

No off-days in playoffs: Here's who benefits - (MLB.com)
"That reversed itself slightly in 2019, mostly because the October Nationals tried to build the entire plane out of starters..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

MLB umpire Joe West has never missed a call. Just ask him - (ESPN)
"Joe West has had beers with lots of people. He is, in every way, 'Cowboy Joe' West."

Potential winners and losers in sale of New York Mets to Steve Cohen - (ESPN)
"The emergence of Steve Cohen as the likely owner of the New York Mets is being treated as great news by player agents, in a year of a lot of bad financial developments in major league baseball."

FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches Announces Grapefruit League Schedule for 2021 Season - (MLB.com)
"FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Spring Training home of the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals, announced its 2021 Grapefruit League schedule today."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Source: Phillies calling up Mickey Moniak - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Mickey Moniak is on his way to the big leagues."

Mets' Jacob deGrom can't afford misstep in tight Cy Young race - (NY Post)
"Trevor Bauer and Yu Darvish are lurking, awaiting any Jacob deGrom misstep."

2-out pitch costly for contending Marlins - (MLB.com)
"Sandy Alcantara threw 24 pitches in a stressful sixth inning on Tuesday night. The one the 25-year-old right-hander wishes he could have back is the 96.8 mph four-seamer that Jackie Bradley Jr. took the other way for an RBI double."

Braves’ Max Fried set to return Friday at Mets - (AJC.com)
"Braves lefty Max Fried will return from the 10-day injured list Friday and start the series opener at the Mets."