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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals shut out again; drop 5th straight; Mike Rizzo trade deadline talk...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of today’s (4:05 PM ET) series finale with the Phillies...

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MLB: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Washington’s fifth straight loss last night left them 12-22, 9.0 games out in the NL East, six games behind the second spot, and 14th out of 15 teams in the senior circuit. If they’re to make a run in September, well, it’s already Sept. 3rd, so they’d better get going. Does the club feel the urgency now?

“Yeah, we definitely feel that,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the club was shut out for the second straight time by the Phillies, who’ve won all five games with their NL East rivals so far in 2020.

“We’re in the stretch run now,” Martinez added.

“It’s here. It’s upon us. We want to go out there and try to win games, but our focus is going 1-0 tomorrow, we have to start tomorrow.

“The window of opportunity is closing, but I’m not going to put that kind of pressure on these guys. I just want them to come out tomorrow, win tomorrow and go from there.”

Go 1-0 today. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Max Scherzer can't bail out Nationals, who drop fifth straight - (WaPost)
"Max Scherzer started for the Nationals, received no support and allowed three runs in six innings. That’s how they dropped to 12-22."

Nationals shut out for second straight game - (MLB.com)
"Scherzer delivered a quality start, but it wasn’t nearly enough to snap Washington’s losing streak, which now stands at five after a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Zack Wheeler and the Phillies."

Nationals shut out again, lose fifth straight - (MASN)
"The Nationals knew their 2020 lineup wasn’t going to resemble their 2019 championship bunch."

Nationals run into mountain of frustration in another loss - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The pitches are just a tick off, the opposition fastballs appear to have extra zip, the luck grandly sour. There are no runs and few answers. This is where the Nationals are."

Martinez on Kieboom and when Nats decide to call up pitchers - (MASN)
"Some fans have asked the question with the Nationals at 12-21 and in last place in the National League East: Why not just call up all the prospects and see what you have for 2021 and beyond?"

Notes: Stras' recovery; Kieboom's progress - (MLB.com)
"Strasburg is prohibited from rehabbing at Nationals Park due to MLB’s COVID-19 protocols, but Martinez said the pitcher is resting at home as he recovers from the surgery."

Strasburg rehabbing at home, Guerra lands on IL - (MASN)
"Because this is an uncommon injury for baseball players, there isn’t a well-known timetable for recovery like there is with other ailments."

Trea Turner is all grown up and developing into one of the best shortstops in baseball - (WaPost)
"So it’s time to acknowledge Turner as a potential star on the field — which we will get to — but an undeniable presence off it."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

MLB 2020: Ranking the best starting rotations for the playoffs - (USA TODAY)
"We only have to go back to last season to see how the Washington Nationals relied heavily on Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin to go from wild-card survivors to World Series champs."

MLB Trade Deadline: Nationals didn't want to add payroll - (106.7 the FAN)
"We went in there and, in my opinion, we weren't playing well enough for me to go ask ownership to add payroll and to give away prospects to make any kind of big, significant move for a short-term player this year." - Mike Rizzo on The Sports Junkies

NL EAST UPDATES:

Tom Seaver, Hall of Fame pitcher and Mets legend, dies at 75 - (ESPN)
"The Baseball Hall of Fame announced that Seaver died Monday from complications of Lewy body dementia and COVID-19."

Braves get Ronald Acuna back for series vs. Nationals - (MLB.com)
"Ronald Acuña Jr. will return to the lineup for Friday’s doubleheader against the Nationals at Truist Park, but the Braves will likely be without Ozzie Albies for at least another week."

Phelps on Phils: 'Feel like I'm on playoff team' - (MLB.com)
"Phillies right-hander David Phelps has been traded three times at the Trade Deadline, but only once during a global pandemic."

Marlins tweaking roster as series with Blue Jays concludes - (Sports Illustrated)
"[Jesus] Aguilar, who is batting .280 with four homers, a .776 OPS and 20 RBIs in 24 games, has had back stiffness and hasn't played since last Wednesday."