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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals drop opener with St. Louis Cardinals; Joe Ross’s scoreless inning streak ends; + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait to see if Patrick Corbin figured something out between starts...

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Ross didn’t last long in last night’s game, and the bullpen had to give the Nationals 4 23 innings, though Hernán Pérez, now a lights-out reliever, once again spared some of the ‘pen work with a scoreless inning of work in the ninth (in which he threw a 45.7 MPH eephus), but as Davey Martinez said after last night’s loss, Washington’s bullpen has taken a beating (in terms of workload) over the first few weeks of the season.

“Our bullpen right now, and once again, may I add, those guys come in and they did a great job for us again, but they’re getting taxed,” he said.

“They’re pitching way, way too much,” Martinez added. “We definitely got to keep an eye on these guys our we won’t have a bullpen. We got to make sure we keep an eye on these guys and get some length out of our starters.”

Good plan. And that would be nice. Go read your links.

NATS BEAT:

Postgame:

Joe Ross is the latest Nationals starter to struggle, and the Cardinals make him pay - (WaPost)
“Joe Ross came into his third start of the season having yet to yield a run. By the time he exited in the fifth inning Monday night, he had given up 10 in a 12-5 loss to the Cardinals.”

Joe Ross struggles in loss against Cardinals - (MLB.com)
"Ross exited the game after 4 1/3 innings, having allowed 10 runs off eight hits (including four homers), three walks and five strikeouts over 85 pitches (57 strikes)."

Ross blasted for 10 runs, adding to rotation woes - (MASN)
"Suddenly, that near-perfect early April for Ross looks a little less impressive, his ERA having skyrocketed from 0.00 to 5.87 in the span of two hours."

Pregame:

Luis Avilán to undergo Tommy John surgery - (MLB.com)
"Avilán, 31, informed the Nationals that he 'felt something in his elbow' after his last outing on Thursday, when he threw 39 pitches across two innings against the D-backs in relief of Patrick Corbin."

Luis Avilan to undergo Tommy John surgery to fix torn UCL - (Washington Times)
"Washington Nationals left-hander Luis Avilan has decided to undergo Tommy John surgery to correct a torn UCL in his elbow, manager Dave Martinez announced Monday."

On Bell's timing, Avilán's surgery and Nats' vaccine goal - (MASN)
"When the Nationals first baseman departed West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 29, everything was in sync."

The positives and the negatives after two weeks - (MASN)
"The Nationals’ 2021 season is only two weeks old, but boy does it feel like a lot has happened already or what?"

Nationals’ short-term rotation will look different without Stephen Strasburg - (WaPost)
The Nationals could benefit from a handful of days off in the near future.

Nationals Notebook: Four steps forward, three steps back, one Stras out - (WTOP)
"In addition to Strasburg going on the shelf, the Nats will also be minus bullpen workhorse Wander Suero (eight appearances in the team’s first 12 games) due to a left oblique strain."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Nationals Minor League Spring Training report - (MLB.com)
"'It's exciting every time these guys are able to get on the field and compete against another club,' said Nationals assistant general manager Mark Scialabba."

Dane Dunning, Texas Rangers pitcher, is having success in 2021 - (Lone Star Ball)
"Dane Dunning has gotten off to a great start with the Rangers. Let’s take a look at how he’s doing it."

NL EAST UPDATES:

8 Phillies personnel in COVID protocol - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Monday night’s Phillies-San Francisco Giants game was played as scheduled even though the Phillies were without three players and two coaches who were placed into COVID-19 protocol earlier in the day."

Mets bear uncanny resemblance to 2015-16 Cubs - (NY Post)
"The 2021 Mets are the 2015-16 Cubs. OK, maybe not apples for apples. But the similarities are striking."

Trevor Rogers pitches in front of parents - (MLB.com)
"Rogers' parents, Colleen and Mike, sat about 20 rows up in a section between Miami's dugout and home plate, with a perfect view of their son on the pitcher's mound."

Ronald Acuna has mild abdominal strain, considered day to day - (AJC.com)
"It’s a best-case scenario for the Braves after Acuna was injured during Sunday’s 13-4 victory over the Cubs."