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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals drop two to Atlanta Braves; Stephen Strasburg returns to mound + more...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of the series in LA tomorrow afternoon...

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals Game 1 Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

We noted Max Scherzer’s comments on the 5,000 fan limit in Nationals Park and the closed upper deck in D.C. in yesterday’s link post.

Before yesterday’s doubleheader, Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez was asked for his own thoughts on the current situation. He did not offer a take that was hot.

“What I do know is that we had 5,000 amazing fans yesterday. Whether they were in the upper deck or lower deck, for myself it was awesome to see those people there and see them cheer us on,” Martinez said.

“From what I gather and from what I’ve heard, they were elated to be back. So that was pretty awesome.”

it was. Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

Nats waste Strasburg's gem, get shut out by Braves - (MASN)
"Pablo Sandoval’s two-run homer off Tanner Rainey with two outs in the top of the seventh proved the only big hit of the Braves’ 2-0, seven-inning victory."

Stephen Strasburg dominant in 2021 debut - (MLB.com)
"Five innings was all Stephen Strasburg was able to throw last season. In his 2021 debut on Wednesday, he exceeded that total..."

Sam Clay fans reigning NL MVP in MLB debut - (MLB.com)
"Sam Clay described himself as 'shell-shocked' when the Nationals signed him to a Major League contract on Nov. 18."

Nationals pitcher Sam Clay shines in MLB debut against team he once rooted for - (NBC Sports Washington)
"What might be most uplifting about Clay’s debut was that he grew up in Georgia rooting for Atlanta."

Jonathan Lucroy grateful for unexpected opportunity to catch for Nationals - (Washington Times)
"Before Jonathan Lucroy found himself behind the plate Tuesday night, catching for Nationals ace Max Scherzer on opening day, the 34-year-old backstop didn’t know what his future held."

Nats could get some players back in L.A., but it's complicated - (MASN)
"The club has said four players tested positive for COVID-19, with seven others deemed close contacts and thus placed into mandatory quarantine. (That list appears to include two players currently at the alternate training site in Fredericksburg.)"

After Opening Day high, Nats crash back to reality in doubleheader sweep by Braves - (WaPost)
“Of the 11 players in coronavirus protocol, three — Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester and Brad Hand — were expected to be on Martinez’s Opening Day pitching staff.”

Opening Day at Nationals Park was the culmination of 18 months — and 50 years — of waiting - (WaPost
“One day can encapsulate 50 years. Not often. But Tuesday at Nationals Park did it for me.”

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Makeshift Nationals Enjoy Dramatic Comeback Victory on Belated Opening Day - (FanGraphs)
"If you had Jonathan Lucroy driving in the first runs of the Nationals’ 2021 season, take your ticket to the window and claim your winnings."

Virginia Real Estate: Former Nationals Player’s McLean Mansion – (NBC4 Washington)
"Former Washington Nationals player Jayson Werth has retired from the game and is selling his private, 4-acre estate in McLean, Virginia, for over $6 million."

Nats Fans Are Excited For Another Day At The Ballpark - (DCist)
"Despite the win-induced euphoria, Tuesday’s game was a stark reminder that yet another season will go on in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic."

NL EAST UPDATES:

5 takeaways from Braves’ doubleheader sweep in Washington - (AJC.com)
"The Braves swept their doubleheader in Washington on Wednesday, earning their first two wins of the season."

Phillies homer their way to victory against the Mets - (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"The Phillies defeated the Mets 8-2 with home runs hit by Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, and J.T. Realmuto on April 7, 2021."

Mets avoid worst-case J.D Davis injury scenario - (NY Post)
"Follow-up X-rays on J.D. Davis’ left hand were negative."

Pablo Lopez, Marlins lose finale to Cardinals - (MLB.com)
"Now, the Marlins embark on a seven-game road trip to face the Mets and Braves, two of the favorites in the National League East."