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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals waiting for Josh Bell to find it; Jordan Zimmermann retires + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of the second of three with the Phillies...

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell K’d swinging the first time up last night, after both Trea Turner and Juan Soto hit singles in front of him in the bottom of the first.

After a groundout in the fourth, Bell sent a grounder to first with Juan Soto on in the sixth, moving the runner up before he scored.

With the Nationals trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Bell stepped in with the bases loaded after back-to-back walks from a hard-throwing, but wild José Alvarado, and he went down swinging at a 1-2 pitch out of the zone, leaving him 0 for 4 with two Ks on the night.

Though he’s continued to struggle at the plate this season, Bell’s manager, Davey Martinez, told reporters afterward he’s got to get the slugger going because the team needs to have him hitting in the middle of the lineup to be successful.

“We need him,” Martinez said. “He’s a big part of our lineup. I’m not going to give up on him.

“We know that in the past he’s been streaky, and when he starts to hit, he starts getting it he can carry us for a while. So we’ve got to just stay with it.

“He’s coming in early, he’s getting tons of work in, he’s working the cage with [Hitting Coach Kevin Long]. He’s getting a lot of work in, and he’s having good BP. He came up one at bat today and he smoked the ball to first base. He had nothing to show for it, but to me, that’s another good sign, so we just got to get some consistency now with him.”

How long can they wait?

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

As Josh Bell continues slow start, Ryan Zimmerman keeps on hitting - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Following an 0-4 outing in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, Bell is hitting .134 with three home runs, four doubles, six walks and 26 strikeouts."

Josh Bell’s struggles continue as Nationals lose to Phillies - The Washington Post
Bell, one of Washington’s key offseason acquisitions, had a pair of untimely strikeouts as Washington suffered its sixth loss in seven games.

Josh Bell can't break out of slump in Nats' loss - (MLB.com)
"The switch-hitting Bell batted right-handed against the southpaw Alvarado. He entered the game 1-for-15 against lefties this season."

Stephen Strasburg throws simulated game - (MLB.com)
"The Nationals were encouraged after starter Stephen Strasburg exceeded his original workload in a simulated game on Tuesday at Nationals Park."

Explaining Dave Martinez’s bullpen vision after Brad Hand stumbles vs. Yankees - The Washington Post
In the past, Martinez has hinted about matching up his relievers instead of having defined roles. But he mostly remains committed to the latter.

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Nationals All-Star Jordan Zimmermann retires - (MLB.com)
"Zimmermann, 34, made the announcement on Tuesday after appearing in two games for the Brewers this season."

Jordan Zimmermann retires - The Washington Post
Jordan Zimmermann no-hit the Marlins in the 2014 regular season finale. Six days later, he came within one out of shutting out the Giants in Game 2 of the NLDS.

Jordan Zimmermann, pitcher who threw first Nationals no-hitter, retires - (Washington Times)
"Jordan Zimmermann, who made Washington Nationals history when he threw the team’s first no-hitter in 2014, retired from baseball Tuesday."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Joe Girardi hopes a rest gets Phillies' Alec Bohm untracked - (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
"Phillies manager Joe Girardi held Alec Bohm out of the starting lineup for Tuesday night's series opener against the Nationals in Washington."

Jacob deGrom speaks out about his 'minor' Mets injury - (NY Post)
"The Mets are hopeful Jacob deGrom’s injured list stint will only cost him one start, but that will hinge on the next time he throws a side session — both for how he feels and how he looks."

Jordan Holloway falls to D-backs in first career start - (MLB.com)
"After opening the season with five scoreless appearances out of the bullpen, Marlins right-hander Jordan Holloway’s first Major League start was a lesson in the challenge of facing a lineup multiple times."

Braves have no timetable for Shane Greene’s arrival - (AJC.com)
"The Braves re-signed right-hander Shane Greene over the weekend. Greene will report to Triple-A Gwinnett and prepare to help the Braves..."