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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals end four-game slide; next stop Arizona + more Nats links...

Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for the start of tonight’s 9:40 PM ET matchup with the D-backs...

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Yes, the Nationals’ 5-1 win was a much needed one, but more importantly, they jumped out to an early lead, responding after the Phillies scored one in the top of the first. First it was a two-run shot by Kyle Schwarber, then Josh Bell hit a two-run home run of his own to put the home team up 4-1 after one in Washington, D.C.

Davey Martinez talked after the club’s four-game slide ended, and after they avoided getting swept at home, about the offensive contributions from the big offseason acquisitions.

“It uplifted our team and those two guys,” Martinez said, “... but like I’ve said, I’ve got all the confidence in the world in those two. It’s going to come. They’re going to help us win a lot of games. But today it was two good at bats and they hit the ball hard and far, and that’s awesome, just what we needed.”

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

After a team meeting, Nats salvage series finale vs. Phillies - The Washington Post
Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber hit first-inning homers to back Patrick Corbin, who pitches seven strong innings to help the Nationals end a four-game skid.

Nationals hit two home runs early to beat Phillies - (MLB.com)
"Though the Phillies struck first when Andrew McCutchen stole home, the Nats responded with a season-high-tying four runs in the bottom of the first inning."

Washington Nationals' slow start begs questions about their future roster - The Washington Post
This summer should tell whether the Nationals’ roster needs a tweak or an overhaul.

Josh Bell, Kyle Schwarber homer early to avoid sweep against Phillies - (Washington Times)
"Dave Martinez hadn’t lost faith in this lineup — publicly, at least — despite the way the Nationals had performed recently."

Ryan Zimmerman says he's still good friends and respects Bryce Harper - (NBC Sports Washington)
"The two spent seven years together as teammates with the Nationals, so it makes plenty of sense how they still have a friendship with one another."

Nats get big blasts early, big start from Corbin to win - (MASN)
"The roster general manager Mike Rizzo built this winter included Bell, Schwarber and Corbin in prominent positions, the first two in the heart of his lineup and the latter in the heart of his rotation."

Nats want one more tune-up for Strasburg before his return - (MASN)
"His next turn to start would come Sunday, but it hasn’t been decided yet whether that start will come in another simulated game or in an official minor league rehab assignment for Triple-A Rochester."

NATS’ PROSPECTS:

Nationals prospect Cole Henry strikes out 10 - (MLB.com)
"There wasn't much to look back on from Cole Henry's first Minor League start. The second one was a different story."

Prospect roundup for May 12 - (MLB.com)
"Cavalli, the 22nd overall pick from the 2020 Draft, was lights out for Wilmington as he yielded just one hit over five scoreless innings."

Cavalli's pro career off to a rousing start in Wilmington - (MASN)
"The Nationals have shown a willingness to fast-track top prospects through their farm system if deserving. It’s probably too soon to ponder such matters..."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

Max Scherzer and the Coming Wave of 3,000-Strikeout Pitchers - (FanGraphs)
"The 14 strikeouts was the most by a visitor in the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009, and the most by any opponent in any iteration of Yankee Stadium since Pedro Martinez’s ultra-dominant one-hit performance against the defending champions in 1999."

Stars who were traded when they were prospects - (MLB.com)
"Because of a since-scrapped rule that prevented players from being dealt until a year after they were drafted, Turner was the unnamed 'player to be named later' in a three-way trade from December 2014 between the Padres, Nationals and Rays..."

MLB Baseball Cap Tiers: From the Yankees to the Nationals — the Iconic, Good, Just OK and Bad hats across the league – (The Athletic)
"If the Nats aren’t going to come up with something original, why should I? Their best design: The Expos pinwheel was iconic."

NL EAST UPDATES:

5 takeaways after Braves are swept by Blue Jays again - (AJC)
"Despite battling throughout Thursday afternoon, the Braves were defeated by the Blue Jays again, 8-4 at Truist Park."

Bryce Harper's low RBI total no cause for concern - (MLB.com)
"Bryce Harper, notable slugging superstar, has driven in 11 runners this year, and if that doesn’t sound that impressive, it is not."

Luis Rojas’ temperament is exactly what these Mets need - (NY Post)
"Up front, it is worth pointing out that Luis Rojas has not accomplished anything yet. His baseball baptism might have come by fire after the Carlos Beltran disaster, but he still should have found a way to lead the 2020 Mets to the playoffs."

Slow-starting Marlins offense feasts against relief pitching - (Fish Stripes)
"We’re seeing an interesting batting split from the team so far in 2021."