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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals drop 2nd of 4 in San Diego; Josh Harrison making friends in Petco + more Nats links...

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Catch up on the last 24 hours in Nationals news while you wait for another 10:10 PM game with the Padres...

Washington Nationals v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Josh Harrison hit a game-tying three-run home run in the top of the fifth, knotting things up at 3-3 a half-inning after a three-run blast put the Padres up 3-0, and Harrison got the key the Nationals are passing around these days when he got to the clubhouse, and when he was back in left field, he had a running, animated conversations with the fans in Petco Park, that featured the outfielder doing this:

Was the interaction all in good fun?

“I enjoy playing the game, and I have fun,” Harrison said. “It actually started last night out there, and I had actually got a few tweets after the game saying they wish — they were hoping I was out there again tonight, and I did see a few faces from last night, but just like every night is its own, I don’t take anything for granted, and they talk a lot of trash out there, some of them say some things that I will not repeat, but I try to find light in it and just have fun and enjoy that moment, because at the end of the day, they can say some nasty things, but I’m going to flip it around and have fun. It’s a lot better when you come out on the winning end, but at the same time I enjoy this game, and I play hard and have fun and I hope the fans see that, and I think they do.”

Also, “Gimme that key!”:

NATS BEAT:

Erick Fedde’s third time through the Padres’ lineup proves hazardous as Nationals fall - (WaPost)
"Manager Dave Martinez's decision to send his starter out for the fifth inning backfires in 7-4 loss in San Diego."

Josh Harrison, Juan Soto homer in loss to Padres - (MLB.com)
"Homering for the first time since hitting a grand slam against the Orioles on May 22, Harrison sent a three-run blast a Statcast-projected 409 feet to center field at 104.7 mph off starter Ryan Weathers."

Fedde rusty in return from IL, Nats fall to Padres - (MASN)
"In four of those six games, the Nats’ starter has failed to reach the sixth inning. And the growing strain of such abbreviated outings is becoming obvious."

Rotation decision looms as Fedde returns, Strasburg gets closer - (MASN)
"A minor league rehab start, or at least a simulated game against teammates, is usually a requirement for a starting pitcher to come off the 10-day IL."

Was Scherzer snubbed or is NL pitching class too deep? - (MASN)
"No, the pitchers were named Sunday just like all the other reserves. And Scherzer didn’t make the cut, despite one of the best first halves of his career."

Nationals could use Anthony Rendon, but they need Stephen Strasburg too - (NBC Sports Washington)
"Washington only had room in the budget for one of them. Yet, a year and a half later, they’ve gotten production from neither."

Nationals manager Davey Martinez: ‘There was an emptiness last year’ - (WaPost)
"The Nats skipper on having fans back in the stadium, managing players, and the power of positivity."

Josh Bell heats up at the plate for Nationals - (Washington Times)
"After a slow start to the season, Josh Bell is heating up at the plate as the temperature soars in Washington."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

What should the Nationals do at the trade deadline? Jim Bowden weighs the options for relievers, outfielders and more – (The Athletic)
"But because the Nationals have been on the outskirts of the division lead for a few weeks now, we’re not going to consider them sellers."

Two weeks into MLB's foreign substance enforcement, lower spin rates and improving offense - (Washington Times)
"Baseball’s enforcement of foreign substance use by pitchers, doctoring the ball to add velocity and spin rate, began with a bang — or rather, it began with the dropping of drawers on the field."

Alcides Escobar makes instant impact on Nationals - (The Kansas City Star)
"After two years of not playing in Major League Baseball, Alcides Escobar was traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Washington Nationals."

FredNats' Ydens got a perfect birthday gift: a promotion - (fredericksburg.com)
"And, as it turned out, the Washington Nationals organization had been keeping close tabs on Ydens’ recent personal offensive pyrotechnics."

FredNats notes: Romero, Cluff arrive for rehab assignments - (fredericksburg.com)
"The Fredericksburg Nationals’ roster got a major makeover on Tuesday. Left-handed pitcher Seth Romero and infielder Jackson Cluff joined the FredNats on rehab assignments."

Mock Draft 2.0 - (FanGraphs)
"11. Washington Nationals - Pick: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio) - Teams think this would be Rocker’s floor considering Washington’s needs and the club’s track record with Rocker’s advisor."

NL EAST UPDATES:

Abrahan Gutierrez Makes The Most Of Unique Season - (Baseball America)
"Phillies officials feel good about the state of catching in their system with Rafael Marchan at Triple-A, Logan O’Hoppe at High-A and Gutierrez gaining notice in Low-A Southeast."

Five pressing questions facing the Mets in second half - (NY Post)
"The first 81 games featured a heavy dose of injuries, strong starting pitching and resilient comebacks, mixed with a widespread lack of offense and the rest of the division not exactly giving them a run for their money."

Do the Marlins want to contend soon? Then keep Starling Marté. - (Fish Stripes)
"Eight months ago, Kim Ng became the first female General Manager in MLB history. Today, as we’re approaching the MLB All-Star break, she’s on the verge of making one of her biggest decisions to date: whether or not to extend pending free agent Starling Marté."

It’s July, and the Braves are still frustrating - (AJC.com)
"Forgive the writer for invoking the tired phrase, but 'you are what your record says you are.' There aren’t many more overplayed sports quotes than Bill Parcells’ memorable line. Yet there aren’t many that so bluntly convey the truth."