Wire Taps: Washington Nationals drop 5th in a row; walked off on for 2nd straight night; plus more Nats links…

“I was just trying to go down and away with the fastball right there, left it up,” Washington Nationals‘ closer Brad Hand said of the first-pitch sinker he threw to Andrew McCutchen with two on in the bottom of the ninth last night.

McCutchen, of course, hit the pitch out to right for game-winning, walk-off, three-run home run.

It was the Nationals’ fifth straight loss, and it was the second straight walk-off loss with their closer on the mound.

“I haven’t looked at it,” Hand said of his final pitch of the game, “but it looked like almost middle. Just trying to get ahead in the count down and away right there, and, you know, made a mistake.”

Where was he at in terms of his frustration-level, after a second straight blown save/walk-off loss?

“Yeah, it’s tough,” Hand said.

“It’s obviously frustrating, just making too many mistakes right now. Not executing pitches.

“The stuff like that it’s definitely frustrating, but I believe in myself, i know that I’m better than that, and just need to make some better pitches.”

“To lose another game like that, all on me, it’s very frustrating,” Hand added.

Frustrating is a good word for it. Go read your links…


Talk to the Hand:

Hand blows another save, Nats collapse in Philly – (MASN)
“Whatever the rest of this week has in store, of one thing you can be sure: Davey Martinez is going to keep encouraging his Nationals to block out whatever trade deadline chatter they’re hearing and just concentrate on that night’s task.”

Brad Hand, Nationals lose to Phillies – (MLB.com)
“Never in the 53-year history of the Nationals’ franchise has the organization had a two-day span quite like this one.”

Nationals lose to Phillies as Brand Hand allows walkoff home run to Andrew McCutchen – (WaPost)
“Andrew McCutchen’s three-run home run off Brad Hand sent the Nationals to another gutting loss Monday in Philadelphia, and the trade deadline looms Friday.”

Nationals closer Brad Hand allows walk-off in second-straight game – (NBC Sports Washington)
“Brad Hand walked off the mound Monday frustrated with himself for the second-straight day after giving up back-to-back walk-off hits to extend the Nationals’ losing streak to five.”

Other Nats Stories:

Max Scherzer nearing return from right triceps injury – (MLB.com)
“Two days after being scratched from his scheduled start Saturday, Max Scherzer threw a 40-pitch bullpen session without any immediate issues…”

Davey Martinez confident Max Scherzer can block out noise, focus on pitching – (NBC Sports Washington)
“Max Scherzer’s expected start Thursday in Philadelphia could be his last in a Nationals uniform.”

Nats waiting to name Scherzer as Thursday’s starter – (MASN)
“With the trade deadline looming the following afternoon, and with the Nationals now careening toward a must-sell position after losing four straight to fall to eight games below .500, general manager Mike Rizzo has no choice but to consider offers for his three-time Cy Young Award winner.”

Mets, Dodgers listed as gambling favorites for Max Scherzer – (Washington Times)
“MLB’s trade deadline is Friday, and with the Nationals eight games behind in the NL East, Scherzer could be one of the biggest names on the market if Washington does look to become sellers.”

Where the Nationals could upgrade their farm system at the trade deadline – (NBC Sports Washington)
“A series loss in Baltimore and yet another setback for the injured Stephen Strasburg have the Nationals facing a harsh reality: 2021 might not be their year.”

Martinez not losing confidence in enigmatic Robles – (MASN)
“Robles continues to work with hitting coach Kevin Long in hopes of resurrecting his swing.”


MLB Trade Deadline: Mets have best odds to land Max Scherzer – (WFAN)
“There’s one prize the Nationals hold who rival GMs covet more than any other: three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.”


As Phillies pursue Craig Kimbrel, Seranthony Dominguez gears for a September comeback – (NBC Sports Philadelphia)
“The Phillies are actively looking to add pitching before Friday’s trade deadline. They are seeking starting pitching and relief pitching.”

Mets should push for Max Scherzer at MLB trade deadline – (NY Post)
“So the Mets should offer the Nats any player not currently on their major league roster. They should offer Scherzer, the impending free agent, an extension in return for joining them.”

Prospect Team of the Week July 26th – (MLB.com)
“After struggling in Low-A to start the season, [Osiris] Johnson has dominated in the Rookie-level Florida Complex League, including a three-homer, seven-RBI game last Monday.”

Oddsmakers connect Braves with several trade candidates – (AJC.com)
“The Braves were linked to several popular trade candidates in recent odds released by BetOnline. The MLB trade deadline is Friday afternoon.”

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