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The Morning Briefing: Nationals Cruise into Second Place

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Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball headlines, news, and the latest news for Monday, June 28, 2021.

Good Monday morning, Washington Nationals fans! Thank you for starting your week with us. Upcoming Games: 

  • Monday, June 28, 2021: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals @ 7:05 pm EDT
  • Tuesday, June 29, 2021: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals @ 7:05 pm EDT
  • Wednesday, June 30, 2021: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Washington Nationals @ 4:05 pm EDT
  • Thursday, July 1, 2021: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals @ 7:05 pm EDT
  • Friday, July 2, 2021: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals @ 7:05 pm EDT
  • Saturday, July 3, 2021: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals @ 7:05 pm EDT
  • Sunday, July 4, 2021: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals @ 11:05 am EDT

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Today’s Top Story: Nationals cruise into second place, enter hardest stretch of schedule before All-Star Game

Don’t look now, but the Nationals are in second place and just four games – yes, I said four games – behind the first-place New York Mets in the NL East. With the Mets coming to town for a quick game tonight, the Nationals have a real chance to enter the hardest part of their schedule, just games behind the Mets.  It would have been great to take advantage of the last-place Miami Marlins with a series sweep or at least a series win, but in true Nationals 2021 fashion, the Nats were only able to come away with a split after winning yesterday’s afternoon game 5-1.

However, they did get some nice hitting from two important players who need to get hot soon: Trea Turner and Josh Bell.  Turner and Bell both hit two-run home runs in the top of the sixth inning in Miami, taking Marlins’ starter Sandy Alcantara deep for opposite-field home runs to right and left, respectively, as the Washington Nationals broke up a 1-1 tie in the series finale with the Fish at LoanDepot Park.

Max Scherzer gave up one run on five hits and two walks in six strong, throwing 102 pitches in a winning effort as the Nationals split their four-game set with the Marlins in a 5-1 win.

Max Scherzer’s Line in yesterday’s afternoon game: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 102 P, 70 S, 8/0 GO/FO. 

In yesterday’s post game press conference, Mark Zuckerman of MASN noted an interesting fact. When the Nationals hit a homer in a game, the Nationals are 16-7 when they homer twice – compared to 6-22 when they don’t leave the yard. Zuckerman mentioned this fact when asking Dave Martinez during the post game press conference. 

“I’d say we should try to hit one every day then,” Martinez said. “Somebody. We’ve got a lot of guys that can hit the ball out of the park and the stats show that. The guys in between, those guys work good at-bats and get on base. And these guys that are supposed to drive the ball out and hit home runs in a big moment, that’s what you’re going to get.”
Turner noted that it felt good hitting the home run in the top of the sixth.


“I feel like at times during the series, I haven’t had much to hit, and when I have, I’ve missed them,” he said. “It just came down to that at-bat, not missing a pitch I should have hit, and it went out.” 

Now comes the hard part. 

Related Article via TalkNats.com: Happy flight for Nats as Scherzer is the big stopper, and Trea and Bell are the big boppers.


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Nationals enter the hardest part of their 2021 schedule, will face Mets, Rays, Dodgers, Giants and Padres

World Series aren’t won in July or September; they are won in October. However, if the Nationals want to at least contend and be a part of the postseason, the first few weeks of July are going to be a major test of their strength. Over the next few weeks leading up to and after the All-Star break, the Nationals will face some pretty good teams with winning records: the Mets once (40-33); Tampa Bay Rays once (47-32) the LA Dodgers once (46-31), San Francisco Giants once (50-27) and the San Diego Padres twice (47-33). Phew… Just writing out the records of those teams is making me nervous!


Oh, by the way, the Nationals are still without a solid pitching rotation with Strasburg out and Fedde just placed on the IL, which leaves the Nationals with Lester (1-3; 4.99 ERA), Corbin (5-6; 5.33 ERA), Ross (4-7; 4.12 ERA) and the only, yes the only, Nationals pitcher with a winning record – Scherzer (6-4; 2.19). 


We will be with you on all the ups and downs over the next couple of weeks! It’s going to be a wild ride for sure!  

Related Article: Perspective: The Months of June and July are going to be the Most Important Two Months for the Washington Nationals in a long time.


Third base seems to be the Nationals’ most urgent need. Who should the Nationals target if they become buyers at the trade deadline?

If the Washington Nationals want to make a deep run in the playoffs, they need to upgrade at third base, provided they become buyers at the trade deadline. Here are a few options that Brandon thinks would work for the Nationals. 

Click here to read the full article.


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