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Wire Taps: Welcome back, Davey Martinez; Nationals beat Marlins again; Nats’ secret weapon + more...

SB Nation logo SB Nation 9/21/2019 Patrick Reddington
© Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

It’s definitely a must-win series, with a must-sweep feel. Washington’s Nationals need to keep beating the Miami Marlins like they have all season, with 14 wins in 17 games so far, though the Fish could spoil things for the current Wild Card leader if they break out and finish up the season series with a win or two. Tonight’s game starts at 6:10 PM EDT...

Go read your links...

NATS BEAT:

The state of the race with nine days to go - (MASN)

"Let’s do the math. If the Nationals go 5-5 the rest of the way, they finish 89-73. In order to also reach 89 wins, the Brewers need to go 5-3 while the Cubs need to go 7-1."

Trea Turner's homer gives Nats a franchise record - (MLB.com)

"Turner's 15th of the season was the Nationals' 216th, surpassing the 2017 ballclub’s tally (215)."

Nats still see 'chance to do something special' - (MLB.com)

"'You hear it every day, 24/7 and everything,' Martinez said. 'You can't go on Google without it popping up. But it's fun. We're playing for something, and it's a lot of fun.'"

Nationals-Marlins: Washington gets on track in Miami with 6-4 win - (WaPost)

"These post-home run parties have seemed a bit quieter in recent weeks. Or maybe there just have been fewer of them."

Bullpen closes out Marlins to extend Nats' wild card lead - (MASN)

"The Nationals didn’t exactly ease their skipper back into the fray with a simple ballgame."

Howie Kendrick needed the Nationals, and they needed him - (NBC Sports Washington)

"Think of the advertisement: soon-to-be 36-year-old coming off Achilles tendon tear, with reduced positional flexibility and past hamstring problems, seeks part-time work."

Anthony Rendon’s MVP case is gaining momentum but running out of time - (WaPost)

"The National League MVP race once seemed confined to Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger, but Washington's third baseman is making a strong case."

Welcome back, Davey Martinez:

Dave Martinez returns to Nationals dugout Friday - (Washington Times)

"Martinez turns 55 on Thursday. He is in his second year as the manager of the Nationals after working as a bench coach under Joe Maddon with Tampa Bay and the Chicago Cubs."

Martinez returns to bench after hospitalization - (MLB.com)

"What was once an everyday occurrence held deeper meaning for Martinez, who returned to the dugout for the Nationals' series opener against the Marlins for the first time since a health scare."

Thrilled to return, Davey Martinez vows he's "going to be myself" - (MASN)

"Davey Martinez strolled through the clubhouse this afternoon, a wide grin on his face, his arm open to receiving hugs from anyone and everyone..."

Dave Martinez makes his return to the Nationals’ dugout - (WaPost)

"Martinez underwent a cardiac procedure on Monday after feeling chest pains during a game and missed three full games while recovering."

NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

The Nationals’ Secret Weapon - (Fangraphs)

"In a way, it’s a surprise Howie Kendrick is still playing in the majors."

Here is every MLB team's best rookie in 2019 - (MLB.com)

"Nationals: Victor Robles, CF, age 22 - Tune into a Nationals game at any point during the 2019 season and there might not be a more exciting player to watch than Robles."

Nationals clinging to Wild Card lead - (106.7 The Fan)

"The Nats need a sweep in the worst possible way, especially with eight games against the Phillies and Indians to finish the season."

Why ex-Yankee Derek Jeter made mistake by keeping Marlins manager Don Mattingly - (nj.com)

"Mattingly has never been one of baseball’s best tacticians or sharpest in-game managers. His new deal will buy some time for the Marlins to continue to develop a farm system..."

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