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Nationals' Mike Rizzo admits 2018 season has been frustrating and disappointing

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Nationals' Mike Rizzo admits 2018 season has been frustrating and disappointing

On Tuesday, the Nationals shipped second baseman Daniel Murphy to the Chicago Cubs and first baseman Matt Adams to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a prospect and cash.

The mid-August trades were essentially the team's way of calling it a season as they currently sit at .500 and are 7.5 games back in the division.

A team projected to take the National League East for the third consecutive season, red flags began to pop up early in the season. But General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Mike Rizzo remained optimistic that this team, filled with both veteran and rookie talent, could fight their way back.

One day after starting the rebuilding process and admitting it's time to look ahead to 2019, Mike Rizzo reflected on the 2018 season while on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies simulcast on NBC Sports Washington.

"This one's up there with the most frustrating years that we've had. The most disappointing? Probably up there too," Rizzo said.

"The frustrating part about it is that we just can't seem to get a rhythm, we can't seem to stay healthy in one sector of the roster. We get one guy back and we put another big cog of the team on the disabled list. I think that's the frustrating part. Yeah, this ranks up there with some of the most disappointing teams that we've had."

The Nats currently have nine players on the DL, seven of which are pitchers, and the bulk of the Nationals' drama has centered around the pitching staff.

Between a players-only meeting, a dugout dispute involving Max Scherzer and Steven Strasburg, a reportedly almost physical altercation between Rizzo and Shawn Kelley before they designated him for assignment and dealing away Brandon Kintzler for what was said to be a financial move and not because he was a media source, one of the strongest bullpens in the league began to crumble.

But above all, the inconsistency from a lineup displaying some of Major League Baseball's finest was enough to begin an overhaul.

"This is my 37th year in professional baseball. I've seen it all. I've won a World Series and lost in playoffs in heartbreaking fashion. But to be as inconsistent as we have been is something that doesn't sit well with Davey [Martinez] or I, and that's something that we have to fix."

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Last-place Marlins use balked-in run to come back against the Nationals

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Last-place Marlins use balked-in run to come back against the Nationals

MIAMI -- Nationals reliever Wander Suero balked in a run while Washington blew a four-run lead, and the Miami Marlins rallied for an 8-5 victory Monday night.

Washington led 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings but trailed by the end of the sixth. Suero let in the go-ahead run, balking with pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega batting and Austin Dean at third base to put Miami ahead 5-4.

The Nationals (76-75) entered the day in third place in the NL East, trailing the division-leading Braves by 7 1/2 games and six games out of the final wild-card spot.

Washington tied it in the seventh when Trea Turner beat out a potential double play, but Miami loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning and Lewis Brinson hit a tiebreaking single off Koda Glover (1-3).

Starlin Castro had a homer and three RBIs for the last-place Marlins.

Anthony Rendon had three hits, including a two-run home run, and Victor Robles hit his first career homer for the Nationals, who have 11 games remaining.

Castro's solo homer in the eighth pushed the lead to 8-5.

Jarlin Garcia (3-2) recorded the final out of the seventh. Adam Conley pitched the ninth for his third save.

The Nationals led 4-0 behind an error by Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson, a solo shot by Robles and a two-run blast by Rendon.

Castro's two-run double in the fifth cut the deficit to 4-2 and ended Erick Fedde's outing. Fedde allowed two hits and two runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Miami got four consecutive hits off Jimmy Cordero in the sixth, including a two-run single by Magneuris Sierra, before Suero balked.

Marlins starter Trevor Richards allowed four runs in five innings.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Marlins: RHP Jose Urena (hand) exited Sunday's game at Philadelphia but is expected to be fine. Manager Don Mattingly said he was just experiencing cramping in his hand. ... RHP Dan Straily (oblique) is not expected to pitch the rest of the season.

UP NEXT

Nationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-7, 3.87 ERA) is the scheduled starter in Tuesday's game against Miami to end the two-game set.

Marlins: RHP Sandy Alcantara (2-0, 1.42) will make his fourth start of the season and third against the Nationals.

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Victor Robles' first home run give Nationals fans something to be happy about in September

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Victor Robles' first home run give Nationals fans something to be happy about in September

There is not much to get excited about these days if you are a fan of the Washington Nationals.

The team is still a week's worth of games out of a postseason spot and the sinking feeling that arises when one thinks of Bryce Harper's future looms larger and larger with every passing day.

But what should get one excited is this home run hit by Victor Robles against the Miami Marlins on Monday evening.

Sending out the first dinger of his Major League career, Robles made sure there was no doubt. Recorded at 427 feet, it was quite the showing for the 21-year-old in only the 23rd game of his young career.

Early in September, in the midst of a stretch that officially pushed the team out of playoff contention, Robles was called up to the Nationals for the first time in 2018. Monday marked the fifth start for the outfielder since joining the top club.  

A highly touted prospect from the Nationals' farm system, Robles has struggled since the call-up. He's only batted .150 in this two week period and .205 in two seasons with the Nats. This home run shows why there is so much excitement from the Nationals when it comes to Robles.

Joining Rookie of the Year contender Juan Soto, the future of the Nationals appears bright. *If* Harper were to leave this summer, the Nats appear to be somewhat set in the outfield. 

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