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Nats shuffle rotation so aces pitch vs. Mets

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Nats shuffle rotation so aces pitch vs. Mets

In perhaps their first true concession to the difficult task they now face in overtaking the Mets for the NL East title, the Nationals have reshuffled the order of their rotation, ensuring their top three starters all line up for their Labor Day series against their division rivals.

Max Scherzer, who was initially scheduled to pitch Thursday’s series finale against the Padres, has been pushed back to Friday night against the Marlins. That move, in turn, lines up Jordan Zimmermann, Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in order and lines them up to pitch against the Mets in two weeks.

Manager Matt Williams confirmed that was the logic behind the move, acknowledging the importance of that showdown with the current NL East leaders. The Nationals entered play Tuesday trailing New York by 5 1/2 games, with six head-to-head matchups still on the schedule (including the season’s final weekend at Citi Field).

“I know that we have opportunity when we face that team,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of games in between that we have to win to have that opportunity. Lining it up, we’ve been talking about it for weeks now. Given where we’re at and what’s in front of us and what we want to accomplish, it gives us the best option.”

The Nationals came under some criticism when neither Scherzer nor Strasburg faced New York during their last two series, including the Mets’ 3-game sweep the first weekend of August that propelled them into a first-place tie and ultimately a season-high lead in the division. The Mets lined up their three best pitchers (Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard) for both series.

At the time, Williams downplayed the significance of one series against his team’s chief division rival compared to other opponents on the schedule.

“If we get to where we want to get to, it’s going to take five guys, not one,” Williams said July 17. “I know there’s a lot made of it, and I can have an opinion about it, and everybody else can too. But if we want to get to the postseason and be a contender in that postseason, we’re going to need all five of the guys.”

RELATED: Span returns to Nats; pitcher sent down to make room

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Sean Doolittle's wife, Eireann Dolan, tweets about Astros' scandal

Sean Doolittle's wife, Eireann Dolan, tweets about Astros' scandal

Sean Doolittle's wife, Eireann Dolan, eviscerated the Houston Astros on Twitter Saturday afternoon in the wake of MLB's findings that the Astros systematically stole signs throughout the 2017 season, pointing out in her tweets what the scandal did to the Astros' opponents throughout the league that season.

Dolan pointed out that a large number of pitchers were scrutinized for poor performances against the Astros during the 2017 season, asking what those numbers would have done to their future earnings - not to mention mental state.

In 2017, the Astros led Major League Baseball in hits (1581), runs (896), doubles (346), RBI (854) as well as team batting average (.282) during the 162-game season en route to winning the 2017 World Series.

Doolittle reacted to the news of MLB's findings on Thursday on Twitter, thanking those who came forward to bring the sign-stealing allegations to light. The Astros fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch last week and Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora lost their jobs with the Mets and Red Sox over the scandal.

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Mike Rizzo shows off World Series trophy at Maryland basketball game

Mike Rizzo shows off World Series trophy at Maryland basketball game

The Washington Nationals aren't tired of showing off their World Series success, and for good reason. 

It's been a few months since the Nats won their first-ever title, but flaunting the Commissioner's Trophy simply never gets old. 

General Manager Mike Rizzo showed off the silverware in College Park on Saturday during an intermission in the Maryland-Purdue college basketball game. 

The crowd erupted in cheers and the band played "Baby Shark" to ring in the special occassion. It's always nice to see Terrapin fan favorite and SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt in attendance there too. 

In a bad week for baseball in the wake of widespread cheating allegations, it's a good sight to see the good parts of the game being celebrated. 

Keep showing that thing off, Nationals!

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