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Nats ask Strasburg to end losing streak

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Nats ask Strasburg to end losing streak

There will be plenty of side drama to tonight's game, with everyone wondering whether there will be any recourse for the Nationals ratting out Rays reliever Joel Peralta's pine tar-laden glove, not to mention Joe Maddon's less-than-complimentary feelings about Davey Johnson.

But of far more importance to the Nationals is the need for a win. They've lost four straight, and the last thing they want to do is extend the streak to five. Fortunately, Stephen Strasburg is on the mound tonight. The Nats have given their ace the ball three times this season while they're stuck in a losing streak of at least three games. Strasburg has won all three games: May 10 at the Pirates, May 20 against the Orioles, June 2 against the Braves.

Strasburg was supposed to be opposed tonight by Jeremy Hellickson, but the budding Rays right-hander was placed on the DL with a shoulder injury. So instead it'll be righty Chris Archer making his big-league debut.

Plenty of updates to come on the Nats Insider live game thread...

TAMPA BAY RAYS at WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Where: Nationals Park
Gametime: 7:05 p.m. EDT
TV: MASN2, MLB.tv
Radio: WJFK (106.7 FM), WFED (1500 AM), XM 187
Weather: Mostly clear, 93 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to CF

NATIONALS (38-27)
LF Steve Lombardozzi
CF Bryce Harper
3B Ryan Zimmerman
1B Adam LaRoche
RF Michael Morse
SS Ian Desmond
2B Danny Espinosa
C Jesus Flores
RHP Stephen Strasburg

RAYS (38-29)
Lineup TBA
RHP Chris Archer

UMPIRES
HP Jeff Nelson, 1B Cory Blaser, 2B Chris Guccione, 3B Tim Tschida (cc)

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Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

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USA TODAY Sports

Wizards have talked to the Spurs about Kawhi Leonard, report says

After already making significant changes to their roster, the Wizards may not be done this offseason, as they have been in talks with the San Antonio Spurs about a potential trade for superstar Kawhi Leonard, according to a new report by ESPN

Read this from Adrian Wojnarowski:

Still, the bidding war among Boston, Philadelphia and the Lakers never materialized. The Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto and Washington are among teams who've talked with San Antonio, league sources said.

The Wizards certainly make sense as a Leonard suitor. They are in the East, meaning the Spurs could trade Leonard to them and not have to worry about facing him as often. Plus, they have a solid group of tradeable assets and ones that seem to fit the Spurs model.

Otto Porter is a versatile, young player under team control who plays an unselfish style and would likely embrace playing in a small market. He also has a salary ($26M in 2018-19) that isn't far off from Leonard's ($21M in 2018-19), so the money could be easily matched.

The Wizards also have Tomas Satoransky and Kelly Oubre, Jr., two young and up-and-coming players. Plus, they have draft picks, though ones that are unlikely to convey as lottery selections.

The Spurs have reportedly been more interested in getting players that can help now rather than draft picks to rebuild. That makes sense, as they still won 47 games last year despite Leonard only playing in nine of them due to injury.

The question in any Wizards and Spurs talks would be whether they would want one of Washington's All-Stars in John Wall and Bradley Beal. It would be tough to imagine the Wizards parting with either guy for Leonard, who carries some risk not only because of his quadriceps injury but also because he can opt out of his contract and leave after next season.

Just because the Wizards have talked to the Spurs doesn't mean they are serious contenders for Leonard, but it does show they are serious about improving their roster this summer. If they got Leonard and didn't part with Wall and Beal, that would be some team.

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John Wall loves him some Bill Nye the Science Guy and so do Josh Norman and Wale

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USA Today Sports Images

John Wall loves him some Bill Nye the Science Guy and so do Josh Norman and Wale

The 2018 MLB All-Star celebrity softball game produced an unlikely friendship, one between an NBA superstar and one of the world's most famous scientists.

Perhaps friendship is a strong word, but for whatever reason, Wizards All-Star guard John Wall loves him some Bill Nye the Science Guy.

During the game, Nye — who grew up in the D.C. area and is a Nationals fan — poked and infield single and Wall celebrated like Kelly Oubre, Jr. just threw down a windmill dunk. He ran out to first base to congratulate Nye, who, at 62 years old can apparently still swing a bat.

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and rapper Wale joined Wall to celebrate:

Perhaps Wall was caught up in the absurdity of the entire event, which is by all means absurd. Wall was on a team with Nye, Tim Kurkjian, Jennie Finch, Andre Dawson and many other celebrities. They were playing opposite a team with Jamie Foxx and Jess Mendoza.

The whole thing was bizarrely fun and Wall and Nye's moment certainly stood out.

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