Hand blows another save, Nats collapse in Philly (updated)

Whatever the rest of this week has in store, of one thing you can be sure: Davey Martinez is going to keep encouraging his Nationals to block out whatever trade deadline chatter they’re hearing and just concentrate on that night’s task.

“That message stands firm. I want them to focus on today,” the fourth-year manager said on Zoom prior to tonight’s series opener in Philadelphia. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen an hour from now, nevertheless tomorrow or the next day. We’ve got a game to play today, and we want to go 1-0 today against the Phillies.”

That, of course, is easier said than done for a club that arrived at Citizens Bank Park on a four-game losing streak, with a record eight games under .500 and eight games still separating them from the division-leading Mets.

How many of the 26 players in the dugout tonight will still be there come Friday night? And how could they not be thinking about that at least a little bit, certainly after what transpired in the bottom of the ninth for the second straight day, when Brad Hand dealt his team another devastating, walk-off loss, this one by a count of 6-5 on Andrew McCutchen’s three-run homer?

“Guys that have been around, this isn’t our first time around this time of season,” said Josh Harrison, who ranks high on the list of players most likely to be dealt this week. “It…

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Mark Zuckerman

Mark Zuckerman

MASN Sports

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