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We dive deep on the day’s biggest story and share links to everything you need to know.

Tracking the Nats’ historic chase of the ’62 Mets

Current Record: 1-8 (.111, 6.5 GB)

Projected Record: 18-144

Closed-Door Meetings Between Manny Acta and Jim Bowden: 1

Beards Being Grown by Manny Acta Until Losing Streak Is Snapped: 1

Parsing the Loss: Atlanta 8, Nationals 3. The Nationals looked pretty good at the top of the eighth inning. That’s when Dmitri Young, Austin Kearns, and Ryan Church scored on a double and a single, briefly moving a win into the realm of the possible. But the five Atlanta runs up to that point had been scored on homers (by Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones), which would indicate a slight problem with pitching. That theory was confirmed in the bottom of the eighth, when Atlanta had four hits, Kelly Johnson driving in two on a double and Edgar Renteria bringing Johnson home. As Jayson Stark points out today on ESPN.com:

Over their first nine games, 714 hitters marched up to home plate. Not one of them stepped into the box while the Nationals held a lead. (The only time they led in the one game they won, remember, was the moment the winning run crossed the plate in the ninth inning.) That’s gotta be a record that will never be broken.

Barry Svrluga Adjectives of the Day: “positive”, “resilient”