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Nationals-Giants series preview: Will bad blood boil over again?

Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland have some history. (Ben Margot/AP)

This weekend’s three-game series at Nationals Park was supposed to be a possible playoff preview, a headline matchup to enliven August’s dog days. But it will not be that. It will be a meeting between a first-place club not facing a real threat to its playoff chances (the Nationals) and a division doormat light-years from the postseason picture with the third-worst record in baseball (the Giants).

The Nationals (68-45) returned home to beat the Marlins three out of four times this week to build a season-high 15-game lead in the National League East. The Giants (46-70) spent their off-day Thursday in Washington after taking two of three games from the Cubs in San Francisco. The series victory pulled them to within 35.5 games of the first-place Dodgers in the National

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