Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Turn To Livan Hernandez To Avoid New York Mets' Sweep.

• Programming Note: The New York Mets have won six-straight, and with one more tonight they'll sweep the three-game Nationals Park series with the Nats. The Washington Nationals get Ian Desmond back tonight. They have a new reliever in the bullpen, a new outfielder on the bench, and a streak of three-straight losses in a stretch that's seen the Nats lose six of the last seven to fall into fifth place in the NL East with a 10-13 record after twenty-three games. Can Livan Hernandez overcome the recent headlines and stay focused on the mound to get the Nationals back on the right track? MASN HD, 106.7 the Fan in D.C. and 1500 WFED for tonight's game. Sirius/XM ch. 183 for subscribers. 7:05 pm EDT start time...Who's Watching the Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Washington Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez is a target of a federal money-laundering probe in connection with a convicted drug kingpin in Puerto Rico..." - "Nats' Hernandez looked at for possible money laundering" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The good news for the Nationals is, Werth seems to be heating up; he went 2-for-4 on Wednesday, and has a history of going on the kind of runs that can get an entire team humming." - "Not even nice breaks can stop Nationals' breakdown in loss to Mets" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'Unbelievable throw by Rick,' Hairston said. 'If you’re in the same area code, you’ve got a shot with his arm.'" - "Nationals benefit from disputed call at third" - Gene Wang, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Thursday's start for [Livan] Hernandez marks the 38th time he will take the ball against the Mets -- the most of any active player." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals: Nationals hope to catch fire to counter Mets" - Jon Star, MLB.com Preview

• "And Riggleman himself had a hand in this one, making a few late-game decisions that backfired and perhaps left him feeling like he needed to console some of his players afterward." - "Nats implode in ninth, lose to Mets" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington 

• "'I'm here to play baseball,' [Henry Rodriguez] continued. 'Just because it's a different team, I'm still going to go out there and give 110 percent.'" - "Bullpen addition Rodriguez ready to contribute" - Kristen Hudak, Nationals Buzz, MASNSports.com

• '"Ian will be here tomorrow,' Riggleman said. 'He will be in the lineup tomorrow.'" - "Desmond to return to Nationals on Thursday" - Jeff Seidel, MLB.com

• "'You go out there, and you’ve got to get three outs,' Burnett said. 'And I was just unable to get three outs tonight.'" - "More disappointment for Nationals in third loss in a row" -Gene Wang, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'It snowballed,' Burnett said. 'The first two guys could’ve gone either way.'" - "Mets rally to top Nationals" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "'The ball that Davis hit, (Bernadina) made a great effort on it and just couldn't get it in left field. If either one of those balls are outs we are in pretty good shape.'" - "Burnett gets roughed up in ninth, suffers first loss" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'Unfortunately, the luck didn't go my way tonight,' Burnett said. '[I] just couldn't get it under control. I just didn't get the breaks tonight. It stinks.'" - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals: Nationals unable to hold off hard-charging Mets" - Jeff Seidel, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Now, that's not to suggest that Stairs necessarily can afford a interminable dry spell. GM Mike Rizzo is a patient man, but even he has his limits." - "Looking for Stairs to climb" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• "'Unfortunately, the luck didn't go my way tonight,' Burnett said. '[I] just couldn't get it under control. I just didn't get the breaks tonight. It stinks.'" - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals: Nationals unable to hold off hard-charging Mets" - Jeff Seidel, MLB.com WSH Recap

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Better grounded emotionally through patience, we become stronger mentally and spiritually, and tend to be healthier physically."

• Nats Minor Leagues: 

• Triple-A Syracuse: "Chiefs righty Erik Arnesen (0-1) suffered a loss in his first start for Syracuse this season. He pitched five innings, giving up three earned runs off eight hits and striking out four." -"Chiefs fall 3-1 in rain-shortened Game 2" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• Triple-A Syracuse: "Syracuse starter J.D. Martin took the loss, giving up six earned runs on six hits through four and two-thirds innings." - "Mud Hens down Chiefs in Game 1" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Despite what you might glean from reading the boxscore, Senators starter Ryan Tatusko threw a good game." - "Game 18: Curve 6, Senators 5 (11)" - Mick Reinhard, The Sports 'Burger

Class-A Hagerstown: "Jameson Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in 2010, made his professional debut for the Class A West Virginia Power, taking on No. 1 pick Bryce Harper and the Hagerstown Suns." - "Taillon feels 'great' after brief debut" - Danny Wild, MiLB.com News

• SHARKNatsTown: "The rain supposed to come through in the 5th but The Shark wasn't digging it so he snapped his fingers and it stopped." - "THE SHARK MEETS SHARKADINA" - Sharkadina: Roger Bernadina's Unofficial Blog

• NatsTown:

• "The good news for Washington is that the bullpen, who has struggled in the last several games, is about to get some help." - "Henry Rodriguez Arrives Right When The Nats Need Him" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "[Chin-lung] Hu's ball to the right field wall scored the first run of the inning from third and both the other runners advanced.  After that, the floodgates opened, all while Storen watched from the bullpen." - "GAME 23 REVIEW: Snatching Defeat from Jaws of Victory" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "Today we are going to be talking about yet another Nats player that played his last Major League game in a Nats Uniform..." - "Former Nats Greats - #20" Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "Now, if that pitch registered 100, just imagine what MASN's radar gun reading will be for Henry Rodriguez? 105? 106?" - "Did Drew Storen really hit 100 MPH on the radar gun last night?" - The Nationals Enquirer

• "No comment from the team on when or why the 'botox' presidents are used." - "Abe slams into Teddy, George wins" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Storen was drafted in the Top 10 in 2009 and teams just don’t draft middle relievers that high, so him being an eventual closer for the Nats was not a question of if, but when." - "Washington Nationals should change closers immediately" - Zach Myles, DC Double Play

NL East Updates: 

• Braves: "Chipper Jones hit a two-run triple and finished with three RBIs to move out of a tie with Mickey Mantle and into sole possession of second place among switch-hitters..." - "Chipper Jones moves past Mickey Mantle in RBI" - Edmonton Journal

Phillies: "'No,' Rollins said, 'I was just trying to uncork myself a little bit.' - "Offense breaks out as Phillies beat Diamondbacks" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins"With brooms in hand, the Marlins took the field Wednesday afternoon at Sun Life Stadium to wrap up their homestand and their series with the L.A. Dodgers." - "Fish Wrap: Marlins 4, Dodgers 5" - GameFish, Fish Stripes

Mets: "Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey says he lost 11 pounds in recent days while sick but wants to make his next scheduled start Friday against the Phillies." - "Despite Losing 11 Lbs. From Flu Bug, NY Mets' Mike Pelfrey Wants To Start Friday Against Philadelphia Phillies; Dillon Gee Prepared To Step In" - CBS New York

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