Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bullpen, Outfield, Roster Questions.

• Programming Notes: Can the Washington Nationals avoid getting swept out of Miller Park? Can Jason Marquis defeat Zack Greinke, the former Cy-Young-Award-winning Royals' starter whose decision to block a trade to the Nats made headlines this winter? A blowout in game one, a blown lead in game two, what will happen today? 1:10 pm EDT start time. MASN HD, MLB.tv, 1500 WFED, WHFS 1580, Sirius/XM ch. 183. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATIONALS ON NATS: 

• "Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo says there is only one problem with his club." - "Nats' Rizzo not looking for scapegoats" - Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com

• "But the more we thought about it, the harder it was to overlook Zimmerman, one of the most underrated difference-makers in the sport." - "Five landscape-changing Major League Baseball injuries" - Jayson Stark, ESPN

• NATS BEAT: 

• "'Mike is such a powerful hitter,' Riggleman said. 'He kind of did this through spring training, cooled off a little, got hot again.'" - "Michael Morse is heating up" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals plan to ease Ankiel back in after the long layoff — but they’re also evaluating what they have in Bernadina..." - "Rick Ankiel's return creates numbers game in the Nationals' outfield" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "A review by Major League Baseball has concluded Nationals minor leaguer Yewri Guillen died of an infection in the brain that was the result of an aggressive sinus infection, not bacterial meningitis as the team originally believed." - "MLB completes review of minor leaguer's death" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "And that's what I'm saying right now. He's a good pitcher, but he's not the Cy Young Zack Greinke right now." - Brewers manager Ron Roenicke - "Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers: Greinke, Marquis face off in series finale" - MLB.com Preview

• "And that's why, in another stone-silent clubhouse after a 7-6 loss at Miller Park, it was tough to find anybody who could come up with something they would have done differently." - "Nationals' bullpen crumbles in 7-6 loss to Brewers" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'He feels 100 percent, but there's some rust there,' manager Jim Riggleman said. 'He hasn't played much baseball in the last three weeks.'" - Riggleman on Ankiel - "Nationals activate Rick Ankiel from disabled list" - Joe DiGiovanni, nationals.com

• "'Rodriguez has been outstanding as of late, so to tell you the truth, I thought it was pretty obvious,' Riggleman said of the decision not to turn to Storen." - "Nats' bullpen blows three-run lead against Brewers" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Henry Rodriguez spent most every moment of this season as an afterthought on the Washington Nationals’ roster until Tuesday night." - "Nationals vs. Brewers: Milwaukee rallies to steal 7-6 victory" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "And that's what I'm saying right now. He's a good pitcher, but he's not the Cy Young Zack Greinke right now." - Brewers manager Ron Roenicke - "Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers: Greinke, Marquis face off in series finale" - MLB.com Preview

• "In 1997, the Milwaukee Brewers finished 78-83, third in the American League Central. In 1998, the Brewers finished 74-88, fifth in the National League Central." - "For fairness' sake, switch the Brewers back to the AL" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• "Jason Benetti, play-by-play announcer for the Chiefs, said that manager Randy Knorr feels Marrero is ready to make the jump to the majors, but the plan they have in place is to keep him in the minor leagues for the duration of the regular season." - "Ankiel activated from DL, Marrero remains in Syracuse" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Entering the 2011 season, Wilson Ramos had three main obstacles standing between him and the Washington Nationals’ starting catcher job." - "Wilson Ramos Progressing at the Plate" - David Golebiewski, FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball

• SPEAKING OF FANGRAPHS: New Stat - 

• "I’m pleased to announce that FanGraphs is now carrying a comprehensive base running stat: Mitchel Lichtman’s Ultimate Base Running (UBR)." - "Ultimate Base Running (UBR)" - David Appelman, FanGraphs Baseball

• "Base running linear weights or base running runs, or Ultimate Base Running (UBR), is similar to the outfield arm portion of UZR. Whatever credit (positive or negative) is given to an outfielder based on a runner hold, advance, or kill on a batted ball is also given in reverse to the runner (or runners)." - "Ultimate Base Running Primer" - Mitchel Lichtman, FanGraphs Baseball

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

• Class-A Potomac: "The P-Nats jumped on the board first with Steven Souza's leadoff home run in the second inning, but the lead was short-lived." - "OFFENSIVE DEFENSE: P-NATS LOSE" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "The Sens built a 9-0 lead before Akron rallied for three runs in the fifth and then three more in the sixth. Matt Chico picked up the win in relief of Erik Davis, who pitched 4.2 innings, not long enough to qualify for the win." - "Senators slug their way to 11-6 win over Akron" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

Double-A Harrisburg: "It took the Senators 41 games, but for the first time all season Harrisburg finally scored in double-digits as they hung on for the 11-6 victory over the Akron Aeros." - "Game 41: Senators 11, Aeros 6" - Mick Reinhard, The Sports 'Burger

Triple-A Syracuse: "Rochester got the scoring going early with five first inning runs against starter Ross Detwiler and never trailed after that." - "Red Wings strike early in Chiefs' 10-4 loss" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Ross Detwiler continues to give up more hits than innings pitched with 10 over three and 2/3rds, leading to eight runs (six earned) with just one walk and one strikeout." - "Wednesday’s News & Notes" - Sue Dinem, Nationals Prospects.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "To arrive at certainty, you need to start from a skeptical posture. The best scientists are impartial, not swayed by their own beliefs." - 

• SHARKNATSTOWN: 

• "With Morse at first and ricK anKiel striKing out 4 TIMES in his debut off the DL in double A ball, things are looking good for a Nix/Shark outfield for awhile." - "Shark, Nationals in a Funk" - Sharkadina: Roger Bernadina's Unofficial Blog

• NATSTOWN: 

• "Washington is last in the N.L. in batting average and on base percentage, and 14th in slugging. It's kind of amazing they're 12th in the league in runs per game with those numbers..." - "What We Knew About the Nats Offense" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "The latest is incident is Adam LaRoche, who was told that he could play the whole season with his sore shoulder, originally diagnosed as a slight labrum tear..." - "Fire Lee Kunz" - Steven, FJB

• "Remember when the Nats had a 6-2 lead in the 4th? That was awesome." - "Oh Henry." - Nats Enquirer

• "When Joe Judge was only 18 years-old Clark Griffith bought his contract from the Boston Red Sox." - "Remembering Joe Judge on his Birthday" - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News

• "The general feeling in NatsTown this morning is as low as it's been in while. It's not just one aspect of the game that has brought the team to this point anymore." - "The State of the Nationals" - Joe Drugan, Capitol Baseball

• "The Nationals can't afford to carry five outfielders and a pinch hitter, but at the same time Roger Bernadina has proved he can produce as well as the other Washington outfielders." - "Recap of Last Night, Ankiel's Return and What It Means And More Nats Town News" - William Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Kimball is my favorite type of Nationals prospect. Totally homegrown, a babyface built like an ox, possessing a hunger and aggressive streak not yet tainted by the harsh realities of being a full member of the Nationals." - "Gut says it's time for Nats to give Marrero a shot" - MASNSports.com Nationals Buzz: Drew Kinback

• "I hope everyone had learned their lessons from the previous Nationals that had minor, potentially playable through injuries that ended up needing major surgery." - "Did anyone think it was going to be anything else?" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Jason Marquis struggled badly, and was hurt by a Bernadina dropped flyball that was scored as a double..." - "Nats Rotation Cycle #10: good/bad/soso" - Nationals Arm Race

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Marlins: "However, no matter how you slice and dice the various studies and information on the matter of aging, the fall from grace of the aging Javier Vazquez was visually stunning." - "Aging Hurlers" - Michael Jong, Baseball Prospectus 

Braves: "Jurrjens (6-1) shut down Pittsburgh over 7 2-3 innings, never allowing a Pirate to reach third base." - "Punchless Pirates Fall to Jurrjens, Braves 2-0" - AP/NYTimes.com

Mets: "Kevin S: Why is it assumed that by Fred Wilpon saying Jose Reyes won't get a 7-year, $142 mil contract that he's saying the Mets won't try to resign ..." - "Email Q&A: Negotiating with Jose Reyes" - Matthew Cerrone, MetsBlog.com

Phillies: Our beloved fightin' Phils, who we all thought would win 100 games, are having serious trouble scoring runs, and the teams in the NL East have not yet conceded the division title to us..." - "Phillies fans: You can worry but it will be OK" - Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Daily News | 05/25/2011

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