Wire Taps: Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies - Rubber Match In The Nation's Capital...America's Team???

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 31: Danny Espinosa #18 of the Washington Nationals celebrates his solo home run with teammate Rick Ankiel #24 and coach Steve McCatty #54 in the dugout during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park on May 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

• Programming Notes: Can John Lannan do it? Can the Nats' left-hander who made his MLB debut (and got ejected from his first game) against the Phillies finally beat Philadelphia? The Nationals have a chance to take two of three from the Phillies after knocking Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee around a bit, but it doesn't get much easier against Roy Oswalt. Another hot day in D.C. Another game against the Phillies. MASN HD, MLB.tv, 106.7 the FAN In D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM Channel 185...Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATSBEAT: 

• "The Nationals had been attempting for the past two seasons to acquire a visa for Alvarez and fit him into their minor league system." - "‘Smiley’ comes to America, playing at Nationals extended spring training" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Washington Nationals have a catcher who's built his reputation as a potential Hall of Famer in part because he's one of the best there is at gunning out runners." - "Ramos catching on with Rodriguez as his mentor" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "They got back to working counts, drawing five walks off the Phillies and becoming the first team this year to get three walks off Lee." - "Nationals do plenty of things right in big win over Phillies" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• America's Team? Drew Storen Thinks So...


• "In just four short weeks, I’m already almost back to full baseball activities and will be joining an affiliate shortly to get a couple of games under my belt before returning to D.C." - "Zimmerman: No pain, no gain" - Ryan Zimmermann at CSN Washington.com

• "Ryan Zimmerman will play in an extended spring training game for the first time tomorrow." - "Ryan Zimmerman to play in extended spring training game" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals are looking to trade for a center fielder and a leadoff hitter, according to a baseball source, who also said the club is willing to overpay to get players at those specific positions." - "Nats target center fielder, leadoff man" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'As good as he's playing,' Riggleman said, 'we certainly haven't seen the best of him yet.'" - Riggleman on Espinosa - "Nats Insider: 'Under-the-radar' Espinosa turning heads" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'He’s a ballplayer, he really is,' said Werth, noting Espinosa’s pedigree from the same college, Long Beach State, that churned out Evan Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki." - "Espinosa powers Nationals' attack in rout of Phillies" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "True, the Lerner family and general manager Mike Rizzo are trying to build the right way, from the ground up. These days, I’d say, the project is still at basement level, literally and figuratively." - "HELLER: Run up the white flag on Nats' season" - Dick Heller, Washington Times

• "Lannan has struggled mightily in his career against Philadelphia. The 26-year-old left-hander is 0-10 with a 6.44 ERA in 13 starts against the Phillies, already dropping two decisions this season." - "Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals: Phils wrap up grueling stretch against Nationals" - Cash Kruth, MLB.com Preview

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

• Class-A Hagerstown: Robbie Ray (W, 2-0), 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K's; Bryce Harper - 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, .331 AVG - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Jared Mitchell's two-run, two-out ninth inning double sent the Winston-Salem Dash to a 4-3 win Tuesday night at BB&T Ballpark, and handed the Potomac Nationals their tenth consecutive loss." - "HE WENT TO JARED: MITCHELL WINS IT" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Senators: "[Brad] Peacock pitched into the 8th inning for the Senators and allowed just two hits. He walked three for the first time this season, including Ricardo Nanita leading off the 8th, before giving way to Zech Zinicola." - "Senators slip past New Hampshire 4-2" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

• "Starter Shairon Martis was placed on the DL retroactive to this past Sunday. No corresponding move has been announced yet to replace his spot on the active roster." - "Game 49: Senators 4, Fisher Cats 2" - Mick Reinhard, The Sports 'Burger

• "After building a minor buzz in the Arizona Fall League last year, Peacock has stood out in Harrisburg this year." - "With adjustments, Brad Peacock becoming a top Nationals prospect" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Bats first baseman launched [Brad] Meyers' first pitch to center field for a two-run home run. [Brad] Meyers departed after five innings of eight-hit, five-run ball." - "Bats shut down Chiefs, 5-1" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "It’s nice that Brad Meyers hasn’t issued many walks, with #2 of ’11 coming last night, but he also gave up his third HR in five AAA starts..." - "Wednesday’s News & Notes" - Sue Dinem, NatsProspects.com

• "[Davey] Johnson believes [Bryce] Harper will learn by staying at Hagerstown and not being moved around just yet." - "Johnson likes idea of Harper staying in Hagerstown for a while" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• SHARKNATSTOWN:

• "Finally, just so you are aware, the Shark has a 4 game hit streak going and he aims to continue it tomorrow.  You may say, "4 games isn't much", but I say, every 56 game hit streak started with a 4 game hit streak." - "SHARK'D IN THE FACE" - Sharkadina: Roger Bernadina's Unofficial Blog

• NATSTOWN: 

• "The rumors that the Hero of San Juan Hill would take his first victory on Monday appear to have started in the press box. Could it be that the Nationals planted this story as a red herring?" - "Did the Nationals create a red herring on Memorial Day?" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "It's nights like last night that make the previous two weeks worth of losses that much tougher to take." - "GAME 54 REVIEW: Espinosa Carries Big Stick; Nats Pound Lee, Phils 10-2" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "And now John Lannan starts this afternoon with a chance to pitch the Nationals to their first series win over the Phillies since...well...how long has it been?" - "Today is the day for John Lannan." - Nats Enquirer 

• "Baseball Agreement will Help Old Senators" - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News

• "Danny Espinosa has been unable to maintain a healthy batting average. But he walks so much (this isn’t a surprise if you look at what he did in the minors) and hits with enough power that is ALMOST doesn’t matter." - "Some Less Offensive Offense" - Charlie, The Nationals Review

• "I don't think it will push them into contention, but I think when Zimmerman gets back it will provide a huge jolt for this team." - "Nationals Today: Dont Look Now But Here Comes Ryan Zimmerman, and Crow vs. Storen? " - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Storen is nine out of 10 in save chances with a sparkling 2.03 ERA and 24-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio." - "An early look at potential Nats All-Stars" - MASNSports.com, Nationals Buzz: Dave Nichols

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "We must insist on the observation that my right to happiness carries no more weight than others' similar right."

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Mets: "General manager Sandy Alderson instead may choose to deal Wright next offseason, a source familiar with the organization's thinking told ESPNNewYork.com." - "Mets morning briefing 6.1.11 - Mets Blog" - Adam Rubin, ESPN New York

Atlanta: "'I pretty much tweak something every day,' said the Braves third baseman."- "Chipper Jones banged up, but plays on for Braves" - Ray Glier, Daily Pitch, USATODAY.com

Phillies: "John Mayberry Jr. is a player with options. So too are Ben Francisco and Dom Brown. Michael Martinez, on the other hand, has no options – at least not this season." - "Having options not best thing for Phils' Mayberry" - John R. Finger, CSNPhilly.com

Marlins: "Hanley Ramirez could return to the lineup as early as Wednesday, but manager Edwin Rodriguez said he’s giving his injured All-Star a couple of extra days to give his stiff back more time to relax." - "Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramirez rests again, but back is improving" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

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