Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Try To Avoid Sweep By Marlins, Trade Rumors Swirl.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27: Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins warms up in the on deck circle against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 27, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

• Programming Notes: TODAY'S GAME STARTS AT 12:35 PM EDT. The Washington Nationals turn to left-hander John Lannan this afternoon as they try to avoid getting swept by the Florida Marlins and dropping their fifth-straight. The Fish throw rookie lefty Brad Hand in Nats Park this morning in his first start against Florida's NL East rivals. After last night's loss, the Nationals are 4-7 in 11 games against the Marlins. MASN HD, MLB.tv, MLB Network, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM channel 189.  TODAY'S GAME STARTS AT 12:35 PM EDT. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

 Twitter: @AdamKilgoreWP: "#Nats lineup: Hairston 8, Espinosa 4, Zim 5, Morse 3, Werth 9, Gomes 7, Desmond 6, Ramos 2, Lannan 1" 

• NATS BEAT: 

• "At about 4 this afternoon, the Nationals cleared the clubhouse and gathered at their lockers for a meeting called by Manager Davey Johnson." - "Davey Johnson changes the lineup, holds a team meeting" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'When you're good the whole year, and you start struggling a little bit, it's difficult. We know we've got to come back and pitch better.'" - Livan Hernandez"Nationals' pitching falters again in loss to Marlins" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Perhaps it was inevitable this rotation would hit a bump in the road at some point. It's not like we're talking about the 1971 Orioles staff or the current Phillies unit." - "Nats rotation suddenly faltering" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Seven hundred-fifty-four days have passed since [Chien-Ming] Wang’s last major league pitch, served up for a long two-run home run." - "Chien-Ming Wang set for debut, armed with signature sinker" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Johnson sat center fielder Roger Bernadina, shortstop Ian Desmond, catcher Wilson Ramos and right fielder Jayson Werth. All four are slumping, and Johnson wanted to give them a mental break." - "Johnson shakes up lineup after tough loss" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• Twitter @JimBowdenESPNxm: "Nats-Twins working hard on multi-player deal involving Storen and Span and others," 

• "I have not confirmed Rosenthal’s report, but the trade would make sense for both sides." - "Drew Storen on trade rumors: ‘This is where I want to be.’" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Jonny] Gomes was not in the starting lineup on his first day in Washington, giving him time, manager Davey Johnson said, to become acclimated to his new surroundings and his new teammates." - "Nationals' Jonny Gomes, Laynce Nix seeing Red in platoon role" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "An executive of one club involved in these talks says he was told that two National League teams, yet to be identified, are working on this deal, as well. Other clubs are conjecturing that one of them almost certainly is Washington." - Colorado Rockies shopping ace Ubaldo Jimenez - Jayson Stark, ESPN

• "Jim Riggleman suddenly and stunningly walked away; he was replaced by Johnson, who had been an adviser for the team — and the wheels came off the bus." - "Nationals move back to basement, just when they were getting on their feet" - Tracee Hamilton, The Washington Post

• "'I told them what I told you - that I basically had a set lineup, the one that gave us what I thought was the best chance to win,' Johnson said." - "In team meeting, Johnson tells players he'll use bench more" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'We just kind of figured out what my number would be,' he said laughing, his Nationals No. 30 jersey hanging behind him." - "Gomes embraces his new surroundings" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "The comments have been trickling out of the Nationals’ clubhouse the past few games. The team has come out 'flat' since the All-Star break. They’re looking for a 'spark.'" - "Nats' 9th-inning rally not enough in 7-5 loss to Marlins" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Since tying a season high with six runs allowed on May 21, [Lannan] has posted a 2.28 ERA and .218 batting average against in his last 11 starts." - "Florida Marlins at Washington Nationals: Marlins put sweep in Hand's hand" - MLB.com Preview

• "Fifty years ago, on Oct. 1, 1961, Sal Durante caught Roger Maris' 61st home run at Yankee Stadium." - "The best bargain of the season" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com

• Twitter / @Ken_Rosenthal: Sources: #Nationals continuing to target #Twins' Span. Nats' Storen may be in play. #tradedeadline #MLB

• "He’s older than night baseball, older than televised baseball, older than the ground-rule double, older than the All-Star Game." - "At 80 years of age, Marlins' Jack McKeon still has his fastball" - Dave Sheinin, The Washington Post

• "When you've got a GM giving up some of his prospects for you, it opens up your eyes and you don't want to bum him out by any means. I'm over here to play and prove myself and prove him right." - Jonny Gomes -  "Gomes talks Nationals, Davey holds meeting" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I told [manager Davey Johnson] that I could play left, I could play right. I'm comfortable doing everything,' Gomes said." - "Nationals add Jonny Gomes to roster, designate Matt Stairs" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'I think we’re frustrated,' closer Drew Storen said. 'But I think we’re also battling. It would have been easy for us to roll over and feel bad for ourselves and go home.'" - "Nationals vs. Marlins: Washington’s ninth-inning rally dies at warning track" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'Our guys had some great hits,' Johnson said. 'I'm really proud of the way the guys battled back. We came back against some really good pitching. It was exciting. ... The bats just woke up too late.'" - "Florida Marlins at Washington Nationals: Nationals' late rally falls short" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "It seems wrong to think kindness is exclusively the business of religion; something to be neglected if one isn’t interested in spirituality."

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

Class-A Auburn: Brad Meyers, in his second rehab start from AAA-Syracuse pitched four innings of one run, two hit baseball." - "Meyers and Dupra Shut Down Renegades" - Auburn Doubledays News

• Class-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns will hold Nick Adenhart Night at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Adenhart grew up in the Hagerstown community..." - "Nick Adenhart Night" - Hagerstown Suns Community

Class-A Potomac: "Sammy Solis was outstanding into the eighth inning and was again supported by early offense as the Potomac Nationals ..." - "SOLIS SHINES, NATS WIN 5-1" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Bryce Harper hit his first Double-A home run and birthday boy Devin Ivany hit a three-run shot to bring the Harrisburg Senators to a 6-3 win over the Bowie Baysox Wednesday afternoon." - "Senators use long ball in 6-3 win over Bowie" - Harrisburg Senators News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Hitting coach Troy Gingrich described it economically: 'The pitcher had him 0-2 and missed his spot.'" - "Harper slams first Double-A home run" - Brendon Desrochers, MiLB.com News

• "Bryce Harper hit a seventh inning two run Home Run off of Bowie Baysox pitcher Michael Ballard." - "Bryce Harper Hits His First Double-A Home Run For The Harrisburg Senators" - HarperMania.com

Triple-Syracuse: "Brad Peacock carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning as the Syracuse Chiefs (45-58), the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, beat the Columbus Clippers (65-40) 2-0 Wednesday at Alliance Bank Stadium. " - "Peacock, Chiefs one-hit Clippers" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "[Brad] Peacock pitched seven no-hit innings before allowing a leadoff double in the eighth inning as Triple-A Syracuse one-hit Columbus, 2-0." - "Peacock takes no-hit bid into eighth" - Robert Emrich, MiLB.com News

• "Coming off that Player of the Year honor last season, [Tyler] Moore is batting .273 with a league-leading 24 homers and 69 RBIs in 101 games in the Eastern League." - "Tyler Moore best example of prospect depth at first base" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Thursday’s News & Notes" - NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN: 

• "'Livo used a lot of pitches in four innings. I've never seen him around 80 pitches in four innings. He was close to 90, and I took him out. He is usually in the seventh inning by that time,' Johnson commented." - "GAME 103 REVIEW: Nats Show Up Too Late in 7-5 Loss" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "While he's not high on the list of anyone's priority list, Nix's field versatility (LF, RF, CF, 1B) and ability to hit for power could make him a very cheap acquisition for a contending club." - "Trade Watch 2011: Laynce Nix" - Laynce Nix, Capitol Baseball

• "To me, that’s a little bit scary, especially when you consider what a potential price tag would be for a hurler who finished top three in the Cy Young Award voting last year." - "Washington Nationals May Be Attempting To Trade For Ubaldo Jimenez" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Long-time presidents race interloper That Cat made another disruptive appearance Wednesday night at Nationals Park." - "Video: That Cat returns, takes out three presidents" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "At face value, this trade looks random and unnecessary. Gomes is 30 with a .211/.339/.399 like for the year, not exactly the type of player in the Nats’ long-term plans." - "What Gomes Trade Means for Other Deals Before Deadline Day" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• "Ask your manager if winning is right for you. Side effects include extreme joy and potential championships." - "Losing hurts. Winning can help. Ask your manager..." - Washington NationLOLs

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Marlins: "'I think he wants to be Mr. Marlin forever,' Ramirez said of Conine, who was given that moniker during his eight seasons with the team." - "Florida Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez has harsh words for Jeff Conine" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Mets"Carlos Beltran is gone. Well, not officially. That will happen sometime Thursday, and when he dons a San Francisco Giants uniform at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night..." - "What Is Carlos Beltran's New York Mets Legacy? Slugger A Soon-To-Be San Francisco Giant" - Ed Coleman, CBS New York

Braves"Life has been anything but easy for the Braves since the All-Star break." - "Pittsburgh Pirates at Atlanta Braves: Braves shake off fatigue to walk off again" - Mark Bowman, MLB.com ATL Recap

Phillies: "I guess I don't have to talk about Beltran no more, do I?" Charlie Manuel said across the field in the home dugout." - "While Phillies watch approaching trade deadline, Giants acquire Mets' Beltran" - Matt Gelb Philadelphia Inquirer

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