Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Set For Rubber Match With Reds, Stephen Strasburg Reviews.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 17: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals tags out Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds in the eighth inning at Nationals Park on August 17, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Programming Notes: Last night the Washington Nationals' '07 1st Round pick made what was arguably his best start yet in a game two loss to the visiting Reds. Tonight the Nats' '07 2nd Round pick Jordan Zimmermann throws one of his last starts of 2011 and the Nats' 2011 3rd Round pick is officially introduced to the nation's capital. Now-former TCU left-hander Matt Purke will be introduced at Nats Park this afternoon at 3:45 pm EDT and the Nationals and Reds will play the rubber match of their three-game series at 7:05 pm EDT. Another big day in NatsTown. MASN HD, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 187. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Although the Toronto Blue Jays and Pittsburgh Pirates clubs come close, no organization in Major League Baseball has improved its minor league system more in the last two years than the Washington Nationals." - "King of the Draft: The Washington Nationals" - Marc Hulet, FanGraphs Baseball

• "As the Washington Nationals (58-63) reach the final fourth of their year, they face a delicate, dangerous balancing act that could help their future but might deflate this season." - "Washington Nationals need to think long term over this season’s stretch run" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Left-hander Matt Purke, the third-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, will be introduced by the Nationals during a Thursday afternoon press conference." - "Nats’ Purke to be introduced to media Thursday" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• "'It sounds cliché,' Detwiler said, 'but you want to go out there and keep your team in the game.'" - "Ross Detwiler's best isn't enough as Nats' offense falters in 2-1 loss to Reds" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Then he smiled. Stephen Strasburg. After probably the worst outing of his professional career." - "Strasburg roughed up in rehab start" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "In the four-plus years since he was drafted sixth overall by the Nationals, Ross Detwiler has only shown the kind of stuff to warrant that high draft status on a handful of occasions." - "Detwiler's impressive night ends in Nationals' loss to Reds" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'I wasn't real pleased that [Detwiler] didn't show the breaking ball to Votto when he gave up that home run,' Johnson said. 'He went right after him with the fastball. He is just too good of a hitter.'" - "Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals: Detwiler fans seven, but Nats' rally stalls" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'Sometimes it’s good to have games like this, because you need to get knocked around a little bit to see what you’re doing wrong.' - Stephen Strasburg - "Strasburg live-blog: Fill your face with fastballs edition" - Dave Sheinin, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Strasburg experienced his first bump in the seemingly freshly paved road back to the major leagues when he needed 25 pitches to get his first out." - "Stephen Strasburg roughed up in latest rehab start"- Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Strasburg then recorded three straight outs, including his first strikeout. He was clocked from 96 to 97 mph in that first inning and rolled up 33 pitches with 25 for strikes." - "Strasburg struggles in third rehab start, allows five runs in Hagerstown" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann has 15 more innings until he reaches his limit for the season. Johnson is still not sure how he will handle Zimmermann's final innings." - "Johnson envisioning life with Strasburg" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals’ two most important at-bats in their 2-1 loss last night lasted one pitch each." - "Davey Johnson wants the Nationals to improve hitting with runners in scoring position" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Right-hander Stephen Strasburg could start for the Nationals as soon as Sept. 2 against the Mets, according to a hypothetical schedule manager Davey Johnson discussed today." - "A possible timeline for Strasburg's return plus a lineup shuffle" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Johnson has been playing the same game that fans and reporters play, scribbling out the prospective dates of Strasburg's starts and trying to figure out when he might return to Nationals Park." - "Davey Johnson getting anxious to see Stephen Strasburg" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "'The biggest thing that I am happy about is that here it is, I am not even a year, and my velocity is pretty much back to where it was,' Strasburg said." - Byron Kerr: Strasburg pleased with velocity, trying to improve breaking ball command

• "[Strasburg] ended his day with a strikeout after starting it with a walk and three consecutive RBI hits against the Lexington Legends of the Astros' farm system." - "Stephen Strasburg allows five runs in third rehab start" - Steven Miller, nationals.com: News

• "As for Zimmermann, he has struggled since the All-Star break after posting 11 consecutive quality starts before the midway point, and could be running out of pitching opportunities." - "Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals: Soreness won't stop Arroyo from facing Nats" - Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com Preview

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Moral ethics are the basis of world peace."

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

Class-A Auburn: "Led by a pair of go-ahead runs in the seventh and filthy bullpen work from Christian Garcia and Aaron Barrett, the Auburn Doubledays took the series opener against the Aberdeen IronBirds..." - "Late Offense, Bullpen Leads Way to 4-2 Win" - Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "An RBI double by Michael Taylor plated one for the Suns in the second before a two-RBI triple by Adrian Sanchez gave them a 6-5 advantage after two innings." - "Suns win, 9-6, in series finale with Lexington" - Hagerstown Suns News

• Class-A Potomac: Jeff Kobernus - 2 for 4, 1 K; Zach Walters - 1 for 4; Evan Bronson - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's - Potomac Nationals Scoreboard

• Double-A Harrisburg: Leonard Davis - 1 for 3, HR; Tyler Moore - 1 for 3, HR; Derek Norris - 1 for 3, HR; Tanner Roark - 7.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost for just the second time in eight games in a 3-1 defeat to the Gwinnett Braves on Wednesday night." - "Braves take pitchers' duel from Chiefs" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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

• NATSTOWN: 

• "It's just too bad that the Nats offense, which got Chien-Ming Wang off the hook Tuesday night after a rough first inning, decided to take last night off against Reds starter Cueto." - "GAME 121 REVIEW: Detwiler Good, Cueto Better in Reds 2-1 Win" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "Strasburg gets rocked! Everybody freak out!" - "Strasbump" - Nats Enquirer

• "So as people are eyeing Adam LaRoche’s return next year and have a strong desire not to lose Morse’s offensive contributions..." - "Davey Johnson Sees Some Left Field in Michael Morse’s Future" - Ballpark Banter

• "As the presidents were announced, George Washington banged his head into the centerfield gate, subsequently hitting Thomas Jefferson with a backwards head butt before the race even started." - "Video: Wardrobe malfunction at Nationals Park" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Oh, Pudge, how I have missed you. Now when will you not be broken?" - "Oh, Pudge, how I have missed you. Now when will..." - Washington NationLOLs

• The question soon becomes, what should we expect from [Tom] Milone and [Brad] Peacock? For Brad Peacock, it’s been a very fast rise..." - "Will Strasburg be Ready by the Time Jordan Zimmermann’s Innings Are Up?" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Mets: "The Mets won the series two games to one, their first series win ever at Petco and only their second in San Diego since 2000." - "Mets have Wright stuff to beat Latos, Padres" - Don Norcross, SignOnSanDiego.com

Phillies: "Ryan Howard does not seem to be too alarmed, but he also said there is something there." - "Howard has right hand examined by staff" - Todd Zolecki, phillies.com: News

Marlins: "Logan Morrison, who was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday, left Wednesday's game after tweaking his groin." - "LoMo tweaks groin in Minor League game" Joe Frisaro, marlins.com: News

Braves: "'You’ve got to give [GM] Frank [Wren] a lot of credit,' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. 'He didn’t panic and didn’t give up those young pitchers for just anybody.'" - "Prospects Delgado, Vizcaino, proving future is bright" - Carroll Rogers, ajc.com

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