Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Welcome The Philadelphia Phillies To Nats Park This Weekend.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 18: Umpire Ed Rapuano and catcher Ryan Hanigan #29 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on as Jonny Gomes #30 of the Washington Nationals follows his two RBI single during the sixth inning at Nationals Park on August 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

• Programming Notes: Word is that fans in NatsTown should expect to hear a lot of "Let's Go Phillies" chants this weekend. The Nats and Phils start a three-game series tonight when Livan Hernandez takes on Roy Oswalt. Livan beat the Phillies last week in Citizens Bank Park, while Oswalt was on the mound when the Phillies pounded the Nationals 11-3. The Nats took two of three from the Reds to win their first series since they took two of three from Atlanta during the last homestand. Can the Nats hang with the NL East's best? MASN HD, MLB.tv, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, and Sirius/XM ch. 185. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Srasburg has not yet made it back to the majors from Tommy John surgery, but he does have a nameplate over a locker in the Nationals clubhouse." - "Stephen Strasburg’s next rehab start, and why the Nationals aren’t worried about his last one" - Stephen Strasburg, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "With a month and a half left in the season, Johnson’s Washington Nationals are no closer to finding an answer at the top of the lineup than former manager Jim Riggleman was in April." - "Search for productivity from top of Nats' lineup is ongoing process" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "When Flores rounded the bases after his home run, Zimmermann was about to come to the plate. He shook Flores' hand, and deadpanned, 'It's about time.'" - "In win over Reds, Flores, Zimmermann share the spotlight at last" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Matt Purke hasn't pitched in a competitive baseball game since June 4, when he tossed five innings for TCU against Dallas Baptist." - "Purke rarin' to go" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Before agreeing to terms, Purke took a physical and pitched in front of general manager Mike Rizzo and a member of his staff. Purke did something that is rarely done by Draft picks." - "The Nationals introduced Matt Purke and he will start working out" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "For Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt and Nationals righty Livan Hernandez, Friday will be a rematch against their last opponents." - "Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals: Oswalt, Livan set to face familiar opponents" - Cash Kruth, MLB.com Preview

• "You might be aware that baseball was once a popular choice among black pro athletes, who constituted about 27 percent of major leaguers in 1975." - "SNYDER: Decline in black players should concern all who love baseball" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "Between innings, Mattheus stretched out his shoulder in the dugout. [Jayson] Werth asked Mattheus if he was okay." - "Ryan Mattheus left last night's game because of ... Jayson Werth?" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Gomes took option No. 3, a running catch where the foul line meets the green outfield wall. Gomes caught the ball and collided hard into the padding in the left field corner." - "Gomes parlays big catch, timely hit into victory for Nats" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'Jonny took advantage of a good 1-0 changeup on the outer half and drove in a couple runs,' Arroyo said. 'It was too much for us to overcome.'" - "Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals: Gomes leads Nats to win with glove, bat" - Steven Miller, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'Some people had their doubts if he'd ever make it back up here,' Zimmermann said. 'He was busting his tail down there in Florida and finally got healthy." - "Flores, Zimmermann lead Nats to victory" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "When asked if it will be difficult to have to shut Zimmermann down once he reaches his innings limit, Johnson was matter-of-fact, 'No question about it.  But I got two more starts out of him.'" - "GAME 122 REVIEW: Jordan Zimmermann Proves His Worth" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

 

• "'They did the right thing,' Mattheus said. 'They didn't have time to sit down and ask me, 'Hey, how'd you feel?'" - "Ryan Mattheus says his arm is fine" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "At a full sprint, Gomes snagged the ball, took three steps and crashed face-first into the wall next to the 336-foot marker. He didn’t even try to slow down." - "Jonny Gomes shows off his glove - and his bat - in the Nats' 3-1 win over the Reds" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "'It was a good feeling, running around the bases,' Flores said. 'It’s exciting and emotional inside. You hit a home run back in the big leagues.'" - "Nationals vs. Reds: Jesus Flores, Jordan Zimmermann key Washington win" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Harper will likely be placed on the seven-day disabled list, according to a baseball source." - "Bryce Harper injures hamstring, likely headed to disabled list" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Amateur video showed the 18-year-old outfielder being helped off the field by Harrisburg manager Tony Beasley and a team trainer, not putting any weight on his right leg." - "Harper leaves game with hamstring strain" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Harper was injured rounding second base in front of a double by Archie Gilbert." - "Bryce Harper strains right hamstring, will be re-evaluated Friday" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Count Davey Johnson among those unconcerned by Stephen Strasburg's struggles in his rehabilitation start Wednesday." "Strasburg's schedule, Purke update and tonight's lineups" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

 Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "We must work to resolve conflicts in a spirit of reconciliation and always keep others' interests in mind." - 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

Class-A Auburn: "After repeated attempts to get the field ready for play, the field was deemed unplayable and the game was postponed." - "Soggy Infield Postpones Doubledays Game" - Auburn Doubledays News

• Class-A Hagerstown: Adrian Sanchez - 2 for 4, HR, 2 R; MIchael Taylor - 2 for 5, 1 2B - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Double-A Harrisburg: "[Derek] Norris, Erik Komatsu, Archie Gilbert, and Tim Pahuta had two hits each. It was also the third game in a row that Norris has homered in." - "Norris' 3-Run Blast Leads Senators to a 4-2 Win" - Harrisburg Senators News

• "Chiefs starter Brad Peacock dealt a seven-inning one-hitter with six strikeouts and five walks in the loss." - "Braves squeak past Chiefs 1-0" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Peacock allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings, but didn't factor into the decision as Triple-A Syracuse lost to Gwinnett, 1-0, on Thursday." - "Peacock allows one hit for Syracuse" - David Schoenholtz, MiLB.com News

• "Last Night In Woodbridge" - NationalsProspects.com

• SHARKNATSTOWN: 

• "The Shark went 2-3 last night, but had a mixed night running the bases.  He had 1 SB, but was also caught stealing and picked off during the game." - "Nats and Chiefs both lose 2-1" - Sharkadina

• NATSTOWN: 

• "Exuding a quiet confidence, one of the Washington Nationals newest recruits met the D.C. media today and explained why he felt the Nats were the right team for him..." - "Washington Nationals LHP Matt Purke Ready to Get Started" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "While they’re still not sure how series the injury will be, it appears as though Harper will be re-evaluated tomorrow and could potentially be going on the DL." - "Video: Bryce Harper Carried Off Field With Hamstring Injury" - Ballpark Banter

• "Ugh. Looking on the bright side: at least Harper didn't get ejected." - "Video of Bryce Harper being helped off the field after injuring his hammy" - Nats Enquirer

• "Senators manager Tony Beasley, coaching third base, was the first to reach Harper as he limped into the bag and was quickly joined by a team trainer, who helped Harper off the field gingerly." - "Bryce Harper Strains Hamstring in Double-A Game" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "Morse has been the shining star on an otherwise anemic offense, and could very well be considered the team’s MVP to this point." - "With About 40 Games Left, Can Morse Hold on?" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Marlins: "One of the sportswriters who covers the Marlins was splattered by bird droppings on his way to PETCO Park on Thursday." - "Struggling Florida Marlins lose to Padres, 3-1 - Florida Marlins" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "The former Mets closer is back in town, five weeks removed from the trade that sent him to the Brewers for future considerations. Milwaukee opens a three-game series with the Mets tonight." - "K-Rod back in the Citi with Brewers" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "Thanks to starter Vance Worley and Herndon pulling off the double-team, the Phillies took two out of three from the Diamondbacks to win their 14th series out of the last 16." - "Phillies best Diamondbacks in wet series finale" - John Finger, CSNPhilly.com 

Braves: "Chipper Jones homered in the fifth inning to account for Thursday's 1-0 Braves victory, and Lincecum's record fell to a mediocre 11-10 despite a tiny 2.53 ERA." - "One mistake costs Lincecum, SF Giants in 1-0 loss" - John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle

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