Wire Taps: John Lannan And The Washington Nationals Try For Fourth Straight Tonight vs Atlanta Braves.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 8: Blood drips from pitcher John Lannan #31 of the Washington Nationals face after being hit in the face by line drive against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning at Nationals Park on July 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

• Programming Notes: You can't count on two Rick Ankiel HR's every night. Not that we want to limit Mr. Ankiel. The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves go at it again tonight in Nats Park. John Lannan vs Derek Lowe tonight in the second of three in D.C. The Nats have a three-game winning streak going into tonight's game. The Nats are 3-0 against the Braves with John Lannan on the hill this year with Lannan (2-0) against Atlanta. The Braves haven't beaten the Nats' left-hander since September 25, 2009...and Atlanta only scored two unearned runs off Lannan in that start. This is not a jinx. MASN HD, MLB.tv, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 184...Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

LET SEVERINO PITCH!! "The Nationals called up Severino yesterday as insurance on the trade deadline. He did not appear in any games." - "Atahualpa Severino optioned, Collin Balester to be recalled" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Severino, 26, did not make any appearances during his two-game stint with Washington. The Nationals will recall right-hander Collin Balester..." - "Nats option Severino, set to recall Balester" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "The Nationals will try to align Strasburg on a schedule that coincides roughly with Jordan Zimmermann's starts..." - "Strasburg likely to begin rehab next week" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "While there is nothing official, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is expected to start his rehab assignment within the next seven to 10 days." - "Strasburg's rehab assignment on horizon" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com

• "Manager Davey Johnson said Strasburg is in 'great shape' and is on target to have his first rehab assignment in the first week of August at Double-A Hagerstown." - "Club source: Discussions have Strasburg's first rehab start at Hagerstown on Aug. 6" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Strasburg is getting close to going on a rehab assignment - manager Davey Johnson speculated it could come in the next seven to 10 days..." - "Signs point to Strasburg pitching in D.C. this season" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Before Wednesday, Flores hadn’t thrown out any runners in seven chances this season, an unsettling development..." - "Jesus Flores making progress, gaining confidence with throws" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Beltway Baseball Live today at 1 p.m." - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The manager had changed — and the new guy, Davey Johnson, had all but anointed Roger Bernadina as the team’s everyday man in center field." - "Ankiel makes most of leadoff spot, powers Nats to win" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Livan Hernandez, who'd only lasted four innings in two of his last three outings, put together a six-inning, one-run performance." - "Nationals win third straight with 5-3 victory over Braves" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Mattheus again validated Johnson’s confidence in him, retiring the Braves in order and lowering his ERA to 1.54 in 23 1/3 innings." - "Ryan Mattheus’s emergence continues" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'You have to treat him like a hitter, but it's a situation where he's hitting .188 and the other guy [Ramos] is a regular position player.'" - Fredi Gonzalez on walking Wilson Ramos in front of Livan Hernandez - "Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals: Pair of Ankiel blasts lead way for Nationals" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "If they have any visions of climbing that ladder, they simply must do a better job holding their own against these division rivals." - "Ankiel homers twice as Nats win third straight" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "For the last few days, Nationals manager Davey Johnson has been talking about the top item on his wish list - a right-handed long reliever for his bullpen..." - "Nationals' bullpen will change again today" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Katy Perry's 'Firework' came blasting out of the speakers at Nationals Park and in stepped Mattheus for his 22nd career major league appearance." - "As Johnson seeks comfort with bullpen, Mattheus plays integral role" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Ankiel’s old team may still lead his current one by 10 games in the wild-card race, but the Nationals evened the season series against them at 5-5." - "Nationals vs. Braves: Rick Ankiel homers twice as Washington holds on for 5-3 victory" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Lannan is coming off a shaky start against the Marlins in which he allowed four runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings." - "Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals: Braves aim to put dent in Lannan's track record" - Cash Kruth, MLB.com Preview

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "We need to consider how our actions, in affecting the environment, are likely to affect others." - 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES: 

• Class-A Auburn: Hmmm, Carlos Alvarez?: "Auburn scored four runs on four hits. Carlos Alvarez, Bryce Ortega, and Matt Skole all added RBI hits in the four run fourth for the Doubledays." - "Doubledays Complete Sweep in 13-6 Rout of Tri-City" - Auburn Doubledays News

• Class-A Hagerstown: Adrian Sanchez - 3 for 6; Kevin Keyes, 3 for 5 - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

• Double-A Harrisburg: @HbgSenators: It's time for #monikermadness! Vote for the best name in MiLB! Former Senator Zech Zinicola is in the race! VOTE HERE.

• "After a career performance Sunday in Potomac's win over Frederick, left-hander Danny Rosenbaum is headed to Double-A Harrisburg." - "Lefty Rosenbaum to be promoted to Double-A Harrisburg" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• Triple-A Chiefs: "[Brad] Meyers allowed just two hits, walking five and striking out six. Left-hander Evan Bronson relieved Meyers to get the final out of the fifth and subsequent victory in his Triple-A debut." - "Chiefs crush Mud Hens in 8-3 win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Tom Milone: The usually mild-mannered Milone was ejected during his start on Thursday after giving up a home run that was originally called foul." -"Nats Farm Report for Week Ending July 31" - Tyler Radecki, Nats News Network

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

• SADSHARKNATSTOWN: 

• "The cap was a swipe at Red Sox manager Terry Francona, who had taken his own swipe at Nationals fans and the presidents race during a conversation with reporters." - "Teddy’s shark attack targeted Terry Francona" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "At least he brought some fish tacos with him to Syracuse, but it doesn't look like it is cheering him up..." - "Saddest Shark Week Ever" - Sharkadina

NATSTOWN: 

• "P.S. to Mike Rizzo: Thank you thank you thank you for keeping Droo." - Washington NationLOLs

• "Photo Buffet Of Nats 8/1 Batting Practice" - Danger Nat, Nationals Inquisition

• "Not to get ahead of ourselves, but oh heck, why not?" - Nats Enquirer: Strasmas is coming...

• "'Typical guys have a high on base percentage but I don't have a problem bunting a guy over [with the pitcher's spot] for somebody that can go deep.'" - Davey Johnson on Rick Ankiel leading off - "GAME 108 REVIEW: Ankiel's Power Surge Propels Nats Past Braves" - Dave Nichols, NatsNewsNetwork

• "Also expect to see a couple of prospects make their debuts in the remainder of the season: Tom Milone and Brad Peacock." - "Get Ready for the Pitching Carosel" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy 

• "July was a rough month for the Nats. The pitching was shaky throughout the month and several times imploded, while the offense continued to struggle." - "Nats’ July in review" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Phillies: "Manuel likes Hunter Pence as a hitter, but he also likes the energy Pence brings to the clubhouse, dugout and diamond." - Phillies Notebook: In Pence, Manuel got his man" - David Murphy, Philadelphia Daily News

Braves: "Allow me to stir the pot... The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are both converting their pitching staff to a six-man rotation for the time being, or the remainder of the season; should the Atlanta Braves convert to a six-man starting rotation too?" - "Should The Atlanta Braves Use A Six-Man Rotation" - gondeee, Talking Chop

Mets: "Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Santana threw on the side Monday, but didn’t feel great. So the team plans to move his next scheduled appearance..." - "Johan Santana’s Next Rehab Outing Likely Pushed Back" - CBS New York

• Marlins: "Or you become Miami-Dade County, which was essentially swindled by Jeffrey Loria and the Florida Marlins — he was the guy who buried the Expos in Montreal, remember — into a deal that will eventually cost them US$2.4-billion for a baseball stadium, according to Yahoo." - "Playing a very dirty game" - Bruce Arthur, Posted Sports, National Post

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