Wire Taps: Washington Nationals vs Atlanta Braves, Strasburg vs Hudson.

• Programming Notes: The spoiler's role. The fight for .500. Stephen Strasburg's fight back from Tommy John Surgery. The Braves' fight against collapse. The Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves end their season series with three games in Nationals Park this weekend. Entering game one, the Nats' NL East rivals hold an 8-7 lead on the year. The Nats have already won this season's series with both the Mets and Phillies. They're 5-10 against the Marlins, but they have a chance to beat the Braves this weekend and send the struggling Wild Card leaders tumbling off the top of the Wild Card standings. Strasburg will get one more start after today, barring any setbacks, rainouts, etc., but this is the last home start for the '09 no. 1 overall pick, and it's against the Braves' Tim Hudson. Ignore that rain in the forecast. 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: 

• "Johnson had wanted to let Strasburg pitch in Florida on Wednesday, the final day of the regular season." - "Stephen Strasburg will pitch finale in Florida, barring rain" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The words 'Strasburg Strikes Again' are included, along with the Web address for Nats tickets." - "Strasburg ad pitch for Nats is all about the delivery" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "A four-game sweep of the five-time NL East champs, on the road, with their four starting pitchers combining to allow three runs?" - "A turning point for this franchise?" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider

• "All of the call-ups have not only held their own, but have excelled at the highest level, which makes the Nationals' top brass pleased to see those results." - "Success of call-ups with Nationals not going unnoticed by prospects" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "In the four-game series, the Nationals won three out of the four games with young pitchers who were not on the Opening Day Roster." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies: Peacock guides Nationals to sweep of Phillies" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "If Strasburg starts that game, Ivan Rodriguez -- who caught Strasburg's debut -- will be his catcher for the final game in Sun Life Stadium." - "Stephen Strasburg expected to start season finale, plus lineups" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Ignore, for a moment, their irrelevance in the standings, and the past three days here have unfolded like some kind of fantasy for the Washington Nationals." - "Nationals vs. Phillies: Washington earns first-ever sweep of Philadelphia, takes season series" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "After completing a four-game sweep of the Phillies tonight in Philadelphia, the Nationals are in historic territory. And it's their pitching that's getting them there." - "With another strong pitching performance, Nats complete historic sweep of Phillies" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Manager Davey Johnson didn't get much resistance when he spoke to general manager Mike Rizzo about Strasburg pitching in the final game." - "Strasburg scheduled to start season finale" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "While Werth wanted to play tonight, he concurred with Johnson about the importance of beating the wild card-racing Braves." - "Nationals Manager Davey Johnson says the Braves are ‘in for a dogfight’ this weekend" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "For almost six full innings Thursday night, Brad Peacock pitched against a 98-win Philadelphia Phillies lineup bound for the postseason with no fear." - "Brad Peacock impresses again; pitches Nats to first sweep of Phillies" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "If Davey Johnson decides not to return as manager of the Nationals, here are some in-house candidates the club would likely consider..." - "If Johnson departs, Nats may stay in-house" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Porter, currently in his first season with the Nationals, will interview for the Florida Marlins’ managerial position next week, according to a source." - "Nationals’ Bo Porter drawing managerial interest, will interview with the Marlins" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "If the work is worthwhile, then whether we can complete it or not, it's worth making the attempt. That's why courage is important." 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUE NEWS?

• Triple-A Syracuse"Our project:  To decide on the top 12 most memorable on-field moments in the 2011 season for the Syracuse Chiefs." - "Inside the Chiefs" - Jason Benetti and Kevin Brown 

• SHARKNATSTOWN: 

• "Despite Mako Morse's attempts to steal the glory with a 3 run home run (which I will admit did help both my fantasy baseball teams), the Shark was the reason that the Nationals won this game." - "SHARK EATS PHILLY: Part 4" - Sharkadina

• NATSTOWN: 

• "By now you have seen plenty of other takes on this subject and whether or not CJ Wilson would be a valuable piece for the Nationals to have going forward." - "CJ Wilson to the Nats?" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "Rollins.  Victorino.  Utley.  Ibanez.  Ruiz.  They were all in the lineup last night that Peacock (2-0, 0.75) fairly dominated." - "GAME 155 REVIEW: Nats 6-1 Win Clinches Sweep of Phillies" - Dave Nichols, NATIONALS NEWS NETWORK

• "He really should have done it before now, and on a better team he would have.  It's just hard to win 10 games when your team is only winning 60." - "Ten Wins!" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Pudge was a steady, consistent presence behind the plate.  He pushed the pitchers just enough outside their comfort zone to help develop their arms." - "Pudge’s Final Days With The Nats Nearing?" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Marlins: "A person familiar with [Leo] Nunez’s immigration status, however, said the reliever has been playing under an assumed name..." - "Closer Leo Nunez suspended by Florida Marlins, leaves country" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "Willie Harris walked to start a six-run ninth-inning rally and his two-run single was the go-ahead hit..." - "Mets Score 6 Runs in 9th, Cardinals Collapse" - AP/NYTimes.com

Braves: "If the Red Sox and the Braves continue their descents, this September could produce two historic collapses." - "Wild-Card Races in Boston and Atlanta Slow to Excruciating Crawls" - Ken Belson, NYTimes.com

Phillies: "Perhaps most disturbing has been the appearance of Utley’s swings." - "Phils look for answers to Utley's slump" - Kevin Cooney, phillyBurbs.com

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