Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Edwin Jackson's Third Start, Nats vs O's TV Deal Chatter.

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 18: Ryan Zimmerman #11 of the Washington Nationals reacts to a called strike in the eighth inning against the Houston Astros at Nationals Park on April 18, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Nationals won the game 3-2. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• So how can Nats' starter Edwin Jackson possibly improve on his complete game two-hitter last time out against the Cincinnat Reds? Complete game shutout? Another 149-pitch no-hitter like the one he threw against Tampa Bay back in June of 2010? Another strong start, however it happens, is all you can ask of the 28-year-old right-hander as the Washington Nationals look to continue their winning ways by taking the seventh of eight on their season-opening eleven-game homestand which continues with one more tonight against Houston before three with the Miami Marlins this weekend in Nats Park. They've won 8 of their last 9, the Nats are one of two teams in the majors with 10 wins, and they're doing it all in close games which their manager said yesterday has them playing like they're in a pennant race, which should be benificial if the Nationals do end up playing meaningful games in September. But that's a long way away, tonight it's Edwin Jackson's third start. Who will come through late in tonight's game? Or will the Nats give Davey Johnson a relaxing night at the park for a change? Links and lots of them to keep you busy until 7:00... starting RIGHT NOW!!!

• THE BIG STORY:

• "The matter went to arbitration after talks between the Orioles and Nationals sputtered. While there is no known deadline for a decision, the panel is meeting regularly due to the urgency of the situation, sources say." - "Sources: Baltimore Orioles and Washington National's TV rights fees to be decided by panel of baseball officials" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

• NATS BEAT:

• "'I think [Stephen] Strasburg’s always the most impressive,' [Tim] Kurkjian said. 'I can’t stress enough: This guy’s gonna be the best pitcher in the game before long. He’s close to that now.'" - "Tim Kurkjian says Stephen Strasburg will be best pitcher soon" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "For the most part, [Davey] Johnson has been rotating [Xavier] Nady and [Mark] DeRosa each day. When the team faces a left-hander, both play the corners, and Jayson Werth shifts to center." - "Sluggish starts vex Nationals OFs Xavier Nady, Mark DeRosa" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Meanwhile, up in Syracuse, John Lannan got back on track after two rough starts in Triple-A. Lannan went six innings against Pawtucket, allowing just one run on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts." - "Nationals Pastime: Still no support for Zimmermann; Lannan bounces back" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "They've turned every game into a down-to-the-wire, heart-attack-in-waiting affair, so why stop now?" - "Instant analysis: Nats 3, Astros 2" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on Roger Bernadina's RBI double scoring Rick Ankiel allowing Zimmermann to spit the hook for his second straight no-decision." - "Zimm gets no support but Nats get a win" - Craig Heist, WTOP.com

• "'I just try to go out there and battle and keep the team in the game as long as I possibly can,' Zimmermann said. 'Fortunately, I was able to go seven innings again tonight, and the bats came around late.'" - "Jordan Zimmermann can deal with low run support if Nationals win" - Gene Wang, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals are still looking for a taker for left-hander John Lannan, but it is nearly impossible to trade him, according to a baseball source." - "Lannan not drawing much trade interest" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "There’s no ‘W’ next to the name of pitcher Jordan Zimmermann in the box score. But the Washington Nationals know better." - "Zimmermann keeps Nats close" - Kevin Dunleavy, Washington Examiner

• "The offense hasn't been there on a consistent basis, especially not when Jordan Zimmermann's been pitching, but enough runs are crossing the plate in order for the Nats to keep piling up the wins." - "Nationals Pastime: Wrapping up the Nats' 3-2 win over Houston" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'For us to scrap and get those hits and get on base late in the game and continually have good at-bats at the end of the game (is huge),' Zimmerman said, highlighting Espinosa's leadoff walk." - "The Nationals, the eighth inning and the art of exposing a bullpen" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "You'd be hard-pressed to find a ballclub willing to admit it tries to do nothing at the plate for seven innings before finally kicking into gear late..." - "For the Nats, the 8th is enough" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday in Viera, Fla., and didn't have any problems throwing the baseball, according to manager Davey Johnson." - "Wang strong in simulated game Wednesday" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'A win's a win, no matter how we get it,' said Zimmermann, who allowed four hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter. 'We're getting in the late innings the last couple games, which makes it extra exciting.'" - "Nationals score 2 in the 8th, rally past Houston" - WTOP.com

• "Washington Nationals right-hander Chien-Ming Wang threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday, the first time since March 15 that the sinkerballer has faced live hitters..." - "Chien-Ming Wang throws sim game, Lidge deals with vertigo" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann allowed just one run and four hits in his seven innings, giving him this ridiculous stat line through his first three starts: 21 innings, three earned runs (1.29 ERA), 13 hits, two walks, 10 strikeouts." - "Nationals Pastime: No win for Zimmermann, but another "W" for Washington" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'This morning was the first morning [Lidge] woke up without veritgo in the last week I think,' Johnson said." - "Reliever Lidge dealing with vertigo" - Gene Wang, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Roger] Bernadina delivered Wednesday with the biggest hit of the night. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh and still facing Astros starter Lucas Harrell, Bernadina smacked an RBI double that scored Rick Ankiel, tying the game at one." - "Bernadina gets back in lineup, delivers clutch hit" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Entering Wednesday’s game against Houston [Jordan Zimmermann] had a stellar 3.72 ERA. But in 52 career starts, his won-loss record is a lowly 12-19." - "Nats can't score for Zimmermann" - Kevin Dunleavy, Washington Examiner

• "When they added Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson over the winter, the Nationals knew they had the pieces to comprise a top-notch starting rotation." - "Houston Astros at Washington Nationals - April 19, 2012" - Zack Meisel, MLB.com Preview

• "The plan from here for [Chien-Ming] Wang is not entirely clear. [Davey] Johnson said today the right-hander will begin a rehab assignment with one of the Nationals' minor-league affiliates in five days..." - "Wang throws sim game, Lidge had vertigo" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'I really have confidence in our offense. I really do,' [Davey] Johnson said." - "Nationals comfortable with close shaves" - Gene Wang, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "As [Jordan] Zimmermann was methodically working through the Houston Astros lineup Wednesday night, the movie he’s watched countless times from the mound was on replay." - "Nats rally late, but stingy Jordan Zimmermann still starved for run support" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "For the third start in a row, right-hander Jordan Zimmermann didn't get the run support he needed, but he was solid, pitching seven innings and allowing one run on four hits." - "Houston Astros at Washington Nationals - April 18, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "If you become more concerned for the welfare of others, you will experience a sense of calm, inner strength and self-confidence."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starting pitcher Kylin Turnbull (0-1) suffered his first loss of the year allowing six runs on nine hits over 4.2 innings." - "Suns Lose 6-2, Swept by Delmarva" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "This is the first game effected by rain this year for the Nationals. LHP Bobby Hansen (1-1) was set to start for the Nationals tonight and will get the start for Potomac tomorrow." - "NATIONALS AND KEYS POSTPONED DUE TO RAIN" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-Harrisburg: "[Danny] Rosenbaum struck out nine while giving up just four hits and without a walk en route to the first complete game in the Eastern League this year." - "Rosenbaum dazzles in complete game" - David Heck, MiLB.com News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Pawtucket (9-5) broke open a 1-1 pitchers' duel in the top of the eleventh against Syracuse (3-10) reliever Hassan Pena." - "Chiefs lose first extra-inning game of year" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Line of the Day: John Lannan, P - 6 IP, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR (ERA dropped from 13.50 to 7.50)." - "Chiefs reach extras, give up 5 in 11th to Pawtucket" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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

• "The last 10 games, [Tyler] Moore is batting .351 with five homers and 11 RBIs. His season average is .289 with a .644 slugging percentage, while his on base-plus-slugging stands at a stunning career-best .997." - "Could Nationals prospect Tyler Moore be called up before September?" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Remembering 1924 – Senators 7 Yankees 2" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "As we have talked about on this blog last week and in the latest edition of Nats Talk on the Go (available on iTunes!), this Nationals pitching staff is really good at their jobs." - "More Fun With Pitching Prowess" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "The Gio Gonzalez effect: Jordan Zimmermann smiling during a postgame interview on TV, even after yet another start with no run support?" - "That time when Jordan Zimmermann smiled." - Nats Enquirer

• "With their victory over the Houston Astros last night, the Washington Nationals became the first team in the National League to reach 10 wins on the season." - "Nationals Are The NL's First 10 Win Team" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Once [Jordan] Zimmermann left the game, however, the Nationals pushed three across the plate, beating the Astros 3-2 and making a winner of reliever Ryan Mattheus." - "Washington Nationals Game 13 Review: Zimmermann tosses another gem, Nats win late against Astros 3-2" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Sorry ZNN, better luck next time. I really do mean that though. You should see better luck next time." - "Don't worry ZNN, it'll be different soon" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Would it be too much to ask for one more thing? Could you please score more runs before Jordan Zimmermann leaves the game?'" - "Jordan Zimmermann continues to impress" - Jenn Jenson, NatsFangirl.com

• "YO SHARK, WE DID IT" - "Congratulations Shark Fans" - Sharkadina

• "If [Peter] Angelos doesn’t feel like paying for televising Nats games, he is welcome to give it up to somebody who does." - "Panel will decide how much MASN owes Nats for TV rights fee" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Marlins: "On a night Buehrle dazzled the Cubs for eight innings, the Marlins pounded out a season-high 14 hits and a pair of home runs on their way to a 9-1 blowout of Chicago..." - "Mark Buehrle gets plenty of offensive support as Miami Marlins defeat Chicago Cubs" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "After last night's amazing Cliff Lee performance followed by a miserable Charlie Manuel and Ty Wigginton performance, how about we get over our duldrums with a Thursday morning Phillies quiz." - "A Thursday Morning Phillies Quiz" - The Good Phight

Braves: "The bats broke out in a big way the last two games of the series, beating up a couple of pitchers that are usually tough on the Braves in Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey." - "Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets Series Recap" - TonyAlmeyda, Talking Chop

Mets: "On April 19, 2005, the Mets set a franchise record by hitting seven home runs in a game against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park." - "This Date In Mets History: April 19 - Seven Homers And Frank Viola's Birthday" - Eric Simon, Amazin' Avenue

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