Wire Taps: Washington Nationals In New York To Start Three-Game Series With Mets.

Apr 8, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) hits a double during the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Jordan Zimmermann had a strong start in Chicago, but the Washington Nationals couldn't complete the season-opening series sweep. [Seinfeld yells, "Samardzija!!"] John Lannan was in Syracuse where he couldn't get past the second inning of his first Triple-A start since being optioned. Michael Morse and Rick Ankiel were in Bowie, Maryland's Prince George's Stadium where the Senators were at least able to pull out a win. The Nationals left Chicago with a 2-1 record, and now they head to New York and Citi Field where they send Edwin Jackson (vs Mike Pelfrey), Ross Detwiler (vs Dillon Gee) and Stephen Strasburg (vs Johan Santana) to the mound in the three-game set with the Mets. After that it's the home opener in Nationals Park this Thursday where everyone gets to see just how excited the nation's capital is about the 2012 Washington Nationals? But first, "Beat the Mets, Beat the Mets." And the LINKS...RIGHT NOW!!!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!!:

• "'I was able to locate the fastball pretty well,' [Jordan] Zimmermann said. 'The curveball and slider were both there today. I felt good.'" - "Jordan Zimmermann’s efforts again go to waste" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "One positive that [Jayson] Werth can take from this opening series is that he's drawn some big walks, indicating that he's still seeing the ball fairly well." - "Werth not concerned with slow start" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Davey] Johnson had planned to start [Jesus] Flores on Sunday but his desire to get [Wilson] Ramos' in more of a groove at the plate overrode that plan." - "Johnson won't keep Ramos, Flores on set rotation" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Adam] LaRoche never doubted his power stroke would come back once his surgically repaired shoulder was back to 100 percent. But those two home runs certainly confirmed what he already believed." - "LaRoche's power stroke is back" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman sports an OPS of only .700 in 100 career games against the Mets, easily his lowest mark against any team (minimum 10 games)." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - April 9, 2012" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com Preview

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann had a 3.18 ERA in 2011. Only 20 pitchers in all of baseball were better. His walks and hits allowed per inning was 1.15. Only 19 pitchers topped that mark." - "Nationals' Zimmermann can't hide from spotlight" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "This winter, when the Nationals said they would count on [Adam] LaRoche’s healthy return as a primary boost to their offense, there was reason for skepticism." - "Adam LaRoche makes a lasting impression" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'[Shoot,' LaRoche said. 'I still don’t have [Samardzija] figured out. I went up there in three [previous] at-bats, and he just carved me up.'" - "Nationals' comeback falls short in bid to sweep Cubs" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'I was able to locate the fastball pretty well, and the curveball and slider were both there today,' Zimmermann said. 'I felt good and felt comfortable throwing anything at any time of the count.'" - "Zimmermann's debut a strong one, Lannan's not so much" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "During this three-game series at Wrigley Field, the Nationals scored a total of three runs in innings 1-through-7. They scored nine runs in the eighth and ninth innings." - "Still searching for some early offense" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'We fell a little short, but we won the series, and now on to New York (to play the Mets).'" - "Nats come up short against Cubs after late rally" - Andrew Seligman, AP/WTOP.com

• "If [Steve] Lombardozzi does get sent down, the club will likely point out that he has fewer than 70 games of Triple-A experience, and a demotion has nothing at all to do with what they think of him as a player." - "Tough call on the bench for the Nationals" - Phil Wood, Washington Examiner

• "'[Adam] LaRoche is a great fastball hitter, and I tried to blow his doors off, and he took it about 400 feet to right,' [Jeff] Samardzija said. 'That's the way it goes.'" - "Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs - April 8, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

•"[Adam] LaRoche's career in Washington to this point has been filled with more starts and stops than D.C. traffic at rush hour." - "Thoughts, observations and leftovers from the Nationals' series victory over the Cubs" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "If a player said something hilarious or someone made an especially insightful or thought-provoking comment, you'll find it here." - "Clubhouse Cliff Notes" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Adam] LaRoche never doubted his power stroke would come back once his surgically repaired shoulder was back to 100 percent. But those two home runs certainly confirmed what he already believed." - "LaRoche's power stroke is back" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Stephen] Strasburg said he admired [Johan] Santana from afar while growing up in San Diego, and wants to have similar success that Santana has had over the years." - "Count Strasburg among Johan's admirers" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "As you develop a more compassionate attitude, you feel less anxiety, while your determination and self-confidence increase."

• NATS MINOR LEAGUES:

• "[Doug] Harris said the split for [Bryce] Harper playing center and right would be 'pretty even.' Even if Harper plays half his games in center, that would be a sharp increase over last season." - "Bryce Harper will play center field and right field at Class AAA Syracuse" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Michael] Morse can return as early as Tuesday from his lat injury. [Rick] Ankiel (quad) is eligible to come off the disabled list April 14." - "Nationals' Morse, Ankiel look good in Bowie, to suit up for Hagerstown Monday" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "So it was, with his former teammates in Chicago and no movement on his request for a trade, that [John] Lannan took the mound in Syracuse Sunday afternoon." - "John Lannan gets roughed up in first Triple-A start; Morse, Ankiel help Harrisburg top Bowie" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

Class-A Hagerstown: "Whether it was his college experience or the advice he's received from pros that put him at ease, Alex Meyer said he wasn't nervous in his Minor League debut on Saturday." - "Suns' Meyer proves stifling in pro debut" - David Heck, MiLB.com News

Class-A Hagerstown: "Brian Goodwin's three-run blast in the third inning jump started the Hagerstown Suns (3-1) offense as they came from behind to beat the West Virginia Power..." - "Goodwin Goes Yard in Suns 8-6 Win Over Power" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals dropped game three of their season opening series with Lynchburg 3-2 at City Stadium Sunday afternoon." - "P-NATS GET SWEPT BY LYNCHBURG TO OPEN YEAR" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Senators 5, Bowie 2 - Daniel Rosenbaum - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 HR; Eury Perez - 2 for 4, 1 3B, 2 RBI's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Yankees (1-3) pounced on Chiefs (1-3) starter John Lannan early and never let up." - "Chiefs stymied by Yankees" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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

• "Washington Nationals 2012 minor league affiliate prospects to watch" - Tyler Radecki, District Sports Page

• NATSTOWN:

• "In one of his last recorded interviews, Washington Senator great Mickey Vernon talks about his life and times in Major Leagues Baseball." - "Take a step back in time with these videos" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Washington, Cincinnati, those parks won’t stand the test of time. When you step in Camden Yards, you got the feeling that this was a ballpark that would be welcome in any era in baseball history.'" - Buck Showalter - "Buck Showalter takes a shot at Nats Park" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Call them the 'Comeback Kids,' the 'Cardiac Kids' or whatever you will, but the Nationals scored nine times in the last two innings during the three-game set in the Windy City." - "Cardiac kids take Chicago" - Nationals Buzz: Ted Leavengood - MASNSports.com

• "Last season, Duffy's Irish Pub in DC made headlines with a Jayson Werth drink special: PBR Tallboys priced to match Werth's batting average: $2.12 at the time." - "DC bar offering a new Jayson Werth drink special." - Nats Enquirer

• "Yes, it is too early in the season to make sweeping assumptions about any Washington Nationals player, but one player deserves a little credit where he's gotten none over the last year: Adam LaRoche." - "It Might Be Time to Retract Criticism of Adam LaRoche... For Now" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "If this MLB rumor is true, then make that trade tomorrow. If Chicago is inquiring 'again,' then make the deal before they stop calling." - "Lannan for Byrd? Yes Yes 100times Yes!" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "Gio will have a lot of eyes on him next start being that it's the Nationals home opener and given his poor first outing, and that may not be a good thing." - "Monday Quickie" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

Twitter: Dan Steinberg, Washington Post (@dcsportsbog): "Nats Park Scoreboard Walk new items: BLT Hot Dogs, Individual Fried Pies, Vegetarian folded Quesadillas and Churros, fried chicken sandwich."

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves/Mets: "Tommy Hanson's first Opening Day start was a good one, only one run allowed in five innings. The only problem is that his mound opponent was Johan Santana." - "Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Series Recap" - TonyAlmeyda, Talking Chop

Mets: "Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals" - Adam Rubin, Mets Blog - ESPN New York

Marlins: "'I respect Fidel Castro,' [Ozzie] Guillen was quoted as saying. 'You know why? A lot of people have wanted to kill Fidel Castro for the last 60 years, but that mother****** is still here.'" - "Marlins Manager Says He Respects Fidel Castro: Report" - Karen Franklin, NBC 6 Miami

Phillies: "Charlie Manuel and the Phillies are struggling to find the best way to field an effective lineup in the absence of both Ryan Howard and Chase Utley." - "Phillies Platoon Splits and Lineup Construction" - schmenkman, The Good Phight

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