Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Offense Comes Up Short In Game One In Colorado.

June 25, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis (26) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

• Around these parts we call it the "Cy" phenomenon. The Nationals have a unique ability to make average pitchers look better than they actually are. Last night it was Jeff "Cy" Francis who held the Nats' hitters down. "We just didn't do anything against [Francis]," Davey Johnson told reporters after the game, "He threw a lot of off speed pitches to us. Our approach wasn't very good. Just got to get something going here." Francis held the Nats to two runs on five hits in 5.0 IP in last night's loss. "We didn't hardly get good at bats against Francis and Francis is featuring basically an 84 mph fastball, a little changeup and slow hook," Johnson said, "The guy that hit the ball hardest was our pitcher." After Francis, the Nats were held scoreless by the Rockies' relievers, striking out five times in four innings, but it was their struggles against Francis that had Davey Johnson shaking his head after the game. "We've faced some pitchers that everybody jumps all over," Johnson said, "And they look like Sandy Koufax out there. We've just got to change our approach and get a little smarter." Maybe the Nats' hitters will be smarter after they read all these links. 8:40 pm EDT start time again tonight, a whole lot of links, RIGHT NOW!!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Only four of the 21 batters the left-hander [Jeff Francis] faced got ahead in the count. None worked his way into a three-ball count." - "Rattled by the Rockies" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• NATS BEAT:

• "Since [Tyler] Moore returned from the minors, he has been one of the Nationals’ most effective hitters." -"Tyler Moore headed for more playing time" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "A loss by Strasburg is as rare as oxygen at the higher elevations of the Mile High City. It was his first setback since May 15." - "Strasburg not affected after hitting Scutaro, but upset with Rockies rally" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "In the past 11 games, if [Steve] Lombardozzi isn’t playing left field, [Tyler] Moore is as the Nationals have faced far more left-handed pitching than they did early in the season." - "Moore at ease second time around" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "His performance has not gone unnoticed by the managerial staff," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said." - Davey Johnson on Tyler Moore - "Moore could see more time in lineup" - Trey Scott, nationals.com: News

• "Bryce Harper isn't a batter. He is baseball's version of a carnival barker." - "Bryce Harper leading Nationals into series opener against Rockies" - Troy E. Renck, The Denver Post

• "Stephen Strasburg operated at the full extent of his considerable ability for most of Monday night." - "Stephen Strasburg’s first start at Coors Field ends with a loss" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Mark] DeRosa went 1-for-11 with two RBIs and four walks in four games with Potomac. He will back up Ryan Zimmerman at third base and serve as another right-handed bat off the bench." - "Nationals Pastime: Every game's a close one, plus DeRosa update (DeRosa activated, Nady to DL)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Mark] DeRosa was taking batting practice in Los Angeles on April 28 when he felt his left oblique tighten up and he knew something was wrong." - "After rough stretch, Mark DeRosa's back and working his way back into game shape" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "After missing 50 games with a left oblique strain, Mark DeRosa was reinstated by the Nationals on Monday." - "DeRosa activated; Nady goes on DL" - Trey Scott, nationals.com: News

• "Rockies lefty Jeff Francis had an 8.56 ERA entering last night's game. He allowed just five hits and two runs in five strong innings against the Nationals..." - "Nationals Pastime: Offense looking a bit offensive" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "But, like pretty much every player around the league in late June, [Bryce] Harper is still dealing with soreness that requires regular attention." - "Bryce Harper still receiving ‘preventative’ treatment on back" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Bryce Harper is getting daily treatment on his back, which he tweaked while diving for a ball June 7 against the Mets." - "Harper getting treatment for sore back" - Trey Scott, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals wake up this morning, having been in first place in the National League East for 80 days." - "Nationals have to guard against letdown games" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• via the Washington Post's Thomas Boswell on Twitter (@ThomasBoswellWP):

• "The 23-year-old right-hander wasn't as dominant as usual, but he clearly wasn't intimidated by Coors Field's nasty reputation." - "Rockies defeat Washington Nationals as Jeff Francis pitches well" - Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

• "After staying on the ground for a few seconds, [Marco] Scutaro got up and talked things over with a trainer. He left the game, but appeared to be OK." - "Nationals Pastime: Strasburg gives up lead after hitting Scutaro in head" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Washington Nationals subbed out one right-handed bench player for another on Monday when they activated Mark DeRosa from the disabled list and placed Xavier Nady on it." - "Nady dealing with wrist issue since spring training" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Jeff] Francis couldn't match [Stephen] Strasburg's 97 mph power, but the left-hander had his finesse game in order." - "Rockies open homestand with victory over Nationals" - Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

• "[Stephen] Strasburg (9-2) was trying to become the first National pitcher ever to earn a win in seven consecutive starts..." - "Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies - June 25, 2012" - Trey Scott, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "For the 37th time in 71 games, the Nationals scored three runs or less Monday night."- "Nationals' offensive issues lead to another loss" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "As individuals and nations become increasingly interdependent, we have no choice but to develop a sense of universal responsibility."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (5-3) put up seven runs in the bottom of the second to cruise to a 7-2 victory over the Jamestown Jammers (3-5) on Monday night at Falcon Park." - "Doubledays use 7-run inning to defeat Jammers, 7-2" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "Josh Smoker (1) pitched the final two innings and earned the save in his season debut with the Suns on one hit, one walk and one strike out." - "Leonida Leads Suns Over Shorebirds" - Hagerstown Suns News

• "The 22-year-old Meyer, who has been selected to pitch in the Futures Game on July 8 during All-Star week, looks to be gaining serious momentum." - "This one goes to 11: Meyer and Karns shine with spectacular strikeout tallies" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Potomac: "Rehabbing from a right shoulder injury, [Cole] Kimball tossed two shutout innings allowing two batters to reach on an error and a hit by pitch. Of the 26 pitches he threw, 19 of them were for strikes." - "P-Nats Lose No-Hitter, Lead Late to Wilmington" - Potomac Nationals News

• "During his rehab assignments, [Cole] Kimball has gone two innings without allowing a run, with just two hits, no walks and three strikeouts." - "Nationals reliever Cole Kimball will start tonight for Potomac (updated)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Double-A Harrisburg: "The Harrisburg Senators scored eight runs in the second inning on Monday night in New Hampshire and hung on for a 9-8 over the Fisher Cats." - "Senators Finish Road Trip with 9-8 Win" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

Triple-A Syracuse: "With the win, the Chiefs extended their season-high win streak to eight games and wrapped up their 20-game homestand with a 14-6 record." - "Chiefs finish homestand with eighth straight win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Brown-watch: 1-for-4, BB, 2 R, RBI, K. [Corey] Brown is up to a career-best 13-game hit streak with a second inning single." - "Mark Teahen is going to teach his son to hit left handed...good move" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "Last Night In Woodbridge" - NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "In that spirit, ESPN 980’s Thom Loverro asked ESPN’s Lindsay Czarniak last week to rank Harper, Ovechkin and RGIII for the amount of buzz currently created in Bristol." - "Morning pixels: ‘Bryce Harper madness’ at ESPN" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "June 26, 1901 - A 5-4 victory over visiting Philadelphia moves the Nationals into a 3rd place tie with the Baltimore Orioles. Overall, the Nationals are 24-20, 4 and a half behind 1st place Boston." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – ’24 Senators win 10th in a row" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 24" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "All told, Strasburg (L, 9-2, 2.60) struck out eight in his six innings of work. He allowed three earned runs on six hits and the intentional walk." - "Washington Nationals Game 71 Review: Rockies rally against Strasburg in sixth after HBP" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Quick: Someone get Marco Scutaro an 'I got hit in the head with a 95 MPH Stephen Strasburg fastball and all I got was this lousy t-shirt' t-shirt." - "Stephen Strasburg hits Marco Scutaro in the head with 95 MPH fastball..." - Nats Enquirer

• "The Nats offense is terrible. Maybe it shouldn't be, but it is." - "Could Bryce Harper be tired?" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The general consensus was that when Michael Morse returned from injury, the team's lineup would stabilize and his power bat would bring much-needed run support." - "June swoon may dictate Nats' path at trade deadline" - Nationals Buzz: Will Yoder, MASNSports.com

• "Lately Ryan Zimmerman looked like a shell of his old self. The powerful third baseman didn’t look like the same Ryan Zimmerman who was signed to a $100 million dollar deal in the offseason." - "Ryan Zimmerman’s Dog Days of Summer" - Kristen, Win For Teddy

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "The fans were bored because the Phillies were winning big, but boredom is preferable to apathy these days." - "Phillies' bats wake up in 8-3 win over Pittsburgh Pirates" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "The Cardinals' bullpen was bad. The Marlins' bullpen found a way to be worse." - "Miami Marlins blow four-run, ninth-inning lead to Cardinals, lose in 10th" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

Braves: "Dan Uggla’s past month has been a bit like the Braves’ season, shifting from two-week power surge to two-week slump without any middle ground." - "Uggla: ‘I’m going to get hot again…rather it be sooner’" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mets: "The Mets lost Frank Francisco to the disabled list yesterday, an extremely difficult revelation that will cost them their closer for at least two weeks." - "Mets closer Francisco put on DL with oblique strain" - Mark Hale, The New York Post

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