Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Second-Half Starts Tonight In Miami's Marlins Park.

MIAMI, FL - MAY 28: Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals throws against the Florida Marlins at Marlins Park on May 28, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins defeated the Nationals 5-3. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

• Jordan Zimmermann allowed eight hits and four runs in 6.0 IP in Marlins Park back on May 28th, taking the loss in a 5-3 game with the Washington Nationals' NL East rivals. In his career, the 26-year-old right-hander is (0-3) with a 4.81 ERA in six starts and 33.2 IP against Miami over which he's walked eight (2.14 BB/9) and struck out 31 (8.29 K/9). Tonight, the Nats' starter takes on Marlins' right-hander Josh Johnson. The 28-year-old Miami starter beat the Nationals back on May 30th, allowing seven hits and three runs in 6.0 IP of a 5-3 win over Washington. The win left the Marlins' '02 4th Round pick (8-0) in 16 career games against the Nats over which he's posted a 3.24 ERA with 28 walks (2.83 BB/9) and 87 K's (8.80 K/9) in 89.0 IP. The two pitchers meet tonight in Marlins Park when the Nats and Fish start the second-half with the first game of a four-game set in Little Havana. Baseball's back! You've survived the break. Congratulate yourself and wait for 7:10 pm EDT... or at least until the 5:00 pm EDT deadline when the Nationals find out if they're 2012 1st Round pick Lucas Giolito is going to sign. Baseball's back! And Jordan Zimmermann's going to be on the mound in Marlins Park... RIGHT NOW!!! Or at least seven hours from NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "If they were willing to pay a financial penalty but not lose a future draft pick, the Nationals could pay [Lucas] Giolito a bonus of up to $3,034,510." - "Lucas Giolito, Nationals going down to the draft signing deadline" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Instead of wondering when [Stephen] Strasburg will reach his innings limit and be shut down, a more pressing concern is when [Jayson] Werth replicates his career norms and heats up." - "SNYDER: Jayson Werth wild card in Nats' quest to make playoffs" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "Like the Nats, the Braves, Mets and Marlins all went into the All-Star break having won six of their last 10 games. The Phillies, in full-on tailspin mode, lost nine of 10 going into the break." - "Nationals Pastime: Which division opponent poses the biggest threat?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Mike Rizzo, who has successfully signed all six first-round and compensatory-round picks drafted by the Nationals since he took over as general manager in 2009, rarely drafts a player he doesn't believe he can sign." - "Deadline day for Giolito" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "At the All-Star Game, Stephen Strasburg, below, said in a radio interview that the Nationals will have to 'rip the ball out of my hands.' But the decision has been made." - "Washington Nationals: 5 questions for the second half of the season" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "This story is heating up, and it isn't going away. As the Nationals have continued to play well, Strasburg's innings have piled up." - "The Stephen Strasburg Story That Won't Die Or Get Old" - Jeff Sullivan, Baseball Nation

• "[Lucas] Giolito is a hard-throwing high schooler out of Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) School who can hit 100 mph with his fastball, has a power curveball that leaves scouts drooling and also mixes in a changeup." - "Nationals Pastime: Deadline day arrives plus Strasburg chatter" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "If the Nationals are to bolster their roster this July, it's likely they'll be doing most of the work with players already within the organization." - "Nationals look to improve from within at Deadline" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "In the past seven years, the Wilsons have hosted eight different members of the Single-A Potomac Nationals at their Woodbridge home." - "Woodbridge family has been a hit with Nationals big-league hopefuls" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals are not expected to activate Drew Storen right out of the gate in the second half." - "Nationals not expected to activate Drew Storen right away" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals feel confident in right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who gets the call tonight in Miami. Zimmermann has had a very consistent first half, going at least six innings in every one of his 17 starts in 2012." - "By the numbers: Zimmermann looking to reverse trends against Fish" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "It's been hovering over the Nationals since at least the first day of spring training. Perhaps since the offseason. And perhaps since all the way back in September 2011..." - "2nd half storylines: Strasburg's shutdown" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Ian] Desmond has improved his on-base percentage (.316), though it's still below average. But Johnson is OK with that because Desmond has become more selective at the plate." - "Nationals' Desmond not an overnight hit" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "'Pressure,' said manager Davey Johnson, 'is self-imposed. We’re not going to play it like it’s the seventh game of the World Series. We’re enjoying sitting where we’re sitting.'" - "Nationals' second-half storylines" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nats’ chances to win the NL East and prosper in the postseason hinge almost entirely on the health of their pitching." - "Washington Nationals pitchers may be the freshest in Major League Baseball" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "At what point does a pennant race truly begin? When is it OK to start watching the out-of-town scoreboard? To start calculating magic numbers?" - "2nd half storylines: The pennant race" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "In the past seven years, the Wilsons have hosted eight different members of the Single-A Potomac Nationals at their Woodbridge home." - "Woodbridge family has been a hit with Nationals big-league hopefuls" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'The more we win, the more of a target there is on our backs,' Stephen Strasburg said." - "The Nationals’ second half begins, but can they keep this up?" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "A calm mind is good for our physical health, but it also enables us to see things more realistically."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (16-7) played one of their more complete games of the season on Thursday night, downing the Aberdeen Ironbirds (9-15) 6-3 in front of 6,565 at Ripken Stadium." - "Doubledays win third straight on road, 6-3" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starting pitcher Taylor Hill did not factor in the decision after allowing two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings of work." - "Suns Streak Snapped at Seven in Grasshoppers Walk-Off" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Rehabbing pitcher Drew Storen made his fourth appearance with the P-Nats." - "Blue Rocks Roll Over P-Nats 8-3" - Potomac Nationals News

• "Nationals reliever Drew Storen continued his rehab assignment with Single-A Potomac by pitching two innings, allowing a solo homer and striking out five batters Thursday night." - "Storen allows one run, strikes out five in another Potomac rehab outing" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Double-A Harrisburg: Flying Squirrels 12, Senators 3 - Jeff Kobernus - 2 for 5, 1 3B; Trevor Holder - 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 HR - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost twice to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Thursday night at Alliance Bank Stadium." - "Chiefs drop pair to Yankees" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "[Corey] Brown-watch: 2-for-6, 2 K; 0-for-2, 2 BB, K (suspended game). Brown reached base for the 30th-straight game with a pair of singles in the 14-innings." - "Chiefs lose second 14-inning game of season" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "Toward the end of Stephen Strasburg’s one inning of All-Star work Tuesday night, the Fox broadcast team began discussing his likely September shut-down." - "Stephen Strasburg hasn’t discussed his shut-down with management" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Heading into the season it was generally thought that Michael Morse would be a middle of the order, impact bat for the Nationals." - "What the Nationals should do with Michael Morse?" - Steve Shoup, Fanspeak

• "Looks like Gio hooked Desmond up with a pair of those personalized headphones he gave to the rotation..." - "Morning pixels: It’s all good times from here on out" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "On July 13, 1867 the Washington Nationals baseball team that was made up by mostly government workers and were led by second baseman George Wright, played their first game of the their western tour." - "This Day in D.C. Baseball History – The Nationals Great Western Tour Begins" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Thursday night, Gio Tweeted the above pic of the headphones he got for scratched All-Star teammate Ian Desmond." - "Gio Gonzalez got custom headphones for Ian Desmond" - NatsEnquirer

• "NATS/SENATORS: Chien-Ming Wang to Make Rehab Start in Harrisburg on Friday" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "When the teams last met in the midst of the Marlins hot streak, the Marlins swept the Nationals to polish off their 21-8 month of May." - "Nationals Take On Marlins In First Series Following All-Star Break" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Marlins: "Ozzie Guillen asked for God’s forgiveness. And then he made a plea for help." - "Miami Marlins ready to get back to work for second half of season" - Clark Spencer, Miami Marlins - MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "The All-Star break saw the unexpected loss of fifth starter Dillon Gee, who will undergo surgery Friday to replace a portion of a damaged artery in his right shoulder." - "NY Mets have to fill gap in starting rotation left by Dillon Gee, who is likely out for season" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Braves: "Ben Sheets will make his first major-league start in nearly two years on Sunday." - "Sheets to start Sunday vs. Mets" - Chris Vivlamore, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "Will they retain Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins? All but Hamels have limited control of their destinies immediately." - "Phils' comeback: Unlikely, not impossible" - Marcus Hayes, Philly.com

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