Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Head To Milwaukee For Four-Game Set With Brewers.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 25, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

• The Washington Nationals swept the New York Mets, won their fifth-straight game and improved to 30-20 on the road this season while sending their NL East rivals further into a tailspin. The NL East's first-place Nats now head out to Milwaukee where they'll play four games with the NL Central's fourth-place Brewers. Stephen Strasburg was the big story on Wednesday afternoon as he K'd 11 in 7.0 efficient innings pitched against NY. "He's tremendous. I mean, my gosh. Almighty," Mets' skipper Terry Collins told reporters after watching the Nats' ace dominate his hitters. Davey Johnson had a lot of good things to say about the Nationals' 24-year-old right-hander, but he didn't want to talk about Strasburg's innings limit anymore. Who does, Davey? Oh, someone just told me just about every member of the national baseball media has questions about Strasburg's limit. So... anyway... on to Milwaukee...8:10 pm EDT tonight. Until then, (and for the first time in two weeks-ish, it's the links and lots of them)... RIGHT NOW!!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

"At the time, no one projected the Nationals to win the National League East, and even [Stephen] Strasburg seems frustrated now that he's being held back." - "Queries about Strasburg shutdown won't subside" - Barry M. Bloom, nationals.com: News

• NATS BEAT:

• "It seems easy to try to compare the 2012 Nationals to the 1986 Mets, which famously won the World Series in dramatic fashion." - "The 1984 New York Mets Have Been Reincarnated in the Washington Nationals" - Jared Diamond, WSJ.com

• "Pending the outcome of the Yankees' game in Seattle, the Nationals could arrive in Milwaukee later this evening owning the best record in baseball." - "Strasburg at top of his game" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "In the words of his catcher, Sandy Leon, 'Today, he was perfect.'" - "Strasburg strikes out 11 as Nationals sweep Mets" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'It's a striking resemblance to (Justin) Verlander,' said reliever Drew Storen." - "Nationals Pastime: A masterful performance delivered by the Nats' ace" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'It took a little while to wake up,' [Stephen] Strasburg said. 'But once I got out there and got up in the first inning with the adrenaline going, it just started to click.'" - "Nationals vs. Mets: Washington sweeps New York with gem from Stephen Strasburg" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "After the righty's previous start, manager Davey Johnsons said, 'He really doesn't know who he is at times.'" - "Strasburg Ks 11, Nats complete sweep of Mets" - Howie Rumberg, AP/WTOP.com

• "New York dropped its sixth game in a row and 12th in its last 13 games, dropping the club to 11 1/2 games behind Washington in the National League East." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - July 25, 2012" - Joey Nowak, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "I'm not discussing anymore what's happening in a month! I know people are interested, but it's something that's seven, eight starts from now. Why even talk about it, you know?" - Davey Johnson on Strasburg's Innings Limit - "Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg bring back memories for former New York Mets manager Davey Johnson" - Johnette Howard, ESPN New York

• "Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina has had one chance after another to carve a full-time role for himself with the club." - "Bernadina finding role" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Davey Johnson has tried his best to ease Drew Storen back from elbow surgery, not wanting to put too much on the right-hander too soon." - "Storen regaining his edge" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Over Henry Rodriguez's last two appearances, he's faced five batters. The result: a hit, four walks and two runs scored." - "Nationals Pastime: The Henry Rodriguez dilemma" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Manager Davey Johnson's club moved to a season-high 19 games over .500 with its series sweep of New York on Wednesday." - "Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers - July 26, 2012" - Zack Meisel, MLB.com Preview

• "Manager Davey Johnson thought he had found [Henry] Rodriguez some easy work. Instead, Rodriguez endangered the win..." - "Henry Rodriguez creates another mess, and Drew Storen gets out of it" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I imagine he’s going to be getting close by the time we get back to D.C.,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'I’d be surprised if he wasn’t there waiting on us.'" - "Jayson Werth could return within a week, might play center field" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The Nationals have allowed [Jayson] Werth quite a bit of autonomy over his timetable and his rehab assignment, relying on him to let them know where he feels like he's at..." - "Davey Johnson thinks Jayson Werth could be close to return next week" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Despite the fact that Werth has been healing quickly, the Nats have always planned to stay on the same timetable for his return, with their sights set on the first week in August." - "Despite progress, Werth's timetable remains the same" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "The Mets are in a free fall and the frustration of their stunning slide from the playoff race is taking its toll." - "Frustration builds for free-falling Mets" - Howie Rumberg, AP/WTOP.com

• "There was a time when people would ask manager Davey Johnson if he was going to keep Ryan Zimmerman slotted into the three-hole." - "As Zimmerman goes, so go the Nationals" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "How much has Espinosa turned the corner from the left side of the plate? He's gone all the way around the block." - "Nats Insider: Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 2" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The trio of Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg allowed just two earned runs over 20 innings (that's a 0.90 ERA), striking out 21 and walking just two." - "Nationals Pastime: Final thoughts after a convincing three-game sweep" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have been stellar against division opponents: a 25-14 record." - "NL East rapidly changing around the Nationals" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Danny] Espinosa is hitting .351 this month and .373 since the All-Star break. The loop in his left-handed swing that he struggled to rid himself of for so long, appears to be gone." - "Danny Espinosa has made steady progress at the plate" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The numbers show that right-handers hit .197 off [R.A.] Dickey compared to .247 by left-handed hitters. But [Danny] Espinosa’s plan worked." - "Danny Espinosa figures out R.A. Dickey as he continues to change his season" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

Twitter @jonmorosi: "As I wrote today, Zack Greinke holds #Angels and #Braves organizations in high regard; might be willing to sign extensions there if traded."

• "'I never worry about what other ballclubs are doing other than being interested in their personnel,' Johnson said." - "Johnson not concerned about NL East roster moves" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

Twitter @Ken_Rosenthal: "Source continues: #Nationals did not scout #Brewers' Greinke last night; appear on periphery at best. #WhiteSox want Greinke badly."

Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "More important than being loved is to love."

• NATS MINORS:

• "The Nationals will play with prospects from the Diamondbacks, White Sox, Rockies and Blue Jays for the Salt River Rafters at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick." - "Nationals will play for Salt River in this year's Arizona Fall League" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Moving forward with our mid-season reviews of our pre-season Top 20 prospect lists, we move back to the National League with a look at the Washington Nationals." - "Washington Nationals Top 20 2012 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review" - John Sickels, Minor League Ball

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "Left Fielder Mike McQuillan smashed a two-run homerun in the bottom of the tenth, to lift the Auburn Doubledays (22-14) past the Vermont Lake Monsters (18-19), 8-7..." - "Walk-off homerun lifts Doubledays past Lake Monsters" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "Mike McQuillan singled through the right side to put the Auburn Doubledays ahead in the eighth and then blasted a two-run walk-off homer in the tenth as Auburn beat the Vermont Lake Monsters 8-7 on Wednesday at Falcon Park." - "Monster mash: McQuillan's walk-off homer wins it for Auburn" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "Nationals prospect Anthony Rendon has notched at least a base hit and an RBI in four straight games for the Gulf Coast League Nationals..." - "After hot streak with GCL, Rendon moved to Auburn" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Hagerstown: BlueClaws 10, Suns 3 - Billy Burns 2 for 4, 1 R; Bobby Hansen, Jr. - 4.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 4 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Potomac starter Alex Meyer didn't factor into the decision tossing six one-run innings for the P-Nats." - "Potomac Falls in Pitchers Duel 3-1 to Hillcats" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Chris Rahl - 2 for 4, 1 2B; Paul Demny - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "Starting pitcher Zach Duke cruised early, retiring the first nine batters he faced, but he ran into trouble in the fourth inning." - "Red Wings clip Chiefs, 5-3, in Rochester" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Line of the Day: Mark Teahen, 3-for-4, HR, R, RBI; Frontier Field has been the home of both of Teahen’s home runs this season." - "Chiefs fall in Rochester" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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

• NATSTOWN:

• ''To Ozzie — your my hero!'" - "The Bryce Harper bat the Nats gave to Ozzie Guillen" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "And so the Washington Nationals left New York yesterday with the best record in the National league (needing just one more win to match their 2008 and 2009 win totals)." - "So the 2012 Nationals are the 1984 Mets..." - Nats Enquirer

• "'Recently a blogger said our teammate Michael Morse was reading the book ‘50 Shades of Grey,’ Tyler Clippard says in this MLB Fan Cave video." - "Nats bullpen members read ‘50 Shades of Grey'" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post


• "July 26, 1916 - Tiger Harry Heilmann receives an ovation from the Detroit faithful for saving a drowning woman in the Detroit River last night. Heilmann and the Cats go out and defeat the Nats, 6-5, for the second consecutive day." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Time is running out on the 1918 Senators" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "The Nats, though, behind exceptional pitching and a quickly improving offense, have showed people across the baseball universe that simply finishing over .500 isn’t going to be enough for them." - "Time For NatsTown To Revise Expectations" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "By virtue of the Nats 5-2 win over the hapless and reeling New York Mets, a Washington MLB team held the best record in the big leagues." - "Washington Nationals Game 97 Review: Strasburg Ks 11 as Nats sweep Mets with 5-2 win" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "While the Nats roll merrily along, two of their NL East rivals have made interesting moves." - "The Phillies aren't dumb and the Marlins aren't the same old Marlins" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• SHARK > knuckleball - "BatShark Begins" - Sharkadina

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "From feel-good story to train wreck in two weeks. Even for the Mets, that’s not easy." - "Byrdak, Thole exchange words; Mets swept by Nationals" - Dan Martin, NYPOST.com

Braves: "It’s gotten Uggly. The latest Uggla slump, that is. It’s lasted nearly six weeks now..." - "Uggla’s slide continues; Minor makes some strides" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "'To have the fans standing and cheering, I think that was ultimately the deciding point, wanting to really be here because of them,' Hamels said." - "In re-signing with Phillies, Hamels affirms his fervor for Philadelphia" - Bob Ford, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "This would be falling-down funny if it weren't so very sad. Two charlatans, ripping off a major American city and laughing all the way to the bank." - "Marlins' Jeffrey Loria and David Samson conned Miami, lined their pockets and held a fire sale" - Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports

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