Wire Taps: Washington Nationals And San Francisco Giants Turn Back Clock, Finish Three-Game Series.

Jul 4, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond (20) forces out San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) and throws to first to complete a double play during the fourth inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

With losses in both ends of the 4th of July doubleheader with the New York Yankees on Friday, the Washington Senators fell to 41-30 on the year. The Senators remain in first place in the AL East, however, with a 2.0 game lead over the second-place Yankees. New York took both holiday games from Washington, with 12,000 fans watching game one in the nation's capital and 20,000 turning out for the nightcap in Griffith Park. The Senators got out to an early lead in game one, but a three-run sixth by the Yankees was the difference as Bullet Joe Bush threw a complete game for New York, allowing two runs on nine hits in his seventh win of the year. In the second game of two in D.C., the Bucky Harris-led Sens were shut out by Yankees' starter Sad Sam Joes, who walked five and surrendered seven hits without allowing a run. Senators' lefty George Mogridge matched Jones through eight scoreless, but the Yankees got to the Sens' 35-year-old, 12-year-veteran in the ninth, pushing two runs across in the top of the inning to take the second game of the day. After a one-game matchup with the New York Giants tonight, the American League's first place Senators have three more games with New York this weekend, beginning with a double-header Saturday in Griffith Park that will see Walter Johnson looking for win no.10 of the '24 campaign in game one as he takes on the Squire of Kennett Square, Herb Pennock. Game two of two will feature second-year Sens' starter Firpo Marberry on the mound against the Yanks' right-hander "Schoolboy" Waite Hoyt. Can the Senators hold on to first place? Will the Yankees rally to pull closer to the AL-leading Sens? We'll find out tonight. Until then it's LINKS and Lots of 'em... RIGHT NOW!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!!:

• "For three months, the Nats have been wondering what kind of team they would have if they were ever fairly healthy?" - "Baseball has its own plans for the Nationals" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Asked how the clubhouse will react when the front office shuts down [Stephen] Strasburg for the season, [Michael] Morse said, 'When they say he can’t pitch, he can’t pitch. Our team is good enough.'" - "Youth is not a hindrance for the Washington Nationals" - Jon Morosi, FOX Sports on MSN

• "At last count, Harper trailed St. Louis' David Freese in the NL balloting. Atlanta's Michael Bourn and Arizona's Aaron Hill filled the third and fourth spots, respectively." - "Nationals' Bryce Harper pulling out all stops in Final Vote push" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "Jhonatan Solano hit one of four Washington homers -- Rick Ankiel, Ryan Zimmerman and Michael Morse had the others -- and also singled and stole the first base of his career." - "Nationals' Solano is catching on quickly" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "If they need a road map for success, they need only look back at the last week's worth of games, because this team is firing on all cylinders at the moment." - "Almost halfway to finishing the job" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Bryce] Harper was in diapers when [Chipper] Jones made his major league debut in 1993." - "HARRIS: Harper, Chipper as All-Star teammates? Make it happen, fans" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and outfielder Michael Morse hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning, turning a one-run lead into a rout." - "Nationals vs. Giants: Ryan Zimmerman leads charge as Washington surges past San Francisco, 9-4" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals have now won 18 of their 28 series this season and have thoroughly dismantled the Giants in back-to-back games, outscoring them 18-7." - "Nationals Pastime: Another offensive explosion nets Nats 9-4 win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Ryan Zimmerman's line drive to right-center kept going _ and going and going _ until it landed in the first row..." - "Nats have a hot 4th, beat Bumgarner, Giants 9-4" - Joseph White, AP/WTOP.com

• "The Nationals have scored just under 8 1/2 runs per contest over their last seven games. [Ryan] Zimmerman has a hit in eight of his last nine, and five multi-hit contests over that span." - "Middle of Nats order beginning to sizzle" - Joey Nowak and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "[Edwin] Jackson was very sharp from the second through the fifth innings today, retiring 12 of 14 batters." - "Instant analysis: Nats 9, Giants 4" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'We have a good team and we know we have a chance to do something special,' is how third baseman Ryan Zimmerman put it. 'But we also know that it’s July, and nothing’s ever been won in July.'" - "Nats light up the sky with 4 HRs in holiday defeat of Giants" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Bryce] Harper had begun swinging at balls. When he has been at his best, Harper’s discipline has been among his most impressive tools." - "Bryce Harper is pulling out of his slump" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Is there any particular reason why Edwin Jackson has struggled so mightily in the first inning this season and been so effective after it? Jackson doesn't think so." - "Nationals Pastime: Postgame thoughts from Zimmerman, Solano, Jackson" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'I was playing banged up for a while there,' [Ryan] Zimmerman said. ;When you try and play through things sometimes, it doesn't allow you to do the things you've been doing...'" - "San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals - July 4, 2012" - Mike Fiammetta, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "In [Stephen] Strasburg's case, putting him at the end of the rotation would carry with it the added benefit of stretching him at least five days later into the 2012 season." - "Nationals considering moving Strasburg to back of rotation after break" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Since the second game of the series against the Rockies, the Nationals have scored 60 runs in seven games and have scored eight or more runs in five of those contests." - "Nationals' offense starting to keep up with Zimmermann" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "At a season-high 15 games over .500, the NL East-leading Nationals are enjoying the early summer heat of contending, putting big numbers on two strong Giants starters." - "San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals - July 5, 2012" - John Schlegel, MLB.com Preview

• "Don't adjust your eyeglasses or TV screens tonight when you check out the series final between the Nationals and Giants. Things might look a tad different..." - "On Solano, Tracy and throwbacks" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Before the clock struck noon, [Edwin] Jackson had fallen behind. But he gathered himself and quickly found a rhythm." - "Edwin Jackson’s velocity returns, but so do first-inning troubles" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "They've notched victories in six of their last eight games and, not coincidentally, they've been on an offensive tear during that eight-game stretch, averaging 8.6 runs per game in that time." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson talks after Nats' 9-4 win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Anger destroys our peace of mind and our physical health. We shouldn’t welcome it or think of it as natural or as a friend."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (11-5) continued their winning ways at home on Wednesday night, when they came back from a 5-0 first inning deficit to defeat the Lowell Spinners..." - "Doubledays come back to beat Lowell 11-5" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: Caleb Ramsey - 2 for 4, 1 2B; Alex Meyer - 2.0 IP, 2 BB, 3 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "In front of a sellout crowd at Pfitzner Stadium on the Fourth of July, the Frederick Keys rallied for three runs in the ninth inning to stun the Potomac Nationals 6-4." - "P-Nats Cough Up Late Lead on the Fourth of July" - Potomac Nationals News

via @PNats42:

Double-A Harrisburg: "Harrisburg plated four runs in the second, all with two outs, on a run-scoring single by Sandy Leon, a two-run double by Sean Nicol, and a single by Eury Perez." - "Sens Win Fourth Straight with 7-6 Win over Bowie" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

• "Big buzz surrounded Woodbridge, Va., Wednesday night, with Orioles top prospect and Frederick Keys hurler Dylan Bundy taking on high Single-A Potomac's best first-half pitcher Nathan Karns." - "Minor notes: Karns does well against Bundy, Meyer short stint 'planned'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Syracuse starter Zach Duke threw six-plus scoreless innings, while right fielder Brett Carroll drove in two runs during a three-run eighth inning." - "Chiefs celebrate Independence Day with win" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Seven of the Chiefs nine starters finished with a hit as Brett Carroll had a double and drove in two, and Carlos Rivero and Jesus Valdez both had RBI." - "Chiefs win on Fourth" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "Last Night In Woodbridge" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "For most of the past decade, baseball fans averted their eyes from Washington in July. Even the team’s natural fan base sometimes found it difficult to pay attention to a losing team and its half-empty ballpark." - "Washington Nationals success translates into big local and national interest" - Dan Steinberg, The Washington Post

• "'Chicken Mode?,' Gio called out. 'Yeah, we’ve got too much Beast Mode around here. We need more Chicken Mode!'" - "Gio Gonzalez: 'Chicken Mode is my area of expertise'" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman’s improved hitting has sparked the entire line-up and the team is posting some very impressive hitting statistics during the past 10 games." - "Cortisone Shot solidifies Nats lineup" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "'I was curious to who we were playing and what our schedule was that last month, you know, absent [Stephen] Strasburg, and what type of pitcher might fit in best for going against the clubs we’re going to play that month.'" - Davey Johnson on Strasburg - "Washington Nationals prepare for pennant race 'absent Strasburg'" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "'Look around the stadium; people actually have our jerseys on,' said Drew Storen. 'They came before, but not everybody was wearing our colors.'" - "Morning pixels: Nats winning means more people care" - Sarah Kogod, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "The sun was brilliant, the temperature pleasant, and for six innings the Mets were looking better than good." - "Mets' loss to Phillies shows plenty of work is left to be done" - Jeff Bradley, NJ.com

Phillies: "'If you're not winning, things like that happen,' [Shane] Victorino said of trades. 'I can't say where am I going to be tomorrow, next week or next month. I want to be in red. I want to be in a Phillies uniform...'" - "Victorino not thinking about trade possibilities" - Todd Zolecki and Christina De Nicola, phillies.com: News

Marlins: "After the game, the Marlins announced they had acquired first baseman Carlos Lee from the Houston Astros and the struggling [Gaby] Sanchez was headed back to Triple-A New Orleans." - "Miami Marlins acquire Carlos Lee from Houston Astros" - Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

Braves: "Before Chipper [Jones] did it Tuesday, [Jordan] Schafer was the last Brave to have a five-hit game." - "Chipper’s 5-for-5 night moves 40-year-old up career lists" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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