Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Sweep San Francisco Giants, But Stephen Strasburg's Starting So... More Innings Limit Chatter!!!!

Jun 2, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) throws in the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's been saying it for close to a year now, since just about the time Stephen Strasburg got back on the mound following Tommy John surgery. When the Nats think the 23-year-old right-hander has reached his limit this year, in his first full-year back from TJS, he will be shut down. He will be shut down. He will be shut down. No matter how many times the Nats' general manager says it, he keeps getting asked by people who don't seem to believe the Nationals will do it. Again last night on the MLB Network, the GM was asked if the team would consider skipping starts, going to a six-man rotation? Anything to ensure that he's available for a late-season run? "We're certainly not going to go to a six-man rotation," Rizzo explained, "We don't want to gimmick this thing up for Stras. He's a guy who likes to be on a regular routine. We feel that for us to skip him and shut him down for a period of time and then ramp him back up, would be less beneficial for him as a pitcher and for us as a ballclub. We need to do what's right for Stephen Strasburg, because what's right for him is right for the Nationals long-term. We're looking at this thing with short-term expectations, but with a long-term view." But are you really going to shut him down? "This is going to a decision that comes from the general manager's office," Rizzo patiently explained [again], "And we're going to make the decision that's in the best interest of Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals and if he hits his innings limit that comes in the end of August, beginning of September, then we are going to shut him down the same way we did with Jordan Zimmermann last year." Strasburg looks to bounce back from back-to-back losses tonight when he takes on a Rockies' squad that beat him last week. We'll have this discussion again before his next start. Til then, the links... and they start... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "This won’t-die [Stephen] Strasburg fuss is a testament to the age, its gift for screaming about fake issues, its defiance of fact and its shamelessness when confronted with the simplest common-sense ethics." - "Nationals should take no chances with Stephen Strasburg’s innings limit" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Through 37 home games, the Nationals' average attendance is 29,865. That currently ranks 15th out of 30 big-league clubs..." - "Crowds growing week to week" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'There’s never been a question of this organization spending money. It was when to spend it. You don’t spend it when you have 59 wins. We had to get bad — really bad — before we got better...'" - "Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner willing to spend to improve" - Jon Morosi, FOX Sports on MSN

• "After Friday’s game against Colorado, [Stephen] Strasburg should make roughly 10 more starts and be done, period." - "SNYDER: Strasburg has a limit, so stick to it" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "Ross Detwiler got hit around pretty good, allowing 11 hits over five innings, yet he was able to hold the Giants to just three runs." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson discusses Nats' 6-5 walk-off win" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Say this for [Bryce] Harper: He battles through at-bats with the best of them, even if it doesn't always result in a hit." - "Instant analysis: Nats 6, Giants 5" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals will head into the All-Star break on Sunday knowing not only are they one of those good teams, but they’re one of the best teams in the major leagues." - "Nationals rally, then walk off for sweep of Giants" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Davey] Johnson reiterated that Tyler Clippard, who is 13 for 13 in closing games since he moved into the ninth inning, will remain the closer when [Drew] Storen returns." - "Davey Johnson will ease Drew Storen back into the Nationals’ bullpen" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "In the Nationals' first year in the District in 2005, July 3 was the club's high-water mark (50-31) -- the furthest above .500 they have ever been since leaving Montreal." - "For Nationals, this is nothing like 2005" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[Drew] Storen recorded a perfect inning in the first of four scheduled rehab appearances that should have him ready to return to the big leagues immediately after the All-Star break." - "Nationals' Drew Storen pleased after first rehab outing" - Andrew Simon, nationals.com: News

• "Nationals right-hander Drew Storen was pleased with his first appearance in a minor league rehab game since his recovery from elbow surgery to remove a bone chip." - "Nationals Storen says command was 'good' in first rehab start" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals swept the Giants with a wild 6-5 walkoff win, pushing the Nationals to their highest point of the season, 16 games over .500." - "The Nationals’ next goal: 20 games over .500" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Washington Nationals closer Drew Storen got through his first rehab assignment seamlessly with a 1-2-3 inning at Single-A Potomac Thursday night." - "Drew Storen throws one inning in first rehab start" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'This ballclub -- there's no quit in the ballclub,' manager Davey Johnson said. 'There's a lot of character in this ballclub.'" - "San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals - July 5, 2012" - Joey Nowak, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "After [Ian] Desmond launched his solo shot (his 15th in 80 games this season), Bryce Harper turned to [Adam] LaRoche in the dugout. 'We're going to win this game,' the 19-year-old told his veteran teammate. 'Just be ready for it.'" - "Another day, another rally" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Danny Espinosa immediately followed [Ian] Desmond's homer with one of his own, and by the time the seventh inning ended, [Matt] Cain was out of the game and the Nationals were only down by one." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper's prediction, LaRoche's speed and an awesome celebration" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "In his first true game experience of the season, he consistently hit 92 mph on at least one radar gun behind home plate – a few ticks below his 95 mph average last season in which he saved 43 games." - "Drew Storen rehabs quickly, well in Potomac; Chad Tracy still building strength, ready to hit" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "What started as a simple congratulatory maneuver has become a celebratory rite in the dugout, with players jostling to be the guy who removes the lid from a player who has just scored." - "Nationals Pastime: Tale of the helmet snatchers" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "Drew Storen was all business in his first appearance of 2012, needing all of eight pitches to complete one inning at Class A Potomac this evening." - "Storen cruises through first rehab start" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Ross] Detwiler stranded six San Francisco runners to give his team a chance to rally. They did just that in the late innings..." - "Nationals pull off old-time kind of rally" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[Stephen] Strasburg, a native of Southern California, has pitched in triple-digit temperature in two consecutive starts, and it might become three on Friday..." - "Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals - July 6, 2012" - Trey Scott, MLB.com Preview

• "Swinging, however, is still causing [Jayson Werth] some issues and he's not expected to do any of it until after the All-Star break." - "Jayson Werth won't swing until after the break but is on schedule" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'We’re getting that sense that we’re never out of it,' [Adam] LaRoche said. 'Somebody new is going to come through every night.'" - "Nationals vs. Giants: Washington scores two runs in ninth to finish sweep" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• 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: "Making his fourth New York-Penn League appearance, [David] Fischer tossed four innings of no-hit ball to lead the Class A Short-Season Auburn Doubledays past the Lowell Spinners, 10-1." - "Auburn's Fischer unhittable for four" - Ashley Marshall, MiLB.com News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (12-5) used a seven-run sixth inning to turn a pitchers duel into a blowout, 10-1, over the Lowell Spinners (5-13) at Falcon Park on Thursday night." - "Doubledays bat around Spinners, 10-1" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: Suns 10, Legends 8 - Cutter Dykstra - 2 for 5, 2 2B; Christopher McKenzie - 2.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Chad Tracy appeared in his second game for the Nationals and was held hitless in two at bats." - "Storen Throws Scoreless Inning in P-Nats Rout" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Senators starter Kevin Pucetas retired the first seven batters he faced before leaving the game with an apparent injury. Rob Gilliam relieved Pucetas..." - "Sens Beat Bowie 8-6 for Fifth Straight Win" - Harrisburg Senators News

• "Right-hander Kevin Pucetas was moving swiftly through his seventh start of the season Thursday before an injury forced him to leave Double-A Harrisburg's contest against Bowie." - "Harrisburg's Pucetas tweaks knee but 'should be fine'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Matt Tuiasosopo's run-scoring single in the top of the 14th inning dealt the [Syracuse] Chiefs a loss in their longest game of the season." - "Bisons outlast Chiefs in marathon game" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Line of the Day: Carlos Maldonado, C – 2-for-2, HR, 3 R, RBI, 3 BB Maldonado’s third homer of the season was the extra point that the Chiefs needed in the fifth to tie things back up, 7-7." - "What doesn't kill you simply makes you...stranger" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "Before beating up on the Braves on Sunday, the Nats found out they would have three All-Stars representing the team in Kansas City for this year’s midsummer classic..." - "Nationals Report Card: June 29 - July 5" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Nats rally, Buck Commander Adam LaRoche delivers the walkoff fielders choice on turn-back-the-clock night." - "Oh, deer! Just another walkoff win for the Nats..." - Nats Enquirer

• "July 6, 1914 - Washington SS George McBride‘s steal of home in the home 4th is all the help Walter Johnson will need in a 1-0 win over Boston. It is the 16th 1-0 victory of Johnson’s career." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Bosman continues his breakout year" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "With the Nationals playing better than ever at the midpoint of the 2012 season, they'll be well represented at next week's All-Star Game..." - "Washington looking for new All-Star memories" - Marty Niland, Nationals Buzz, MASNSports.com

• "Not every winning team is fun, and not every fun team is a winner." - "Adam LaRoche hits game winner, teammates pose as deer" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Abraham Lincoln emerged wrapped as a mummy in a 1924 Senators jersey, chased by Teddy Roosevelt aboard a scooter (turns out Tutankhamun’s mummy was discovered in 1924, the same year the scooter was invented)." - "Video: On throwback night, Teddy and Abe Lincoln’s mummy pay tribute to 1924 (Founding fathers not impressed)" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "The 6-5 win pushes the Nats to 16 games over .500 one-game shy of the mid-way point of the season, their high-water mark so far this season." - "Washington Nationals Game 80 Review: Team of destiny?" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "The Pride of the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Senators will win" - William Yurasko, William World News

• "The Nationals +60 run differential is 4th best in all of baseball, and is built on their league best 280 runs allowed. That is 25 fewer runs allowed than the next closest team..." - "Washington Nationals First Half Look" - Steve Shoup, Fanspeak Washington Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Manager Terry Collins had called last night’s rubber game against the Phillies a must-win, for the standings, for psyche and a host of reasons." - "Crowd's 'MVP' Wright carries Mets over Phillies with 4 RBIs, walkoff hit" - Brian Lewis, NYPOST.com

Braves: "For those looking for some reason for hope concerning the Braves and their slumping All-Star second baseman, we offer this..." - "Braves hope July 5 is turning point again for Uggla" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "Jonathan Papelbon packed his red Phillies bag, talked for three minutes about how he had blown this winnable game in a sinking season, then slammed his chair into his locker." - "Papelbon can't hold lead, Phillies lose" - Matt Gelb, Philly.com

Marlins: "Acquired from the Houston Astros for two minor leaguers Wednesday, [Carlos] Lee joined the Marlins Thursday and made an immediate contribution." - "Newly acquired Carlos Lee went 2-for-4 in his Marlins debut" - Juan C. Rodriguez, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

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