Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Try To Avoid Getting Swept By Philadelphia Phillies.

SEATTLE - JUNE 19: Starting pitcher Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies follows through on a strike out pitch in the fourth inning to Miguel Olivo #30 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 19, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The strike out was career number 1000 for Hamels. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

• In order to avoid getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies tonight, the Washington Nationals are going to have to beat a pitcher, Cole Hamels, who is (2-0) with a 0.56 ERA, four walks (2.25 BB/9) and 16 K's (9.00 K/9) in two starts and 16.0 IP so far this season against Washington and (12-4) with a 2.48 ERA, 40 walks (2.47 BB/9) and 152 K's (6.28 K/9) in 22 games and 145.1 IP against the Nats in his career. Ross Detwiler will take the mound for the Nationals tonight. Ryan Zimmerman is expected to be back in the lineup. Now that the Phillies have won two games in a row, will their fans invade Nationals Park again? Only 23,777 fans watched last night's game in person, will NatsTown show up tonight to cheer their team on as they look to avoid the sweep? We'll find out at 7:05 pm EDT. Until then, it's links and lots of them... starting... RIGHT NOW!!! But first a little history lesson...:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "It was 105 years ago — August 2, 1907 — The Senators pitcher Walter Johnson made his big-league debut in D.C., kicking off a thirty-year baseball career and leaving a lasting imprint on the game." - "D.C. Baseball History: The Big Train’s District Debut" - Mark Hornbaker, writing for District Sports Page

• NATS BEAT:

• "He said, ‘We had our longest winning streak in Philadelphia when I was leading off.’ I said, ‘A 6-foot-6 donkey wants to lead off?’" - Davey Johnson on Jayson Werth - "Jayson Werth to bat leadoff or sixth when he returns" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "And while [Stephen] Strasburg is the one they’ve run on the most, he’s simply the leader on a staff that has not done well holding runners all year." - "Opponents get footloose against Nationals pitchers" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "When an opposing pitcher steals a base, it’s clear that other teams have figured out a weakness." - "Why are the Nationals allowing so many stolen bases?" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "It was a disaster of an inning for Nationals catcher Jesus Flores against Philadelphia on Tuesday, and yet it was not completely his fault." - "Nationals have major problem with theft" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Fortunately for the Nationals, the Braves saw their seven-game winning streak snapped in a loss, 4-2, to the Marlins, keeping Washington's National League East lead at 2 1/2 games." - "Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals - August 1, 2012" - Adam Berry, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Edwin Jackson had so much difficulty retiring Jimmy Rollins and Nate Schierholtz, the Washington Nationals right-hander figured he must have been tipping his pictures." - "Rollins hits 2 HRs as Phillies beat Nationals 3-2" - David Ginsburg, AP/WTOP.com

• "A Nationals lineup that ranked among the most productive groups in the majors during the month of July has gone ice-cold the last two nights." - "A 'weird' loss for Nats" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com


• "Bryce Harper rips a single through the hole on the left side, and as [Edwin] Jackson reaches third, he sees [Bo] Porter telling him to make a turn for home." - "Nationals Pastime: Talking pitchers and baserunning" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Ryan Zimmerman didn’t start Wednesday’s game, the second consecutive game he began glued to the bench because of a sore back." - "Chad Tracy fills in solidly for Ryan Zimmerman" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann will pitch Saturday, [Davey] Johnson said, with [Gio] Gonzalez instead pitching in the nightcap of Friday's doubleheader with the Marlins." - "Nationals push Jordan Zimmermann back a day for more rest" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals have decided to bump Jordan Zimmermann's next start back to Saturday fromFriday, wanting to give his right shoulder some extra rest." - "Nats push back Zimmermann's start" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann was originally scheduled to pitch Friday against the Marlins, but [Davey] Johnson swapped him and Gio Gonzalez, giving Zimmermann an extra day to rest." - "Zimmermann to get extra day of rest" - Adam Berry and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "Following his last start last Saturday, [Davey] Johnson revealed that [Jordan] Zimmermann had trouble getting his shoulder loose while playing catch." - "Jordan Zimmermann’s start pushed back a day to Saturday because of shoulder, Gio Gonzalez to start Friday" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Jimmy] Rollins homered twice off [Edwin] Jackson, ripping pitches over the wall in right field in both the third and fifth innings for solo home runs..." - "Jackson earns loss as Nationals fall 3-2 to the Phillies" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "'I felt good,' [Jayson] Werth told reporters after the game. 'I think we are day 11 of rehab. There really isn't any more to accomplish as far as rehab goes.'" - "Werth primed for return, leads off and notches two hits at Potomac" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Ryan Zimmerman strode to the plate to an ovation louder than any other heard at Nationals Park on Wednesday night." - "Nationals left scratching their heads after latest loss to Phillies" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Ryan Zimmerman didn’t start Wednesday’s game, the second consecutive game he began glued to the bench because of a sore back." - "Chad Tracy fills in solidly for Ryan Zimmerman" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Phillies starter Vance Worley held the Nationals to just two runs (both unearned) on six hits over his seven innings of work." - "Nationals Pastime: Bats absent in Nationals' 3-2 loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Edwin Jackson had so much difficulty retiring Jimmy Rollins and Nate Schierholtz, the Washington Nationals right-hander figured he must have been tipping his pictures." - "Rollins hits 2 HRs as Phillies beat Nationals 3-2" - David Ginsburg, AP/WTOP.com

• "Though Jayson Werth remains a few days away from rejoining the Nationals, the veteran outfielder could slide into the team's leadoff spot when he returns, according to manager Davey Johnson." - "Werth an option to lead off when he returns" - Adam Berry and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "Here's what [Mike] Rizzo did: nothing. And as Paul Newman once said, sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand." - "For Rizzo at moment, tradeoff not worth it" - Thom Loverro, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Did Mike Rizzo make the right decision standing pat at the trade deadline?" - "Beltway Baseball - 8/2/12" - NatsInsider.com

• "The Phillies hit so many balls hard off Edwin Jackson tonight that the Nationals starter initially thought he might have been tipping his pitches." - "Nationals Pastime: A few bad pitches, a few missed opportunities" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Within the five-week timetable, [Ian] Desmond's return would be penciled in around the last week in August." - "Ian Desmond worked out for first time since going on DL" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "At the heart of the success of one of baseball’s most frugal teams is that trade that sent Gonzalez and a minor league pitcher to Washington for four of their best prospects..." - "Oakland A’s find success with former Nationals prospects" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Key stat: Tonight's official paid attendance was 23,777. That's the first crowd at Nationals Park under 25,000 since May 15." - "Instant analysis: Phillies 3, Nats 2" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'We’ve been a little flat since our Sunday in Milwaukee,' Manager Davey Johnson said. 'Guys are a little bit banged up from it.'" - "Nationals vs. Phillies: Jimmy Rollins homers twice off Edwin Jackson to edge Washington" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman was held out of the lineup on Tuesday after appearing to tweak his back while sliding into home during the 11th inning of Sunday's 11-10 win over the Brewers in Milwaukee." - "Zimmerman to be in Nats' lineup Thursday" - Adam Berry and Mike Fiammetta, nationals.com: News

• "Phillies starter Vance Worley held the Nationals to just two runs (both unearned) on six hits over his seven innings of work." - "Nationals Pastime: Bats absent in Nationals' 3-2 loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Ryan Zimmerman didn’t start Wednesday’s game, the second consecutive game he began glued to the bench because of a sore back." - "Chad Tracy fills in solidly for Ryan Zimmerman" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Ross] Detwiler will face a reformed Phillies offense that no longer has Shane Victorino or Hunter Pence serving as outfielders." - "Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals - August 2, 2012" - Zack Meisel, MLB.com Preview

• NATS MINORS:

• "Short-season Single-A Auburn manager Gary Cathcart confirmed that [Anthony] Rendon will play six innings tonight and Thursday morning at third base." - "Rendon schedule heats up through weekend" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Short Season Auburn: Tony Renda - 3 for 6, 2 2B; Pedro Encarnacion - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K's - Auburn Doubledays Scoreboard

Class-A Hagerstown: Suns 12, Power 7 - Matthew Skole - 2 for 4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI's; Brian Rauh - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Tonight's game was highlighted by the return of Jayson Werth to Pfitzner Stadium on rehab assignment. Werth, in his second game with the P-Nats, was 2-for-3 with a run in four plate appearances." - "P-Nats and Sox Suspended Until Tomorrow" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Harrisburg bounced back in the sixth, though, when Zack Walters tripled in James Skelton giving the Sens a 3-1 lead." - "Senators Snap Slide with 3-2 Win over Binghamton" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "'So they’ve fallen on some hard times over there, and they had a little fire sale today, which was fun for me to watch.'" - "Davey Johnson says Phillies fire sale was fun to watch" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Jim Hartley of the Washington Baseball Historical Society and I 'dcbaseballhistory.com' are co-sponsoring an election of the best players to have ever played (1901-2012) baseball for Washington." - "Washington’s All Time Baseball Team(s)" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Horse [Bleep]" - Nats Enquirer

• "Longtime D.C. baseball supporter Charles Krauthammer has written glowingly about the 2012 Washington Nationals, and even used "That’s a Clown Question" on-air." - "Charles Krauthammer says Nats will win the World Series" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "ESPN's Buster Olney has already posited that the Nats could be interested in Lowe, especially considering that he is a Scott Boras client." - "The Nats Shouldn't Sign Derek Lowe" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Don't Panic: At least if you are worried about a playoff spot." - "Don't Panic" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "The good news for the Mets is they continue to receive solid starting pitching, as Niese’s performance piggybacked strong outings by R.A. Dickey, Jeremy Hefner and Matt Harvey." - "Jon Niese, with bullpen help, holds San Francisco Giants to three hits in New York Mets’ victory" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Braves: "After two years away from baseball, pitcher Ben Sheets’ first two weeks with the Braves had been rather remarkable. The magic ended in the first inning Wednesday night against Miami." - "Loss to Marlins ends streaks for Braves and Sheets" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "Behind Vance Worley's seven solid innings and two Jimmy Rollins homers, the Phillies topped the first-place Nationals for the second straight game." - "New outfield helps Phillies defeat Nationals, 3-2" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

• Marlins: "With Edward Mujica and Randy Choate no longer around, manager Ozzie Guillen said there are no defined roles in his bullpen anymore." - "Miami Marlins bullpen delivers in group effort over Atlanta Braves" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

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