Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Big Shutdown Story In Headlines Again As Nats Visit Miami.

Aug 26, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Nationals center fielder Bryce Harper (34) enters the field prior to playing the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

A .194/.266/.316 second-half line. A "temper tantrum" after he was taken out of the game late in the Nats' series-ending loss in Philadelphia. Everyone's asking, "Is it time to sit Bryce Harper down?" Roger Bernadina has a .308/.390/.410 line this year, a 119 OPS+ on the season and a .381/.458/.440 line so far in the second-half. Tyler Moore has a .285/.350/.508 line this season, 131 OPS+, and a .258/.343/.452 line in the month of August? On 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s the Mike Rizzo Show, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo was asked last week if he was worried about Harper, who now has a .216/.280/.366 line against left-handed pitchers and what the 19-year-old outfielder needs to do to turn things around? "It's just repetitions," the Nats' general manager said, "There's certain left-handed pitchers [that] give him trouble. It's usually the soft guys, the veteran guys that really can carve you up. We've got some worries on this team, but Bryce Harper isn't one of them in any facet or phase of his game. He's only going to get better and better and better and you're going to see it and it's going to happen right before our very eyes and it's something to take in and just enjoy, because this guy is going to be a terrific player for us for a long, long time." Davey Johnson said last week that the way to get Harper through his second-half is to, "Just keep running him out there," and let him figure it out. Doesn't sound like Harper will be sitting much... we'll see if the Shark and Moore find more time in the lineup as things go forward, but getting Harper going as the Nats enter the final month of the 2012 campaign is probably a bigger concern... Will he be in the lineup tonight vs the Marlins? We'll find out this afternoon. Until then... Links. And they start... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Even as he spent three months healing from a broken wrist, [Jayson] Werth’s second season in Washington has delivered everything he hoped." - "Jayson Werth’s goals with Nationals ahead of schedule" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said GM Frank Wren told him in spring training that Medlen would be available for 160 to 180 innings..." - "MLB wants more and better tests to catch testosterone and HGH abuse." - Ken Rosenthal, MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN

• "[Davey] Johnson and Rizzo are both strong-willed, both fiery and both extremely fond and respectful of one another." - "A few thoughts, observations and leftovers on the way into a hurricane" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Maybe [Jim] Riggleman suspected correctly, in making the demand for a contract extension [Mike] Rizzo wouldn't meet, that he wasn't going to be around anyway when this team was ready to contend." - "What's old is new for Nationals skipper Davey Johnson" - Paul White, USA Today/Detroit Free Press

• "The Nationals' cause was helped somewhat by the Braves, who late last night were shut out 3-0 in the opener of their three-game series in San Diego." - "Must-win game tonight?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "In those four starts that snapped a losing streak of at least three games, [Stephen] Strasburg has gone 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA, 18 hits allowed, six walks and 40 strikeouts in 25 innings." - "Stephen Strasburg may be the right cure for a Nationals losing streak" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The expected replacement for Stephen Strasburg in the Nationals rotation (once Strasburg is shut down) was named the International League Player of the Week for August 20-26." - "Nationals Pastime: Lannan heating up, Phils looming down the stretch" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals visited Citizens Bank Park over the weekend, their own personal house of horrors over the years..." - "Nationals have rebounded from adversity well this season" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "During their current four-game losing streak, the Nationals haven't been able to give their pitchers much run support. In fact, the team is 30-for-136 (.221) with five RBIs during the skid." - "Nationals banking on new offensive philosophy" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'The guy is a Greek god,' said teammate Chad Tracy, whose locker is adjacent to [Roger] Bernadina’s at Nationals Park." - "Roger Bernadina: the Nationals’ muscle man in the midst of a career season" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Forget the weekend’s unlikely sweep by the formerly Phutile Phils of 2012. Such things happen to every team during the long season." - "HELLER: Nationals have foundation to win now — and later" - Dick Heller, Washington Times

• "An entire year of speculation about when the Nationals would shut down their ace right-hander boils down to the next few weeks." - "Countdown to shutdown for Nationals' Strasburg" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "The Nats didn’t have their best weekend ever, getting swept by the Phillies. But it’s hardly the end of the world." - "Nats’ lost weekend doesn’t mean all is lost" - Tracee Hamilton, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals expect to have Desmond and Morse back in their lineup Tuesday in Miami, and active rosters expand to 40 on Saturday." - "Nationals days away from calling up reinforcements" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "It is entirely possible that for the second time in his career Davey Johnson could win a manager of the year award and not return..." - "Nationals can't manage without Johnson" - Thom Loverro, WashingtonExaminer.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "People in every part of the world are fed up with violence; increasingly people are looking for ways to create peace."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Doubledays sent 12 men to the plate in the first inning, as their seven runs came on six hits, two walks, and one hit batsman." - "First inning surge leads Doubledays past Spikes" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays scored seven runs in the top of the first, and cruised to a 12-1 win over the State College Spikes at Lubrano Park Monday." - "Doubledays score early, often in win over Spikes" - Jeremy Houghtaling, The Auburn Citizen

Double-A Harrisburg: "The Harrisburg Senators fell behind 5-0 on Monday in Richmond, then rallied for the lead, only to see their lead slip away in an 8-6 loss to Richmond." - "Senators Can't Hold Lead, Fall 8-6 to Richmond" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost a 6-2 affair to the Charlotte Knights on Monday night from Knights Stadium." - "Knights trip up Chiefs in series opener" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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

• "[John] Lannan, 27, is the likeliest candidate to take [Stephen] Strasburg’s spot in the rotation when the Nationals decide he has reached his innings limit." - "John Lannan named International League player of the week" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Now, just as the Nationals felt he would, [John] Lannan is set to make his longer-term return and he's going to be not only needed but counted on." - "John Lannan wins pitcher of the week honors in Triple-A as call-up nears" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• NATS TOWN:

• "'Just try to be as flawless as you can, try to be as loose as you can. And when you’re loose and flawless, you’re sexy. So there you go.'" - "Bryce Harper: ‘When you’re loose and flawless, you’re sexy'" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "The 1901 Cleveland Riot, 20 July" - Karen and Kevin Flynn, D.C. Baseball History

• "Nats Talk On The Go: Episode 33" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Washington Nationals RHP was born 8/26/1981 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba." - "NATS: Happy Birthday, Yunesky Maya" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "The Nats should tweak their uniforms again" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "Sweep, split or be swept – a turning point for the Nationals" - Joseph Michelizzi, Positive Mental Natitude

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "It was a frustrating night for the Atlanta Braves, the NL wild-card leaders who mustered only four hits against the San Diego Padres." - "Braves lose 3-0 to rookie Kelly, Padres" - Bernie Wilson, AP/WTOP.com

Mets: "'I fully expect David Wright and R.A. Dickey will be here not only next year, but long-term.'" - Sandy Alderson - "Sandy Alderson expects David Wright and R.A. Dickey to be with NY Mets beyond 2013 season" - Anthony McCarron, NY Daily News

Marlins: "Based strictly on appearance, Steve Cishek doesn’t fit the stereotype of a closer. He doesn’t look mean and nasty." - "LOS ANGELES: Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek a nice guy with a killer instinct" - Clarke Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "Coolstandings.com gives the Phillies a one-in-1,000 chance of doing it. For one thing, they would have to hop over four teams, none of which has a losing record." - "Miracle not in the cards for these Phils" - Sam Donnellon, Philly.com

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