Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Eliminate New York Mets; R.A. Dickey On Gio Gonzalez As Cy Young Candidate

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 10: Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Washington Nationals walks to the dugout during a game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 10, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

"I think we eliminated the Mets from the pennant race, didn't we?" Davey Johnson asked reporters after the Washington Nationals earned their 87th win of the 2012 season last night with a 5-1 win over NY. "Yeah, I figured that," Johnson continued when he was told that the Nats had officially ended the Mets' chances long after they were unofficially eliminated, "That made me a little happy." The Nats' 69-year-old skipper, who managed the Mets from 1984-1990, also weighed in on the Cy Young race and Gio Gonzalez's place in it as compared to New York's R.A. Dickey. Asked if his 26-year-old left-hander should be in consideration for the postseason award for pitchers, Johnson said, "No question. No doubt about it. You know, I know Dickey will get a lot of attention, but you're talking about a last place club. It's a little different when they're on top and getting all those wins."

Johnson noted Gio's consistently, the low number of H/9 and his ability to get right and left-handers out. R.A. Dickey himself is apparently impressed with Gio too. He told New York Post writer Mike Puma last night that he thought Gonzalez was his top competition for the Cy Young Award. "'I think his hits-to-innings pitched and strikeouts really reflect a consistently dominant year,' Dickey said." The Mets' knuckleballing right-hander gets to make his case again tonight when he faces the Nats in game two of three in Citi Field. Jordan Zimmermann goes for the Nats. We'll return to the Cy Young discussion when all the numbers are in. Gio's in the conversation though. For now it's links and lots of them. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "[Gio] Gonzalez leads the majors in batting average against (.206), slugging percentage against (.587) and hits per nine (6.75)." - "Gio Gonzalez: a leading Cy Young Award candidate?" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "The Nationals hit three more home runs Monday night, giving them 33 in their last 13 games and a National League leading 78 since the All-Star break..." - "Nationals' offense helps boost Gio Gonzalez's Cy Young case" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Last night's 5-1 win over the Mets coupled with Atlanta's loss to the Brewers boosted the Nationals' lead in the division back up to 6 1/2 games, seven in the loss column." - "Nationals Pastime: Breaking down Gio's Cy Young chances" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'I just told Kurt, `Couldn't you just hit a single?' [Kelly Shoppach] said. To which Suzuki responded: 'I know, I felt bad for you.'" - "Gio Gonzalez becomes latest pitcher to tame Mets" - Ben Walker, AP/WTOP.com

• "Not that there was ever much doubt about the outcome of this game. That's in part because [Gio] Gonzalez was so good at overcoming his frequent bouts of wildness..." - "Gio, Nats move one step closer" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Why [Gio] Gonzalez as [R.A.] Dickey’s top choice? 'I think his hits-to-innings pitched and strikeouts really reflect a consistently dominant year,' Dickey said." - "R.A. Dickey of New York Mets, who lost 5-1 to Washington Nationals, identifies Gio Gonzalez as chief competition for NL Cy Young Award" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

• "[Gio] Gonzalez worked around five walks and looked relaxed in extending his career high for wins." - "Gonzalez earns ML-leading 19th win, Nats top Mets" - Ben Walker, AP/WTOP.com

• "Davey Johnson has said the phrase so many times this season even he has to offer a wry smile. His managerial motto is that he focuses on today with an eye on tomorrow." - "Johnson emphasizes Nationals’ business at hand" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "It's no coincidence that [Jayson] Werth returned on August 17th and [Bryce] Harper has responded. They love playing next to each other." - "Ask Boswell: All things Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "If the Nationals are to earn their first National League East title since moving to Washington in 2005, they are going to have to win it by beating teams inside the division." - "Division games carry weight for Nationals" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Adam LaRoche had an incredible homestand, going 15-for-40 with six homers, 14 RBIs and 10 runs." - "Despite Sunday loss, Nationals' homestand one for the ages" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Ian] Desmond's 22 homers this season are the most ever by a Washington middle infielder, a span that includes the 1901-71 Senators and the 2005-present Nationals." - "Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 1" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Washington Nationals have toggled between different methods of victory all season, and lately they have settled on brute force." - "Nationals vs. Mets: Gio Gonzalez notches 19th win, Washington hits three homers in 5-1 victory" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals will be looking for [Jordan] Zimmermann to build off his last outing, when he held the Cubs to two runs in seven innings, with nine strikeouts." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - September 11, 2012" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com Preview

• "Sure, [Collin] McHugh was charged with only two earned runs in four innings, but that was sort of a technicality. He allowed three home runs, and five runs overall." - "NY Mets fall to Washington Nationals as rookie Collin McHugh struggles" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

• "'Power arms, power arms — that's what translates in the postseason,' [Chipper] Jones said." - "Chipper Jones: Nats good without Strasburg" - Chase Hughes, CSNWashington.com

• "[John] Lannan will take the ball Wednesday in a game that was scheduled to be Strasburg's final outing of the season." - "Davey sticking with Nats' rotation order on road trip" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "[Davey] Johnson had considered taking advantage of Thursday’s scheduled day off to move starters around so that left-hander John Lannan could face the Atlanta Braves..." - "Davey Johnson won’t adjust starting rotation for Braves series" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Unlike his previous two starts, [Gio] Gonzalez wasn't dominant, but he did enough to break a tie with Tuesday's Mets starter, R.A. Dickey, for the big league lead in victories." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - September 10, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "[Sean] Burnett, who has been on anti-inflammatory medicine for the issue recently and has struggled with pain in his elbow since at least the All-Star break, acknowledged that he still does not feel 100 percent." - "Sean Burnett throws bullpen, hopes to be available Tuesday or Wednesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Though [Sean] Burnett was hopeful he'd be cleared to return to game action Tuesday, [Davey] Johnson said he's likely to wait one more day..." - "Burnett throws, available Wednesday" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Nationals reliever Sean Burnett threw a short bullpen session on Monday and said his left arm felt better and that he hopes to be ready to pitch in game action as soon as Tuesday night." - "Burnett on cusp of return to Nats' bullpen" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "On Monday, [Sean Burnett] said he threw the ball like he normally would warming up in the bullpen before a game and it all felt close to normal again." - "Sean Burnett throws bullpen session, could return Wednesday" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "[Kurt] Suzuki continues to rake, hitting his fourth homer in his last 11 games, while [Ryan] Zimmerman (21st homer) and [Ian] Desmond (22nd homer) each padded their impressive offensive totals." - "Nationals Pastime: The homer-fest continues (Nats win 5-1)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "This season has been the antithesis of what Werth went through during his first year with the Nationals in 2011, when he hit .232 with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs." - "Jayson Werth has supplied energy to the Nationals with his bat and his veteran leadership" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Last week, Manger Davey Johnson had said he expected Lannan to make his first start against the Braves. But with Strasburg’s season over, Lannan will take his place this week." - "John Lannan ready for first start after replacing Stephen Strasburg" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness."

• NATS MINORS:

• "The Nationals have added third baseman Matt Skole and right-handed pitcher Aaron Barrett to their Arizona Fall League team, the Salt River Rafters..." - "Nationals sending Skole and Barrett to Arizona Fall League" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "A Citizen on Sport: Remembering how the 2012 Doubledays went out fighting" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "Auburn Collapses In Late Innings To Exit Playoffs" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "You want this crazy, impossible Nats season to feel real? Check this out: D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier is already planning for a possible World Series parade." - "Morning pixels: D.C. police planning for Nats celebrations" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "The DC metro system and the Nats are still without agreement on how they can keep the trains running late when the games begin to run later." - "Nats still working with league, city for late metro" - Chase Hughes, CSNWashington.com

• "Gio seeks first Cy Young" - Joseph Michelizzi, Positive Mental Natitude

• "Cornelius Mack, also known as Connie Mack (catcher) made his major league debut on September 11, 1886 as a member of the Washington Nationals." - "Connie Mack’s major league debut" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Bryce Harper has already made the impression that he's a hard-nosed ballplayer, and on Monday night against the Mets, the Nats center fielder played right out of his belt." - "Bryce Harper dives for ball, loses belt" - Cut 4 - MLB.com: News

• "The Rushmores’ riff on the Korean dance pop phenomenon further cemented the racing presidents’ role in popular culture, reaching as far as the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Korea..." - "U.S. Embassy tweets about racing presidents Gangnam Style dance" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Yeah, you did, Davey." - "I think we eliminated the Mets from the pennant race, didn't we?" - Nats Enquirer

• "[Gio] Gonzalez leads the N.L. in fewest hits per nine innings and he just lowered that number again Monday night." - "Washington Nationals Game 141 Review: Home runs and Gio Gonzalez do in Mets, 5-1" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "When July ended Jordan Zimmerman had a stupid low ERA of 2.28. He now stands a 2.99 just a bad game from popping back over 3.00." - "A test for ZNN" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Gio Gonzalez deserves the bulk of the credit in the latest Nats victory. He pitched six innings of one run, three hit baseball and struck out six." - "Nats Beat Mets Behind Gio’s 19th Win And More Home Runs" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "The Nats exceeded the previous D.C. 162 game season victory total of 86, set by the 1969 Washington Senators" - "Nats win 87th game for most DC wins since 1945; Gio beats Mets 5-1" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Kelly Shoppach can rip, but he still needs to get a grip." - "Catcher Kelly Shoppach of New York Mets drops easy pop-up leading to three unearned runs in Washington Nationals 5-1 victory" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Braves: "Yes, the Braves were playing yet another hot team in what was supposed to be a mild stretch in the schedule. But that wasn’t their biggest issue Monday night." - "Brewers snap Braves’ five-game win streak" - Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Marlins: "The weather wasn’t the only thing that turned cooler when the Marlins reached the City of Brotherly Love after spending the weekend in the nation’s capital." - "Miami Marlins bats go into deep freeze against Philadelphia Phillies" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "Scuttlebutt is that the Phillies and Orioles are talking about a trade involving Juan Pierre." - "Stop Screwing Around and Trade Juan Pierre Already" - Michael Baumann, Crashburn Alley

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