Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann; Magic Numbers; Tyler Moore Love.

Sep 11, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (27) pitches during the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Jordan Zimmermann wasn't at his best last night in Citi Field, giving up six hits, three walks and two earned runs in 5.0 IP in game two of three with the New York Mets, but Nats' skipper Davey Johnson didn't seem too concerned about the relatively short outing. After throwing at least 6.0 innings in 21-straight starts to begin the season, the 26-year-old Washington Nationals' right-hander has made it to the sixth just twice in his last eight starts, going 6.0 innings in a win over the Astros and 7.0 innings in a win over the Cubs in his last start before last night's outing. Zimmermann's (2-2) over the last eight starts, (0-2) in the six starts he's lasted less the 6.0 innings with Washington 5-3 over the same stretch. The Nats' manager didn't sound worried with what he saw from Zimmermann last night when he spoke to reporters after the Nationals' 5-3 win.

"He was kind of a lot like Gio," Johnson said comparing Zimmermann's outing to Gio Gonzalez's the night before, "He was around the strike zone. Threw a lot of pitches. I thought he threw the ball okay, but I think he threw [104] pitches in 5.0 innings, that's a lot of pitches for him." Johnson attributed some of the issues to Zimmermann being amped up about the situtation the team is in. "I think he's feeling fine," Johnson said, "You know, we're in a pennant race. Guys get a little more amped up. It's about learning how to control those emotions, stay within yourself, and not fly open, not jump at the hitter. And this is all a part of the learning experience." As for the pennant race Johnson mentioned, he admitted he is looking at the Nats' magic number. "Oh, I look at them," the Nationals' manager admitted, "I look at them. It's time to be looking at magic numbers, and I've been looking at them for a while." Asked if his players were looking, Johnson laughed and said, "No doubt about it."

The Nats and Mets face off again tonight in the season and series finale between the NL East rivals. 7:10 pm EDT from Citi Field. Until then, links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "'I would love to stay,' LaRoche said. 'I’m kind of getting tired of bouncing around. My kids enjoy it here. It might be nice to stay for a few more years...'" - "Adam LaRoche wants to stay in Washington after bounce-back season" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Wednesday evening, John Lannan will take the mound at Citi Field and officially end his season in exile from the major leagues." - "Nationals' John Lannan will finally get his chance to pitch in pennant race" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Most of the discussion seems to be centered around what the grounding of Stephen Strasburg means to the Washington Nationals. But I don't think all that many folks really care much about the Washington Nationals." - "The Last Word On Stephen Strasburg's Grounding" - Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation

• "'I'm not helping the team when I'm not 100 percent,' [Michael] Morse said. 'I'm not helping myself, either.'" - "Morse out with left hand injury" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Nationals outfielder Michael Morse will miss a few games because of a sore left wrist. He is expected to get an MRI and X-rays on Wednesday." - "Sore wrist to keep Morse out of Nats' lineup" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Christian] Garcia showed his full repertoire Monday. After he fell behind Jordanny Valdespin with three consecutive balls, Garcia threw nine more pitches in the seventh." - "Christian Garcia makes his push for a significant role in the Nationals’ bullpen" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

SBNDC Podcast:

• "[Jayson] Werth came into tonight batting .440 with a 1.300 OPS against Dickey, and those numbers have only gone up as he's reached all three times he's come to the plate, singling and walking twice." - "Zimmermann not at his sharpest (Nats win 5-3)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Bryce] Harper credited Werth's fine at-bats in front of him for helping him solve Dickey." - "Harper's 4 hits help Nats beat Dickey, Mets 5-3" - Mike Fitzpatrick, AP/WTOP.com

• "Stephen Strasburg has a vision of hell right now -- the attention of the country focused on him for what he isn't doing." - "Thom Loverro: Nats' ace in the hell hole" - Thom Loverro, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "At the end of Nationals manager Davey Johnson's post-game meeting with reporters Monday night, he offered a plug for his first baseman unprovoked." - "Ian Desmond, Adam LaRoche and an interesting MVP debate" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Sean Burnett will play catch one more time and is likely available to pitch Wednesday..." - "Sean Burnett to be available Wednesday for first time in more than a week" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Bryce] Harper doubled and singled twice off Dickey after the teen star entered 0-for-10 with six strikeouts against the knuckleballer." - "Four hits for Harper in win" - WashingtonExaminer.com

Bryce Harper's 4-Hit Game:


• "Talk to manager Davey Johnson about why the Nationals have the best record in baseball, and he'll often talk about his bench, which is one of the best in baseball." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - September 11, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "When Washington needed to patch its overmatched rotation in 2007 and 2008 Lannan was there as a rookie and performed admirable." - "Lannan not a bad backup plan for Nationals" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Since the day Morse hurt his hand, he has hit .238 with two homers, 22 strikeouts and four walks in 94 plate appearance. Tuesday night, he went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts." - "Michael Morse out Wednesday, will receive tests on left wrist" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "The Nationals have set their roster for instructional league competition, which will originate from their Viera, Fla., training facility, and begins this weekend." - "Nationals set instructional league roster and schedule" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'It’s time to be looking at magic numbers,' said Nationals manager Davey Johnson. 'And I’ve been looking at them for a while now.'" - "Nationals' playoff picture comes into focus with win over Mets" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Since the skipper gives his approval, there appears to be no harm in pointing out the Nationals' magic number to clinch the NL East is now 13." - "Finish line in sight for Nationals" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "The Nationals have 168 homers on the season, second only to the Brewers (177) in the National League, and better than Cincinnati (163), Pittsburgh (149) and Colorado (148)." - "When is power too much of a good thing?" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Christian] Garcia showed his full repertoire Monday. After he fell behind Jordanny Valdespin with three consecutive balls, Garcia threw nine more pitches in the seventh." - "Christian Garcia makes his push for a significant role in the Nationals’ bullpen" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[John] Lannan will now return to the rotation for the rest of the season, and do so only a short drive from his childhood home on Long Island." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - September 12, 2012" - Teddy Cahill, MLB.com Preview

• "R.A. Dickey was looking for a late-season win over baseball's top team to improve his Cy Young Award chances." - "Dickey done in by Nats as punchless Mets lose 5-3" - Mike Fitzpatrick, AP/WTOP.com

• "The Nationals wore their navy blue Stars and Stripes uniforms on the road for the first time Tuesday, while the Mets wore hats during batting practice and the national anthem to honor New York first responders." - "Davey, Nats take part in 9/11 remembrance in NY" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "Michael Morse will go for tests on his left wrist on Wednesday, hoping to get to the bottom of the pain that has plagued him for about a month." - "Michael Morse going for tests on left wrist" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Jayson] Werth and Bryce Harper, who notched a career-high four hits, formed a terrorizing duo atop the batting order until Moore delivered the crushing blow." - "Nationals vs. Mets: Tyler Moore’s pinch-hit homer, Bryce Harper’s four hits defeat R.A. Dickey" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Sean Burnett, one of the Nationals' most valuable late-inning relievers, is likely one day from returning to game action after more than a week of rest." - "Johnson says Burnett should be back Wednesday" - Joey Nowak, nationals.com: News

• "It's been tough for Davey Johnson to find at-bats for Moore since Jayson Werth and Michael Morse came back from early season injuries..." - "Instant analysis: Nats 5, Mets 3" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "In Brandon Harper’s office in Bloomfield, Colo., there’s a Washington Nationals jersey hanging from the wall." - "Brandon Harper: A former National with similarities to Bryce Harper" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "'That is the best lineup I have faced,' Dickey told reporters. 'They are just so functional. They got guys that can run, they have great energy, they have power...'" - "Dickey: Nats have 'the best lineup I have faced'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Washington Nationals should get their full complement of relievers back on Wednesday..." - "Sean Burnett should be ready Wednesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nats' lead in the NL East is up to 7 1/2, meaning the worst-case scenario has them leaving their three-game weekend series in Atlanta still up 3 1/2 games." - "Nationals Pastime: The end is in sight" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Compassion and peace of mind bring a sense of confidence that reduce stress and anxiety."

• NATSTOWN:

• "Of all the praise showered on Bryce Harper for his dazzling rookie season, Davey Johnson’s Wednesday morning plug may have be the most exuberant." - "Davey Johnson says Bryce Harper might be his favorite player of all time" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Fifty years ago today was possibly the single greatest game ever pitched in the major leagues." - "50th anniversary: Tom Cheney fans 21"- Chris Jaffe, The Hardball Times

• "With little fanfare pitcher Tom Cheney of the Washington Senators strikeouts a major league record twenty-one Baltimore Orioles on route to his 2-1 victory in the 16-inning contest." - "Tom Cheney strikeouts 21 in 18 innings" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "Ho hum, just another Big League first for Bryce Harper last night." - "Video: Bryce Harper's first four hit game" - Nats Enquirer

• "Operation 'Let's find a cab to get home safe because the Metro's closed' gets even worse the later in the night it gets." - "Nats, MLB need to work something out with Metro before the playoffs" - Nationals Buzz: Rachel Levitin, MASNSports.com

• "Instructional League Roster Notes – Pitchers" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "There are 49 pitchers that qualify for the N.L. ERA title this season. Among those 49 pitchers are five Washington Nationals, and they all rank in the top 24 in WAR (according to Baseball-Reference.com)" - "Washington Nationals boast candidates for Cy Young, but real strength is in numbers" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "ZNN got the results he wanted - a few runs given up and the win, but I guarantee he'd want to pitch better than that." - "Inconclusive" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Do the Nats have a communications problem?" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• "The Washington Nationals had to face off against one of the best starters in the National League, R.A. Dickey, on Tuesday." - "Nats Win 88th Against One Of NL’s Best Pitchers" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "One mistake doesn’t kill a pitcher’s Cy Young award hopes, but the numbers are still the numbers." - "R.A. Dickey is unable to snag his 19th victory in the New York Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Nationals Tuesday night at Citi Field" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Mets: "With the Mets leading, 2-1, in the seventh inning, pinch hitter Tyler Moore sent a knuckleball well past the left field wall. Jason Bay, in there for defense, could only turn and watch..." - "Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey can't get 19th win as NY Mets fall to Washington Nationals 5-3" - Andy Martino, NY Daily News

Braves: "So much for building on what the Braves got going in New York. Turns out their 11-run outburst Saturday was just a hiatus from what’s been ailing them on offense." - "Braves’ offensive woes continue in 5-0 loss – updated" - Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "We may not know for another three weeks where all of this is leading, but just the fact that the Phillies could be on the road to somewhere other than nowhere grows more and more astounding by the day." - "Phillies beat Marlins for sixth win in a row" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "On Aug. 11, the Marlins sat a half-game in front of the Phillies at the bottom of the National League East standings." - "PHILADELPHIA: Phillies continue to rise as Marlins continue to skid" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

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