Wire Taps: Washington Nationals And Atlanta Braves Finish Season Series; Ross Detwiler In ATL Tonight...

July 31, 2012; Washington D. C., USA; The bats of Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg (not pictured) sit in the dugout prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

MEANWHILE: What did Dr. Lewis Yocum say, exactly? Répétez s'il vous plaît? Instead of a quiet off day that might have been expected to feature a few stories about how the Washington Nationals season series with the Atlanta Braves ends this weekend in Turner Field, fans of the NL East's first place team were treated to a mini-nontroversy yesterday when a year's worth of quotes from the Nats' GM, ace pitcher and his agent were called into question by a few oddly-worded comments in an LA Times' story. Meanwhile... This weekend in Hotlanta, Gio Gonzalez might become the first pitcher to win 20 games for a D.C.-based team since Bob Porterfield won 20 for the '53 Senators or for the franchise since Ross Grimsley did it for the Expos since 1978. But back to the Strasburg story. MEANWHILE!! Back in LA, some retractions were issued, a public statement was made and another article emerged (after a few hours of heated conjecture) which basically contradicted most of what the previous article had said and cast all of the previous comments that had been called into question back into their original light. Ahh, fun. MEANWHILE... down in Atlanta, the Braves aren't going to quit fighting, though the Nats enter this weekend's series with an 8.5 game lead with 19 games left. Detwiler tonight. E-Jax tomorrow. Gio on Sunday on ESPN. Should be a fun weekend now that we're all past the latest Strasburg controversy... uh, MEANWHILE... Links and lots of them... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!! - Today In Two Parts:

• "The Washington Nationals began life without Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday. They did it without note and without fanfare." - "There's more to the Nationals' rotation than just Stephen Strasburg" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Jordan Zimmermann moved to Class AAA in the spring of 2009, and upon meeting his new pitching coach, he thought to himself, 'This is going to be a long year.'" - "Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty knows the pain and pleasure of the game" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT!!!:

ICYMI Strasburg Nontroversy: "The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said he did not tell the Washington Nationals to shut down their ace pitcher." - "Stephen Strasburg's surgeon on Nationals shutdown: 'I wasn't asked'" - Bill Shaikin, latimes.com

• "The doctor who performed elbow surgery on Stephen Strasburg said Thursday he has worked with the Washington Nationals on the rehabilitation strategy that led the team to shut down the pitcher last week." - "Stephen Strasburg surgeon clarifies role in pitcher's shutdown" - Bill Shaikin, latimes.com

• "[Mike] Rizzo did not return a call seeking a response to the Times' article -- an article that represented a departure from everything the Nationals have said to this point..." - "Mike Rizzo, Dr. Lewis Yocum and a discrepancy in how the Nationals made their decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg (UPDATED)" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "If [Mike] Rizzo and [Scott] Boras are being less than honest here, it says something important about their candor with respect to this issue. And when one’s candor is in question, it calls into question their judgment as well." - "Why the Strasburg-Rizzo-Dr. Yocum controversy matters" - Craig Calcaterra, HardballTalk

• "Yocum had initially said, 'I wasn't asked,' about handling Strasburg, but he backtracked a bit when he issued the following statement Thursday, published in the L.A. Times..." - "Dr. Lewis Yocum says he was involved in decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Lewis Yocum told the Los Angeles Times that General Manager Mike Rizzo never asked him about the decision to shut down Strasburg this year." - "Scott Boras: Lewis Yocum, Nationals have been in ‘repeated communication’ regarding Stephen Strasburg" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "[Dr. Lewis] Yocum is now saying that all parties involved — including himself, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, Strasburg and agent Scott Boras — agreed last year that the pitcher would face an innings-limit in 2012." - "Dr. Lewis Yocum clarifies his comments on the Stephen Strasburg shutdown" - Craig Calcaterra, HardballTalk

• "Dr. Lewis Yocum, the surgeon who performed Stephen Strasburg’s Tommy John elbow surgery, clarified his role in the Nationals’ decision to shut down Strasburg for the season." - "Dr. Lewis Yocum clarifies role in Stephen Strasburg shutdown decision" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

Back To The Beat:

• "The last Washington pitcher to win at least 20 games was Bob Porterfield, who went 22-10 for the Senators in 1953." - "Nationals' Gonzalez could reach 20 wins Sunday" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "'I made it back to where I guess it’s respectable now,' [Ryan] Zimmerman said. 'But that was a trying time, I guess you could say.'" - "Ryan Zimmerman continues to erase slow, painful beginning: ‘that was a trying time’" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals have a somewhat open-ended arrangement with Davey Johnson as far as their own managerial position goes..." - "Report: Bo Porter interviewing for Astros managerial job" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals, ideally, would like to eventually replace Johnson from within the organization..." - "Reports: Porter interviewing with Astros" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nats’ offense has been a tear since the previous Braves series. They’re averaging 5.3 runs and hitting nearly two home runs a game..." - "Nationals-Braves series still significant, depite Washington’s big lead" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Nationals third-base coach Bo Porter interviewed with the Astros for their managerial job on Thursday afternoon." - "Porter interviews for Astros managerial job" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Bo] Porter is regarded as a potential eventual successor to Johnson. When Johnson steps aside, the Nationals want to replace him with an in-house candidate." - "Nationals third base coach Bo Porter interviews with Astros" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Given what he's done this season, Desmond is a sure candidate for the most surprising performance turned in by a Nationals' player this season." - "Nationals Pastime: Who's your most surprising National?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nats' magic number to clinch a playoff spot was just five games entering play Thursday -- an off-day for the club." - "Suddenly, the Nationals' lead in the NL East is comfortable" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Even in a worst-case scenario, the Nationals will end the weekend holding a still-comfortable, 5 1/2-game lead with 16 to play." - "A chance to KO the Braves" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman set a franchise record Wednesday night with his ninth straight game with an RBI, doing it with the 150th home run of his career." - "Ryan Zimmerman reflects on early-season struggles and injury" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Since Friday, Class AAA Syracuse Manager Tony Beasley, hitting coach Troy Gingrich and pitching coach Greg Booker have been with the Nationals." - "Why Class AAA Syracuse coaches are with the Nationals now" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Therefore, if the season ended today, the Nationals would have to play the first two games of a five-game divisional series on the road." - "Congrats, top seed - now hit the road" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Bo] Porter is highly thought of within the Nationals organization and is considered a candidate to eventually replace Davey Johnson once Johnson decides to step out of the managerial role." - "Nationals Pastime: A chance to put the final nail in the divisional race" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "A real sense of concern for others breeds trust, which in turn leads to friendship and a sense of security."

• NATSTOWN:

• "Kilgore also reported that Lannan, a Long Island native, had 'at least 20 family members and friends' at Wednesday night’s game..." - "John Lannan’s family gives him an ovation" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "ESPN’s E:60 will will be profiling the Let Teddy Win movement this Tuesday night at 7:00pm on ESPN and WatchESPN.com." - "ESPN’s E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement (Preview)" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "The last 20-game winner in Washington was Porterfield, who won 22 in 1953 for a team that went 76-76 and finished fifth in the AL." - "G. Gonzalez primed to join elite company" - Nationals Buzz: Marty Niland, MASNSports.com

• "The State of the Nationals Farm" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• "September 14, 1901 - Cy Young of Boston scores his 30th win of the year, a 12-1 dismantling of the Nationals." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Jimmy Piersall is knocked unconscious" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "So the "Nationals didn't talk to Lewis Yocum about Strasburg" thing isn't actually a thing." - [New Look] Nats Enquirer

• "Dr. [Lewis] Yocum talked to the Nationals medical staff about Strasburg's recovery. It wasn't about how long to pitch him..." - "Fitting the story" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The Nats lost a series to a team they should have beat up on and swept a series against another team they were 'supposed' to beat." - "Nationals Report Card: September 7-12" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Remember that #strasburgopinons contest The Post did? Seems an important one was missed…" - "UPDATED: Nats: Strasburg’s surgeon not consulted on shutdown story denied" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• "Perhaps it is fitting that on a team that wasn't expected to compete, an unlikely star emerged." - "Ian Desmond Star Shortstop for the Washington Nationals" - Steve Shoup, Fanspeak Washington Nats Blog

• "Nationals-Braves series seems less exciting than promised" - Joseph Michelizzi, Positive Mental Natitude

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "After sweeping the Marlins three games just before Labor Day, the Mets were 64-70 and tied with the Phillies for third place in the NL East." - "Struggling New York Mets are hoping to just finish strong after falling out of the playoff hunt" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Braves: "'I don’t really see any importance whatsoever other than just trying to win the series,' said Chipper Jones, when asked about the magnitude of playing the Nationals for the last time in the regular season." - "Nats or no, Braves just need wins in weekend series" - Carroll Rogers, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Phillies: "The maelstrom formed long before the eighth inning Thursday, when rookie Phillippe Aumont was summoned for his fifth appearance in five days." - "Phillies lose to Astros" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "Giancarlo Stanton’s next home run — his 35th — will stamp his name in the record books." - "Cavernous Marlins Park likely has hampered even bigger season by Giancarlo Stanton" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

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