Wire Taps: Washington Nationals And Los Angeles Dodgers Play Doubleheader In D.C. Today.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 04: Jordan Zimmermann #27 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park on August 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

• Inclement weather postponed the first game of three for the LA Dodgers in D.C. on Tuesday. This afternoon the Nationals and Dodgers will play a doubleheader in the nation's capital with game one at 4:00 and game two of two at 7:00 pm EDT or a half-hour after the first game concludes. If the Nats manage to sweep both games, they'll clinch the first playoff birth for a team from the nation's capital since 1933. Davey Johnson told reporters last weekend in Atlanta that simply guaranteeing a spot in the postseason was not a goal. A pennant is the goal.

All clinching a playoff berth guarantees is that the Nationals will, at the very least, play a Wild Card game, which Johnson told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore doesn't appeal to him because it, "... just really put[s] more of a burden on the manager, because nobody wants that one. A one-game playoff to get in?" No thanks, Johnson said, "'... clinching a one-game playoff doesn’t have any appeal at all to me.'" Winning the division and finishing first in the NL guarantees a five-game series that starts with two games on the road at the home of the Wild Card winner.

Jordan Zimmermann, in game one today, and John Lannan, in game two, will try to clinch the first postseason berth for a team from the nation's capital since player/manager Joe Cronin, pitchers General Crowder and Earl Whitehill, and players Heinie Manush and Joe Kuhel led the Senators to their third World Series appearance over a ten-year span in '33. /history lesson; begin: LINKS. RIGHT NOW!!!!

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

eMb: "Since moving to Washington from Montreal over the winter of 2004-05, the Nationals have had two owners, Major League Baseball and the Lerner family." - "Ex-Expos have unique view of the Nationals’ rise" - Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Doctors could clear [Danny] Espinosa to play on Wednesday, though it's doubtful he'd find himself in both ends of the Nationals' doubleheader so soon..." - "Danny Espinosa, Michael Morse benefit from rainout" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The feeling didn't go away, and [Danny] Espinosa came to realize that weakness from preventing him from catching up to fastballs or driving the ball when he did make contact." - "Espinosa gets good news on shoulder" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Danny] Espinosa got a cortisone shot yesterday, and was already feeling the benefits today. He said the shot itself was really uncomfortable, but appreciated being able to sleep through the night..." - "Nationals Pastime: Espinosa: Bone bruise 'best news we could've gotten'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'He is a tough kid. I would probably have to get clearance from the doctor and let the doctor fight [Danny] Espinosa,' manager Davey Johnson said." - "Espinosa day to day with bone bruise in shoulder" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "With a sweep of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Nationals could accomplish a number of things." - "With wins Wednesday, Nationals could claim first postseason berth for Washington since 1933" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "All the initial medical tests showed symptoms of a torn labrum -- an injury that likely would have ended Espinosa's season and required surgery." - "Nationals' Espinosa receives good news about injury" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "[Danny] Espinosa hoped the feeling would dissipate, but he couldn’t get the shoulder to feel loose over the next few days." - "Danny Espinosa’s shoulder injury not as dire as feared" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Danny] Espinosa has played with 'zero strength' in his shoulder since Sept. 8, he said, when he injured himself diving for a groundball against the Marlins." - "Danny Espinosa on left shoulder MRI: ‘Best news that we could have gotten’" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Nationals, as always, remain focused on the NL East title. And they drew a step closer to that last night, even though they never set foot on the field." - "What's at stake today" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "With the postponement, the Nationals need an extra starter for Sunday against the Brewers. [Jordan] Zimmermann will not pitch on short rest." - "Nationals-Dodgers twin bill on tap after Tuesday rainout" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Manager Davey Johnson said that Jordan Zimmermann and John Lannan will likely be his two starters tomorrow, in that order..." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats-Dodgers postponed, straight doubleheader tomorrow" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Michael] Morse’s name was back on the Nats lineup card, even though Tuesday’s game with the Dodgers was postponed by rain..." - "Nats keep confidence level up" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Before Tuesday's rainout against the Dodgers, Nationals outfielder Michael Morse was back in the lineup, hitting fifth, after missing the last four games because of a left wrist injury." - "Morse set for return to Nats' lineup after wrist injury" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Michael] Morse played through the pain last week in New York but admitted it was affecting his performance at the plate. While he is still hitting .285, the discomfort had sapped his power." - "Michael Morse ready to return after missing four games" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "'With the doubleheader, I probably need to plug somebody in,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'Zach Duke) is a candidate. I will need one Sunday, if we play two tomorrow.'" - "With rainout Tuesday, Johnson could turn to bullpen for spot start Sunday" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals' magic number sits at three to clinch a playoff spot, and Los Angeles (76-71) is the team they are trying to eliminate." - "Nationals-Dodgers series open rescheduled" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Aaron Harang was scheduled to start Tuesday for the Dodgers, but he will pitch Wednesday's opener before Josh Beckett takes the mound for Game 2." - "Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals - September 19, 2012" - Alex Angert, MLB.com Preview

• "'I haven’t done my research on that matchup but knowing what I know about Milwaukee, it could be I start somebody out of my ‘pen and I’ll want a right-hander,' [Davey] Johnson said." - "Rainout means Nationals will need spot starter on Sunday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "If the current standings hold, the Nationals will watch a one-game playoff the night of Oct. 5 to determine which city they fly to for the start, two days later, of their divisional round playoff series." - "Playoff scheduling quirk could put Nationals at a disadvantage" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "In order to lead a meaningful life, you need to cherish others, pay attention to human values and try to cultivate inner peace."

• NATSTOWN:

• "D.C. police plan to deploy more than 400 officers to protect Nationals Park and postgame celebrations if the team goes deep into the post-season, an internal document obtained by The Washington Examiner shows." - "D.C. plan for hundreds of Nats playoff cops could cost $1m" - Alan Blinder, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "If the Nationals go deep into the postseason, expect to see a lot of police handling security and traffic." - "Police planning for Nats' postseason" - WTOP.com

• "No contract has been signed with Metro to run after normal hours should a game run late, the transit agency said Tuesday." - "Metro service during baseball playoffs remains unresolved" - Kytja Weir, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "September 19, 1924 - Washington moves a game in front of New York with a 15-9 win in St. Louis, while the Yanks lose in Detroit." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – ’24 Senators take one game lead over Yankees" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "As the Nationals continue to whittle away their magic number for clinching the National League East, it seems like an appropriate time to take a closer look at how the postseason will work in 2012." - "A primer on the new postseason set-up in Major League Baseball" - Pete Kerzel, Nationals Buzz, MASNSports.com

• "Just don't ask Michael Morse what the magic number is, OK?" - "Thank you, Jose Reyes" - Nats Enquirer

• "As usual, Teddy Roosevelt pulled up the rear but stole the show, as ESPN’s E:60 ended Tuesday night with an eight minute Ken Burns-narrated feature story on the conspiracy surrounding Nationals racing president Teddy Roosevelt." - "Video: Ken Burns narrates and John McCain featured as ESPN E:60 profiles the Let Teddy Win movement" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Ryan Zimmerman was named the Washington Nationals' 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet." - "Ryan Zimmerman named Nationals nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award" - beltwayboy sports, Fanspeak MLB Blog

• "Danny Espinosa doesn't have a major injury. It's just a bruise and he'll be shot up with cortisone and sent out there to play. Great! Two things though..." - "Crisis averted! (Possibly)" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "A three-game sweep by the second place team, four losses in a row and then an off day. It has been a while since the Washington Nationals won." - "Nats: Rain, rain/Braves/Teddy losing streak, go away" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "As talk surfaced that the Mets first baseman could be traded this offseason, [Ike] Davis yesterday defended himself against allegations his night life and attitude have angered the organization and might contribute to his ouster from Queens." - "Ike Davis, New York Mets first baseman, says allegations that he stays out really late are untrue." - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Marlins: "In the blink of an eye, the heroic exploits of battery mates, John Buck and Nathan Eovaldi, were wiped out in another late-inning collapse by the Marlins against their long-time nemesis from Atlanta." - "Nathan Eovaldi hurled eight strong innings but it took a 10th-inning game-winning single by Jose Reyes to lift Marlins" - Harvey Fialkov, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

Braves: "Say what you will about the Braves and their sometimes maddening inconsistencies, but all season it’s been a bunch that doesn’t quit." - "Braves rally for three in 9th, fall 4-3 to Marlins in 10th" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "Assessing [Ryan] Howard's value this season and for the future is as complicated as an advanced physics class." - "Inside the Phillies: Phillies stick with Ryan Howard despite his difficulties" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

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