Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper Making History Every Night.

September 5, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) talks to teammates Michael Morse (38) and Chad Tracy (18) after hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park. The Nationals defeated the Cubs 9 - 1. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

• #RUNHARP!!!: With his two home runs last night, 19-year-old Washington Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper tied and then surpassed Ken Griffey, Jr. on the list of All-Time HRs by a teenager. The Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick is now 3rd overall on that list behind only Mel Ott, who hit 19 over three seasons from 1926-28 for the New York Giants, and Tony Conigliaro, who hit 24 for the Boston Red Sox in 1964. Conigliaro hit his 17th in mid-July that season. Harper will have to turn it on in September to have any chance of taking over the no.1 spot on that list, but I wouldn't count him out. Harper's two home runs were two of six the Nationals hit. That's six-a-game in back-to-back games against Chicago. "Harper's been swinging the heck out of the bat here lately," Davey Johnson told reporters after last night's win, "Seems to be getting a little more relaxed. Same with [Ian Desmond]. Same with [Danny Espinosa]. It's a pretty hard lineup, like I said earlier, to match up against." No one has to tell the Cubs that. "That's not just one or two guys," the Nats' manager continued, "That's everybody." Asked about Harper, in particular, walking twice and hitting two home runs, Johnson said, "The last two or three weeks he's been that way." The last two nights Harper and the rest of the Nats' hitters have been ridiculously hot. The Cubs play their last game of the year with the Nationals tonight. They're probably looking forward to leaving town. 7:05 pm EDT tonight. Til then, links and lots of them... RIGHT NOW!!! Or at least after another look at Harper's 17th...

• THE BIG STORY!!:


• NATS BEAT:

• "With the caveat that even the best defensive metrics are limited, Harper ranks fourth in the majors among center fielders according to one of the leading advanced stats." - "Bryce Harper becoming an elite center fielder" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "And at the end of Wednesday night's 9-1 thrashing of the Cubs, all anyone could do was sit back and marvel at what this suddenly juggernaut of a lineup was able to accomplish." - "Men among boys" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "In his last 10 games, [Bryce] Harper is 13-for-37 (.351) with five home runs and 10 RBIs to raise his batting average to .259, with 17 home runs and 47 RBIs." - "Harper, LaRoche riding hot streaks at the plate" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals have 12 home runs in their last 16 innings. They've scored 20 runs in that same span." - "Nationals Pastime: The offensive juggernaut keeps rolling along" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "In the Nationals’ resounding 9-1 victory Wednesday over the Chicago Cubs, Bryce Harper carved another piece of history for himself." - "Bryce Harper blasts two homers, ranks third all-time among teenagers" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "After about the third or fourth one tonight we were like, ‘What is going on around here?’ said first baseman Adam LaRoche..." - "Nationals' offense stays hot to steamroll Cubs, 9-1" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Gio] Gonzalez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and pitched seven shutout innings before departing." - "Nationals' Gonzalez completely controls the Cubs" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "As a young player, [Davey] Johnson played for -- and occasionally sparred with -- Orioles legend Earl Weaver. Weaver once joked that Johnson had a habit of bringing suggested lineups into his office." - "Calm, confident Davey Johnson right man to lead Nats" - Richard Justice, nationals.com: News

• "[Sean] Burnett is receiving anti-inflammatory medication, and the Nationals are hopeful that will be enough to get him back on the mound. But that won't happen until this weekend at the earliest." - "Burnett out at least until weekend" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Gio] Gonzalez matched the Mets' R.A. Dickey for the major-league lead with win No. 18. The 18 wins continued the modern day record for wins by Nationals pitcher in a season." - "Gio on target again as talented southpaw reaches 18 wins" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "'I didn’t want [Gio Gonzalez] to go quite that far,' Johnson said. '(Even with a no-hitter going) I’d have still hooked him.'" - "Gio Gonzalez dazzles yet again and picks up 18th win of season" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'I’ve got the perfect bench,' [Davey Johnson] said. 'The problem is I have too many good ones on the bench and trying to get playing time for them.'" - "Davey Johnson says Nationals bench is among the best he has managed" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Gio] Gonzalez downplayed his performance, giving his teammates the credit for getting him his 18th win, tied for the most in the Majors." - "Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals - September 5, 2012" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'This is by far the best team we've played all year,' he said. 'It's like an American League lineup, too.'" - "Cubs allow 6 more home runs, lose 9-1 to Nats" - AP/WTOP.com

• "'It's a totally different team. They are in first place right now. They have a very good team,' [Alfonso] Soriano said." - "Soriano happy to see Zimmerman in playoff race" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Gio] Gonzalez has now thrown 16 straight scoreless innings dating back to his last start, which was a complete-game shutout of the Cardinals." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson discusses Nats' 9-1 rout of Cubs" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "After being reinstated from the disabled list on Tuesday, Nationals right-handed pitcher Chien-Ming Wang threw a bullpen session at Nationals Park." - "Chien-Ming Wang to be evaluated before returning to the mound" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Davey] Johnson talks about his days as an Oriole player with genuine affinity." - "Davey Johnson happy to see Orioles having success" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The offensive explosion might have been the story at the end of the night, but for five innings, Gonzalez was front and center." - "Instant analysis: Nats 9, Cubs 1" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Manager Davey Johnson, who used to be a player and manager for the Orioles, has noticed how well the team to the north has done this season and is excited for both clubs." - "Davey excited to see both Nationals and Orioles play so well" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Sean] Burnett said he has experienced elbow soreness for about two months, but was able to post respectable numbers." - "Burnett expected to rest, hopes to throw soon" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "A year ago, Nationals reliever Drew Storen grew accustomed to the role he no longer has." - "Nationals' Storen close to OK with new role" - Brian McNally, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "'This is by far the best team that we have played all year,' Cubs Manager Dale Sveum said after the Nationals’ 9-1 win..." - "Nationals vs. Cubs: Gio Gonzalez extends scoreless streak, Bryce Harper hits two of team’s six homers in rout" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "Nationals reliever Sean Burnett will not test his sore left elbow with throwing off a mound until at least this weekend..." - "Sean Burnett won't test elbow off mound until weekend and how Chien-Ming Wang could be used" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "In his last three starts, [Jordan] Zimmermann has allowed 15 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings, but he said his shoulder, which bothered him a month ago, is fine." - "Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals - September 6, 2012" - Clark Goble, MLB.com Preview

• "When Scott Boras brought up legal ramifications pertaining to Stephen Strasburg’s impending shutdown, many mistakenly assumed he meant the threat of a lawsuit." - "Stephen Strasburg’s shutdown and how baseball teams insure contracts" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Many of our world's problems and conflicts arise because we have lost sight of the basic humanity that binds us together as a human family."

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Short Season Auburn: Crosscutters 8, Doubledays 4 - Mike McQuillan - 2 for 3, 3B; Ivan Pineyro - 2.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K - Auburn Doubledays Scoreboard

Class-A Hagerstown: Grasshoppers 3, Suns 1 - Billy Burns 2 for 4; Blake Schwartz - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

• NATSTOWN:

• ".... we don’t have a lot of context or explanation right now. But we wanted to note that the Nats are announcing a self-imposed season-ticket limit of 20,000 seats in 2013." - "Nats announce they’ll limit season-ticket sales in 2013" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Fewer Nationals season tickets will be available for purchase than previous years, the Lerner Family announced in an email Wednesday night." - "Fewer season tickets available for Nats '13 season" - WTOP.com

• "Wednesday night’s presidents race at Nationals Park may have been the closest in racing president history..." - "Video: Did George Win? Jefferson handed controversial presidents race victory" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "For the second straight night, the Washington Nationals took batting practice during the game, tying the team record for home runs in a home game set just 24 hours earlier..." - "Washington Nationals Game 136 Review: Gio sparkles, offense shines in 9-1 win over Cubs" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Ho hum. Another night, another six home runs for the Washington Nationals." - "They're gonna break the submarine horn!" - Nats Enquirer

• "The curious case of Adam LaRoche" - Joseph Michelizzi, Positive Mental Natitude

• "Shark Tees Off on the Cubs" - Sharkadina

• "Every time a wave starts up at Nats Park, the torrent of online criticism splatters bile across my computer screen." - "The Nats and the wave" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Cy Young sent a telegram from the great beyond yesterday with a cryptic message to all National Leaguers chasing the award named in his honor. It read: 'Beware of the bearded knuckleballer.'" - "R.A. Dickey picks up 18th win as New York Mets top St. Louis Cardinals, 6-2, to close 6-3 road trip" - Mike Puma, NYPOST.com

Braves: "Mike Minor was unhittable most of the game, which is just about what’s required lately for a Braves pitcher to get a win." - "No offense, but Minor superb in Braves’ 1-0 win over Rockies" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Phillies: "It's September and the Phillies are playing their best baseball of the season." - "Phillies peaking a little late" - Ryan Lawrence, Philly.com

Marlins: "Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said that he would be testing his team’s young arms in the final month of the season." - "Miami Marlins’ young pitchers learn hard lesson on mound in loss to Brewers" - R.J. Rico, MiamiHerald.com

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