Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper (aka Harper The Friendly Ghost) Goes 4 For 5 In Finale W/ Fish

Marc Serota

Washington Nationals' slugger Bryce Harper looked like he might vomit the whole time, (and apparently did a few times) but he still managed to go 4 for 5 in the series finale in Miami as the Nats beat the Fish to take 2 of 3 on the road in Marlins Park Thursday night.

Davey Johnson told his 20-year-old outfielder to stay away from him. Washington Nationals' left fielder Bryce Harper was sick with the flu. It was bad enough that the 2010 no.1 overall pick missed Tuesday night's game in Miami. Both Harper and Denard Span were hit by the bug. "This is isn't just your regular stomach bug/virus," Johnson told the 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s The Sports Junkies on Wednesday morning, before Harper returned to the lineup and went 4 for 5 last night. "I saw both of them," the manager continued, "And they looked like death warmed over. I hated to even be talking to them. Harper came out on the bench [Tuesday] night and as I said he'd been hitting and I looked at him two or three times, I mean, he looked like Casper the Ghost. He said, 'Here I am.' I said, 'Man,' I thought about it, I think in the seventh inning I had a chance to pinch hit and I could have even double-switched, and I said, 'No, man. Go back down the runway or something. Get away from me.'"

After Harper's four-hit game against the Fish, which saw Harper hit his second double of the year, the Nats' outfielder has a .364/.417/.673 line with two doubles and five home runs in 14 games and 60 plate appearances. Johnson talked about the effort his outfielder made in less-than-perfect health. "I thought he was going to die every time he went up there," Johnson said, "and he got a hit. After three hits you'd think he's feeling great, but he didn't have a smile on his face the whole game."

"I'll give him off tomorrow though," the Nats' 70-year-old skipper joked. The Nationals have off until Friday night when they take on the New York Mets in Citi Field.

Until then it's links and lots of them, many about Harper the Friendly Ghost. Starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "'They're very, very concerned,' said one baseball official who has spoken with the Nationals." - "Zimmerman's errors could become a National problem"- Danny Knobler, CBSSports.com

• NATS BEAT:

• "[Bryce] Harper said he woke up around 3:30 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep until 1 p.m. All he could manage to eat since was rice and pretzels..." - "Harper returns to lineup; Span, Espinosa still out" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "During the second inning, he said, he vomited. Swinging at the plate made his head spin. On the basepaths, he hunched over several times." - "Battling illness, Bryce Harper turns in 4-for-5 night in win over Marlins" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Go ahead and add another noteworthy chapter to the 20-year-old's ever-growing book of accomplishments." - "Still-ill Harper goes 4-for-5" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Bryce] Harper deemed himself well enough to play after a pregame IV, and he said he felt 'solid as a rock' afterward." - "Harper, still under weather, tallies four hits" - Adam Berry, nationals.com: News

• "So let me get this straight: Bryce Harper missed Tuesday's game with flu-like symptoms and was still feeling ill on Wednesday, but talked his way into the Nationals' lineup anyway." - "Nationals Pastime: Detwiler delivers few surprises but exceptional results" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals pride themselves in having a deep roster, one that can survive an injury to a starter for short or long stretches of time." - "Kurt Suzuki’s steady presence in Wilson Ramos’s absence" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "When it was suggested to him that on many other teams he would be no fifth starter, Detwiler shrugged. 'I’ve never been on another team,' he said matter-of-factly." - "Ross Detwiler turns in another strong start as Nationals beat Marlins" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "But it's [Ross] Detwiler's confidence in himself that's led to so much success over the last year." - "Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins - April 17, 2013" - Adam Berry, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Three starts in, [Ross] Detwiler now boasts a 0.90 ERA, sixth-best in the majors. And if not for a blown call at the plate Wednesday by umpire Greg Gibson, that number would drop to a miniscule 0.45." - "Detwiler dominates again in Nats victory" - Mark Zuckerman, CSN Washington

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman more or less admitted after Tuesday night's game that the problems were only in his head and that he's frustrated he can't make the plays he knows he's capable of." - "Davey not concerned by Zim's errors" - Adam Berry, nationals.com: News

• "[Ross] Detwiler fired a career-best 107 pitches — 80 for strikes — over seven innings Wednesday night in a 6-1 win over the Miami Marlins." - "Nationals vs. Marlins: Ross Detwiler delivers seven strong innings as Nats rebound with 6-1 win" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Nationals obviously were upset to lose Wilson Ramos to a hamstring injury, but they also knew they had more than a capable replacement in [Kurt] Suzuki." - "Instant analysis: Nats 6, Marlins 1" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Washington's Stephen Strasburg and New York's Matt Harvey will tangle in a matchup of 24-year-old right-handed fireballers who both possess overpowering stuff and the hype to go with it." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - April 19, 2013" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com Preview

• "Ryan Zimmerman was busy with his pregame work early Wednesday afternoon, so he was not present when the clubhouse televisions flashed a debate topic on MLB Network." - "Ryan Zimmerman's errant throws no concern to Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "A disputed call that went the Marlins' way allowed them to avoid their fifth shutout, but they still lost to the Washington Nationals, 6-1." - "Punchless Marlins lose to Nationals 6-1" - Steve Wine, AP/WTOP.com

• "It was a 107-pitch performance by [Ross] Detwiler, the most pitches he's thrown in his career. He fired a whopping 80 strikes and by my count threw 100 fastballs on the night." - "Nationals Pastime: More of the same from Ross Detwiler (Nats win 6-1)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals only lost 11 games last season by five runs or more, but they've already been on the receiving end of three such blowouts 14 games into the 2013 season." - "Nats have been on both sides of blowouts" - Adam Berry, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "[Bryce] Harper was so ill he vomited multiple times during his Nationals' 6-1 victory over the Marlins yet managed to gather four hits..." - "Ill Harper the hitting hero despite 'hacking' all game long" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com

• "The Marlins concluded their first homestand of the season 2-7 with a 6-1 loss to the Nationals on Wednesday before 22,302." - "Miami Marlins: Good feelings fade with another loss to Nationals" - Craig Davis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com

• "Wednesday marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous home runs in major-league history -- one hit by Mickey Mantle off Chuck Stobbs at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Yankees publicist Red Patterson claimed the home run went 565 feet." - "Can Mickey Mantle's 565-foot homer be matched?" - Greg Rybarczyk, ESPN

• "Bryce Harper, the new official thorn in [Ricky] Nolasco’s side, returned from his one-game bout with the stomach flu and produced three hits and a run as the Nationals upended the Marlins 6-1 in front of an announced crowd of 22,302 at Marlins Park." - "Washington Nationals batter Ricky Nolasco, beat Miami Marlins" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

• "Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch, Mackey Sasser: Each experienced, at some point in his career, a debilitating mental block when it came to throwing a baseball." - "Yips: Washington Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman admits throwing issue is mental" - David Brown, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• "Stranding runners was the name of the game in tonight's affair. The Marlins managed seven hits, including two doubles, but the club ended up stranding six of those runners..." - "MLB Scores: Miami Marlins 1, Washington Nationals 6" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

• "RHP Stephen Strasburg went 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA and posted a strikeout rate of 13.8 per nine innings vs. the Mets in two starts last season." - "Washington Nationals - PlayerWatch" - Reuters/chicagotribune.com

• "The Washington Nationals baseball team’s hot season may become even hotter as it appears that Ted Lerner, the owner of the team since 2006, is finally ready to sell the naming rights of the U.S. capital’s top baseball team." - "Ted’s team hits winning ways" - Albert Hecht, Jewish Business News

• "Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth said they will get his grandfather, who won the World Series in 1960 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, a replica if they don't recover the original." - "Jayson Werth says his grandfather Ducky Schofield was robbed of World Series ring" - News OK

• "Ducky Schofield, the grandfather of Nationals star Jayson Werth, lost his 1960 World Series ring in a break-in at his Springfield, Ill. house, Werth said." - "Werth says his grandfather Ducky Schofield was robbed of WS ring" - Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (8-6) built a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Wednesday afternoon against the Lakewood BlueClaws (3-11) and never looked back..." - "Suns take rubber game from BlueClaws" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "[Taylor] Jordan tossed his third consecutive quality start after motoring through 7.0 strong innings in which he surrendered just two unearned runs on six hits while walking none and striking out five." - "P-Nats Complete Sweep of Salem" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "First baseman/outfielder Matt Skole, the Nationals' fourth-ranked prospect, is expected to miss three to four months after undergoing successful Tommy John surgery, general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters in Miami." - "Matt Skole to miss three to four months following Tommy John surgery" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Double-A Harrisburg: "Washington Nationals infield prospect Matt Skole underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday morning on his left elbow, as well as a procedure for a microfracture in his left wrist, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said." - "Nationals infield prospect Matt Skole has Tommy John surgery on non-throwing elbow" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

Double-A Harrisburg: "[Matt] Skole, 23, sustained the injuries on April 5 in a collision at first base during the second game of the minor league season." - "Prospect Matt Skole undergoes Tommy John, wrist surgery" - James Wagner, Washington Post

Double-A Harrisburg: "Through 13 games, [Anthony] Rendon is hitting .311 (14-for-45) with eight runs, four doubles, two homers and seven RBIs." - "Rendon off to hot start for Double-A Harrisburg" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "In the twin bill's first game, right-handers Ross Ohlendorf and Justin Germano each got off to a superb start, tossing four shutout innings apiece." - "Bisons sweep Chiefs in doubleheader" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "As the Buffalo Bisons swept past the Syracuse Chiefs in a doubleheader, 4-3 and 5-4, on Wednesday the hometown club fell back to .500 on the season." - "Chiefs back to .500 as Bisons sweep doubleheader" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "Thursday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "After 3 starts, Ross Detwiler has tossed roughly 20 innings and might just lead the majors in ERA." - "Early season illusion" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "DC Pro Sports Report: Who's Up, Who's Down" - Mark Buterbaugh, DC Pro Sports Report

• "MASN has hired Julie Alexandria as its new sideline reporter for Nationals broadcasts, the network confirmed this afternoon." - "Nationals Pastime: MASN hires Julie Alexandria as new Nationals sideline reporter" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'I didn’t feel very good at all. I was bent over at home plate multiple times.' – Bryce Harper, who threw up in the second inning." - "Bryce Harper has a ‘flu game’" - Sarah Kogod, Washington Post

• "MASN has hired Julie Alexandria to serve as its sideline reporter for Nats coverage, a source confirmed to James Wagner." - "Julie Alexandria is MASN’s new Nats sideline reporter" - Dan Steinberg, Washington Post

• "Last Friday night, I found myself surrounded by native Chicagoans and fellow D.C. transplants at a bar near Union Station when a group of Braves fans walked in." - "Nationals Buzz: Racing Presidents bring something extra to Nats' fan culture" - Rachel Levitin, MASNSports.com

• "Bryce Harper has flu, goes 4-5: 'I thought he was gonna die every time he went up there,' says Davey" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nats Scratch N Sniff Stickers" - Nationals Archive

• "Nats Game Logs on this Date" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "As Mike Rizzo proved last season with Bryce Harper, he isn’t afraid to call-up one of his young stars when the club needs a boost." - "Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/14/13" - Ryan Kelley, District Sports Page

• "Don’t Move Zim, Fix Him" - The Nationals Review

• "The Panic Button: Slumps, Sweeps and Ten Game Stretches (@SCviaDC)" - Nationals 101

• "Nats News 04-17-2013" - Matt's Bats

• "Bryce Harper, looking ill" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Braves: "After Braves reliever Luis Avilan crumpled to the ground in the ninth inning Tuesday, manager Fredi Gonzalez said he expected the worst from the hamstring injury that felled him." - "Braves’ Avilan not expected to need DL time" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "[John] Lannan tweaked his left knee in his last start , and the pain resurfaced while facing his first batter Wednesday." - "Phillies get thumped; Brown, Lannan ailing" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Braves: "'We've gotten Atlanta's attention.'" - "Braves GM: 'We've gotten Atlanta's attention'" - Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports

Mets: "After what some veteran players have called the worst road trip ever, Mets righthander Matt Harvey cannot wait to get back to New York on Friday." - "NY Mets' Matt Harvey loooking forward to Stephen Strasburg matchup Friday at Citi Field" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

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