Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Sweep Two-Game Set From Tigers; Move On To Cubs

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals took two-straight from the Detroit Tigers for a series sweep of the defending American League Champs and now they're set to start a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs in the nation's capital. The first game starts tonight at 7:05 pm EST.

The Nationals of April are so last month. The May Nats are playing winning baseball. Washington's skipper Davey Johnson was asked about the significance of taking two-straight from fellow preseason favorites like the Detroit Tigers with Thursday afternoon's win. "Totally different ballclubs," the 70-year-old manager said, "I mean, they've got more of a veteran ballclub. We've still got some young guys learning. But I thought both games were very well-played. Good defense on both sides. Some good pitching. So, but it's too early for me to even think about that stuff."

The Nationals are 19-15 after 34 games, but there's a lot of baseball to be played before anyone can start thinking about playing important games in September and October, but the feeling around the nation's capital Nats is a lot different than it was just a few weeks back. Next up it's the Cubs. Chicago comes to D.C. for a three-game set that starts tonight at 7:05 pm EST with Ross Detwiler against Jeff Samardzija, another pitcher whose name might challenge Davey Johnson. Det in Nats Park tonight. Until then it's links and lots of them... starting RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Paul Demny pitched eight hitless innings and Ian Krol tossed a perfect ninth, as the pair combined to throw the fourth no-hitter in Harrisburg Senators history in a 6-1 victory over the Binghamton Mets on Thursday night." - "No-No! Demny and Krol Toss Fourth Sens No-Hitter in Team History" - Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

• NATS BEAT:

• "Wanda Wilson made news on March 31, 2010. She was attending the Twins-Yankees game in Tampa to watch her son, then-Twins outfielder Denard Span, play an exhibition game." - "Mom's toughness continues to resonate for Span" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Jayson] Werth wasn’t a candidate to land on the disabled list because the Nationals didn’t believe the hamstring injury was serious enough." - "Jayson Werth to rest at least one more game before returning" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The Detroit Tigers rolled into Washington this week, having steamrolled all comers in their previous 10 games." - "Nationals hold on for two-game sweep of Tigers in potential Series preview" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "This is the same Doug Fister who hadn't allowed more than three runs in any of his previous six starts this season." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats teeing off on Fister (Nats win 5-4)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals wasted no time pouncing on Fister. Five of their first six batters recorded base hits..." - "Instant analysis: Nats 5, Tigers 4" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen and Rafael Soriano combined for shutout relief after Dan Haren nearly squandered a four-run lead to complete a two-game sweep of the AL champions." - "Nationals beat Tigers 5-4 for 2-game sweep" - Harvey Valentine, AP/WTOP.com

• "Neither Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija nor Nationals starter Ross Detwiler has pitched much like a one-win pitcher to this point in the season." - "Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals - May 10, 2013" - Paul Casella, MLB.com Preview

• "A baseball team’s season seldom changes radically on one thrilling play or melodramatic game, except in fiction." - "Washington Nationals are looking like May bloomers" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "Jayson Werth spent the morning getting an MRI done on his right hamstring and seeing an internist, according to manager Davey Johnson. And the good news for the Nationals was that the early returns on the MRI were clean." - "Nationals - Tigers lineups: Jayson Werth MRI likely clean, on antibiotics for stomach ailment" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson agrees that both clubs have the potential to be strong contenders, but they do have their distinct differences in how they were built." - "Nationals not making statement by beating Tigers, just playing good baseball" - MASNSports.com

• "VIDEO: Is Zimmermann MLB's best pitcher?" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• Zimmerman Video:


• "Beltway Baseball: Strasburg will be alright" - NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals limped through the first month as barely a .500 team. But they have found themselves in the past three series..." - "Nationals vs. Tigers: Dan Haren wins as Washington wraps up two-game sweep" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "[Davey] Johnson said following Thursday's 5-4 win that [Jayson] Werth was likely to sit out Friday's series opener." - "Stomach illness among Werth's ailments" - Andrew Simon, nationals.com: News

• "With Thursday afternoon's 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers, the Nats provided more evidence that they are evolving into the team many in baseball believed they were in March." - "Nationals moving in right direction" - Kevin Dunleavy, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "As the Nationals’ bullpen, like the rest of their team, turned in inconsistent work in April, it was a process for Johnson to find roles each of his relievers would be comfortable in." - "Nationals bullpen rounding into form" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'You just got to pay attention,' Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said. 'Pitchers, first base coach, third base coach – it’s not so much the kind of gear you got on, it’s: you got to react.'" - "Happ injury reignites discussion about head protection for pitchers" - Barry Svrluga, Washington Post

• "'I'm really happy with the team coming away with the two-game sweep against a club of that caliber. I think we are headed in the right direction,' right-hander Dan Haren said." - "Detroit Tigers at Washington Nationals - May 9, 2013" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Over his last six games, [Adam] LaRoche is 9-for-17 (.529) with a .625 on-base percentage." - "Nationals Pastime: Soriano quietly taking care of business" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Dan] Haren earned his fourth win of the season in the 5-4 game after going six innings with four earned runs, nine hits, and a walk." - "Nats sweep Tigers in early season test" - Chase Hughes, NatsInsider.com

• "Rainouts are the worst. Greedy team officials are second." - "Nats get no points for fixing rainout policy" - Rick Snider, WashingtonExaminer.com

• "Neither Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija nor Nationals starter Ross Detwiler has pitched much like a one-win pitcher to this point in the season." - "Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals - May 10, 2013" - Paul Casella, MLB.com Preview

• "But because of the excellence of the starting pitching, one group of the team has been largely ignored: the bullpen." - "On the Nationals bullpen’s recent lack of work" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "This little two-game series between the Nationals and Tigers was billed by some as a potential World Series preview." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson discusses Nats' 5-4 win, mini-sweep" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Beltway Baseball: Strasburg will be alright" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson joked before Thursday's game about walking through the locker room and having his relief pitchers come up and introduce themselves." - "Relievers trying to stay sharp despite inactivity" - Andrew Simon, nationals.com: News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter:

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Inside the echo chamber, the move was arrogant or sensible or guesswork or overcautious. Even near the end of a 98-win season, Rizzo wasn't going to put a No. 1 starter at risk in his first (almost) full season after Tommy John surgery, pulling the plug after 159.1 innings." - "Championship DNA: What Cubs take away from the contenders" - Patrick Mooney, CSN Chicago

• "The Nationals try to extend their season-high winning streak to five when they open a three-game set against the visiting Cubs on Friday night." - "Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals - Preview - May 10, 2013" - ESPN Chicago

• "The Nationals try to extend their season-high winning streak to five when they open a three-game set against the visiting Cubs on Friday night." - "Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals - Preview - May 10, 2013" - ESPN Chicago

• "Anthony Rizzo is hitting .429 with eight doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games." - "Chicago Cubs: Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals" - chicagotribune.com

• "Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann's scoreless streak was snapped, but he still was able to survive a very difficult Detroit Tigers lineup Wednesday." - "Washington Nationals - TeamReport" - Reuters/chicagotribune.com

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (19-12) returned to Municipal stadium on Thursday night as one of the hottest teams in the South Atlantic League..." - "Suns slip past Shorebirds 3-1" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Using a pair of wild pitches from Wilmington RHP Spenser Patton in the top of the 10th inning, the Potomac Nationals buried the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium by the final score of 3-2." - "Wild Pitches Propel Potomac's Series Win in Extra Frame Over Wilmington" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Paul Demny set out to change his thinking on the mound, and in the process, became part of history on Thursday." - "Demny, Krol toss no-no for Senators" - Robert Emrich, MiLB.com News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Paul Demny and Ian Krol combined for the fourth no-hitter in franchise history, with Demny - in a must-have start - going the first eight innings before Krol got the final three outs." - "Nothing sweeter than a no-no for Paul Demny and Ian Krol: Harrisburg Senators notebook" - Jeff Reinhart, PennLive.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, fell short in the finale of a four-game series with the Durham Bulls in a 4-2 loss on Thursday night." - "Bulls clip Chiefs in series finale" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "[Eury] Perez is hitting .346 on the season and currently has an eight-game hitting streak. He is quickly rounding into a good insurance plan for the Nationals in the outfield." - "Chiefs finish up roadtrip 4-4" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "Good, Bad, Interesting – Vol. 4" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Drew Storen was discussing the Nats’ bullpen shenanigans with Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday afternoon." - "When Drew Storen was a rally cocktail waitress" - Dan Steinberg, D.C. Sports Bog

• "Denard Span did not expect to return to Washington, D.C." - "Nationals' Denard Span Connects With Community as He Settles Into Life in D.C." - Roll Call Hill Life

• "Denard Span untucked Kurt Suzuki's shirt yesterday" - Nats Enquirer

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

• "The Detroit Tigers are one of the top teams in the American League, and some folks tried to bill this early May matchup with the Washington Nationals as a World Series preview. It’s a little early in the season to try to sell that..." - "Washington Nationals Game 34 Review: Nats get to Fister early, hold on to sweep Tigers" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Dan Haren pitched goo... wel... fai... Look, he won all right. He got hit pretty hard. Lots of line drives and deep flyballs. But he got the win..." - "Sick!" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "After trotting out the cinnamon shakers to thwart the Tigers Wednesday night, Nationals Racing Presidents decided that another dose of cinnamon would continue to keep Detroit at bay." - "Video: George Washington thwarts Tigers with cinnamon again" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "The flawed PNC Park" - William F. Yurasko, William World News

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "Mets ace Matt Harvey may be the Rangers' good luck charm, but they'll have to play Wednesday's Game 4 of their opening-round series without him in attendance at Madison Square Garden." - "Twitter joke about Harvey skipping Mets game for Rangers causes stir" - Mike Puma, New York Post

Braves: "On [Brian] McCann’s impact tonight: 'That’s what Mac is. A healthy Mac is a guy who can swing the bat and make a big impact in that lineup. He makes our lineup a lot better.'" - Fredi Gonzalez - "Braves quotes after Thursday’s win at San Francisco" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Marlins: "Derek Dietrich said you can hear the chatter in the Jacksonville Suns clubhouse. Sooner or later, many of the Marlins’ top prospects know the phone call from the big leagues will come this season." - "LOS ANGELES: Injuries forcing Miami Marlins prospects into action" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "The Phillies announced that Roy Halladay will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Wednesday in Los Angeles." - "Tyler Cloyd not intimidated by Chase Field; Roy Halladay to undergo surgery Wednesday" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News

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