Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper's Side; Jordan Zimmermann's Start vs Braves

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Bryce Harper's bruised side. Jayson Werth's injured ankle and hamstring. Ryan Zimmerman's hammy. Stephen Strasburg's irritated forearm. Tough couple weeks for the Washington Nationals, but they still have to play the games. One more tonight in Atlanta and then it's on to Pittsburgh for a weekend series with the Pirates.

"I just went and checked on him," Davey Johnson told reporters after Wednesday night's win over the Atlanta Braves when asked about lifting Bryce Harper early after seeing the 20-year-old outfielder grimacing in pain after one particular check swing. "They're going to put him on some medication. He's got a real bad bruise to that -- I guess they call it the 'lateral ligament' or whatever -- and they're putting him on medication and doing a lot of treatments for him, we'll see how he feels tomorrow." Harper was seen in the dugout last night discussing the situation with his manager, but Johnson ultimately decided to go the cautious route.


"He didn't want to come out of the ballgame," the manager admitted, "But I saw him grimace and I was a little concerned about even playing him. But we couldn't take a chance on him, he could pull a lat or something and he could be out for a long time, so we'll play it day-by-day."

Johnson said he obviously saw the outfielder grimace on the check-swing, but it wasn't a new injury in his opinion, but rather a result of Harper's collision with the right field wall in Turner Field in Tuesday night's game. Johnson said hopefully the medication would take care of some of Harper's discomfort. The Nationals hopefully avoided a major issue with their young star. But they might have a minor issue putting together an outfield tonight for the series finale with the Braves since Jayson Werth's still dealing with an ankle contusion and hamstring issues.

Asked how challenging it might be to put together an outfield (Tyler Moore, Denard Span, Roger Bernadina?), Johnson said, "A little challenging, but we'll show up." 7:10 pm EST for game 4 of 4 in Turner Field. Until then, links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• Latest on Harper via Davey Johnson and 106.7 the FAN in D.C.'s Holden Kushner:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "With apologies to Stephen Strasburg and 20-game winner Gio Gonzalez, the Washington Nationals appear to have a new ace of their pitching staff." - "Zimmermann, Desmond lead Nationals past Braves 2-0" - Paul Newberry, AP/WTOP.com

• NATS BEAT:

• "'He’s a guy that commands his fastball. A majority (of his pitches) were fastballs today, with a couple of sliders. He came after us pretty good with his fastball. He commanded it so good we couldn’t get to him.'" - Fredi Gonzalez on Jordan Zimmermann - "Braves quotes after Wednesday’s loss to Nats" David O'Brien and Carroll Rogers, www.ajc.com

• "But perhaps the louder announcement of the evening was that of [Jordan] Zimmermann, thrusting himself further to the top of the discussion of the game’s elite pitchers." - "Jordan Zimmermann dominates again as Nationals top Braves" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "While [Jordan] Zimmermann allowed just two hits over eight scoreless innings, [Paul] Maholm's damage over eight innings was limited to two infield singles and Desmond's fourth-inning home run..." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - May 1, 2013" - Mark Bowman, MLB.com ATL Recap

• "'He mixed in everything a little, but for the most part he was just pounding the zone with his fastball, and we were behind it all night.'" - Justin Upton on Jordan Zimmermann - "Braves’ winning streak vs. Nationals end" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann has now thrown 18 straight scoreless innings. Over that span, he's allowed three hits and just two walks, striking out 14." - "Nationals Pastime: Another Zimmermann gem snaps Nats' mini-funk (with Werth note)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann (5-1) fired eight spotless innings, extending his scoreless streak to 18 and lowering his ERA to 1.64." - "Bryce Harper leaves with apparent injury in Nationals’ 2-0 win over Braves" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "The Braves had won five in a row this season over their NL East rival, and nine straight dating to last season." - "Zimmermann, Desmond Lead Nationals Past Braves 2-0" - Dan Morrison, CBS DC

• "Although most fans logically think Stephen Strasburg or Gio Gonzalez, and would be right to do so, right now it means Jordan Zimmermann." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - May 1, 2013" - Jon Cooper, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "With eight dominant innings of two-hit ball, Zimmermann continued his early season domination of major-league lineups and extended his streak of scoreless innings pitched to 18." - "Zimmermann is Nationals' stopper once again" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Dan Haren gets the start for the Nationals on Thursday against the Braves' Kris Medlen as Washington tries to build on another strong performance by Jordan Zimmermann." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - May 2, 2013" - Andrew Simon, MLB.com Preview

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann (5-1) made sure that streak ended, striking out eight and allowing only one runner past first base -- fellow pitcher Maholm, who doubled into the right-field corner in the third." - "Maholm pitches well, but Braves fall to Nats 2-0" - Paul Newberry, AP/WTOP.com

• "[Jayson] Werth said he is more affected by his ankle. He jogged on it some on Tuesday and hadn’t done anything to test it out on Wednesday afternoon." - "Jayson Werth still nursing injuries; Stephen Strasburg’s clean bullpen session" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "'I saw on (television) last night that I was out due to my hamstring,' [Jayson] Werth said Wednesday. 'I’m not sure why. And maybe I am?'" - "Jayson Werth getting X-ray on ankle, out of lineup again Wednesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Bryce] Harper suffered a bad bruise up on his left side last night when he collided with the right field wall attempting to catch Tim Hudson's fly ball." - "Nationals Pastime: Bryce Harper leaves game with apparent injury (Nats win 2-0)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Bryce Harper, though, is fairly confident he didn't strain any muscles on an awkward, sixth-inning swing..." - "Harper appears to dodge serious injury" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Outfielder Bryce Harper left Wednesday night's game, a 2-0 win over the Braves, while dealing with the remnants of a bruise." - "Painful bruise prompts Harper's early exit" - Jon Cooper, nationals.com: News

• "The Nationals diagnosed the 20-year-old with a contusion on his left side and manager Davey Johnson said he will be put on medication..." - "Bryce Harper leaves game with contusion on left side" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The medical update on Bryce Harper is one that should allow Nationals fans to breathe easy, even if Harper had trouble breathing for a couple of seconds after a sixth-inning check-swing." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper diagnosed with bad bruise on left side" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Bryce Harper left Wednesday’s game because of the bad bruise he suffered to his left side when trying to catch a home run at the wall in Tuesday’s game." - "Bryce Harper leaves game in the sixth with apparent injury (updated)" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Danny Espinosa showed up at Turner Field this afternoon, took a look at the Nationals' lineup card and didn't see his name in the starting lineup." - "Nationals Pastime: Espinosa on his struggles: 'I know I'm way better than that'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Danny] Espinosa, who rehabbed a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder in the offseason and has played with a sore right wrist for two weeks, said he has no physical issues that are hindering him." - "Danny Espinosa takes a seat as Nationals continue the search for answers" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Danny Espinosa showed up at Turner Field this afternoon, took a look at the Nationals' lineup card and didn't see his name in the starting lineup." - "Nationals Pastime: Espinosa on his struggles: 'I know I'm way better than that'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Ian] Desmond had never hit cleanup before in the big leagues, but he certainly looked comfortable in the role tonight." - "Instant analysis: Nats 2, Braves 0" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "'Everything felt good. Arm feels great. Hammy feels great,' [Ryan] Zimmerman said. 'So now it's just time to get back out there and get going.'" - "Ryan Zimmerman ready to rejoin Nationals on Friday" - Andrew Simon, nationals.com: News

• "'Everything went great,' [Ryan] Zimmerman said. 'It was good to get back out there. Everything felt fine so I will work out tomorrow at the stadium and fly to Pittsburgh tomorrow night.'" - "Zimmerman on rehab game: 'Hammy felt great'" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman will work out Thursday at Nationals Park, then fly to Pittsburgh and join the Nationals for a weekend series against the Pirates." - "Ryan Zimmerman will come off the disabled list Friday after successful rehab assignment" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman, out since April 18 with a strained left hamstring, went 0-for-3 and reached on an error while on rehab at Potomac, playing six innings in the field without reporting any problems." - "Zimmerman set to return tomorrow" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Little arouses the anxieties of red cap-wearing Washingtonians more than the sight of Stephen Strasburg shaking his right arm." - "Stop with the panic and start enjoying Stephen Strasburg for his ability" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "Another encouraging sign, however, was (un)tucked into the ninth inning." - "Rafael Soriano’s improvement" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• Your Daily Message from the Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "When you play with the reckless abandon we're accustomed to seeing from Bryce Harper on a daily basis, there will often be consequences." - "Delayed reaction: Bryce Harper exits Wednesday’s game with bruised left side suffered on Tuesday"- Mark Townsend, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• "Still, with the Nationals muddling along at 14-14, the injury scares to their young franchise players raises the question: Who is more valuable to the team?" - "Bryce Harper/Stephen Strasburg: Who is more valuable to Nationals?" - David Schoenfield, ESPN

• ESPN Baseball Tonight - Strasburg vs Harper:


• "'Everything was working,' [Jordan] Zimmermann said. 'I felt great.'" - "MLB Recap - Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - May 01, 2013" - CBSSports.com

• "Bryce Harper has mastered none of this. When he hits a homer, the Washington Nationals outfielder runs as if to avoid being tagged out." - "Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: Redefining the Phrase Home-Run 'Trot'" - Brian Costa, WSJ.com

• "[Stephen] Strasburg, like almost all modern pitchers, is getting the kid-glove treatment. The odds are against him achieving his potential, but that’s not anything new, really." - Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune - "Will Stephen Strasburg ever achieve his full potential?" - latimes.com

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Hagerstown: "19-year old Dominican catcher Pedro Severino has made a nice step up to Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns, and is off to a good start in his first profesional season." - "Hagerstown catcher Severino surging to prospect status with Nationals" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (14-11) scored all five of their runs on Wednesday night in the top of the first, hanging on for a 5-3 win over the Augusta GreenJackets (16-9) in game one of a three game series." - "Suns wear out GreenJackets with 5-run 1st" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Washington Nationals 3B Ryan Zimmerman made his third overall rehabilitation start with the Potomac Nationals tonight on the comeback from a hamstring strain and went hitless in three at-bats while putting the ball in play three times." - "Zimmerman Rehabs and Nieto Homers but Mudcats Swim Past Potomac, 3-2" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Brian Broderick pitched seven strong innings, but the Senators were shut out 4-0 by the New Britain Rock Cats on Wednesday night." - "Broderick Strong But Sens Shut Out 4-0 by Rock Cats"- Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "Jordan Zimmermann pitched another gem, Ian Desmond homered, and the Washington Nationals got off the schneid against the Atlanta Braves with a 2-0 win at Turner Field..." - "Harper removed from game after aggravating side injury" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

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

• "Bryce Harper tries comedy in new Geico ad" - Sarah Kogod, D.C. Sports Bog

• "Video: Bryce Harper, Davey Johnson, discuss Harper's injury scare" - Nats Enquirer

• "Nats Starter Matchup Monthly Analysis" - Todd Boss, Nationals Arm Race

• "He's never been a spotlight seeker. All he wants to do is his job. And that's exactly what he keeps on doing." - "Nationals Buzz: Unassuming Zimmermann the stopper the Nats need" - Rachel Levitin, MASNSports.com

• "Racing presidents, Nationals Park to be featured on finale of CBS’s The Amazing Race Sunday" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "So [Jordan] Zimmermann saved the Nats last night pitching brilliantly again to make up for another anemic showing by the Nats offense." - "Saved by the ZNN" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Jordan Zimmermann has quickly emerged as the Nationals best starting pitcher in the early part of the 2013 season." - "Zimmermann Dominates, Harper Leaves Early With Injury, Nats Break Losing Streak Against Braves" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "The Nats end April with a one game under .500 record of 13-14. This puts them 4.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves. They will look to get things going here in May." - "A Look At The First Month for the Washington Nationals" - Ken Morris, Blog So Hard Sports

• "Cliff Notes: The '36 Chambers of Det(wiler)' Edition" - Nationals 101

• "Movie Review: Bryce Begins" - Matt's Bats

• "Here Is The Coolest Bryce Harper GIF You’ll See Today" - Jamie Mottram, Mr. Irrelevant, a D.C. Sports Blog by the Brothers Mottram

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Marlins: "The Marlins’ bullpen, which had allowed just two earned runs during their past 14 combined innings during the win streak, allowed the brunt of the damage." - "Miami Marlins comeback falls short as Mets avert sweep" - Manny Navarro, MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "Bobby Parnell isn't holding a grudge toward his manager." - "After angry display, Mets' Parnell says he respects Collins' decision not to use him for save" - Mike Puma, New York Post

Phillies: "Two weeks after departing Great American Ball Park, the Phils arrived at Progressive Field in Cleveland and changed things up a bit. After getting beat by a dozen runs by the Indians on Tuesday night, they let Trevor Bauer go wild." - "Phillies are in a state of distress" - Ryan Lawrence, Philadelphia Daily News

Braves: "Kris Medlen hopes an adjustment he made in the bullpen will help his command when he takes the mound Thursday night against the Nationals." - "Medlen encouraged by bullpen adjustment" - Carroll Rogers, www.ajc.com

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