Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Make Dramatic Comeback; Suffer Dramatic Loss To Phillies

Brian Garfinkel

Chad Tracy's home run in the top of the ninth had the visitor's dugout in Citizens Bank Park rocking, but a half-inning late heads were hung low as the Philadelphia Phillies won it on a walk-off single by Domonic Brown. 5-4 Phillies. Can Ross Detwiler get it done tonight?

Hey, did you uh... see that thing with Jayson Werth and the Philly Phanatic and his four-wheeler or whatever not starting? Yeah... classic. And uh, remember last year when Werth stole the keys to it? He's incorrigible. And then there was John Lannan. Remember when he hit Ryan Zimmerman on the foot early in the game? Classic Lannan. Right? And what about Henry Rodriguez? Did you? Did you see Henry's first two pitches for the Cubs? Ahhahhah. He hit the umpire! Then he hit Carlos Beltran!! Oh, Henry! And what about Dan Haren? Uh... yeah. So the Washington Nationals dropped another game last night. Chad Tracy homered with two outs... two strikes... to tie it at 4-4 in the top of the ninth. Then the Nationals turned to Fernando Abad and the left-hander ended up putting two runners on before Domonic Brown hit a two-out, walk-off single to center on a 93 mph fastball inside. It was kind of like expecting the Nationals to be on their way to another 98-win season and finding them struggling to get over .500, all wrapped up in one cruel inning. Let's not dwell. Ross Detwiler's on the mound tonight... against Cliff Lee...? Seriously? Another lefty? The Nats can't hit lef.... I'm sorry. Let's just move on to the links. Lots of them starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "Davey's not the problem. Or, in the sense that everybody is part of the problem, he's not the central element in fixing the problem. And the problem is offense. That's it. That's all." - "Ask Boswell: Redskins, Nationals and Washington sports" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Eighteen minutes after the Washington Nationals had pounded on the dugout railing, raised their fists in the air and practically danced Chad Tracy into the dugout in celebration, they walked off the same field with their heads bowed." - "Late-game heroics not enough as Phillies top Nationals in ninth" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "When a team is on the road, its manager typically holds back on using his closer when a game is tied in the ninth inning or extras because the closer is needed if the road team takes a lead." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson discusses Nats' 5-4 walk-off loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Asked if [Danny] Espinosa can reclaim his job as the team's starting second baseman, manager Davey Johnson didn't answer the question, but praised Espinosa, calling him an excellent defensive player..." - "Johnson: Espinosa needs to be 'comfortable' at plate" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "In a season that has been sometimes hard to watch for Phillies fans, staff ace Cliff Lee's numbers have remained rather easy on the eyes." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - June 18, 2013" - Kevin Massoth, MLB.com Preview

• "It's been a rough season for [Chad] Tracy, and that's putting it mildly. But perhaps the events of the last three nights will be the spark that turns things around for the veteran pinch-hitter." - "Instant analysis: Phillies 5, Nats 4" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com


• "[Fernando] Abad struck out pinch-hitter Steven Lerud for the second out before [Domonic] Brown fisted the winning hit to center. Jonathan Papelbon was the first player to greet Brown in celebration as he was rounding first base." - "Brown's hit in 9th lifts Phillies over Nationals" - Aaron Bracy, WTOP.com

• "When Chad Tracy homered off Jonathan Papelbon on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth tonight, a shot that tied the game at 4-4, the Nationals exploded in the third base dugout." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from Tracy and Abad after Nats' loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Soaring buildup dissolved into a miasma of things gone wrong — lack of execution here, a bad break there, a dash of curious management, all stirred together to maximize anguish." - "Nationals vs. Phillies: Chad Tracy ties game, but Domonic Brown wins it in ninth for Philadelphia" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The ninth inning seemed to be a good time for right-hander Drew Storen to enter the game. But Johnson had other ideas. The skipper felt if Abad was able to retire Revere, Storen would then enter the game." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - June 17, 2013" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'I told myself to be real short and real compact and try and get as loose as I could and just cut it off,' [Chad] Tracy said." - "Tracy hits another clutch home run, but Nationals come up short" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "One pitch away from a ho-hum loss to the Phillies, the Nationals now had new life, Tracy having delivered a game-tying homer on an 0-2 pitch for the second time in 72 hours." - "Nationals go from elation to frustration" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Ryan Howard crushed a solo homer off [Dan] Haren in the second, marking the 18th home run allowed by Haren this season, the most in the majors." - "Nationals Pastime: A rocky start for Haren (Phillies pick up a 5-4 walk-off win)" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The swelling in Harper’s knee had dissipated and he felt no pain in his knee performing range-of-motion activities, Nationals head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz said." - "Bryce Harper cleared to begin walking a week after cortisone shot" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Bryce] Harper has not played in a game for the Nationals since May 26, when multiple slides on the basepaths aggravated the bursitis in his knee." - "Bryce Harper cleared to resume walking and jogging as swelling in knee lessens" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The swelling in [Bryce] Harper's knee has decreased since the cortisone shot, and Harper will now start by doing some walking." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper improving, to begin 'ground-based activities'" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "[Lee] Kuntz was careful not to suggest any kind of formal timetable for Harper's return from the disabled list, though." - "Harper cleared to resume rehab" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "We are adding bricks every day. We are trying to improve upon what he did yesterday and not lose any ground." - Lee Kuntz on Bryce Harper - "Harper cleared to begin strength work on knee" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "[Denard] Span hopes to return to the lineup on Tuesday, an assessment his manager agreed with, so long as he can keep the pain and swelling down and he’s able to make turns without crippling pain." - "Denard Span rests sore foot and tries to get to root of foul-ball issues" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "When Span watched video of himself at the plate, it made sense. The meetings of baseball and foot were not chance misfortune, but the symptom of a swing gone astray." - "Why Denard Span keeps fouling balls off his foot" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "In reality, there probably isn't too much more [Davey] Johnson can do at this point to jumpstart the offense. He's tried plenty over the last couple months." - "Nationals Pastime: Span trying to battle through foot pain, offensive struggles" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Nationals center fielder Denard Span was not in Monday's lineup because of a deep bruise in his right foot." - "Span rests sore right foot in Philly opener" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'New day, new hope,' he said just after sitting down. 'I was talking to [Phillies Manager] Charlie [Manuel]. We cried on each other’s shoulders about our offense.'" - Davey Johnson - "Nationals’ offensive woes, struggles against left-handers, Adam LaRoche’s ‘benching’" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Dan] Haren hasn't given the Nationals much through the season's first 2 1/2 months. He's 4-8 with a 5.72 ERA in 14 starts, only five of them 'quality starts.'" - "Haren's season continues to devolve" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Anthony] Rendon is hitting .410 with three walks in that span of ten games, including a memorable career first home run to win a game in Cleveland." - "As Danny Espinosa rehabs, Anthony Rendon hits" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The veteran right-hander admitted that at this point, after the bulk of his 14 starts this season have not been to his liking, he's trying to experiment with some things." - "Nationals Pastime: Haren continues to search for answers" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter:

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "On First Pitches As A Cub, Henry Rodriguez Hit Ump And Carlos Beltran" - Sean Newell, Deadspin


• "Domonic Brown had been slumping. Ryan Howard was in a power drought. But both bucked the recent trend Monday night..." - "Brown delivers as Phillies walk off with win" - Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer

• "After [Anthony] Rendon hit his first Major League home run to give the Nats a ninth-inning lead on Saturday, he credited the so-called 'Rally Hair' given to him by veteran first baseman and noted prankster Adam LaRoche." - "Nationals rookie credits homer to ‘phenomenal’ mullet" - Ted Berg, For The Win

• "Ryan Howard went 3 for 3 with a homer and two RBIs, and Delmon Young had a two-run double for the Phillies, who returned home after losing seven games on a 10-game road trip." - "Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies - Recap - June 17, 2013" - ESPN

• "Domonic Brown made sure the closer's disappointment didn't last long..." - "Domonic Brown's walk-off hit gives Phillies victory over Washington Nationals" - Bill Evans, South Jersey Times/NJ.com

• "Throughout this baffling 2013 Nationals season, the scapegoats have piled up like trash bags outside a college frat house." - "Adam LaRoche's Disappointing Season Hurting The Washington Nationals" - Kevin Jones, wusa9.com

• "This much is certain: Roy Oswalt will start this week for the Rockies. The only question is when. All signs point toward Thursday in the series opener against the Washington Nationals..." - "Rockies seem likely to debut Roy Oswalt on Thursday vs. Nationals" - Troy E. Renck, The Denver Post

• "The much talked about demise of Ryan Howard can be put on hold- at least for one day." - "Ryan Howard ends drought, homers vs. Nationals" - Eliot Shorr-Parks, NJ.com

• NATS MINORS:

• "The Nationals have signed eight of their first nine Draft picks. Fourth-round selection Nicholas Pivetta, a right-hander out of New Mexico Junior College, is the only one from the top 10 rounds who has yet to sign." - "Nationals agree to terms with 22 draftees" - Jason Mastrodonato, nationals.com: News

via Twitter:

• "The Nationals announced Monday the first wave of draft pick signings, agreeing to terms with 22 of their 39 selections in the 2013 draft held on June 8." - "Nationals sign 22 of 39 draft picks, including third-rounder Drew Ward" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "The 14 homers is good enough to be tied for fourth place in the league this season. On Friday against Toledo, [Zach] Walters slammed a pair of home runs, the first multi-homer game of his career." - "Syracuse's Walters honored as Batter of the Week in International League (plus Auburn roster)" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Seriously, who saw this coming? LHP Ian Krol began the season as the youngest member of the Harrisburg Senators." - "Ian Krol's sensational start in big leagues; Tanner Roark's transformation: Washington Nationals' organizational spotlight" - Geoff Morrow, PennLive.com

Class-A Auburn: "Cody Dent scored the first run on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Ryan Newell and Wilmer Difo later scored on another wild pitch." - "Auburn Opens Strong" - Graham Doty, Auburn Doubledays News

• "In his first professional game, you wouldn't know Cody Dent batted under .200 in his college career." - "Doubledays Postgame: Dent's adjustments work at the dish" - Jeremy Houghtaling, Auburn Citizen

Triple-A Syracuse: "In the 12th inning, Syracuse (28-40) rallied against Tony Pena, Jr. with the benefit of only a single hit - a leadoff infield single from Will Rhymes." - "Chiefs clip Knights in 12-inning opener" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Every Time the Chiefs made a move the Knights countered." - "Chiefs use extras to get past Charlotte" - Ben Meyers, Auburn Citizen

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "Jayson Werth blamed for Phillie Phanatic breakdown" - Sarah Kogod, D.C. Sports Bog


• "Abaditude" - Nats Enquirer

• "Chad Tracy could be a poster child for this season. He has been down so long, that any kind of up looks awfully good." - "Nationals Buzz: It's going to be a long and bumpy ride" - Ted Leavengood, MASNSports.com

• "Remembering 1924 – Senators 5, White Sox 4" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "It’s been a frustrating road trip for the Nats, who have managed to win three of seven thus far despite their offensive woes." - "Washington Nationals Game 69 Review: Chad Tracy’s homer too little, too late as Nats fall to Phils 5-4" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "Is he really injured? No, probably not. But it's the way you save face for pitchers doing badly that you don't want to outright cut." - "DL Haren" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Sabotage?! Nationals’ Jayson Werth suspected culprit after Phillie Phanatic’s ATV stalls" - David Brown, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• Nats Nightly?:

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "The arrival of a phenom, particularly a pitcher who can produce oohs and aahs with every swing and miss at his high, hard one, is always a major event for any team, in any city." - "Zack Wheeler could team with Matt Harvey to give Mets pair of young aces" - John Harper, NY Daily News

Braves: "El Oso Blanco is out of action." - "Gattis on DL with strained oblique" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Marlins: "Giancarlo Stanton saw enough of Heath Bell last year to know what to expect." - "PHOENIX: Giancarlo Stanton powers Miami Marlins past Arizona Diamondbacks" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

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