Wire Taps: Nationals Haven't Given Up; Jayson Werth Not Big On Doom And Gloom

USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Nationals were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend, and now they play the 57-39 Pittsburgh Pirates. The Nats dropped two games under .500 with Sunday's loss. Can they bounce back against the Bucs?

Yes, the Washington Nationals got blown out in the series finale with the LA Dodgers. Yes, they got swept to fall two game below .500. Yes, Jordan Zimmermann turned in the worst start of his career coming off his decision to sit out the All-Star Game to rest his neck. Yes, the Nationals are in third place in the NL East, just like Jimmy Rollins predicted. Well, he didn't exactly say that. Rollins' former teammate, Jayson Werth, didn't want to answer any doom and gloom questions after yesterday's loss, because, as he told reporters, as quoted in the Washington Times, "'I think at any moment this team could take off. But, again, I’m really not going to get into the doom and gloom stuff because we’ve got too many games to play. I believe in this team.'" Werth isn't giving up hope yet. Neither is Davey Johnson, who told reporters after Sunday's loss that though sometimes, "... it's tough to have patience," he hasn't yet given up hope." You? While you ponder that question, how about some links? And lots of them... starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!:

• "The tough-love message that should be sent to the Nationals at the trade deadline is 'You’re on your own. No help is coming. Growing up hurts.'" - "Nationals haven’t earned right to be buyers at the trade deadline" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "It looks more hopeless with each loss, with each runner left on base, with each strikeout looking, with each wasted pitching performance." - "Dodgers provide an example for Nationals that a season can change course quickly" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "It was just another day at the office for Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, while Jordan Zimmermann turned in the worst start of his major league career." - "Dodgers blow out Nats, complete sweep" - Chase Hughes, NatsInsider.com

• "The Nationals have gotten to be whiny this year. It’s like, oh, the media did this…" - "Richard Justice: Nats are whiny" - Washington Post

• "[Jayson] Werth has been saying all along that he thinks the Nats are still in a good spot, despite their record. That hasn't changed, even after this three-game sweep." - "Nationals Pastime: Zimmermann and Werth discuss Nats' latest defeat" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "'I think at any moment, this team could take off,' [Jayson] Werth said. 'But I’m not going to get into the doom-and-gloom stuff, because we’ve got way too many games to play.'" - "Nationals vs. Dodgers: Jordan Zimmermann has worst career start in blowout loss" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Nationals hitting coach Rick Eckstein has been the center of attention lately because the team's offense is one of the worst in the Major Leagues." - "Nats players defend hitting coach Eckstein" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "In a 40-pitch second inning, Zimmermann labored. The Dodgers batted around and he surrendered two home runs and six hits while walking two." - "Jordan Zimmermann says neck is fine; Ross Ohlendorf to start in Friday’s doubleheader" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "Key stat: The Nationals have scored 18 total runs in their last 12 losses." - "Instant analysis: Dodgers 9, Nats 2" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "The Dodgers are hot right now, having now won 20 of their past 25 games. The Nats are not hot, struggling to score like almost never before." - "Bad outing is only pain in neck for Jordan Zimmermann as Nats swept" - Mike Harris, Washington Times

• "While catcher Kurt Suzuki didn't notice any mechanical problems with [Jordan] Zimmermann's delivery, the righty said that he struggled all afternoon with his command." - "Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals - July 21, 2013" - Tom Schad, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "The Nats hitting coach has been the target of plenty of criticism - perhaps some warranted, some not - during the rough stretches..." - "Nationals Pastime: Getting in on the latest Eckstein discussion" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals are 10 games behind the Pirates in the NL standings. Pittsburgh currently holds the No. 1 Wild Card spot, with Cincinnati trailing by three games." - "Pittsburgh Pirates at Washington Nationals - July 22, 2013" - Steven Petrella, MLB.com Preview

• "[Cal] Ripken has maintained his legendary and his connection to the game, but he has not worked in an official MLB capacity since he retired after the 2001 season." - "Cal Ripken on the Nationals, a potential return to baseball and what’s he’s up to now" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post


• "It wasn't just the results [Ross] Ohlendorf posted over an 88-pitch relief appearance. It was the way he pitched, offering even more encouragement." - "Ohlendorf earns a shot" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "As a relief pitcher, it is never easy to come into a game with your team already down 7-1." - "Ohlendorf's long outing prepares him well for Friday's start" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "[Mike] Rizzo would not specify what Jordan's innings limit is or how close the right-hander is to hitting it, saying only that 'we've got parameters in mind and he'll pitch up to them and then not pitch anymore.'" - "Staff health key as GM Rizzo weighs options" - Tom Schad and Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Only 10 teams have a worse run differential than the Nationals and, of course, none of them have a winning record." - "Some numbers behind the Nationals’ season" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "If you thought there wasn't anything positive to take out of today's 9-2 drubbing at the hands of the Dodgers, a loss that wrapped up a three-game sweep, I've got something for you." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson on Zimmermann's rough outing, another Nats loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "According to [Ross] Ohlendorf, the last time he threw a 97-mph fastball was four years ago, when he was with the Pirates." - "Ohlendorf bails out bullpen, earns start Friday" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

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

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "[Ross] Detwiler has struggled since returning last month from a separate back injury, a right oblique strain that also had him on the DL." - "Ross Detwiler to miss at least 2 more starts for Washington Nationals" - ESPN

• "Osceola County's pricey proposal to build a new spring-training complex for the Washington Nationals has the potential to be an economic-development home run or a costly strikeout." - "Osceola stadium for Nationals spring training would come at high price" - Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel

• "Photo by a fan from Potomac shows a hole in the netting behind home plate." - "Woman at Washington Nationals Game Hit in Face by Foul Ball" - Laura L. Thornton, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, MD Patch

• "There's nothing quite like going to a summer baseball game; seeing your favorite team play, having a few beers with..." - "Woman Gets Hit in the Face by Foul Ball During Nats Game [Video]" - Carl Pierre, InTheCapital

• "For a Washington Nationals team that many projected to win the World Series, the first 95 games have been a disappointment." - "Sideline Report: Where the Washington Nationals must improve" - Ross Cohen-Kristiansen, Silver Chips Online

• "Foul ball rips through net behind plate, hits woman at Nationals game" - David Brown, Big League Stew - Yahoo! Sports

• NATS MINORS:

Class-A Auburn: "Auburn starting pitcher Austin Voth only pitched one inning as he threw 39 pitches in the first inning and finished with one strikeout and one walk." - "Auburn Bullpen Comes Up Big In Victory" - Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays held the Vermont Lake Monsters to four hits in a 5-3 win Sunday at Centennial Field in Burlington, Vt." - "Doubledays pitching shuts down Lake Monsters in 5-3 win" - Auburn Citizen

Class-A Potomac: "[Sammy] Solis allowed four earned runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts while serving up a pair of home runs." - "P-Nats Shock Red Sox with Five Run Ninth Inning to Yield 8-7 Walk-off Win" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Jeff Howell hit a solo home run and the Senators went up early 2-0, but the Akron Aeros exploded for a seven-run seventh inning and took the series finale 11-2 at Metro Bank Park." - "Howell Goes Deep in 11-2 Loss to Akron" - Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

• Double-A Harrisburg: "For the first four innings, Senators LHP Robbie Ray was brilliant, working quickly and efficiently as he retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced." - "Matt LeCroy calls team meeting; Robbie Ray up and down; Sandy Leon nears return: Harrisburg Senators notebook" - Geoff Morrow, PennLive.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "Chiefs starting pitcher Ryan Tatusko gave up just two runs, but the Syracuse bats were held to zero runs in the first eight innings." - "Chiefs fall to Red Wings, split series" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Shippensburg grad Travis Ott is already in the early stages of his professional baseball career." - "Newly-acquired Nationals pick Travis Ott named PBR's District 3 Pitcher of the Year" - Eric F. Epler, PennLive.com

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


• NATSTOWN:

• "Davey: 'I feel like we're gonna be fine.'" - Nats Enquirer

• "These 2013 Nationals Are Totally Mediocre In A Really Weird Way" - Jamie Mottram, Mr. Irrelevant, a D.C. Sports Blog by the Brothers Mottram

• "Shifting Expectations And Enjoying Baseball Again" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Jayson Werth doesn't want to answer any doom and gloom questions" - Nats Enquirer

• "Remembering 1924 – Senators and White Sox split a doubleheader" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "If the Washington Nationals wanted to see firsthand what a turnaround team looks like, they needed to look only as far as their opposing dugout..." - "Washington Nationals Game 98 Review: Dodgers complete the sweep, holding Nats to just 4 hits in 9-2 loss" - Alyssa Wolice, District Sports Page

• "Nationals Buzz: Nationals have 10 days to decide whether or not they're contenders" - Dave Nichols, MASNSports.com

• "Time to be realistic – No deadline deal this year" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Marlins: "The goose eggs are piling up to staggering heights for the punchless Marlins." - "MILWAUKEE: Zeroes keep piling up as Marlins endure three shutout losses in row to Brewers" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Mets: "Matt Harvey was embarassed, not exhilarated or excited, in his first game back from starting the All-Star Game." - "Matt Harvey strikes out 10, David Wright and Marlon Byrd homer as Mets shut out Phillies" - Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News

Braves: "Braves players are the first to admit they need to play better on the road than they have so far." - "Minor and Braves are hard-luck losers to White Sox" - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

Phillies: "When [Matt] Harvey threw his 112th pitch, a 96-m.p.h. fastball that John Mayberry Jr. skied to center, everyone rose again." - "Inside the Phillies: Mets' Harvey a sign of things to come in NL East" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

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