Wire Taps: Nationals take 2 of 3 from Padres, take on Giants tonight in AT&T

Jason O. Watson

The Washington Nationals took 2 of 3 from the San Diego Padres on the first stop of their 10-game, three-city road trip. Stop no.2, San Francisco's AT&T Park where the Nationals take on the Giants in the first game of a four-game set tonight at 10:15 PM EDT.

The Washington Nationals win on Sunday lifted them into a tie with the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East. The Nats are 7-3 in their last 10 games after taking two of three from the San Diego Padres.

Up next, however, a four-game set with the San Francisco Giants, who have won eight of ten and 15 of their last 20 overall to lift them to 42-21 overall on the year and give them a 9.5 game lead in the NL West. The Nats and Giants split the six games they played last season.

"'It was fun putting up the zeros. The main thing was to go deep and win the ballgame.'" -QOTD: Jordan Zimmermann via MLB.com's Bill Ladson

After the four-game series in AT&T Park it's off to St. Louis, where the Nationals take on the Cardinals, against whom they're 2-8 over the last two seasons. It's a rough trip and a good test if the Nationals have really turned a corner.

Stephen Strasburg takes on Ryan Vogelsong tonight in San Francisco in a 10:15 pm EDT start...

[ed. note]: ("If you're saying to yourself, why wait until after noon to post the links, well, we've officially shifted to Pacific Time while the Nationals are on the road so think of this as 9:30-ish AM post... OK, that's not true. Ummm, okay we'll be honest-ish... After driving down from NJ to D.C. last Tuesday, covering in the three-game set with the Phillies, driving back to N.J. from 1:00-5:00 am on Friday morning after covering the first night of the draft and hanging around for Mike Rizzo and Kris Kline's post 1st Round press conference and then staying up late Friday/Saturday for the games in San Diego and finishing up coverage of Sunday's win, we crashed, hard-ish and didn't wake up until 10:30 AM EDT this morning and this post takes about 90 minutes to put together. So, quit your griping. By which we mean enjoy the links.")

Hey, how about Jordan Zimmermann! Right?!?! Take a nap today. Read some links while you wait for tonight's game. Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "At the end of May, Jordan Zimmermann found himself adrift. The league hit .342 against him over five May starts, and he punched up a 5.06 ERA." - "Did Jordan Zimmermann throw the best start in Nationals history?" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "Williams became a star in San Francisco, and has long identified with the franchise. Heading back to the place his MLB career began will be special for the Nationals’ rookie manager." - "Nats manager Matt Williams heads ‘home’ to San Francisco" - Chase Hughes, Nats Insider

• "Zimmermann wasn't sure if he was going to pitch a good game because he had a rotten bullpen session." - "Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres - June 8, 2014" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Zimmermann struck out a career-high 12 in a 6-0 whitewashing of the Padres that provided the Nats with their third consecutive series victory..." - "Nationals Pastime: Zimmermann's gem lands Nationals in three-way tie for division lead" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "On paper, the Giants are baseball's best team. Bochy knows titles aren't won in June, though." - "Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants - June 9, 2014" - Ryan Hood, MLB.com Preview


• "While the Nationals have put themselves in solid position, they can solidify their status and announce themselves as a leading contender this week, starting tonight in San Francisco." - "The Nationals’ hot streak will be tested in San Francisco" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "Did Soriano have a rough patch at one point last season? Yes. Does he have a tendency to make ninth innings dramatic and raise your pulse a bit? You bet." - "Nationals Pastime: In defense of Rafael Soriano" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "Nationals manager Matt Williams will be returning to San Francisco as his team plays the Giants in a four-games series that starts Monday night at AT&T Park." - "San Francisco trip a homecoming for Williams" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

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

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "The fact that Zimmermann (5-2, 3.17) was pitching with a six-run lead worked both for him and against the Padres..." - "Stults, Padres drubbed by Nats" - Chris Jenkins, UTSanDiego.com

• "'I checked my phone, and the Nationals were calling me,' Bourque said. 'I talked to a scout for like two minutes then had to clear my mind pretty quickly.'" - "Decision looming for Michigan pitcher James Bourque drafted by Washington Nationals in 2014 MLB Draft" - Michael Niziolek, MLive.com

• "For the third time since 2009, the Nationals selected a Minuteman pitcher in Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft as senior right-hander D.J. Jauss was taken in the 29th round (874th overall) Saturday." - "Washington Nationals draft UMass pitcher D.J. Jauss, son of former Red Sox coach Dave Jauss" - Matt Vautour, GazetteNet.com

• "Meanwhile, on the diamond, the Washington Nationals selected Auburn signee Montrell Marshall with the 364th pick in Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft on Saturday." - "Auburn rewind: 7 stories you may have missed last week" - Mark Heim, AL.com

• "The former U-W Stevens Point star from Auburndale was perfect until the sixth inning, when he gave up a one-out single to Alexi Amrista." - "WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Seven shutout innings from Gallardo lifts Miwaukee to victory" - Pierce County Herald

• NATS MINORS:

Low-A Hagerstown: "Low Single-A Hagerstown Suns right-hander Lucas Giolito is listed as the starter for Monday's game at Lakewood." - "Giolito expected to start Monday night, plus other notes" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Low-A Hagerstown: "The Hagerstown Suns (41-22) dropped the final three games of a four-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (37-26), including a 5-4 loss in the series finale on Sunday evening." - "Suns drop three of four in Greensboro" - Eli Pearlstein, Hagerstown Suns News

High-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals (33-28, 17-12) could not complete a three game sweep against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (30-31, 14-16) as they fell 10-4 on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium." - "Nine-Run Fifth from Blue Rocks Sinks P-Nats 10-4" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-Harrisburg: "Brad Meyers, a starting pitcher for the Harrisburg Senators, was released by the Washington Nationals Sunday morning." - "Nationals release Brad Meyers, a longtime Harrisburg Senators starting pitcher" - Geoff Morrow, PennLive.com

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, lost a rain-shortened, 4-2 affair to the Buffalo Bisons on Sunday afternoon from Coca-Cola Field." - "Bisons clip Chiefs in rain-shortened game" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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

• NATSTOWN:

• "Washington Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmermann put together an impressive outing over the offensively hapless San Diego Padres Sunday..." - "Breaking down Jordan Zimmermann's near-Maddux" - Stuart Wallace, Beyond the Box Score

• "Jordan Zimmerman pitched one of the games of the year tonight, becoming the third hurler on his team to fan at-least 11 batters in the past five games." - "Jordan Zimmermann Got His Groove Back" - Williams Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "New Podcast: S3E2: Tanner Roark: MacGyver of Pitching" - Nationals 101

• "Another week of baseball is in the books. Here are some names making headlines in the Washington Nationals’ organization." - "Washington Nationals: Minor League, Prospect Report Week of June 8th" - Brian Skinnell, District Sports Page

• "'I mean, I wasn’t thinking about the no-hitter. It was whatever.'" - "Video: Jordan Zimmermann flirts with perfection, strikes out a dozen Padres" - Nats Enquirer

• "They have won seven of their past nine games, outscoring opponents 53-16. The bats have been hot, with the fifth-best OPS in the National League at .737 since the start of the month." - "Nationals face their own Test of Champions" - Nationals Buzz: Marty Niland, MASNSports.com

• "Dominant. There isn't another word to use to describe the Nats starting pitching right now." - "Cusp-ed-ed!" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Jordan Zimmermann's teammates videobomb his postgame interview after gem" - Nats Enquirer

• "Have the Nats Arrived? Ask Me in 13" - cfliegel, The Nationals Review

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Phillies: "Contenders always look for bullpen help by the trade deadline, and Adams had not only been pitching lights-out but also has a lengthy track record of success as a setup man." - "Mike Adams' injury puts serious dent in trade value" - Corey Seidman, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia

Mets: "Mets RHP Zack Wheeler made the shortest start of his career Sunday, lasting just 3 2/3 innings and letting up four runs, as the Mets lost to the Giants." - "Sunday was the worst start of Zack Wheeler’s career" - Matthew Cerrone, Metsblog

Marlins: "Nathan Eovaldi's wife is due to deliver any day. Andrew Heaney turned in yet another strong pitching performance Saturday in the minors. And the Marlins don't play on Monday or Thursday." - "CHICAGO: Andrew Heaney’s promotion looms as Miami Marlins’ pitching rotation is hard to guess" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "I’ve never made it a secret that the Braves’ roster construction and flawed hitting has bothered me, and it tends to catch up with them down the stretch and in the playoffs." - "Braves are golden…or doomed (you decide)" - Jeff Schultz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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