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Wire Taps: Washington Braces For Philly "Invasion", Bryce Harper Hits HR, Washington Nationals vs Philadelphia Phillies Rubber Match.

• Programming Note: You can hear tonight's game on Sirius/XM channel 175, on 106.7 the FAN and WFED 1500 and you can see the finale of the Nationals/Phillies three-game series on MASN2 HD and the MLB Network. Jordan Zimmermann vs Cliff Lee. A "Philly Invasion" by a group led by Phillies blogs. Tonight promises to be an interesting night at Nationals Park. The pitching matchup alone should provide you with a reason to go out to the park or tune in wherever it's available. Who's watching the rubber match?



• "'It’s going to be tough,' Zimmermann said. 'He’s unbelievable. I’m going to go out there and give it my all, and we’ll see what happens.'" - Jordan Zimmermann on Cliff Lee - "Healthy again, Jordan Zimmermann rediscovers touch" - Josh Brown, Washington Times

• "Strasburg will not throw off a mound until he finishes the long-toss progression, and 'that takes time,' Kuntz said. 'No one is in a rush.'" - "Stephen Strasburg yet to throw off a mound" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "That the Nationals rallied against him at all, falling 3-2 in Halladay's first complete game of the year, is some kind of minor achievement..." - "Nationals rally against Halladay too late, fall to Phillies 3-2" - Ben Goessling,

• "...Rollins advanced to third on an interference call on Desmond, who thought Hairston might throw the ball to him at second. "'Then I realized nobody was covering third. I saw Jimmy talking off,' Desmond said. 'And I said, 'Oh, I have to get over there.' But what are you going to do?'" - "Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals: Nationals' rally falls just short vs Halladay" - Bill Ladson,

• "'My dad [a sports radio broadcaster] would talk about him standing there and facing every single question...'" - Drew Storen on Brad Lidge"When Drew Storen met Brad Lidge" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Beginning this Saturday, April 16, at 10 a.m., I'll be hosting 'Nats Talk' on MASN. It's a two-hour viewer participation program that will focus mainly on the Nats..." - "More Nats programming arriving Saturday" - Phil Wood,

• "'Adam is not 100 percent,' Riggleman said Wednesday. 'But the way he explained it to me was, 'The injury was more severe [in the past], and I know how to moderate and take care of it.'" - "LaRoche talks his way into Nats lineup" - Bill Ladson,

• "'We kept it close. A couple hits together and see what happens. That’s what we did. We had a chance.'" - "Nationals vs. Phillies: Roy Halladay stymies late rally in complete-game win" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'That pitch just …' Lannan said after the Nationals fell to the Phillies 3-2 Wednesday night at Nationals Park. 'He trailed off, searched for words, then stopped talking. All Lannan could do was shake his head.'" - John Lannan on bases loaded HBP on Howard - "Nationals' rally falls short in ninth inning" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• Nats Minor Leagues: 

Twitter: Washington Nationals on Twitter (@NationalsPR): "Bryce Harper hit first professional homer, a 2-run shot, off Lexington's Ruben Alaniz in 3rd inning of tonight's Suns game." 

• "Who knows, perhaps Bryce Harper just made Ruben Alaniz famous." - "Nationals prospect Bryce Harper hits first homer" - Tom Singer,

• "Chiefs pitcher Yunesky Maya was expected to start today's game against Pawtucket's Kyle Weiland. That pairing will battle in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader while Syracuse's Ross Detwiler and the Red Sox's Matt Fox will take the mound in the second matchup." - "Second consecutive Chiefs game postponed"- Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Brad Meyers started and went 4.2 innings allowing nine hits and four runs in taking his first loss in two seasons." - "Senators Hit 3 HRs in 4-3 loss to New Britain" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

• "On a chilly Wednesday night, the Potomac Nationals did something that has not been a given early in this 2011 season: they completed a scheduled ballgame." - "P-NATS SPLIT DOUBLEHEADER" - Potomac Nationals News

• SharkNatsTown: 

• "Dear Nationals, summon the Shark from the minors if you want consistent victories..." - "THE BEST WAY TO COPE WITH A SHARKLESS LOSS" - Sharkadina, Street Shark: Roger Bernadina's Unofficial Blog

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "By studying others’ viewpoints, it is possible for us to discover new and refreshing perspectives on the world – including our own life." 


Video: "The strange affair saw presidents getting picked off one-by-one as they attempted to traverse a bizarre obstacle course that included a first-ever appearance by a fifth president..." - "Nationals introduce 5th president – John F. Kennedy" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

Video: "At long last, Bryce Harper went deep for the first time as a minor leaguer, hitting a 2-run shot in the nightcap of a doubleheader between Hagerstown and the Lexington Legends at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington on Wednesday night..." - "Bryce Harper hits first minor league home run" - Nationals Enquirer

• "It starts with the players, and just as the Caps were lucky enough to be in position to draft Ovechkin and Backstrom, so too were the Nats lucky to draft Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. But it's just a beginning." - "Nats hope for parallels to Capitals" MASN - Nationals Buzz: Dave Nichols from the Nats News Network Guest Post.

• "Perhaps the most frustrating part about this loss is that it was the result of bad baseball mistakes which we had hoped were left behind in 2010..." - "Nats Late Rally Fails, Phillies win 3-2" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "My Nats Losing To Philly Night Was Better Than Your Nats Losing To Philly Night" - DangerNat, Nationals Inquisition

Joe Blogs: ""Manny Ramirez is one of the greatest hitters in baseball history..." - "Who Will Stand Up For Manny?" - Joe Posnanski,

• NL East Updates: 

• Marlins: "[Josh] Johnson came within five outs of becoming the fifth Marlins pitcher to toss a no-hit gem before the BravesFreddie Freeman spoiled his bid with a one-out double in the eighth of a 5-1 Marlins victory." - "Florida Marlins’ Josh Johnson takes no-hitter into eighth in victory" - Clark Spencer,

• Braves: "Chipper Jones hit his first homer of the season in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, giving the Braves' switch-hitter 1,500 RBIs for his career." - "Chipper Jones Homers to Reach 1,500 Career RBIs" - AP,

• Mets: "New York Mets Daily Farm System Report - 4/13: Familia, Mejia pitch gems as pitching rules the day for the Mets farmhands..." - "New York Mets Daily Farm System Report" - Stephen Schmidt, Amazin' Avenue

• Phillies: "John Lannan is a dangerous man who must be stopped." - "The case for John Lannan's immediate incarceration" - FuquaManuel, The Good Phight