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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Win Back-To-Back Road Series, Play One More With Atlanta Braves Tonight.

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• Programming Notes: Can we all agree not to say the "S" word until the final out of the game is recorded tonight? The Washington Nationals play the ninth game of a nine-game road trip tonight in Atlanta with Braves' right-hander Derek Lowe looking to salvage a win after the Nationals have won the first two of three in Turner Field. Lowe faces Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann in the series finale. Laynce Nix, Alex Cora, Pudge Rodriguez, Ian Desmond? You never know who'll help these Nats win. That's why you have to keep watching...MASN HD, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, and Sirius/XM ch. 184 for tonight's game. Who's Watching the Nationals?



• "'I want it to become permanent,' Riggleman said. 'But we’re in the infancy of Drew Storen’s career here. We have to react a little bit to what we see.'" - "The key for Drew Storen: more fastballs, less tinkering" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'Twenty guys got in, and 20 guys delivered and that’s what we needed,' Desmond said." - "Nats rally in ninth, surge in 11th to beat Braves 7-3"- Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The big reason Riggleman wants to wait before officially handing Storen the role is his belief that young closers do best when they grow into the job after a kind of internship." - "Is Drew Storen the Nationals' closer? Not officially, Riggleman says" - Ben Goessling,

• "'Wilson (Ramos) just plays better when he plays more,' said Riggleman. 'He showed us that in spring training.'" - "Riggleman wants Ramos to play more back-to-back games" - Kristen Hudak, Nationals Buzz.

• "'From where we started this road trip to where we are now, with a chance to sweep these guys, is big for the team,' said Cora, who also had a hit in the 11th. 'It was a great win.'" - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves: Desmond, Cora rally Nats past Braves" - Guy Curtright, WSH Recap

• "Stephen Strasburg is 'close' to reaching a significant milestone in his recovery from Tommy John surgery by throwing off a mound again..." - "Stephen Strasburg ‘close’ to throwing off a mound, feeling ‘great’" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'Do we put Rick back in center? Do we leave [Bernadina] in center and put Rick in left? There’s a lot to think about there and we just don’t have to do that yet.'" - Jim RIggleman on OF situation - "Nix, Bernadina fitting nicely in Nationals' lineup" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Their ninth-inning rally against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel was a triumph of small ball..." - "Nationals come back for 11th-inning win over Braves" - Ben Goessling,

• "Before last night’s game, Riggleman said he started Nix again even though he considered Michael Morse healthy enough to play." - "Leftovers from last night" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'D-Lowe, he had the invisi-ball,' Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said after Friday's game. 'Invisi-ball. Yep. You see it in one place, and when you go to swing, it just wasn't there.'" - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves: Lowe to match up against 'perfect' Zimmermann" - Quinn Roberts, Preview


• Class-A Harperstown: "'A lot of other teams (are) bringing the lefties when he is coming up. Probably to see what their guy can do, but also a challenge for Bryce. He is seeing a lot of different lefties and a lot of different breaking balls.'" - "Suns' manager: Harper seeing a lot of lefties" - Byron Kerr,

• Class-A Harperstown: "'Here, the wind blows out to right a lot,' Harper told the Hagerstown Herald Mail. 'Every night, I try to get a pitch the I can drive swinging inside-out.'" - "Harper extends streak in grand fashion" - Danny Wild, News

• Class-A Harperstown: "The Nationals want to make sure that Harper can comfortably withstand the rigors of a 140-game minor league schedule before they subject him to a 162-game schedule." - "The hot Mr. Harper" - Phil Wood,

• Class-A Harperstown: "Hmm. Maybe, just maybe, Bryce Harper has proven all there is to prove in Low-A, and is ready to move on from Hagerstown?" - "Bryce Harper hits grand slam, extends hitting streak to 15 games." - The Nationals Enquirer

• Class-A Potomac: "Destin Hood got Potomac on the board in the first with a massive home run to left, his first of the season." - "Ramirez and Hood Go Yard, P-Nats Lose 5-3" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Erik Davis started and left after two plus innings with an unknown injury. Jimmy Barthmaier, Matt Chico and Pat McCoy were called on for the Senators out of the bullpen." - "Altoona uses long ball in 13-2 win over the Sens" - Terry Byrom, Harrisburg Senators News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Later, we would learn that Davis' knee buckled on the delivery and he was unable to continue after being checked out by the coaching and medical staff." - "Game 32: Curve 13, Senators 2" - Mick Reinhard, The Sports 'Burger

Triple-A Syracuse: "Syracuse scored two runs in each of the third and sixth innings, and Stammen and Josh Wilkie provided more than enough pitching support for the victory." - "Stammen, Chiefs win third straight over Tides" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Compassion is a sense of caring, a sense of concern for others' well-being."


• "The trip has been a big test for this Nats team, and it says a lot about this group of players that they didn't let that three-game sweep to their most bitter rival snowball into a bigger losing streak." - "GAME 36 REVIEW: Desmond Double in 11th Vaults Nats to Victory" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network\

• "Slaten has put 12 men on in 6 1/3 IP (WHIP of 1.895). He's given up 8 hits. He's brought in to face lefties and lefties are hitting .400 / .438 / .600 against him." - "Doug Slaten lied to me" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The Nationals are back at .500 yet again. The club has reached an improbable 18-18 by riding the backs of the less-talented but hard-nosed veterans, while patiently waiting for their prospects to develop." - "Stephen Strasburg Close To Getting On The Mound" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog


• [Sharkstache?]"[The Nationals] are now an impressive 3-1 since recalling the Shark from AAA Syracuse." - "KEVIN JAMES ROBS SHARK, NATS WIN" - Sharkadina: Roger Bernadina's Unofficial Blog


Mets: "For one die-hard Mets fan from Douglaston, 'Don't Trade Reyes' is more than a mantra - it's a way to make a living." - "Being Mets fan fits this Queens man to a T-(shirt)" - Mark Moralez, New York Daily News

Phillies: "Whether it’s selling sex for World Series tickets, booing Santa Claus (and robots!) or various other acts of tomfoolery, Philly fans have built a reputation as being, well, a little bit tough." - "Are Phillies fans — gasp! — going soft?" - Bob Harkins, HardballTalk

Marlins: "Josh Johnson has done quite the job as Roy Halladay's kryptonite over the last two seasons." - "Johnson is Halladay's nemesis" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

• Your Daily Message From Joe Posnanski On Twitter (@JoePosnanski): "Royals-Yankees game so far has had 19 walks, 410 pitches and the score is 4-3. Well, they say you'll always see something new."