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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals In Philadelphia's Miniature Ballpark For Three With Phillies.

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• Programming Notes: Philadelphia's miniature ballpark is the setting for this weekend's three-game series between the Phillies and Nats. The Nationals head to Citizens Bank Park tonight where Livan Hernandez and Cole Hamels will face off tonight at 7:05 pm EDT at about the same time Stephen Strasburg's pitching for the Class-A P-Nats in front of a sold-out crowd in Pfitzner Stadium. Strasburg's scheduled to throw three innings-ish. Livan? Is he on a pitch count? The Phillies just finished a 9-1 ten-game road trip and they've won twelve of their last thirteen games. The Nats split the four-game series with the Rockies and dropped two of three in Chicago to leave them 56-61 heading into the weekend series. The last time the Nationals faced Cole Hamels, they were held to one run on five hits in 9.0 IP as the Phillies lefty threw a complete game here in CBP...MASNHD (w/ Dave Jageler!), 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 185. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• NATS BEAT: 

• "The Nationals will have to contend with Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and National League Cy Young favorite Roy Halladay, and they'll counter with Livan Hernandez, John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies: Sweltering Phillies return home to host Nationals" - Spencer Fordin, MLB.com Preview

• "Yesterday, he stayed on the mound, and with the bases empty, without cause, he pitched from the stretch..." - "What Jordan Zimmermann can get out of yesterday" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Twitter @NationalsPR: "8 Nationals prospects cited in @BaseballAmerica 's annual Best Tools survey of league managers." - 

• "'He’s got huge arms and they’re well-protected, but he was in bad shape. … I"ve seen a lot of them, and had a lot of them, but his whole arm was shaking.'" - Davey Johnson on Michael Morse"Nationals' Michael Morse day-to-day after suffering elbow contusion" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "If Morse misses an extended amount of time, the Nationals would have to go searching for a first baseman..." - "Nationals will wait to see about Morse's health" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

 Twitter @NationalsPR: "Baseball America's Best Tools – Triple-A: P Tom Milone (Best Changeup and Best Control)"

• "Because there are no X-ray machines at dated and cramped Wrigley Field, players have to be taken to a nearby hospital for tests." - "X-rays on Morse negative" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "He went to the hospital and, according to Morse, an examination showed that he has an elbow contusion. Morse said in a text message that he expects to be OK." - "Morse hit in elbow by pitch, exits game" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "Cubs starter Ryan Dempster (10-8) allowed only a Ryan Zimmerman home run in the first, so that did not give Jordan much wiggle room in the late stages of the game. Sound familiar?" - "Rally falls short, Nationals lose to Cubs, 4-3" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

 Twitter @NationalsPR: "BA Best Tools - Double-A: 1B Tyler Moore (Best Power), P Brad Peacock (Best Pitching Prospect), 2B Steve Lombardozzi (Best Defensive 2B)." - 

• "At five games under before tonight's series opener, the Nationals chances of improving their standing look incredibly slim." - "Is this the weekend the Nationals exorcise their CBP/Philadelphia demons?" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "In the seventh inning, Cubs starter Ryan Dempster drilled Morse with a 91-mph fastball in the left elbow-triceps area." -"Michael Morse leaves after getting hit by pitch, X-rays are negative" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

 Twitter @NationalsPR: "BA Best Tools - High-A: INF Jeff Kobernus (Best Baserunner), P Hector Nelo (Best Fastball), C Sandy Leon (Best Defensive Catcher)." - 

• "Strasburg likely won't pitch at the higher levels of the minors until Aug. 22, which comes at a good time; by then, he should be confident enough in his fastball to begin polishing other things." - "Morning Nationals notes (Morse, Strasburg)" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals' 4-3 loss to the Cubs Thursday afternoon fit that description. Painful to watch both from afar and up close..." - "Cubs homer past Nationals again" - Mark Zuckerman, CSNWashington.com

• "Zimmermann's only blemish in the first six innings came in the fourth inning, when Marlon Bryd scored on a triple by Alfonso Soriano to tie the game at 1." - "Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs: Nats, Zimmermann drop finale to Cubs" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "For 100 pitches on a sun-splashed day at Wrigley Field, Zimmermann had been brilliant..." - "Nationals vs. Cubs: Jordan Zimmermann is good, but not good enough in loss" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Ian Desmond took two straight balls and swung at the 2-0 pitch. It was the one pitch, perhaps, that Marmol's entire near-implosion hinged on." - "Nats' loss proves painful as Morse exits with injury, rally falls short" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

 Twitter @NationalsPR: "BA Best Tools – Low-A: OF Bryce Harper (Best Hitting & Power and Most Exciting Player)"

• NATS MINOR LEAGUES: 

Class-A Auburn: "Leading by a run going to the game’s seventh inning, it looked like the Auburn Doubledays were on their way to another sweep of a Stedler Division foe." - "Seventh Inning Gets Away in 7-4 Loss" - Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns LHP Paul Applebee (6-2), the winning pitcher, tossed 5.0 scoreless innings on two hits and surrendered just one walk, while striking out three." - "Hagerstown Wins Game Two 6-2 in Delmarva" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Stephen Strasburg will pitch for the Potomac Nationals on tonight Woodbridge, VA, and the game has been sold out." - "GAME SOLD OUT TONIGHT" - Potomac Nationals News

• Class-A Potomac: Destin Hood - 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI; Erik Davis - 4.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 K's - Potomac Nationals Scoreboard

• Double-A Harrisburg: "Tanner Roark earned the win, going seven strong innings and allowing just a single run as he moved to 7-8 on the season." - "Roark pitches Senators to 4-1 win over Richmond" - Harrisburg Senators News

• Triple-A Syracuse: "[Brad] Meyers excelled after the two singles in the first inning. He retired thirteen straight hitters, tossing five shutout innings in total." - "Chiefs stunned by Bisons in 9th" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Friday’s News & Notes" - NationalsProspects.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Put this question to yourself: should I use everyone else to attain happiness, or should I help others gain happiness?" - 

• NATSTOWN: 

• "Today's honoree is none other than the Weapon of Mass Production. Wily Mo Pena!" - "Former Nats Greats #23" - Mac, Capitol Baseball\

• "They have two first rounders (Rendon and Meyer), a supplemental(Goodwin), and a 3rd rounder most see as first round talent (Purke)." - "Gotta sign 'em all." - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Oh no. Davey's worried about Michael Morse. Count us in, too..." - "Beastly" - Nats Enquirer

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Mets: "So baseball fans here should root hard for the Mets as they try to save spring training on the Treasure Coast — because that's what is at stake, especially if the Washington Nationals are serious about leaving Viera." - "Mets should share spring training facilities for their own survival" - Ray McNulty, TCPalm.com

Phillies: "When Pence arrived in Philadelphia, he sat at a news conference and gushed that he'd just jumped 60 games in the standings." - Pence renews enthusiasm among Phils" - Davod Hale, Courier-Post | courierpostonline.com

• Marlins: "Logan Morrison at MLB Fan Cave: Mantis Edition" - Craig, Fish Stripes

Braves: "The last time he was rated as high as a top-30 prospect by in any organization was 2007, when he was No. 26 in the Indians system by Baseball America." - "After seven years, Constanza's an overnight success" - David O'Brien, ajc.com

• Dunn Update: 

• "I've mentioned several times that Adam, during his time in Washington, had stated his aversion to DH'ing." - "Dunn's struggles continue" - Phil Wood, MASNSports.com