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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann's Four Starts From Finished For 2011.

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• Programming Notes: A bullpen blowup made last night's loss look a little worse than it was, but no matter what the final score was the Washington Nationals dropped the first game of the ten-game road trip through Colorado, Chicago and Philadelphia. Game two of four in Colorado tonight features Nats' right-hander Jordan Zimmermann on the mound against the Rockies' Juan Nicasio. It will be Zimmermann's next-to-next-to-next-to-last start of 2011 as he's getting close to reaching the 160.0-inning limit the team has decided he'll be held to in his first full season back following Tommy John surgery in 2009. The Nationals are 21-35 on the road after last night's loss and 13-20 under skipper Davey Johnson. 8:40 pm EDT again tonight, MASN 2 HD,, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 185. Who's Watching The Nationals?



• "The Nationals will exercise caution with Strasburg, but if all goes well he should return to the majors in early September..." - "Stephen Strasburg’s minor league start official: Sunday in Hagerstown" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "This isn't about putting 'butts in the seats.' Mike Rizzo couldn't care less about that. Trust me on this one. This is about keeping a recovering pitcher on his natural rehab schedule." - "Why Strasburg in September makes sense" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "No, his time in a Nationals uniform wasn't a career highlight, but he walked away knowing he still had the respect of the pitchers in the National League." - "Stairs walks - or skates - into retirement" - Phil Wood,

• "After these seven games, the Nationals play only 13 of their final 45 against teams below the .500 mark." - "Nationals looking at another key road trip" - Ben Goessling,

• "With Rodriguez sidelined for the foreseeable future, the Nationals will hope that Flores’ play continues to improve — as it has since his arrival for his second major league stint this season." - "Nats' Jesus Flores adjusting to role as a backup" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Stairs' charisma and positive influence in the clubhouse leads Johnson to believe the former slugger will be successful in his next endeavor." - "Nationals' Johnson reflects on Stairs' career" - Nick Kosmider, News

• "The Nationals had Rockies starter Esmil Rogers on the ropes early on Thursday, but the knockout punch never came." - "Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies: Nationals' promising start sours in Denver" - Nick Kosmider, WSH Recap

• "Ivan Rodriguez experienced another setback during his recovery from a right oblique strain and will travel to Philadelphia for a second opinion..." - "Ivan Rodriguez has setback, will get second opinion on oblique strain" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Chances are his start will draw an extremely large crowd, even by the standards set earlier this season when Bryce Harper was a member of the Suns." - "Stephen Strasburg officially set to start Sunday for Hagerstown" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals had scored just one run until the ninth inning, when Ryan Zimmerman drove in two runs with a double." - "Nationals fall 6-3 to Rockies" - Ben Goessling,

• "Rodriguez will visit Dr. Bill Meyers in Philadelphia for a second opinion. Meyers is the same doctor who performed surgery on Ryan Zimmerman's torn abdominal muscle in May." - "Pudge's rehab stint being delayed" - Nick Kosmider, News

• "'You hate to see when anybody retires but he had a good career,' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Thursday." - "Nats react to Stairs' retirement and other pregame notes" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals’ offense could not convert scoring chances early and sprung to life only after the Rockies had sealed the game against Mattheus." - "Nationals vs. Rockies: Road woes continue in 6-3 loss to Colorado" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Zimmermann's 6-9 overall despite a 3.12 ERA, and in his last four road starts, dating back to June 12, he is 0-1 despite allowing zero earned runs three times in that stretch." - "Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies: Zimmermann, Nicasio ready to lock up at Coors" - Doug Miller, Preview

• "Zimmerman, after extending his hitting streak to 13 games by going 3 for 4 with a walk and two doubles in the Nationals’ 6-3 loss last night, is on a legitimate tear." - "Why Ryan Zimmerman is all the way back" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I don’t think I threw well enough today to keep us in the game and to win the game,' Detwiler said. "I probably could do a few things better.'" - "Nationals fail to capitalize on enough chances in 6-3 loss to Rockies" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times


Class-A Auburn: "In game one of Thursday night's doubleheader at Falcon Park, the Doubledays not only provided two innings of free baseball, but they walked off on an RBI hit by Matt Skole, giving Auburn a come-from-behind 6-5 win." - "Skole Delivers Walk-Off in Extras; Doubledays Pull Off Sweep" - Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns LHP Robbie Ray (2-2), the losing pitcher, allowed four earned runs, his second most of the season, on seven hits, while walking three and striking out two." - "Shellfish 8, Suns 1" - Hagerstown Suns News

• Class-A Potomac: Sandy Leon - 3 for 4, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's; Cameron Selik - 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K's - Potomac Nationals Scoreboard

• Double-A Harrisburg: Tyler Moore - 2 for 3, 1 2B; Bryce Harper - 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B; Shairon Martis - 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

• Triple-A Syracuse: "With two outs, Corey Brown and Steve Lombardozzi singled to put a pair of runners on for Bernadina. Syracuse's left fielder hit a Martinez pitch into left-center field to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead." - "Clippers' home runs best Syracuse 5-2" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "The Doubledays third baseman [Bryce Ortega] has been tearing the cover off the ball, now hitting .381 with seven doubles, 19 stolen bases and 10 RBIs in 28 games." - "Another Bryce making a name for himself in Nats' system" - Byron Kerr,

• "Friday’s News & Notes" -

 Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "If we try to secure the well-being of others, we will, at the same time, create the conditions for our own." 


• "Rob Dibble is one of said crazy people.  Crass and rude people often cloak themselves in a defense of 'I’m just being honest.'" - "Would the Real Rob Dibble Please Shut Up?" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• "But the Nationals owe it to themselves -- and to Wang -- to see if he can be an option for the Major League staff next season.  They can't find that out with him pitching to minor league players." - "Nats Have to Give Wang Time to Succeed" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "(Peacock is still getting adjusted to AAA, Milone has had a couple of dreadful starts recently - so maybe we see them, maybe we don't)." - "What's a Nats fan to do in August?" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Despite the heartfelt concern of Rob Dibble, Baseball Jesus himself will grace Hagerstown with a Strasmas miracle on Sunday." - "Sunday will be Strasmas in Hagerstown" - Nats Enquirer


Fish: "With Omar Infante suffering a fractured middle finger on his right hand, the Marlins are planning on placing him on the 15-day DL." - "Omar Infante to DL; Joe Thurston gets the call?" - Craig, Fish Stripes

• Mets: "It is possible that Reyes will return if, say, he agrees to a five or six-year offer, or if the Mets move from their current position, decide they cannot let him leave, and offer more money or years than they currently wish to." - "Sources: Mets 'still nervous' about Crawford-type deal for Reyes" - Andy Martino, New York Daily News

Phillies: "Upon arrival at China Basin on Thursday afternoon, Manuel walked back his remark about Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum being good, but not great, pitchers at this point in their careers." - "Manuel knows SF Giants are in Phillies' heads" - Gwen Knapp, San Francisco Chronicle

Braves: "According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Uggla’s batting average is lower after a 25-game hitting streak than any hitter in the modern era. The previous low was .265 by Hobe Ferris of the St. Louis Browns in 1908." - "Braves weathering stretch without Jones, McCann" - Carroll Rogers,