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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Back In D.C., Stephen Strasburg Reviews.

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• Programming Notes: The Washington Nationals have continued to struggle at the plate, but luckily they've got a knuckleballer throwing against them tonight...uh...Ross Detwiler will be on the mound in Nats Park tonight as the Nationals start a three-game weekend set with the Mets. Last night's loss completed a 1-5 six-game road trip that left the Nationals nine games under .500 at 63-72. 5-6 against the Mets so far, the Nats are 37-28 at home this year, and the 10-game homestand against the Mets, Dodgers and Astros should give them a good opportunity to climb back up towards .500. It all starts...RIGH...uh, Later tonight...Did you know Miguel Batista was a Met? Did you know Stephen Strasburg pitched last night? MASN HD, MLB.tv, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 183. Who's Watching The Nationals?

• LINKS AND LINKS AND...

• STRASBURG BEAT: 

• "'Everything feels great, so I’m ready to go out there and battle for the Nationals.'" - Stephen Strasburg - "Strasburg live-blog: Cowboy monkey edition" - Dave Sheinin, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Stephen Strasburg has started 12 games in the major leagues. For all but one of them, Ivan Rodriguez has been behind the plate..." - "Ace may not see familiar face" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Strasburg didn't disappoint the packed house, allowing one hit over six innings and striking out four in his sixth minor league rehabilitation start." - "D.C.-bound Strasburg is ready to continue working hard" - Pete Kerzel, MASNSports.com

• "His velocity on his fastball touched as high as 99 mph on the radar gun at Metro Bank Park, and he was perfect through the first four innings." - "Stephen Strasburg shows he's ready in final rehab start" - Nate Mink, nationals.com: News

• "Strasburg, making his sixth Minor League start since returning from Tommy John surgery, was perfect through 4 2/3 frames at Metro Bank Park in front of a record crowd of 8,637." - "Strasburg hurls Sens to EL West title" - Ashley Marshall, MiLB.com News

• "'It felt like it was going to take forever, the first five or six months,' Strasburg said. 'But I’ve still got to go out there and keep working hard.'" - "Strasburg stellar in final tuneup" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "But if this was Strasburg’s goodbye to minor league baseball, with all its charm and intimacy, it was a beautiful way to go out..." - "Stephen Strasburg allows one hit for Class AA Harrisburg in perhaps his final rehab start" - Dave Sheinin. The Washington Post

• NATS BEAT: 

• "Wang acknowledged that he was behind in the count too often, which hurt him, starting in the early innings." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves: Wang battles but comes up short vs Braves" - Bill Ladson, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "'I think the talent is there but, unfortunately, it just hasn’t produced. That’s the bottom line. … We just are going meekly.'" - "Nationals' bats offensive again in latest Atlanta loss" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Washington is currently 63-72. If the Nationals can play a game over .500 this month, they'd finish 77-85." - "Nationals' series with Mets can set a tone for September" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "The Nationals have no more glaring issue than their impotent offense, and it surfaced again Thursday night..." - "Nationals vs. Braves: Tim Hudson extends his domination of Washington" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'Swing the bats better. We have showed signs of it, but I want us to stay aggressive, attack, go after guys,' Johnson said." - "New York Mets at Washington Nationals: Mets' Dicker starts on three days' rest in DC" - Nick Kosmider, MLB.com Preview

• "One of their consistent starters of late, Chien-Ming Wang, struggled early and put the team in an early hole." - "Wang, Nationals lose to Braves 5-2" - Ben Goessling, MASNSports.com

• "Once the elbow was healthy, Slaten had four rehab starts, posting a combined 1.74 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings..." -  "Slaten activated from disabled list" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News

• "'De Haai is terug!' That’s Dutch, Bernadina’s first language, for 'The Shark is back!'" - "Laynce Nix suffers groin ‘tweak,’ Roger Bernadina apparently on his way back to Washington" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "While the Nationals made no official announcement, Bernadina didn't waste time revealing his expected call-up to the major leagues by writing "De Haai is terug!" on his official facebook page." - "Nix tweaks groin, Bernadina on his way" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Nationals right fielder Laynce Nix left Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Braves after two innings because of a right groin strain. He is listed as day to day." - "Nix out with groin strain, listed as day to day" - Bill Ladson, All Nats All the Time

• "The Nationals have also reinstated left-hander Doug Slaten from the disabled list." - "Ramos returns, Werth back in CF: today's lineups (Plus, Nats reinstate Doug Slaten from DL)" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "The practice of altruism is the authentic way of living a human life; it is not limited only to the religious." - 

• NATS MINOR LEAGUES: 

• Class-A Auburn: "Auburn can clinch the division on Friday with a doubleheader sweep of Batavia and a Williamsport loss." - "Division Lead Increases in 4-2 Win" - Auburn Doubledays News

• Class-A Hagerstown: "Hagerstown RHP Chris McKenzie (4-7), the losing pitcher of record, faced all nine members of the Lakewood lineup in the 1st inning, giving up four runs on six hits." - "BlueClaws RHP Garett Claypool Steams Hagerstown with Six Scoreless Stanzas" - Hagerstown Suns News

• Class-A Potomac: "Led by an outstanding start by Paul Demny, the P-Nats surged to an early lead and never looked back, taking their third straight game over the Hillcats." - "DEMNY LEADS NATIONALS TO ANOTHER WIN" - Potomac Nationals News

• "Paul Demny was at the top of his game over seven innings, allowing just five hits, no runs, one walk and six strikeouts for his 10th win of season." - "Potomac moves within half-game of first-place with another win" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• "Three Potomac Nationals' batters have been honored as postseason Carolina League All-Stars. Outfielder Destin Hood, infielder Jeff Kobernus and catcher Sandy Leon were named Thursday..." - "Three Potomac hitters named to Carolina League All-Stars" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

• Double-A Harrisburg: "On Thursday night at Metro Bank Park in front of the largest crowd ever, 8,637, the Harrisburg Senators clinched their first division championship since 1997." - "Strasburg Leads the Sens to the Western Division Championship" - Harrisburg Senators News

• "Harrisburg Senators outfielder Archie Gilbert was arrested on suspicion of DUI early Thursday morning in nearby Lower Allen Township, Pa., according to multiple local media reports." - "Harrisburg Senators outfielder arrested" - Dave Sheinin, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Triple-A Syracuse: "The Chiefs extended their winning streak to five, jumping ahead with two first-inning runs and keeping the lead throughout. Starter Yunesky Maya took the win for his third victory in four starts." - "Chiefs beat Bisons, win 5th straight" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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

• NATSTOWN: 

• "Reports indicate Strasburg will be limited to five innings or 80 pitches, which means we're unlikely to see any 14-strikeout, no-walks craziness on the second coming." - "Welcome back, Stephen Strasburg" - MASNSports.com Nationals Buzz: Jenn Jenson

• "Full Video: Presidents Race Marriage Proposal at Nationals Park" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "Nothing says "Strasmas" like monkeys stapled to the backs of some collies chasing sheep around a minor league stadium, huh?" - "Video: Stephen Strasburg vs. The Cowboy Monkeys" - Nats Enquirer

• "With all the talk about Stephen Strasburg making his final rehab start last night, it was easy to miss that left-handed reliever Doug Slaten had been reinstated..." - "Left Handed Reliever Doug Slaten Returns from DL" - Ballpark Banter

• "Even with the control problems Fornieles was able to get through the first two innings without giving up any runs." - "This Day in D.C. Baseball History - Fornieles gives up one hit in major league debut" - Mark Hornbaker, Washington Nationals Daily News

• NL EAST UPDATES: 

Mets: "Thole was hit when he was crossed up on pitch selection during an at-bat against Emilio Bonifacio in the second inning." - "Bone Bruise KO's New York Mets Catcher Josh Thole; MRI On Wrist Friday Before NY Takes On Washington Nationals" - CBS New York

Marlins: "The injury to Hanley Ramirez’s left shoulder is serious enough that he could elect to have surgery." - "Florida Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez considers option of surgery" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Phillies: "The Phillies have gotten close before -- moving to 41 games over .500 twice in 1976 -- but they haven't gotten the opportunity to do it in a generation." - "Philadelphia Phillies at Florida Marlins: Phils take road show to Florida, where Marlins await" - MLB.com Preview

Braves: "Jonny Venters could be a closer but really doesn't care about it, partly because he's in awe of the guy who has the job for the Braves, Craig Kimbrel." - "Atlanta Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel has been dominant" - Buster Olney, ESPN.com