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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Beat Florida Marlins, Michael Morse = Hero, Javier Vazquez's Last Start.

• Programming Notes: If only the season had ended last night with the Washington Nationals sticking it to the Fish. Then again, who wants this season to end right now? Michael Morse's 9th inning blast last night gave the Nats the win, but Davey Johnson's decision to send both runners with Ryan Zimmerman up in the previous AB may have been just as big a play. Former Montreal Expos' ace Javier Vazquez, who left the franchise in '03 and never pitched for the Nats, pitches in what will likely be his last start of a 14-year career. It's not going to easy to beat the right-hander, who's allowed 1 ER in his last 36.0 IP, including a complete game shutout of the Nats. Over that stretch he's walked 1 (0.25 BB/9) and K'd 33 (8.25 K/9). A win gets the Nats to .500. A loss guarantees they finish under .500. It's John Lannan's 27th birthday. Wish him a happy one on the Twitter (@JLannan31). MASN 2 HD,, 106.7 the FAN in D.C., 1500 WFED, Sirius/XM ch. 188. Who's Watching The Nationals?



• "Late Monday night, Michael Morse crushed a game-winning home run and thrust his right fist in the air before his left hand even let go of the bat." - "Michael Morse’s three-run homer in ninth lifts Nationals over Marlins" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "On Wednesday, the Marlins kiss their ballpark goodbye. Sad stuff, right? 'If I was to say I’m sorry to see it go, I’d be lying - big time,' [Jeff] Conine said." - "No tears as Marlins play last series at Sun Life Stadium" - Steven Wine, Washington Times

• "General manager Mike Rizzo says Sunday that he already has 'semi-calculated' the number of innings Strasburg will be allowed to throw in 2012." - "Nationals to put Stephen Strasburg on innings limit in ’12" - AP/

• "'I love where we're at in the development stage of some of these young players,' Johnson said. 'The other thing is, my wife seems to enjoy getting back on the road again. She likes to travel, more than I do.'" - "Davey Johnson says he wants to keep Nationals' staff intact" - Ben Goessling,

• "[Javier] Vazquez said before Monday's game that he probably would not be returning to play a 15th MLB season." - "Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins: "Lannan, Vazquez set to square off in Miami" - Louie Horvath, Preview

• "'It wasn’t a goal to end up in third place. We haven’t accomplished anything. You don’t accomplish anything until you’re fighting for a pennant.'" - "Michael Morse's 3-run, 9th-inning HR gives Nats 6-4 comeback win over Marlins" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Rizzo signed Cora to a minor league contract this winter, in part, to help mentor middle infielders Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa, which unfolded just as Rizzo hoped." - "Alex Cora will keep playing in 2012" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Morse] is one of the great surprises,' Johnson said. 'He has been the most consistent guy all year long.'" - "Morse singing a different tune" - Byron Kerr,

• "Yet, despite their interest in other areas, the Nationals have submitted their latest request for upgrades — about $700,000 worth — to Space Coast Stadium." - "Brevard concerned about Washington Nationals' future at Space Coast Stadium" - Don Walker,

• "'Tough one,' Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. 'I thought we had it in the bag, but I guess it's just one of those years. We just can't close it out. It's tough.'" - "Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins: Morse's blast gives Nats win in series opener" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "'Bo Porter is an outstanding third base [coach] and baseball man,' [Davey] Johnson said Monday. 'I hope he’s back. I hope [his interview] went well. But I hope we don’t lose him.'" - "Nationals' manager search to work off shortlist" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "From 59 wins to 69 wins to 79 wins. Any way you want to slice it, the Washington Nationals have shown clear improvement since Mike Rizzo assumed the general manager's duties in March 2009." - "The beat goes on" - Phil Wood,

• "General Manager Mike Rizzo has given Porter his blessing to pursue managerial openings, and Porter has assured Rizzo that he will remain with the Nationals if another team does not hire him to become its manager." - "Nationals third base coach Bo Porter interviews to become Marlins’ next manager" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "But for the first 6 1/2 months of their on-field relationship with [Henry] Rodriguez, they only saw flashes of what they hoped they were getting in the Josh Willingham trade." - "Henry Rodriguez ending his uneven first year with Nationals on a high" - Ben Goessling,

• "Nationals outfielder Rick Ankiel made it known recently that he wants to return to the Nationals next year. He believes their future is bright and he wants to be a part of it." - "Ankiel wants to return to Nationals" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The most stunning thing about Michael Morse's breakout 2011 season is just how closely it's followed a linear progression of what he did last season." - "Michael Morse's breakout season continues with homer to beat Marlins" - Ben Goessling,

• "His April struggles behind him, Morse has been basically as unstoppable as they come." - "On Morse's consistency and Tommy Milone's September wrap" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "This September, Milone posted a 3.81 ERA in 26 innings, striking out 15 while issuing four walks, two of which were intentional." - "Tommy Milone wraps up his first month in the majors" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From Joe Posnanski On Twitter (@JPosnanski): "With Ozzie Guillen reportedly out, I'm reminded of my favorite quote of his: '#!%@$ #(#* the #)# #@^#*$ #&@^# #*$. Yeah.'"


• "After losing the second game to the Astros on the 10th of September the dream was dead." - "Third!" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Playing spoiler is all well and good, but the Nats actually have something to root for: a season over .500." - "Fighting for .500" - Keara Dowd, Win for Teddy

• "It's difficult to make too many judgments based on September baseball, but the series they took against the Braves, who are fighting for their playoff lives was impressive enough." - "GAME 159 REVIEW: Nats Clinch Third Place with 6-4 Over Marlins" - Dave Nichols, Nats News Network

• "From May 30-June 24, the Nationals went from fifth place in the National League East standings to third place, winning 17 of the next 23 games and improving their record to 39-37." - "A season to remember" - MASNSports.comNationals Buzz: Mark Hornbaker

• "Happy Birthday John Lannan!" - NATIONALS NEWS NETWORK: Off The Field w/ photos by Cheryl Nichols @cnichols14

• "Guest blogger Ryan Tatusko is a minor league pitcher for the Washington Nationals." - "Guest Blog: Ryan Tatusko, An Aspiring Minor Leaguer, Observes His Former Teammates In A Major League Game" - The Nats Blog

• "Community Top Prospect List: #18" - Sean Hogan, DC is for Baseball

• "Matt Skole, BA’s #13 NY-Penn League Prospect" -

• "I don’t like to re/blog sad or serious things often because they don’t fit in with the tone of NationLOLs. But this picture made me openly sob so I feel it’s worth sharing." - "catcherstouchingpeople: Pudge Rodriguez touching..." - Washington NationLOLs 

 Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "We need to make an effort to develop our inner values, irrespective of whether we are religious or not." - 


Fish: "For months, Omar Infante expressed how much he wanted to remain with the Marlins beyond this season. Infante is about to get his wish." - "Omar Infante, Marlins reach agreement" - Joe Frisaro, News

Phillies: "Only six National League hitters had a higher slugging percentage against lefthanded pitchers than the .602 mark that Shane Victorino carried into last night's game." - "VICTORINO IS KEY TO VICTORY" - David Murphy, Philadelphia Daily News

Mets: "In case you missed it, the Mets recently killed a plan by the Bronx Bombers to temporarily move the latter's Triple-A affiliate from Scranton-Wilkes Barre to Riverfront Stadium in Newark." - "Mets Put Kibosh on Triple-A Yankees Affiliate in Newark. So?" - Matthew Artus, Amazin' Avenue

Phillies/Braves: "The Braves are in desperation mode, hell-bent on winning, because St. Louis is threatening to steal the wild card from them." - "Phillies defeat Braves, 4-2, for 100th win" - Ray Parrillo, Philadelphia Inquirer