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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Weekend In Review: Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Bryce Harper's First Triple-A HR.

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• So rain washed out the Sunday finale of the three-game set with the Fish, delaying the possibility of the Washington Nationals completing a sweep of the Miami Marlins until some as-yet undetermined date in the future, and the postponement pushed all the Nats' starters back a day, so Gio Gonzalez will open the three-game series with San Diego on Tuesday night and unfortunately Stephen Strasburg won't face the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw as many as hoped when Washington visits LA next weekend. The rain yesterday also left us all with two days of no baseball just when things were starting to get fun. (OK they've been fun since Spring Training started.) The Nationals ended their first homestand of the season 8-2, with a 12-4 record overall, and now they head out to California to face a Padres team they were 4-3 against last year and a Dodgers squad that took four of six from the Nats in 2011. But these are the new Nats... right? Washington won four of six on their first road trip of the season. Will their winning ways continue out west? Here's what people are saying... LINKS and lot of them, RIGHT NOW!!!!


• "'It's a different ball club,' manager Ozzie Guillen said Sunday. 'Very underrated team. Nobody talks about them.'" - "Series finale between Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals is rained out" - Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post


• "Tuesday, Johnson will manage his 100th game as the Nationals’ manager. He’s currently 52-47, making him the only manager in Nationals history with a winning record." - "Davey Johnson wins his 1,200th game" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Ian] Desmond has every right to feel good about it, as do his Nationals teammates and coaches." - "Desmond erases doubts with hot start" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "As much as the folks who sell tickets for Padres home games might be disappointed, the team surely will be better served by Strasburg using his often-untouchable stuff against other NL West clubs." - "Strasburg won't face Padres" - Chris Jenkins,

• "The Padres will counter with [Clayton] Richard, who is 1-1 with a 5.89 ERA after struggling in his past two starts. He was shelled for eight earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Rockies..." - "Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres - April 24, 2012" - Andrew Simon, Preview

• "The Nationals (12-4) came flying out of the dugout, drenching Desmond with a bucket of red Gatorade before piling on top of the 26-year-old." - "Desmond's 10th-inning sac fly bails out Lidge, lifts Nats to 3-2 win" - Mike DeFabo, Washington Times

• "There were more than a few raised eyebrows when [Ian] Desmond was chosen as the leadoff hitter and many wondered if the talented young player would have the patience at the plate to be the first man up." - "What a difference a year makes for Ian Desmond" - Byron Kerr,

• "The Nationals have a 49.5 percent groundball rate, second in the majors, to go with a 23.7 percent strikeout rate." - "The Nationals are not giving up home runs" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman was a late scratch yesterday with what the Nationals called "mild inflammation" in his right shoulder..." - "Zimmerman expects to play Tuesday" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Brad] Lidge acknowledged that he is not throwing the ball well. It doesn't help, according to the righty, that he doesn't throw his slider as hard as he used to." - "Still a co-closer, Lidge looking for location" - Bill Ladson, News

• "'If you start worrying about problems coming weeks down the road you over-burden yourself,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'These things crop up every day and you have to deal with them.'" - "The Decision -- Nats' style" - Kevin Dunleavy, Washington Examiner

• "When Zimmerman woke up this morning, he already felt improvement from yesterday, when he felt tightness while warming up in the batting cage." - "Ryan Zimmerman still set for Tuesday return after missing only one game" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'Felt better (Sunday morning),' Zimmerman said. 'Not that it was terrible the other day. But these next two days will be nice.'" - "Zimmerman shoulder improved, still expects to play Tuesday" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "This year's bench was put together with pop and versatility in mind, and Chad Tracy, Lombardozzi and Jesus Flores have already played key roles in victories." - "What's the return policy for Nationals players?" - Phil Wood, Washington Examiner

• "'[The catchers] do a great job about giving a strike zone,' Gonzalez said. 'I'm not taking anything away from the catchers I had in Oakland.'" - "Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres - April 24, 2012" - Andrew Simon, Preview

• "The Nationals are now 6-2 in one-run games and 3-1 in games that go to extra innings." - "Nationals Pastime: The wins just keep on coming" - Dan Kolko,

• "'One of the worst things you can do to any pitcher is to give them too much time between starts,' Johnson said today. 'Regularity is what they need. All of them.'" - "Why Strasburg won't skip a start" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Sunday’s rain robbed baseball of one of its juiciest pitching matchups this season." - "Nationals vs. Marlins is rained out, derailing Stephen Strasburg vs. Clayton Kershaw matchup" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'Usually your fifth starter is more of a veteran guy and you would bump him and keep the other guys more in line,' [Davey Johnson] added. 'But, in this case, they're all good and you can just keep them in line.'" - "Rain ruins chance at Strasburg-Kershaw match-up" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman missed his first game of the season on Saturday against the Marlins because of mild right shoulder inflammation." - "Zimmerman improves, eyes Tuesday return" - Bill Ladson, News

• "When Zimmerman woke up this morning, he already felt improvement from yesterday, when he felt tightness while warming up in the batting cage." - "Ryan Zimmerman still set for Tuesday return after missing only one game" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "As you might've noticed, there were a lot more wins than losses for the Nationals this week, so most of the chatter in the clubhouse was of an upbeat nature." - "Nationals Pastime: Clubhouse Cliff Notes" - Dan Kolko,

• "'One of the worst things you can do to any pitcher is to give them too much time between starts,' Johnson said today. 'Regularity is what they need. All of them.'" - "Why Strasburg won't skip a start" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "As rain pounded the D.C. area, washing away the team’s series and homestand finale with the Miami Marlins, their projected starter took to the outfield to get his throwing in." - "Nationals' rotation to remain the same despite postponement" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Speaking of [Stephen] Strasburg, the righty seems to feel that one major factor in his strong start to the season has been his curveball, which is much improved in recent starts." - "Nationals Pastime: Rainy day news and notes on Zimmerman, Strasburg" - Dan Kolko,

• "With [Stephen] Strasburg on an innings limit this season, manager Davey Johnson was asked why the young hurler is not being skipped in the rotation." - "Nats-Fish rained out; Gio to pitch in San Diego" - Bill Ladson, News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Our aim in seeking ways of transforming our thoughts and emotions is to find a more wholesome and fulfilling way of living."


• "It took 16 games and 60 at-bats, but Nationals phenom Bryce Harper can now add "Triple-A homer" to his young, but rapidly growing baseball resume." - "Harper smacks first Triple-A homer" - Ashley Marshall, News

• "After waiting for 15 games, Bryce Harper drilled his first home run at Class AAA Syracuse this afternoon." - "Bryce Harper hits first Class AAA home run" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Bryce Harper, baseball's top prospect, hit his first home run for Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday. He talks about getting the first round-tripper." - "Bryce Harper talks about first Triple-A HR that he put in a marsh" - SaratogaCountySports, Federal Baseball


Class-A Hagerstown: "The Suns will now embark on a seven-game road trip beginning with a four-game set with the Rome Braves (3-13) followed by a three-game series with the Augusta GreenJackets (7-9)." - "Suns Sunday Doubleheader Washed Out" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "The Nationals return to action tomorrow as they head on the road for a four game series against the Winston-Salem Dash." - "Nationals Doubleheader Postponed Due to Rain" - Potomac Nationals News

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, split a doubleheader with the Buffalo Bisons Sunday afternoon at Alliance Bank Stadium." - "Chiefs get back in win column" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "Sunday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson,

• "Monday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson,


• "1919 - Walter Johnson records his 5th Opening Day shutout, defeating the Philadelphia Athletics 1-0 in 13 innings." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Johnson records his 5th Opening Day shutout" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "I believe, in other words, that the Nationals may be targeting Akra with their postgame Ga tor ade showers. Somebody launch an investigation." - "Kristina Akra gets doused with Ga­tor­ade again" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Among the video highlights of Saturday's walk-off win by the Nationals: umpire Greg Gibson took a 96 mile per hour Stephen Strasburg fastball to the crotch." - "Umpire takes 96 MPH Stephen Strasburg fastball to the ****" - Nats Enquirer

• "Barkley, the canine mascot of the Washington Humane Society, was on hand to assist with the day’s festivities..." - "Video: Pups in the Park proves distracting for animal lover Teddy Roosevelt" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "On December 16th 2010, the Nationals announced that they had traded left fielder Josh Willingham, a year before his contract expired, for fireball reliever Henry Rodriguez and outfield prospect Corey Brown." - "Re-Evaluating the Josh Willingham Trade" - Patrick Hilley, The Nats Blog

• "Ahh Extended, the mythical 'bone yard' if you will, when everyone goes to their affiliate some people are left down here for various reasons, and it gets really lonely down here." - "Extended Spring Training" - Ryan Tatusko, The Backfield Diaries

• "This never say die attitude or natitude,(forgive me for that) has been a great addition to an already very good club." - "Sunday Sum-Up" - Zach's Nats blog

• "I was amazed to find out that the Big Train missed pitching a perfect game by one error. The Big Train pitched a perfect game through six innings." - "Almost Perfect – Big Train’s No Hitter" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "[Jayson] Werth has been opportunistic as well. He is second on the team with 7 RBI this season and a home run. Werth is also tied with Roger Bernadina with 2 stolen bases in 2012." - "Rain Check: Werth’s Redemption Start" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "BIG SHARKADINA NEWS" - Sharkadina

• "The Marlins starter, Anibal Sanchez was much more efficient than Strasburg, aided by the Nats swinging early and often." - "Nats send off friend’s bachelorhood with a 3-2 win over Marlins" - William F. Yurasko, William World News


Braves: "After being mired in a five-game funk, the Diamondbacks received contributions across the board and managed to beat back the Atlanta Braves 6-4..." - "Gerardo Parra's grand slam helps Arizona Diamondbacks defeat Atlanta Braves" - Bob McManaman, The Arizona Republic

Phillies: "Cliff Lee said he and the Phillies discussed whether he would just miss a start or go on the disabled list for his strained left oblique." - "Cliff Lee, Phillies taking a cautious approach to injury" - Sarah Trotto, News

Mets: "The vote of confidence came Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after Mets manager Terry Collins yanked closer Frank Francisco from a save situation." - "Collins: Francisco 'still the closer' for Mets" - Anthony DiComo, News

Marlins: "'We’re going to run,' manager Ozzie Guillen vowed once more Sunday. '[Fans] are going to have to be aware that we’re going to make mistakes.'" - "Miami Marlins’ speed a theat to opponents" - Clark Spencer,