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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Take Two Of Three In San Diego, Head To LA To Take On Dodgers.

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• The Washington Nationals had one shot at a series sweep rained out. They've come up empty in the other three sweep opportunities they've had through the first six series of the 2012 season. Last night it was the San Diego Padres, who came back to take a 2-1 lead in the eighth, salvaging one game of the Nats' three-game set in Petco Park. The Astros and Reds both dropped the first three games of four-game series in D.C., only to come back for game four wins. The Chicago Cubs lost the first two of three in the season-opening series with the Nationals before stealing the third game in Wrigley Field with the help of a strong start by Jeff Samardzija. Winning series is the important thing of course, and the Nationals are 14-5 after last night's loss, but thus far this season they've been unable to step on their opponents throats and complete a series sweep. Now it's on to LA, where the Nationals start a three-game series tonight with Ross Detwiler on the hill against Los Angeles left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Another late night in NatsTown coming up. But first some lunchtime reading. Links and lots of them, RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "In a scoreless game, when the Nationals needed it most, [Jayson] Werth unleashed his anger in one swing." - "Jayson Werth gets something to show for his solid start" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post


• "'It hasn't just been April,' LaRoche said Wednesday. 'I've had some years where it's two, three months where I've (stunk) until I figure it out.'" - "Adam LaRoche bucks own trend, starts hot to boost Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Washington Nationals brought a wish list to the negotiating table today as they met with Lee County officials." - "Nationals spell out stadium upgrades to Lee County officials" -

• "'I was sticking to my game plan, but I really didn't,' Clippard said. 'I threw him four straight fastballs and got behind him. It was just poorly executed...'" - "Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres - April 26, 2012" - Tim Powers, WSH Recap

• "[Tyler] Clippard's ERA sits at 6.00, as he's now allowed six runs in his nine innings of work this season." - "Nationals Pastime: Before using brooms, Nats need their bats (Nats lose 2-1)" - Dan Kolko,

• "For those who have lost track, that's now eight times a Nationals starting pitcher has allowed zero earned runs in 19 games this season. They're the first rotation in modern history to accomplish that." - "Can't survive the high-wire every night" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman felt little improvement in the inflamed AC joint in his right shoulder after taking brief batting practice..." - "Ryan Zimmerman feels little improvement in shoulder, disabled list grows more likely" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The touches of home are everywhere for [Stephen] Strasburg this road trip. He spent Monday’s team off day 'driving all over San Diego County seeing family.'" - "Stephen Strasburg awaiting chance to pitch in hometown" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "In all, the Nats have had 14 quality starts (6 innings, no more than 3 ER) in 19 games. At that rate, the Nats would finish the year with 119 quality starts." - "Taste the difference quality makes" - Kevin Dunleavy, Washington Examiner

• "In his first season as a Major League manager in 1984, Davey Johnson had the enviable pleasure of witnessing Dwight Gooden author one of the greatest teenage seasons in baseball history." - "MLB Notebook: Nationals' arms take Davey Johnson back in time" - Roger Schlueter, News

• "Through the season's first 19 games, the Nats' hitters have been spoiled. They've played 11 games in which they scored three or fewer runs and somehow found a way to win eight of them." - "Nationals Pastime: It was bound to happen" - Dan Kolko,

• "'You learn a little bit more about your club and the talent you've got,' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said of facing the Dodgers.'" - "Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers - April 27, 2012" - AJ Cassavell, Preview

• "To wriggle out of two jams, though, proved impossible. Even for [Tyler] Clippard." - "Nationals burned by sending out Tyler Clippard for a second inning" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Washington Nationals asked [Tyler] Clippard for one more escape act, and for once he could not deliver." - "Nationals vs. Padres: San Diego rallies against Tyler Clippard to earn 2-1 win" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "Just a week out, there are still tickets available for the series, especially for the games on Friday and Sunday." - "As Phillies plan takeover, Nats plan take-back" - Andrew Mollenbeck,

• "Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg knows first-hand what it is like to be the No. 1 selection of a franchise and can empathize with what Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is going through..." - "Strasburg on RGIII, Gio's curve and the Nationals' young staff" - Byron Kerr,

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman had a similar treatment on Saturday, but the pain still lingered, indicating that the shot may have missed the sore area." - "Still sore, Zimmerman seeing specialist in LA" - Tim Powers, News

• "[Ryan] Zimmerman will visit with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Friday and likely receive a medicinal shot." - "Ryan Zimmerman to see doctor in Los Angeles before DL is decided" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nats have used Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla., as their spring training home since the team relocated from Montreal in 2005, but have been searching for a new location due to logistical and travel difficulties." - "Nationals Pastime: Nationals begin spring training negotiations with Lee County" - Dan Kolko,

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Whenever I meet someone I try to look for their positive qualities, which immediately gives me a feeling of connectedness with them.


• "[Danny] Rosenbaum is not considered a top prospect by Baseball America and the like, but "you could have said same thing about Tommy Milone two years ago,' [Doug] Harris said." - "Nationals minor leagues: How Hagerstown scored 24 runs and the rise of Danny Rosenbaum" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starter Wirkin Estevez (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season, going 3.1 innings while giving up six runs on eight hits, three walks and four strike outs." - "Suns Come Up Short in 6-2 Loss in Rome" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Randolph Oduber started the contest with a bang: a homer over the 18-foot high wall in center directly over the 399 marker off of Winston-Salem starter Matt Heidenreich." - "DASH SWEEP P-NATS ON WALK-OFF" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Curve 6, Senators 4 - Chris Rahl - 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI; Robert Gilliam - 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, swept a doubleheader with the Rochester Red Wings on Thursday afternoon." - "Chiefs sweep doubleheader, win streak at four" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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


• "Man saves kids, wears Nats clothes" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "The Dodgers have been led by Matt Kemp, who has been tearing it up at the plate, and leads all of Major League Baseball in batting average, slugging percentage, RBI's and home runs." - "Series Preview - Dodgers And Nationals Battle For NL Supremacy" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• "RG III sighting at PETCO Park during Nats-Padres game" - Nats Enquirer

• "Declared 'Babe Ruth Day' by Major League Baseball, April 27, 1947 is also a special day in Washington Senators history." - "Sid Hudson blanks Yanks 1-0 on Babe Ruth Day" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "It wasn't the finish most Nats fans were expecting, from a team that has made a habit out of pulling close games out late in 2012, but it happens." - "Still on target" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "I’ve written it several times now in Desmond’s career: while the hits are falling in, he’s an exciting player to watch and can contribute to a Major League batting order." - "Washington Nationals: As hits stop dropping in, Desmond’s OBP plummets" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Shark Fan in San Diego" - Sharkadina

• "Not that anyone cares but I approve this message" - traderkirk, Bang! Zoom!


Marlins: "Heath Bell did a couple of things he’d never done before during Thursday’s outing against the Mets. For the first time in 442 career relief outings, Bell walked four batters in a game." - "Two inauspicious firsts for Heath Bell in Thursday blown save" - Juan C. Rodriguez, Sun-Sentinel

Phillies: "The Phillies scored 20 runs in 19 innings over three games to win their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks." - "Phillies hope showing in Arizona against D-backs sparks offense" - Todd Zolecki, News

Mets: "Anyway, that was Wednesday. Something interesting happened Thursday, too: Every single player in the Mets' lineup was a product of the franchise's farm system." - "Mets Making History Every Day!" - Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation

Braves: "'The starters have been the catalysts,' third baseman Chipper Jones said. 'They've been the ones that have carried us.'" - "Top three in rotation carrying Braves' staff" - Mark Bowman, News

• MLB:

• "And yet manager Bobby Valentine posted a lineup in the clubhouse Wednesday thinking righthanded Twins starter Liam Hendriks was lefthanded." - "Thoughts on Bobby Valentine, Michael Pineda and Pudge Rodriguez" - Tom Verducci,

• "10,000 days ago, the Mets made one of their most famous trades in their franchise history. Or, if you’d rather, 10,000 days ago the Expos made one of their least fondly remembered deals." - "10,000 days ago: the Gary Carter trade" - Chris Jaffe, The Hardball Times