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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Return To Nationals Park, Bryce Harper's D.C. Debut Tuesday.

April 29, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) leads off from first in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
April 29, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) leads off from first in the ninth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

• The Washington Nationals are still in first place (though they are now tied with Atlanta) in spite of the fact that the Nats lost four straight on the road and were swept out of Dodger Stadium by Matt Kemp and the mighty Dodgers. Nationals fans will always remember Bryce Harper's coming out party in LA, however, where the 19-year-old phenom collected his first MLB hit, made a spectacular throw home in game one and an even more impressive wall-crashing catch in the second game of his major league career. Tuesday night, Harper will make his Nationals Park debut when the Nats welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks to the nation's capital for a three-game set, then it's the first series of the year with the Philadelphia Phillies on the Nationals' so-called "Take Back the Park" weekend. Will Philly fans show up en masse in an angry response to the Nats' attempts to reestablish a home field advantage, or will Nationals fans fill up the park themselves for a three-game series that will see Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann take on the Nats' NL East rivals...? We'll see this weekend, for now, enjoy some links with your lunch, and start eating... RIGHT NOW!!!


• "Despite all those sparkling numbers, the Nationals' rotation has a collective record of 8-4. That's what happens when you've got a weak lineup and a bullpen that has blown four saves." - "April: Encouraging/discouraging" - Mark Zuckerman,


• "On the first pitch from Gio Gonzalez, Uribe swung and hit the ball to deep right-center field. [Bryce] Harper ran back and hit the wall hard after making the catch." - "Harper shows off glove in first start in center" - Bill Ladson, News

• "They need to remember that 14-8, tied for first place, remains a promising beginning, even if the most recent stretch has turned it a little sour." - "How will the Nationals respond to their first losing streak?" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "So apparently, Jayson Werth not playing in yesterday's game was less of a manager's decision and more of a migraine decision." - "Nationals Pastime: Low run totals becoming a tired act." - Dan Kolko,

• "In each of his four outings this year, [Jordan] Zimmermann has allowed just one earned run over a total of 27 innings." - "Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals - May 1, 2012" - Tyler Emerick, Preview

• "[Tyler] Moore has hit 69 home runs in two-plus seasons in the organization. Now the former Mississippi State star will now see if that power will translate on baseball's biggest stage." - "Tyler Moore called up to Nationals (updated)" - Byron Kerr,

• '"When I told the doctor my symptoms, he said that it was a classic migraine,' the veteran outfielder said. 'It's surprising. I was fine when I woke up.'" - "Werth misses game with severe migraines"- Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Jayson] Werth woke up Sunday feeling fine, but once he arrived at the park his head throbbed and light made him dizzy. He described his symptoms to a trainer, who informed Werth he had a migraine." - "Jayson Werth’s migraine leads to Tyler Moore’s debut" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Including his three scoreless innings starting today's ballgame, [Gio] Gonzalez has now thrown 23 straight scoreless frames, the most in team history." - "Nationals Pastime: Gonzalez already setting Nationals records (Nats lose 2-0)" - Dan Kolko,

• "Apparently, the Nationals were not content watching the other pro sports teams in the District make headlines..." - "The Baseball Page: April 29, 2012" - Jeffrey Tomik, Washington Examiner

• "[Chad] Cordero is expected to make an appearance at Nationals Park on July 20 and throw out the first pitch before the Nationals play the Braves." - "Former Nats closer Cordero eyeing comeback" - Chad Cordero, News

• "Bryce Harper strode to the plate late this afternoon, the shadows starting to creep onto the emerald green field at Dodger Stadium, and surveyed the situation." - "Nats' offensive issues showing" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "All of the loopy madness at the end of last night’s 4-3 Dodgers victory started with Jerry Hairston spoiling a moment so dramatic it seemed scripted." - "Jerry Hairston on spoiling Bryce Harper’s remarkable throw" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I was trying to get a win today. It didn't happen,' [Tyler] Moore said. 'It was a great day [to be in the big leagues], it was fun. It was everything I hoped it was going to be.'" - "Nationals promote Tyler Moore, place Mark DeRosa on DL" - Bill Ladson, News

• "[Gio] Gonzalez may have established a new Nationals record with 25 consecutive scoreless innings, but he was by no means sharp during today's outing." - "Instant analysis: Dodgers 2, Nats 0" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Gio] Gonzalez was cruising in the first five innings, allowing two hits and striking out five hitters. However, he had trouble throwing strikes the following inning." - "Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers - Bill Ladson, April 29, 2012 | WSH Recap

• "Down to the last out, a man on base, two runs down, [Bryce] Harper wanted the whole thing. 'I wanted to hit a bomb,' Harper said. 'For sure.'" - "Dodgers 2, Nationals 0: Bryce Harper goes 1 for 3, Washington loses fourth straight game" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Fear, hatred, and suspicion narrow your mind – compassion opens it."


Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns' starting pitcher Alex Meyer (1-3) ran into trouble in the fourth inning when he allowed both runs on four hits in that frame, enough to hand the right-hander his third loss of the season." - "Suns Blanked 2-0 by GreenJackets" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Matt Swynenberg delivered his strongest outing of the season as he threw a complete game allowing one run as the P-Nats knocked off the Myrtle Beach Pelicans by the final score of 2-1." - "Swynenberg Masterful in P-Nats Win" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Bowie 8, Harrisburg 7 - Jesus Valdez - 4 for 5, 3 R; Jeff Mandel - 5.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "After two scoreless innings, Charlotte (13-11) got on the board in the third against Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya." - "Early runs doom Chiefs in loss to Charlotte" - Syracuse Chiefs News

• "'We have been scuffling on offense,' Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said. 'We haven’t been getting much going early and we have always been playing from behind. It’s tough. It’s tough.'" - "Chiefs fall as Moore departs for Washington" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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

• "Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report - Week Ending April 29" - Tyler Radecki, District Sports Page


• "For [Danny] Espinosa it has been another story though. In his first 21 games, he has accumulated a .205 batting average with a .300 on-base percentage and only one homerun." - "What’s Wrong with Danny Espinosa?" - Patrick Hilley, The Nats Blog

• "Ho-hum, pretty uneventful start to Bryce Harper's Big League career." - "About Bryce Harper's leaping catch/crash into the wall." - Nats Enquirer

• "[Bryce] Harper may have been the headline for the Nationals' weekend at Dodger Stadium, but Stephen Strasburg's brilliant performance Saturday night made real all the hype..." - "A Hollywood script with much left to write" - Nationals Buzz: Ted Leavengood,

• "April 30, 1939 – The Senators win 3-2, beating the Yankees in New York. Making the game notable is the fact that Lou Gehrig‘s 2,130 consecutive game streak comes to an end today." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Gehrig’s Consecutive game streak reaches 2,130" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "The pitching staff can allow 1 or 2 runs over the course of a week's worth of games is fantastic, but when the offense can't scratch together 2 or 3 runs to steal the ballgame is where the Nats are running into trouble." - "Not-So-Great Expectations" - Mac, Capitol Baseball

• "To date, they have scored 74 runs (an average of 3.36 runs per game). They have allowed a total of 59 runs (an average of 2.68 runs per game)." - "Normalcy" - Natstradamus

• "There was a time when this was the norm, but anyone who jumped on the Nats bandwagon this season doesn’t know this team." - "Nats…Losing? What’s That?" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "I expect from [Tyler] Moore something like a RH Ankiel, in that he’ll have a low AVG and a low OBP, but he’ll have an ISO close to .200." - "The Outfield Shuffle" - The Nationals Review

• "The Nats finished April with a 14–8 record, their best monthly winnng percentage since June 2005 when they went 20–6. But a closer look at the statistics reveals that this month’s performance may have been more impressive than 2005′s memorable run." - "Nats’ April in review" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles


Marlins: "Overall, the Marlins are averaging just 3.24 runs per game, ahead of only four other teams in baseball (the Pirates, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and yes, the Philadelphia Phillies!)." - "Miami Marlins Offense In Line For Regression, Improvement" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

Phillies: "'The main thing is, I need to keep the ball in front of me,' [Hunter] Pence said. 'I would love to be perfect and I’m going to strive for it. But right now I’ve got to get better.'" - "Pence: 'I've got to get better'" - AP/Courier-Post

Braves: "Jair Jurrjens pitched well in his first start since his demotion, Andrelton Simmons reached all 5 times he came to the plate..." - "Jurrjens Pitches Well, Simmons Is Perfect, And La Stella, Gattis, And Lipka Stay Hot In Sunday's Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap" - cbwilk, Talking Chop

Mets: "Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been a joy during his short time in Queens, batting .316 and playing a (mostly) mean center field, a position he'll cede when Andres Torres returns from his own injury this week." - "The Mets Are Still In the Fake Playoffs" - Will Leitch, New York Magazine