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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Stephen Strasburg Takes On The San Diego Padres At 1:05 PM EDT.

VIERA, FL - FEBRUARY 28:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals poses during photo day at Space Coast Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Viera, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
VIERA, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals poses during photo day at Space Coast Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Viera, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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• 23-year-old Washington Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg takes the mound this afternoon at 1:05 pm EDT against his hometown team, the San Diego Padres, who could've had the right-hander for their own if not for a run of success at the end of the 2008 season as's Byron Kerr recounted this morning. The big story last night was the Nats' 2010 no.1 overall pick's first big league home run. Now the Nats turn to the first of their two back-to-back no.1 overall picks as they look to take the second game of the Padres' quick two-game series in the nation's capital. Strasburg will be making his eighth start of the year this afternoon, following up on a 13-K performance against Pittsburgh last Thursday. The other news this morning, which everyone already knew, Carlos Maldonado was officially called up to replace the injured Sandy Leon on the roster, after Leon had been called up to replace Wilson Ramos... There isn't too much time to read the links before today's game gets underway, so get right to it. Links and lots of them, RIGHT NOW!!!!

• Nats' Lineup via WTOP's Craig Heist:


• "[Bryce] Harper sprinted out of the batter’s box, and once the ball cleared the fence he never slowed his gait." - "Bryce Harper hits first career home run" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post


• "I was just standing there waiting like, ‘Should I go? Nah, I better not. Don’t do it.’ Then (Jayson Werth) was like, ‘Go, get up there, kid.’ " - Bryce Harper - "Nats' Bryce Harper hits homer, Sandy Leon injured during Padres game" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "This is a moment [Bryce] Harper had probably been thinking about for some time, but 45 minutes after the game had ended, he still wasn't sure exactly how to describe the experience." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper on first home run: 'Hopefully, it's one of many'" - Dan Kolko,

• "'I'm going to get my butt around those bases as fast as I can,' the rookie outfielder said.'Pete Rose tried to get around every single bag before the ball landed. That's what I want to do.'" - Bryce Harper - "An emotional night ends with smiles" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "As he gets older, more polished and more refined, the numbers will come. Right now, he's a spectacle. Maybe the best spectacle in baseball." - "It's hard not to focus on Bryce Harper" - Matthew Leach, News

• "It’s always eventful at Nationals Park, even when it’s barely half full, or much less, due to the weather and the weeknight." - "Nationals 8, Padres 5: Postgame report" - Craig Stouffer, Washington Examiner

• "Davey Johnson showed his faith in Henry Rodriguez until Rodriguez’s wildness gave him no choice." - "Davey Johnson still confident in Henry Rodriguez after Sean Burnett bails him out" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Bryce Harper's first career homer set the early tone for the night, but the Nationals were forced to rally after starter Ross Detwiler gave up five runs." - "Instant analysis: Nats 8, Padres 5" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'I was trying to go up there and get a knock. That's all I was worried about. I was trying to get something I could drive and go out of the ballpark,' [Bryce] Harper said." - "Bryce Harper hits no-doubter for first MLB homer" - Bill Ladson, News

• "'I don't even know (if this was like I imagined it'd be). I guess I've got no words for it. It's just another home run in the book, I guess. Hopefully it's one of many.'" - Bryce Harper - "Nationals react: Quotes from the Nationals' rollercoaster night" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'A lot of their fans are disappointed that the Padres swept the Nationals in that critical series down the stretch in 2008,' [Dan] Hayes said. 'They basically gave up the first pick overall by doing so.'" - "How close was Stephen Strasburg to being a Padre?" - Byron Kerr,

• "This was not the way Nationals catcher Sandy Leon had envisioned his Major League debut turning out." - "Even in win, Nats can't catch a break" - Craig Heist,

• "In the ninth inning, manager Davey Johnson decided to use closer Henry Rodriguez for the third straight game. And for the second time in three games, Rodriguez wasn't effective." - "San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals - May 14, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "As [Chase] Headley barreled into him, [Sandy] Leon’s right ankle rolled back, all of his weight on the joint. The ball bounded to the backstop." - "Sandy Leon leaves major league debut after ugly home plate collision with Chase Headley [UPDATED]" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I went up to him after the game, I said, 'Henry, you're my man. I've still got a lot of confidence in you,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'I mean, that's the first time he's actually been wild.'" - Davey Johnson on Henry Rodriguez - "Nationals Pastime: Some bullpen bullet points" - Dan Kolko,

• "After the game, manager Davey Johnson described the injury as a high ankle sprain and said Leon had already been placed on the 60-day disabled list, with veteran Carlos Maldonado called up from Class AAA Syracuse to take his spot." - "Leon sprains ankle, Maldonado coming up" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nationals' budding superstar became the youngest player to hit a home run since 1998 in the third inning of Washington's 8-5 win over the San Diego Padres." - "Harper hits first home run in Nationals' victory" - Craig Stouffer, Washington Examiner

• "The Nationals suffered a blow on Monday night during their 8-5 victory over the Padres. Catcher Sandy Leon, making his Major League debut, had to leave the game in the fourth inning with a high right ankle sprain." - "Sandy Leon's MLB debut cut short by injury" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The ball, which gave the Nationals a 4-1 lead at the time, sat in his locker after the game, ‘1st ML Homer’ written in ink." - "Harper hits first MLB homer in Nationals victory tainted by injury to Leon" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Craig] Stammen is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA and a team-high 21 relief innings. He has struck out 23 and walked four. Hitters have missed 29 percent of the time they’ve swung against him." - "Craig Stammen delivers again as the Nationals’ most valuable reliever" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Michael] Morse is shooting for a June return when the Nationals play American League teams. He more than likely would be the team's designated hitter in those games." - "Johnson: Morse looking at return in early June" - Bill Ladson, News

• "[Sandy] Leon had just one at-bat today prior to his injury; he struck out looking in the second. He appeared in the Nats' clubhouse postgame with a giant boot on his right leg that came up nearly to his knee..." - "Nationals Pastime: Leon has high ankle sprain, Maldonado to be called up" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Stephen] Strasburg is a San Diego native and played three seasons at San Diego State before the Nationals selected him first overall in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft." - "San Diego Padres at Washington Nationals - May 15, 2012" - Zack Meisel, Preview

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Once they are properly developed, the mind's good qualities increase indefinitely."


Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starter Wirkin Estevez did not factor in the decision, allowing three runs on four hits, one walk and five strike outs over five innings of work." - "Suns Endure Rain, Hold On to Beat Hickory 5-3" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Game One is expected to have P-Nat LHP Robbie Ray (0-1) face off with RHP Kyle Justin Moore (0-4) of Frederick. Game Two starters should be a pair of RHP: Matt Swynenberg (3-1) for the Nationals and Kyle Simon (0-6) for the Keys." - "Potomac and Frederick Postponed" - Potomac Nationals News

Triple-A Syracuse: "[Chien-Ming] Wang surrendered four runs in nine-plus innings. The groundball pitcher allowed 11 hits and only struck out one, but induced three double plays to help his cause." - "Wang leads hot Chiefs to sixth straight" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Chien-Ming Wang induced three double plays, and 14 ground ball outs total, as he went eight innings to extend the Syracuse Chiefs streak to six overall in a, 6-4, win over Rochester." - "Wang goes 8+ as Chiefs win No. 6 in a row" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "'I'm probably not going to come back this year,' [Anthony] Rendon told the Houston Chronicle while attending Rice University baseball practice in Houston." - "Report: Rendon's season 'likely over' due to ankle injury (with Nationals' response)" - Byron Kerr,

• "An Intro to the 2012 Washington Nationals Draft" - DC Is For Baseball,


• "Bad Henry showed up at Nationals Park. Davey finally pulls the plug on his man with the bases loaded and one out." - "Easy as 1-2-3" - Nats Enquirer

• "It’s time for the Henry Rodriguez as a closer experiment to end. He’s been inconsistent lately and has been nearly unable to throw strikes with any consistency." - "Bryce Harper Hits First Bomb; Nats Earn Another Stressful Curly W" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "Bam Bam Harper?" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "OK, Natstown. Drew Storen is hurt. Brad Lidge is hurt. You need a relief pitcher for the 9th inning." - "Regarding Henry" - Ouij, Natstradamus

• "[Sean] Burnett was called upon in a one-out, bases loaded situation set up by three consecutive walks by [Henry] Rodriguez, who could not command any of his three pitches." - "Washington Nationals Game 35 Review: Burnett – not Hot Rod – saves Nats win in 9th" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "The Nationals are dealing with lots of injuries. I mean, lots and lots of injuries. If you look at the list of Nats players that are down and out, it would be comical if it weren't so brutally sad and frustrating." - "Cruel and unusual punishment" - Nationals Buzz, Joe Drugan,

• "A good, but costly, bounce-back win. Let’s try to focus on Harper’s homer and not all the Spinal Tap drummers that died the tendency for terrible injuries to Nats catchers." - "Bryce Harper homers, Nats beat Padres 8-5 but lose another catcher" - William F. Yurasko, William World News


Braves: "First baseman Freddie Freeman left after the seventh inning with blurred vision in his right eye. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he tried two different pairs of contacts to no avail, and would be examined by a team specialist late Monday." - "Braves' Monday blues continue in loss to Reds" - David O'Brien,

Phillies: "One-fifth of the way into the 2012 season, Pierre ranks as one of the few offensive bright spots for the Phillies." - "Phillies' Pierre making the most of his chance" - Matt Gelb, Bob Brookover,

Mets: "According to a published report, the Mets are working on a long-term extension for David Wright, to be offered perhaps at some point during the summer." - "Memo To Sandy Alderson: Signing David Wright A Must For New York Mets" - Ernie Palladino " CBS New York

Marlins: "Consider, for example, the Ozzie Guillen method of lineup writing, which involves riding the currently hot players. Let us use the current season's stats and see who among them has had the best power numbers." - "The (Slight) Misuse of Logan Morrison" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes