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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Can't Beat Cole Hamels, Atlanta Braves' Tim Hudson Next.

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"They made plays we didn't," Davey Johnson told reporters after last night's loss to the Philadephia Phillies. "[Cole Hamels] started the game throwing mostly fastballs,' the Washington Nationals' manager said, "And we didn't center on that, and then he went to his changeup. A typical Hamels' game. We didn't get a hit until the fifth or sixth inning. He's tough. Seven wins. Pretty good." The win stopped a four-game losing streak by the Phillies. The loss snapped the Nats' six-game winning streak on the road in Citizens Bank Park. Asked about the Nationals' inability to sweep a series for the ninth time this season, the 69-year-old skipper chalked it up to running into a tough pitcher. "We just got a good pitched game against us," Johnson said, "Tip your hat to him, he's done that to quite a few people." The loss leaves the Nats 26-18 with a .5 lead over the Braves heading into this weekend's three-game series with Atlanta. Sunday night's on ESPN. A day off today? What will you do? How about some lunch time links, RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "Chapter 2 proved to be a showcase for [Cole] Hamels, his concentration and his all-around repertoire." - "Hamels-Harper rematch reflects respect" - Jerry Crasnick,


• "You had back-and-forth debates about what, exactly, 'old-school baseball' is, with players, past and present, coaches, TV talking heads and fans openly discussing the game's unwritten rules." - "Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels move forward from incident" - Anthony Castrovince, News

• "Perhaps humbled by the backlash he’s received in the last two-and-a-half weeks, [Cole] Hamels didn’t talk with purpose pitches, he just silenced the Nationals with all of them." - "Cole Hamels mows down Nationals in their 4-1 loss" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'It wasn't in my head at all,' [Cole] Hamels said of his tiff with Harper. 'I had nine guys that I had to face, so it wasn't on my mind.'" - "Hamels handles Harper, Nats" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Bryce] Harper went 1 for 3 with a walk and a single that nearly scored a game-changing run." - "Nationals vs. Phillies: Cole Hamels dominates Bryce Harper and Washington in first meeting since plunking" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "[Bryce] Harper went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk against [Cole] Hamels tonight, but it was his first at-bat that he was lamenting after the game." - "Nationals Pastime: Harper discusses facing Hamels a second time around" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Bryce] Harper went so far as to say that everyone has forgotten about what happened between him and Hamels earlier this month." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - May 23, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "[Ian] Desmond’s name appears on National League leaderboards for hits, total bases, multihit games, doubles and extra-base hits." - "Ian Desmond an unexpected source of power for Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

Twitter: @ThomasBoswellWP: "At 90 ABs, Harper:.267-.353-.467. Mantle & Griffey rookie yrs at 19: Mick .267-.349-.443. Jr:.264-.329-.420 Hey, prob'ly just coincidence." -

• "[Stephen] Strasburg has come to grips with the fact that, even though he is almost two years removed from the surgery, the Nationals are still placing some restrictions on him." - "Stephen Strasburg still on track after bullpen session" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Atlanta is also a strong pitching team, with starter Brandon Beachy leading baseball with a 1.77 ERA. Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson also have ERAs ranking in the NL's top 40." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - May 25, 2012" - Vinnie Duber, Preview

• "The NL East remains the only division in the majors in which the first- and last-place teams are separated by fewer than five games." - "Nationals Pastime: Still harping on Harper" - Dan Kolko,

• "The only question all along with [Michael] Morse has been his ability to throw; the injury doesn't affect his swing at all." - "Morse, Lidge targeting early-June return" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nationals have not seen Chase Utley, Ryan Howard or Cliff Lee, and for the past three games the Phillies did not have Jimmy Rollins." - "How the Nationals and Phillies stack up, until they meet again" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'The only thing that exacerbated it is [Cole] Hamels saying something,' [Davey] Johnson said. 'He didn't head hunt or nothing like that. He hit one of my good hitters in the back.'" - "Johnson pleased with Harper's play, demeanor" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The burgeoning Phillies/Nationals rivalry is getting a lot of hype. It might be getting overhyped." - "Phillies, Nationals End Series, Still Without A Rivalry" - Grant Brisbee, Baseball Nation

• "Michael Morse will play in his first extended spring training game on Friday, the first game action the outfielder will have since he was shut down April 11 with a torn right lat muscle." - "Injury updates: Strasburg, Morse, Lidge, DeRosa (and Davey)" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Brad Lidge could return to a Nationals’ bullpen in need of reinforcements sooner than expected." - "Brad Lidge ahead of schedule in throwing program" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I thought Edwin [Jackson] pitched a damn good ballgame, we just couldn't get nothing going against [Cole] Hamels,' manager Davey Johnson said." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson talks after Nats' 4-1 loss" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Nationals did squat against [Cole] Hamels for five innings, managing only three walks and no hits against the lefty.'" - "Instant analysis: Phillies 4, Nats 1" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'In [Michael] Morse's mind, he is ready tomorrow, as soon as he is playing one game,' [Davey] Johnson said." - "Morse ready for game action in Florida" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The Nationals are optimistic slugger Michael Morse could return sooner than the beginning of interleague play June 8." - "Michael Morse will return by June 8 ‘for sure,’ maybe sooner" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Ian] Desmond’s name appears on National League leaderboards for hits, total bases, multihit games, doubles and extra-base hits." - "Ian Desmond an unexpected source of power for Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Due to the fundamental interconnectedness that lies at the heart of reality, your interest is also my interest."


Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starting pitcher Alex Meyer did not factor in the decision after going five innings allowing one run (solo home run) while striking out seven batters." - "Ramsey Homers Twice, but Suns Fall in Extras 8-6" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "For the second time in three games, the Potomac Nationals were shut out by the Wilmington Blue Rocks in a 3-0 loss this morning." - "Shut Out in Wilmington: Nationals Lose 3-0" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Senators 5, Curve 3 - Tim Pahuta - 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 HR; Daniel Rosenbaum - 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Double-A Harrisburg: Senators 3, Curve 2 - Eury Perez - 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 SB; Ryan Tatusko - 2.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

• "A lot of talk has surrounded the emergence of former Yankees prospect right-hander Christian Garcia, who has fought back from a pair of Tommy John surgeries." - "Garcia, Nelo and Davis making waves in Harrisburg (Hood update)" - Byron Kerr,

• "Washington Nationals Minor League Scoreboard for May 23" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

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


• "May 24, 1943 - Former Yankee and Senator nemesis Lefty Gomez signs with Washington following his release from the Boston Braves. Gomez will lose in his only appearance with the Sens before retiring." - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "The big storyline last night for all the sports networks though, was the second showdown between Cole Hamels and Bryce Harper." - "The Nats' Offense Flat in Series Finale Loss against Philadelphia" - Patrick Hilley, The Nats Blog

• "Old School chicken [bleep] Cole Hamels dominates." - "Nats avoid another sweep" - Nats Enquirer

• "There was a time when you had to be in DC to watch the Nationals play, whether you had a ticket or not." - "Nats Gaining National Attention" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy

• "Old School chicken [bleep] Cole Hamels dominates." - "Nats avoid another sweep" - Nats Enquirer

• "Fans are fed up with the 'Wild Thing' act. Though he's blown just three saves (I know, right?), every outing is a high-wire act." - "What to do about Rodriguez?" - Nationals Buzz: Dave Nichols,


Marlins: "Juan Carlos Oviedo, the relief pitcher formerly known as Leo Nunez, is a big step closer to getting his career back on track with the Miami Marlins." - "Pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo closer to returning to Miami Marlins" - Manny Navarro,

Mets: "Tomorrow evening at Citi Field, [Jeremy] Hefner will make his first major-league start. He faces the San Diego Padres, the club that bounced him from their 40-man roster last November." - "Mets' Jeremy Hefner set to make first major-league start against Padres" - Andy McCullough,

Braves: "Hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park hasn't been so kind to the Braves the last three days." - "Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds - May 23, 2012" - Kevin Goheen, ATL Recap

Phillies: "Before the first time Hamels faced the Nationals this year, Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spoke of how the left-hander has evolved in his time in the majors -- how he'd become more consistent and tougher." - "Cole Hamels is setting himself up for a mega deal in free agency" - Buster Olney, ESPN