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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Henry Rodriguez's Blown Save, Adam LaRoche = Almost Hero.

May 8, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Henry Rodriguez (63) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
May 8, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Henry Rodriguez (63) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

"In that situation," Pittsburgh Pirates' catcher Rod Barajas told MLB Network Radio hosts Jeff Joyce and Mike Stanton last night, describing his at bat against Washington Nationals' closer Henry Rodriguez in the Pirates' ninth, which ended after one pitch with a two-run, walk-off HR. "The batter before me," Barajas continued, "We had a runner on first base, and [Rodriguez] went to the breaking ball with two strikes and the first breaking ball went to the backstop and our runner went from first to second. The next pitch he threw was another breaking ball, it went to the backstop, so now we had a runner on third base. So, going up there, I felt like chances were he was going to throw me something hard. He wasn't going to toy around with the breaking ball and take a chance of it going to the backstop and now the game is tied, so I went up there being aggressive and trying to get a fastball in a spot that I could handle it." Barajas handled it. The Bucs' backstop hit a game-winning home run and the Nationals dropped their second-straight game. "For me he's cheating in that situation,'" Wilson Ramos told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore after the game, "'He's cheating to the fastball.'" Pirates cheating to win. What do you expect? Who gets the ball in the ninth tonight if the Nats are ahead? Think about that later, read your daily links... RIGHT NOW!!!:


• "I’m pretty sure Cal Ripken is old school. And he sided with [Mike] Rizzo on this one." - "Cal Ripken: Hitting Bryce Harper wasn’t old school" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post


• "Considering the team’s losing ways since it relocated from Montreal, and the 33-season drought in D.C. prior to 2005, would-be fans’ recent options merely went from no baseball to bad baseball." - "Nationals' bandwagon is starting to fill up" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "This much we do know: [Henry] Rodriguez is an all-or-nothing reliever. When he's on, he's as good as anyone in the game. When he's off, hide the women and children." - "A demoralizing meltdown" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "There’s an unwritten code of conduct, and [Cole] Hamels violated the first rule of beanball by admitting he did it on purpose." - "Morning pixels: Talking about beanball is not OK" - Sarah Kogod, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Adam LaRoche was all set up to be the hero tonight, as his two-run homer leading off the ninth - the 1,000th home run in Nationals team history - gave the Nats a 4-3 lead." - "Nationals Pastime: Rodriguez's blown save costs Nats" - Dan Kolko,

• "By June, the Nationals are hoping that Michael Morse can return to left field and give Washington much-needed power." - "Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo: Jayson Werth's replacement to come from within" - Bill Ladson, News

• "The beauty about Davey [Johnson] is he’s this direct baseball guy. He might not be able to pronounce it, but he exudes Natitude more than anyone." - "Andy Feffer on Take Back the Park weekend" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "'In that situation … we have to call fastball,' [Wilson] Ramos, who also homered in the game, said. 'For me, [Rod Barajas] is cheating. He’s cheating to the fastball.'" - "Henry Rodriguez blows save as Pirates walk off on two-run homer" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Edwin Jackson made only two mistakes the entire night. Unfortunately, both sailed over the fence." - "Instant analysis: Pirates 5, Nats 4" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "It is early to start thinking about this, but [Adam] LaRoche could change the Nationals’ immediate future plans at first base." - "Adam LaRoche proving his value to the Nationals" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The trip to the DL is [Jayson] Werth's first since 2008. He entered the season as one of just nine National Leaguers to play in at least 150 games in each of the previous three seasons." - "Zimmerman activated, Werth officially on DL" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Tuesday's series opener between the Pirates and the Nationals was the first game third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper played together on the same field in a regular season game." - "News and Notes on Espinosa, Harper, Rizzo and more" - Byron Kerr,

• "The Nationals plan to weather their latest and perhaps most devastating injury without looking outside their organization for help." - "Without Jayson Werth, the Nationals will rely on Xavier Nady, Roger Bernadina and not seek a trade" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "The way it looked at the outset, there really was no worse place for [Jayson] Werth to be injured. Nationals manager Davey Johnson called it 'tragic.'" - "Jayson Werth got best possible result from wrist injury" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Whether he intended to or not, [Mike] Rizzo launched a warning shot to the entire league: The new-look Nationals might not start the fight — but they’ll gladly finish it." - "Nationals’ Mike Rizzo sends a message with his fiery reaction to Cole Hamels’s admission" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "'I tried too hard, as you saw. I missed the spot. I threw wild,' [Henry] Rodriguez said through teammate Jesus Flores. 'Just like that, I tried to be too perfect.'" - "Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates - May 8, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said there had been some mild interest in [Mike] Gonzalez that perked up after veteran right-hander Brad Lidge landed on the disabled list with a sports hernia." - "Gonzalez signs minor-league contract" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Ross] Detwiler has been a pleasant surprise to a dominant Nationals rotation, which entered Tuesday's contest with a Major League-best 2.17 ERA." - "Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates - May 9, 2012" - Chris Toman, Preview

• "Danny Espinosa, meanwhile, is 0-for-3 with two more strikeouts. He's now hitting .188 on the season and has 37 strikeouts in 101 at-bats." - "Nationals Pastime: Jackson done after seven strong (Nats come back in ninth)" - Dan Kolko,

• "[Adam] LaRoche's reputation as a slow starter has been thrown out the window this season as the Nationals' first baseman finally gets an opportunity to show that the man he was last year..." - "Adam LaRoche hits 1,000th home run in Nationals history, continues hot start" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'[Mike Gonzalez is] a veteran, left-handed relief pitcher that can give us some depth and some options for down the road,' Rizzo said." - "Nationals sign reliever Mike Gonzalez to help bullpen depth" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "On Tuesday, [Mike] Rizzo declined to talk about being fined or anything about [Cole] Hamels. However, Rizzo praised [Bryce] Harper for being professional after getting hit by the pitch." - "MLB fines Rizzo for Hamels comments" - Bill Ladson, News

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Actively promoting the positive inner qualities of the human heart will be appreciated by all."


Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starting pitcher Kylin Turbull (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on two hits, three walks and one strike out over two innings of work." - "Suns Split Series with Augusta" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Coming off two quality starts in a row, [Adam] Olbrychowski failed to finish the first inning getting just two outs while equaling a career-high with two homers against." - "Potomac and Salem Suspend Play in the Fourth" - Potomac Nationals News

Triple-A Syracuse: "Facing a Bulls lineup that featured eight lefty batters and a switch-hitter, [Zach] Duke pitched a complete game in the abbreviated seven-inning affair." - "Chiefs, Bulls split doubleheader" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "'We have a lot of work to do. We haven’t been very consistent,' manager Tony Beasley said. 'One day the bats are big the next day we aren’t producing runs." - "Chiefs split doubleheader as new Videoboard premieres" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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


• "May 9, 1904 – After dropping a 6-3 decision in Philadelphia that drops the Senators to 1-16, Malachi Kittridge is dismissed as the Sens interim manager." - "This Date in Washington Senators History" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "After sitting through all three games of the first Phillies-Nats series of the year, I thought up a few guidelines for putting on the best face as a fan in the stands. Here are a few..." - "A few words on fan etiquette" - Nationals Buzz: Rachel Levitin,

• "10 Things We Like About Bryce Harper in 10 Days in the Majors" - John Manuel, Fanspeak Washington Nats Blog

• "Rod beats HRod, etc. Joel Hanrahan does his best 2009 Joel Hanrahan with the Nats impression (GASCANRAHAN!) in the top of the 9th." - "Spare the Rod" - Nats Enquirer

• "The last half hour of last night's contest was a roller coaster ride, ending in a violent, tragic crash." - "Henry Rodriguez Blows Second Save, Nats Let Win Escape" - Will Yoder, The Nats Blog

• "Sometimes, you get them. Sometimes they get you. Tuesday night, in front of a very sparse crowd at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, they got Henry Rodriguez." - "Washington Nationals Game 29 Review: Hot Rod coughs up gopher in 9th, Nats lose 5-4" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Danny [Espinosa's] standard line is one that will grab attention right away. .186 1 HR 13RBI. Anytime you hit below .200 that is going to attract attention." - "How do you solve a problem like Espinosa?" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "There are plenty of great websites that give you recaps of individual games. This one rarely, if ever, does that. Instead, I want to talk about how Joel Hanrahan looks." - "The Corsair Closer" - The Nationals Review

• "This season’s Battle of the Beltway series is going to be quite an interesting one. The Orioles currently boast the best record in baseball, and the Nationals aren’t too far behind..." - "Will Battle Of The Beltway Finally Get Some Spark?" - Keara Dowd, Win For Teddy


Mets: "Josh Thole became the second Mets starter in as many days placed on the disabled list, after an examination yesterday determined the catcher sustained a concussion during his home-plate collision with Ty Wigginton on Monday." - "Josh Thole, New York Mets catcher, placed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion" - Mike Puma,

Phillies: "About [Cole] Hamels’ 'old-school' defense, he replied: 'What the hell does that even mean? I’m old and I’m a former player, and I don’t understand it.'" - "Cole Hamels says he is 'old school;' Curt Schilling prefers 'stupid'" - The Sporting News,

Braves: "By the time Kerry Wood reached the dugout Tuesday night, it looked more like a tall, skinny Charlie Brown had pitched the eighth inning instead of a Cubs setup man." - "Kerry Wood gives away game, glove in Cubs’ loss to Braves" - Gordon Wittenmyer, Chicago Sun-Times

Marlins: "Where [Josh[ Johnson is having issues, [John] Buck said, is in 'the sharpness of his pitches.' Buck said the lack of success Johnson has had with his go-to pitch — his slider — has affected him the most." - "Miami Marlins’ John Buck says Josh Johnson’s issue is ‘sharpness of his pitches'" - Manny Navarro,