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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Head To Toronto To Face Blue Jays After Boston Sweep.

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If you've followed the Washington Nationals all season, you were probably hoping for a win and a sweep, but waiting for them to somehow lose the series finale with the Boston Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. Stepping on other team's metaphorical throat hasn't exactly been the Nationals' thing. They've swept one other series this year, taking three-straight on the road from the Atlanta Braves, but that was only after they'd tried and failed repeatedly before that, settling for two of three of three of four and winning series after series. This weekend the Nationals took three in-a-row from the Red Sox to improve to 17-13 on the road this season and start the six-game road trip, that continues tonight in Toronto, 3-0. While the big league club was in Boston, down on the farm, 1B Chris Marrero was in the Potomac Nationals' lineup, going 6 for 13 with a double and a home run for the Nats' high-A affiliate. In Hagerstown, 2011 3rd Round pick Matt Purke gave up four runs, three earned on four hits. Purke set the first nine batters he faced down before he got knocked around in the fourth inning of his third start this season... There was interesting stuff happening at all levels of the Nationals' organization this weekend. If for some reason you weren't following along, here's your chance to catch up before tonight's game in the Rogers Centre where Edwin Jackson will take on the Jays' Brandon Morrow. Before that, links and lots of them, RIGHT NOW!!!!:


• "Davey [Johnson] has had input in this since I’ve been the GM. He’s been a consultant with me since I’ve been here and his opinion really matters to me. Not only because he’s the manager, but even before that, because he’s one of the best baseball guys I’ve ever been associated with." - "Q&A: Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo" - David Laurila, FanGraphs Baseball


• "This weekend alone, [Jesus] Flores was done in by pitches in the dirt, curveballs that were supposed to be fastballs and foul tips, including one late during Sunday's game that caught him square on his right hand." - "Wrapping up a wild weekend" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nats arrived on Thursday, too, although in an entirely different sense. A crowd of 32,096, easily the largest at Nats Park for a weekday matinee, showed up despite a paucity of Mets fans." - "The Washington Nationals have arrived" - Thomas Boswell, The Washington Post

• "The Washington Nationals have arrived. They are rebuilt and built to last too." - "Boswell Says it Best" - Ted Leonsis, Ted's Take

• "'They're definitely a good club. I think we're better. I think we're a lot better. We feel really good with what we've got going on right now.'" - Tyler Clippard - "Nationals Pastime: Clippard: 'They're a good club. I think we're better. I think we're a lot better'" - Dan Kolko,

• "It was a little window into [Bryce] Harper's competitive nature. His physical tools are what inspire awe even among jaded professionals: the bat speed, the hand-eye coordination, the power, the throwing arm." - "Harper's no ordinary 19-year-old" - Brian McNally, Washington Examiner

• "'It’s like, oh my gosh, come on,' Flores said. 'Just leave me alone, ball.'" - "Jesus Flores is taking a beating, ready for more" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has impressed hitting coach Rick Eckstein. It's more than just putting up the nice numbers that Harper has accumulated in his brief time in the big leagues." - "Harper impressing hitting coach with maturity" - Bill Ladson, News

• "[Roger] Bernadina ripped a ball down the line in right, and with [Bryce] Harper already on the move, the rookie knew what was happening as soon as the ball dropped in." - "Nationals Pastime: Bernadina's poke, Harper's jets provide game-winning run" - Dan Kolko,

• "There was one out in the ninth when his number finally was called, the Nationals and Red Sox tied 3-3 in their finale." - "Harper's hustle helps cap Nationals' sweep of Red Sox" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "As Tyler Clippard applied ice to his right shoulder Sunday evening, he told athletic trainer Lee Kuntz, 'I’m back to my old self.'" - "Tyler Clippard still perfect as the Nationals closer after three straight against the Red Sox" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "[Bryce] Harper, 19, has had back issues for at least four days. Johnson would not have known about the injury if not for bench coach Randy Knorr and head athletic trainer Lee Kuntz telling Johnson." - "Harper doesn't start, but plays important role" - Bill Ladson, News

• "Regardless of how the Red Sox are left feeling about the umpiring this morning, the Nationals wake up having swept their weekend hosts..." - "Nationals Pastime: Another example of how far the Nats have come" - Dan Kolko,

• "Held out by Davey Johnson for the first time in 38 big-league games due to tightness in his lower back, Harper had convinced his manager he could pinch-hit if needed." - "A 'statement series' for Nats" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The Nationals had swept the Red Sox, another statement for the emergent team with the second-best record in baseball." - "Nationals vs. Red Sox: Bryce Harper gets his shot, Washington completes sweep" - Adam Kilgore, The Washington Post

• "The weekend series the Nationals just completed against the Boston Red Sox felt like a playoff test." - "Watching big three weave magic could be a pennant run preview" - Byron Kerr,

• "Brandon Morrow takes the mound for Toronto, and scoring runs against the 27-year-old right-hander has proven problematic." - "Washington Nationals at Toronto Blue Jays - June 11, 2012" - Andrew Simon, Preview

• "After Jesus Flores struck out, [Roger] Bernadina came to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch, the Red Sox thought they had Bernadina called out on strikes." - "Washington Nationals at Boston Red Sox - June 10, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

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Class-A Hagerstown: "Suns starting pitcher Matt Purke (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits over 5.2 innings pitched." - "Suns Streak Snapped at Seven in 6-2 Loss to Kannapolis" - Hagerstown Suns News

Class-A Potomac: "Despite a multi-hit game from Chris Marrero and an appearance by Ryan Mattheus, the Salem Red Sox defeated the Potomac Nationals 3-2 in the final home game of the first half." - "Back-to-Back Homers off Mattheus Sink Nationals" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Phillies 5, Senators 4 - Tim Pahuta, 3 for 4; Paul Demny - 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Chiefs trimmed their deficit to three runs in the home half of the first after Corey Brown drew a leadoff walk and Mark Teahen drove him home with a double to the gap in right-center field." - "Grand slam does in Chiefs against IronPigs" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "On Sunday, John Lannan went five innings gave up nine hits and five earned runs. He struck out three. Lannan’s first five pitches of the game went ball-single-single-single-home run." - "Weekend wrap-up has Chiefs splitting with IronPigs" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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


• "With Yankee Stadium lost forever, Fenway Park is one of the only sacred places left in baseball." - "A special place makes for a special weekend" - Nationals Buzz: Ted Leavengood,

• "No better way to cap off the weekend in Boston than Bryce Harper scoring from first in the ninth inning on Sunday on a Roger Bernadina double to score the game winning run." - "When Bryce Harper scored from first..." - Nats Enquirer

• "In December 1900 the story broke about a plan to create a 'Baseball Trust' that would control all of professional baseball and in time all other sports." - "The Plot to Rule the World" - Karen and Kevin Flynn, D.C. Baseball History

• "Washington’s Danny Espinosa had a productive game as he drove in two runs. Espinosa, along with Bernadina and Ian Desmond, came through with two hits. Ryan Zimmerman also drove in a run." - "Washington Nationals Game 58 Review: Nats sweep Sox with 4-3 win" - Anthony Amobi, District Sports Page

• "The bullpen has three guys in the Top 15 in NL WAR for relievers: Tyler Clippard, Sean Burnett, and Craig Stammen." - "A Quick Reminder: The Nationals Bullpen Is Still Really Good" - Joe Drugan, The Nats Blog

• "If you want to oversell it as a 'defining series' : We all have our biases and for some beating the Red Sox in Fenway still holds a lot of cache, but the fact is this isn't your Irish twin older brother's Red Sox." - "Monday Quickie (last quickie this week I swear)" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The Washington Nationals sweeping anybody is great and when it is on the road against the Boston Red Sox, so much the better." - "Nats sweeping Red Sox in Boston is great, but it is still only June" - William F. Yurasko, William World News


Mets: "The Mets' bull pen did it again yesterday: Bobby Parnell gave up the tying and go-ahead runs in the eighth, and then, after the Mets tied the score in the ninth, Jon Rauch served up Russell Martin's walk-off homer in the ninth." - "The Yankees Sweep the Mets" - Joe DeLessio, New York Magazine

Braves: "Through 23 innings of this series, it seemed as if Atlanta was about to cruise to a series sweep over the Jays. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, so two out of three will have to do." - "Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves Series Recap" - SCrebel, Talking Chop

Marlins: "All of these lopsided losses, along with the general dismay of a losing streak, are getting Marlins fans a little concerned. See, last season the Fish suffered a terrible month of June, and the memory of that nightmare of a month is still fresh in fans' heads." - "Marlins Early Struggles Reminder of Last June Swoon" - Michael Jong, Fish Stripes

Phillies: "It was a sobering defeat for the Phillies, who have won five consecutive National League East titles but are now in last place, 10 losses behind the Washington Nationals." - "Papelbon Warms Bench as Phillies Go Cold" - Tyler Kepner,