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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Weekend In Review; All-Star Chatter.

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The Washington Natonals went 5-5 on the just-completed ten-game road trip that took them through Baltimore, Colorado and Atlanta and wrapped up with Sunday's 8-4 win over the Braves. The win left Washington 6-2 against their NL East rivals from Atlanta so far this year, 45-32 overall, with a 25-18 record on the road and a 3.5 game lead over the second-place New York Mets in the NL East. There are six games left before the 2012 All-Star Break. The Nationals learned yesterday that they'd be sending three players (and maybe four) to the mid-summer classic which is held in Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium this year. It's the first time the Nationals have sent more than two players to represent the nation's capital's Nats. As Stephen Strasburg, one of the three Nationals (along with LHP Gio Gonzalez and SS Ian Desmond), told reporters after learning he was named to ASG for the first time in his career, "When you get more than one guy, and get Desi and Gio in there too, it's huge. It means that we're winning. Typically the team in last place only gets one guy, so it's nice." Nice for Strasburg, Gio and Desmond and nice for fans in the nation's capital, who finally have a competitive team to watch on a daily basis. Six more games until the Break. You may feel tired now, but come next Monday you'll be begging for baseball... No game tonight. You'll have to settle for links, which start... RIGHT NOW!!!



• "Despite a recent slump, [Bryce Harper] leads the Nationals in on-base percentage (.347) and is second in on-base plus slugging (.844)." - "Bryce Harper among the five-man final vote for the NL All-Star Game" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "'I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to the All-Star game his last year. If I was going to make a vote, I’d go vote for Chip.'" - Bryce Harper on Chipper Jones - "Bryce Harper is in the Final Vote contest, but he's voting for Chipper Jones" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Bryce] Harper may not have played like an All-Star during that time, but he's sure conducted himself like one." - "Conducting himself like an All-Star" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'Obviously, he has fans everywhere he goes. Even though they boo him, I know they still love him. He's got a good chance.'" - Ian Desmond on Bryce Harper - "Fans can send Bryce Harper to first All-Star Game" - Joey Nowak, News

• "Fans will ultimately be the deciding factor and they’ll have until 4 p.m. Thursday to consider [Bryce] Harper, along with four other finalists, for the final spot on the roster." - "Bryce Harper on being on the final five-man all-star ballot: ‘I’d go vote for Chip’"- James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "After Davey Johnson played things very carefully with Stephen Strasburg in the hot conditions yesterday, it could certainly be argued that he went a bit too long with Gonzalez today." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson gives Gonzalez a little bit too much rope (Nationals win 8-4)" - Dan Kolko,

• "'That’s obviously a great honor and I’m excited to be a part of it,' Strasburg said." - "Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Ian Desmond are NL all-stars" - James Wagner, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "As manager Davey Johnson strolled around the Nationals' clubhouse Sunday morning, he made a calculated trek to find his All-Stars." - "Strasburg, Gonzalez, Desmond named to All-Star team" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'That's more like it,' Johnson said. 'Three of my boys are on the All-Star team, and I'm proud of them.'" - "Nats get 3 (maybe 4) All-Stars" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "Washington, which has won four of five, took a 4-0 lead in the first off Tim Hudson (6-4). The NL-leading Nationals are 10-2-1 in their last 13 series matchups against the Braves." - "Zimmerman, Nationals top Braves in 105-degree heat" - George Henry, AP/

• "The Nationals will be celebrating what has already been a superb first half by sending a club-record number of players to the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City." - "Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Gio Gonzalez selected as National League All-Stars" - Joey Nowak, News

• "It sure will be nice for those last six games prior to the All-Star break to be in the comfort of their home ballpark..." - "Nationals Pastime: Ready to close out the first half" - Dan Kolko,

• "'He just looks happier,' Nationals Manager Davey Johnson said." - "Nationals vs. Braves: Ryan Zimmerman’s hot bat continues in 8-4 win" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "'With [Ryan Zimmerman] and Michael Morse swinging the bat, we can have some fun in the second half. No doubt about it.'" - Davey Johnson - "Nats' bats back Gonzalez; beat Braves to end trip" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Jordan] Zimmermann's win-loss record is a disappointing 4-6, but his 2.77 ERA was the 11th-best mark among starters in the National League before Sunday's games." - "San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals - July 3, 2012" - James Walker, Preview

• "Only once before had Washington put even two players in the All-Star Game since moving from Montreal to the District in 2005." - "Strasburg among three Nationals All-Stars" - Brian McNally,

• "Over the final six games of this road trip through Colorado and Atlanta, the Nationals hit a collective .345, averaged 8.5 runs and 13.6 hits per game..." - "A productive lineup at last" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "[Gio] Gonzalez, who moved into sole possession for second in wins among National League pitchers, worked five innings while striking out four." - "Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves - July 1, 2012" - Joey Nowak, WSH Recap

• "[Drew] Storen continues to make progress coming back from an elbow injury. Once he returns, it will be interesting to see where he fits in to this deep bullpen." - "Baseball page: July 1, 2012" - Jeffrey Tomik,

• "If the Nationals indeed intend to limit right-hander Stephen Strasburg to 160 to 165 innings, why are they not giving him time off with the All-Star break approaching?" - "Zack Greinke of Milwaukee Brewers and Cole Hamels of Philadelphia Phillies heat up trade talks" - Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports on MSN

• "You can only wonder what might have been had Zimmerman received his magic cortisone shot earlier in the season." - "Instant analysis: Nats 8, Braves 4" - Mark Zuckerman,

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Kindness and a good heart are the underlying foundation for success in this life and making progress on the spiritual path."


Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (9-5) couldn't overcome a five-run first inning by the Jamestown Jammers (5-9) on Sunday, as they fell in the first game of a three game series 7-1." - "Five-run first does in Doubledays against Jammers" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays' first game on the road after a 5-1 homestand this past week couldn't have started any worse." - "D-days start road trip with loss" - The Auburn Citizen

Class-A Hagerstown: Sun 11, Blue Claws 9 - Brett Newsome, 3 for 5, 1 2B, 3 RBI's; Kylin Turnbull - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 1 K - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Potomac starter south paw Robbie Ray went through the first three innings scoreless but ran into trouble in the fourth." - "Five Errors Lead to Five Runs in Potomac Loss" - Potomac Nationals News

• "Potomac Nationals right-hander Nathan Karns is on the best streak of his career, pitching somewhat under the radar as his team looks to gain momentum in the second half of the season." - "Potomac's Karns making case for best arm in organization" - Byron Kerr,

Double-A Harrisburg: Senators 3, SeaWolves 1 - Jeff Kobernus - 3 for 4; Austin Bibens-Dirkx - 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The out meant [Corey] Brown's hit streak ended at 18 games, though his season-high on-base streak was extended to 22 games on a seventh-inning walk." - "Late rally leads Tides past Chiefs, 3-2" - Syracuse Chiefs News

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


• "I mean, sure, do it. Why not? Just don’t tell me those teams are rivals." - "Morning pixels: Nats and Orioles push the Beltway Ballot" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post

• "Ian Desmond's monster week against Colorado and Atlanta may have made it impossible for La Russa to ignore his All-Star credentials." - "More All-Stars where these came from" - Nationals Buzz: Ted Leavengood,

• "July 2, 1903 - Ed Delahanty passes away at the age of 35 when he falls from a bridge in Bridgeburg, Ontario. The circumstances surrounding his death are still somewhat mysterious to this day." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Ed Delahanty’s mysterious death" - Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Go here to vote for Harper in the NL Final Vote early and often. And don't listen to Harper, who is apparently voting Chipper Jones..." - "Bryce Harper still could make it to first All-Star Game" -

• "Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Ian Desmond were all named to the team, while Bryce Harper was included in the final fan ballot." - "Washington Nationals send three – with possible fourth – to 2012 All-Star Game" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "If you are the ultimate pessimist and find yourself looking for reasons to be unhappy, maybe you want to discount sweeps as luck (kind of silly if you ask me)." - "Monday Quickie" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "Stephen Strasburg has just completed his 33rd career start, so he now has a full season’s worth of starts under his belt. Let’s look at his career statistics to see what a full season of Strasburg looks like." - "A season’s worth of Stephen Strasburg" - Nat Anacostia, Nats Noodles

• "The combination of [Stephen] Strasburg and [Gio] Gonzalez has provided the Nationals’ with a powerful punch, one that was particularly needed in the starting rotation." - "Strasburg, Gonzalez & Desmond selected for All-Star Game" - Kristen, Win For Teddy

• "Peter Angelos is probably really upset because Washingtonians are watching the Nats in record numbers and at a greater rate the Capitals or Wizards." - "Bryce Harper is too good to be true; Nats split with Rockies; people are watching/listening" - William F. Yurasko, William World News


Phillies: "Sources said Sunday that the Phillies were calling teams on left-hander Cole Hamels, informing them that he could be available at a steep price in trade." - "Amaro: Goal is still to sign Hamels" - Ken Rosenthal, Yardbarker

Mets: "The most celebrated former journeyman on earth was jarred from his sleep in Room 318 of the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills Sunday morning, his cell phone ringing before 9 a.m." - "NY Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey gets All-Star call for National League" - Wayne Coffey, NY Daily News

Braves: "On Saturday, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight named him its defensive player of the month for June. Not bad for a 22-year-old who’d never played a game above Double-A until June 2." - "Not a clown question, bro: Could Simmons push Harper for ROY?" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Marlins: "Figurative vultures circled overhead on a cloudless Sunday afternoon as the Phillies team bus pulled away from Marlins Park." - "Miami Marlins do what they can to end Philadelphia Phillies' NL East reign" - Mike Bernadino, South Florida