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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Return Home For Three With Phillies; 2012 Trade Deadline.

July 20, 2012; Washington, D.C. USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) talks to pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
July 20, 2012; Washington, D.C. USA; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman (11) talks to pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

• With Sunday's win, the Washington Nationals wrapped up a 6-1 road trip through New York and Milwaukee that left them 33-21 on the road this season and 61-40 overall as they head home to face the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game set that starts with Stephen Strasburg and Cliff Lee on the mound in D.C. on Tuesday night. After dropping three-straight, one to the Mets and two to the Atlanta Braves during the last homestand, the Nats have won eight of nine, improving to 61-40 on the year, tied for the best record in baseball with the Cincinnati Reds. Will the Nationals make any moves at or before tomorrow's non-waiver trade deadline? Can Mike Rizzo find just what the Nats need to keep them going through the last two months+? Will the Nats add a veteran starter? A bench bat? Backup catcher? Middle infielder? By 4:00 pm EDT tomorrow Nationals fans will know. By 7:05 pm EDT Tuesday they'll all be watching Strasburg. Until then you're stuck with links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!:


• "Whether or not the Nationals eventually pull the plug on Stephen Strasburg's season, the young right-hander is on pace to join some elite company in his first full Major League campaign." - "Stephen Strasburg in elite company in racking up strikeouts" - Paul Casella, News


• "[Adam] LaRoche has no nerve damage, and the soreness in his back isn’t indicative of anything but muscle discomfort." - "Adam LaRoche leaves with back spasms, has ‘no clue’ if he’ll play Tuesday" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "While neither [Adam] LaRoche nor [Davey] Johnson felt the issue was anything too serious, LaRoche was unsure if he'd be ready for Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies." - "Adam LaRoche leaves Sunday's game with back spasms" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nationals said [Adam] LaRoche is day to day with the injury, but he has been dealing with lower-back soreness for a week or two." - "Nats lose LaRoche to recurring back tightness" - Adam Berry, News

• "They could pick up another pitcher, but they are not in desperate need of one. I do think that getting another veteran ... would be a great help." - Larry Bowa on Nationals - "Bowa: Moves not necessary" - Jim Williams,

• "Are there a couple of holes [MIke] Rizzo could fill, a few areas of concern that could use a boost? Yes." - "Something special brewing" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'There was plenty of times we could’ve laid down and let them take it,' said left-hander Gio Gonzalez whose ragged six innings felt like another day’s work by the time it was over." - "Morse's homer in 9th and double in 11th help give Nats wild win" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "The Nats are thrilled to come home this week to see their families and play in front of their home crowd. As well as they've played on the road, it's not like they haven't also performed well in their home ballpark." - "Nationals Pastime: The road warriors do it again" - Dan Kolko,

• "On the Nationals’ current 25-man roster, 17 players were either drafted by the Nationals or started in their minor league system after arriving via trade or signing." - "Nationals’ minor league depth has been critical to success" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Perhaps more than many other team in the big leagues, the 2012 Nationals are heavily home grown -- either with their own draft picks or with players they traded for when they were still minor leaguers." - "Nationals farm system taking center stage this season" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "'It's crazy because you never know what this game has in store until the last out,' said Michael Morse..." - "Washington Nationals at Milwaukee Brewers - July 29, 2012" - Adam Berry, WSH Recap

• "VIDEO: Morse on comeback win" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "A play in the sixth inning of the Milwaukee Brewers' game against the Washington Nationals on Sunday resulted in three of the four umpires involved in separate arguments at the same time." - "Three umpires in separate arguments at same time" - AP/

• "While Michael Morse stood out as the star, [Craig] Stammen’s performance provided a pitching counterweight to Morse’s offensive heroics." - "Craig Stammen finds his early-season dominance in a clutch outing" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• "Where does the Nationals' victory Sunday in Milwaukee, their 24th in come-from-behind fashion, rank among their best this year?" - "Top Five: Comebacks for the Nationals" - Kevin Dunleavy,

• "The Nats have played a number of thrilling games this season. This one certainly qualifies." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats notch a thrilling win" - Dan Kolko,

• "In the second game of a doubleheader, Werth was 2-for-2 with two walks and Tracy clubbed a pinch-hit home run." - "Jayson Werth goes 2-for-2 and Chad Tracy homers in rehab game" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "Aside from the flu bug he has battled, [Bryce] Harper has had a difficult start to the second half." - "Bryce Harper ditches his batting gloves, but not his slump as he keeps fighting a stomach virus" - Adam Kilgore, Nationals Journal - The Washington Post

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "Don't blame others for your uneasy feelings; blame your own state of mind. This is why altruism brings you greater peace of mind." -


• "It has not been announced where Rendon will play when he completes his rehab with the Doubledays, whether he will get a few games with low Single-A Hagerstown or be returned to high Single-A Potomac." - "Anthony Rendon returns to Auburn lineup tonight at third base, will DH on Monday" - Byron Kerr,

Class-A Short Season Auburn: The Doubledays (24-16) have lost two straight to the ValleyCats, and cling to a 1.5 game lead in the Pinckney Division over the State College Spikes." - "Overwhelmed: Doubledays lose second straight to league-leading ValleyCats" - The Auburn Citizen

Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (24-16) fell for the second straight night to the Tri-City ValleyCats (30-11) on Sunday, this time losing 9-4 in front of 1,338 at Falcon Park." - "Doubledays beaten by ValleyCats again, 9-4" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

Class-A Hagerstown: Suns 6, Legends 0 - Adrian Nieto - 2 for 5, HR; Blake Schwartz - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "The Potomac Nationals used three homers to beat the Frederick Keys 8-3 at Harry Grove Stadium and take the three-game series." - "Three Homers Power P-Nats To 8-3 Win" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: Thunder 3, Senators 2 - Zach Walters - 1 for 4; Ryan Perry - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K's - Harrisburg Senators Scoreboard

Triple-A Syracuse: "The Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, split a doubleheader with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Sunday at Alliance Bank Stadium." - "Roark, Rivero lead Chiefs to doubleheader split" - Syracuse Chiefs News

Triple-A Syracuse: "[Tanner] Roark finished with a complete game five-hitter as he struck out four. The start comes on the heels of a nine-strikeout performance at Rochester." - "Roark, Chiefs get split in doubleheader with IronPigs, Lannan hit in opener" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

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


• "July 30, 1968 - On a hot evening at Cleveland Stadium the 5,937 fans in attendance witnessed a baseball rarity." - "This Day in D.C. Baseball History – Hansen’s Unassisted Triple Play" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "The Washington Nationals held on to a share of the best record in baseball, taking three of four over the weekend from the Brewers in Milwaukee." - "Washington Nationals Weekend Wrap: Nats take three of four from Brew Crew" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "The other best thing about Michael Morse's game-tying HR..." - Nats Enquirer

• "The 1924 Nationals were built around pitching, or better still, a pitcher: Walter Johnson. The 'Big Train' was 36 that year." - "Thanks to Johnson, Nats morph into a contender" - Nationals Buzz: Ted Leavengood,

• "Nats skipper gets his party on during the latest of his club’s remarkable late-inning comebacks." - "Davey Johnson celebrates Michael Morse’s homer" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post


• "'The low tens, yeah, that was me,' he said, loquacious as always. 'Bringing back old school, you know? It’s catching on, and guys like it.'" - "Michael Morse takes credit for ‘low tens’ celebration" - Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog - The Washington Post


Mets: "Though [R.A.] Dickey had early nausea — he suspects it was something he ate — he allowed only an unearned run on four hits and three walks over seven innings with eight strikeouts." - "R.A. Dickey rediscovers winning touch as the New York Mets take 5-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks" - Mike Puma,

Phillies: "A decade has passed since the Phillies have had so little to play for so early in a season." - "Inside the Phillies: Phillies ready to move into full sell mode" - Bob Brookover,

Marlins: "[Logan] Morrison, who had offseason surgery on Dec. 5 to repair a tear in his patella tendon, said it's the same issue and he hasn't felt right all season." - "Marlins OF Logan Morrison was placed on the disabled list with knee inflammation, season could be over" - Harvey Fialkov, South Florida

Braves: "'I’m learning the lingo of Tweeting, now that Chipper’s on the Twitter,' said [Fredi] Gonalez, who is about as anti-Twitter as anyone under the age of 50." - "Fredi G. on Uggla’s epic slump and Chipper’s Tweet " - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution