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Wire Taps: Washington Nationals Head To New York To Finish Season Series With Mets

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: Manager Davey Johnson #5 of the Washington Nationals watches batting practice before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on September 6, 2012 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: Manager Davey Johnson #5 of the Washington Nationals watches batting practice before the game against the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on September 6, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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"Well, there ain't much to say about that one," Nats' skipper Davey Johnson said as he sat down for the post game press conference following the Nationals' 8-0 loss to a dominant Ricky Nolasco and the Miami Marlins on Sunday. "[Nolasco] can get nasty when he starts throwing that changeup and that curve ball and hitting corners with his fastball," Johnson said in explaining the loss, "He cuts in on left-handers, he does all kinds of stuff with the ball. And it one of his days." It was "another one" of Nolasco's days against the Marlins' NL East rivals, against whom he threw back-to-back shutouts to end the season. Asked if he was happy that the Nats wouldn't have to face the Fish starter again this year, the Nats' skipper said simply, "Yeah, I am."

Johnson said the word on Nolasco is that, "When he wants to, he's one heck of a pitcher," but when, "... he keeps that stuff down... and [his] variety of pitches... he's tough." The Nationals and Marlins finished tied in their season series at 9-9 after 18 games. The Nationals finished their 11-game homestand 8-3, 86-54 overall, with a 5.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves, who have won five straight and seven of their last eight leading into this week's showdown in Turner Field. But before that the Nats head to New York where they'll take on the Mets tonight with Gio Gonzalez on the mound against rookie Mets' right-hander Collin McHugh. Asked if he was concerned about any lasting effect of the series loss to the Fish, Johnson said, "Well... the other guy is pitching a heck of a ballgame. I'm resting some people. You know, in the bullpen, even though I used four guys it wasn't really... I mean [Ryan] Mattheus is good for tomorrow, [Mike] Gonzalez is good for tomorrow even though he threw 30 pitches. Even [Tom] Gorzelanny]. So we're good to go." The Nationals are 11-4 against the Mets with three to play in the season series. Game one at 7:05 pm EDT tonight. Til then, you know the drill. LINKS, RIGHT NOW!!!


• "Did the national media get a little overheated about Strasburg’s innings limit? Perhaps. But the overriding truth is the Nationals — with an assist from agent Scott Boras — botched the handling of their young ace." - "Nats mishandled Strasburg situation" - Jon Morosi, FOX Sports on MSN


• Strasburg Shutdown Section:

• "I really don’t need an entire column to explain that the Washington Nationals shutting down Stephen Strasburg before season’s end is the dumbest decision in contemporary times..." - "Stephen Strasburg shouldn’t have been shut down" - Norman Chad, The Washington Post

• "A day after Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was told that he would be shut down for the rest of the season, several of his teammates said they understood why Strasburg was upset with the team's decision..." - "Teammates feel for Strasburg as a competitor" - Bill Ladson, News

• "If the Nats were en route to 90 losses instead of 90 wins, no one would think twice about the decision." - "Stephen Strasburg shutdown right move for future" - Deron Snyder, Washington Times

• "Nationals manager Davey Johnson knew it from almost the first pitch of Friday night's game against the Miami Marlins." - "Nationals shut down Strasburg early" - Brian McNally,

• "[Stephen] Strasburg took the news hard. He thought he had at least one more start against the Mets on Wednesday." - "Davey Johnson, Nationals decide time right to shut down Stephen Strasburg" - Bill Ladson, News

• "'I just wanted [Strasburg], if he had something to say, good, bad and different, to voice it,' [Mark] DeRosa said. 'Because a lot of what is said to [the public] is filtered.'" - "Mark DeRosa talks with Stephen Strasburg: ‘I don’t want to see him beat himself up’" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• Rookie Hazing Section:

• "Fear not, America. If Gabby and her crew can't do it, the Washington Nationals rookies are prepared to carry the torch." - "The svelte seven? Nats rookies don Olympic onesies and look Rio-ready" - Cut 4 - News

--- Since @GioGonzalez47 was nice enough to share these pics via Twitter, we decided to return the favor and flashback to his own rookie hazing. And really, Nice gams, Gio! (ed note - "Gio's 4th from left in that pic. And thanks to Emily B for finding those.")

• Back To NATS BEAT:

• "While implausible given how well the Nationals have played the Mets all season, there’s less room for error against them now." - "The importance of this week for the Nationals" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Edwin] Jackson and Ross Detwiler entered this weekend with a chance to give the Nationals five starters with double-digit wins." - "Nationals blitzed by Marlins, lose 8-0" - Tom Schad, Washington Times

• "'I'm humiliated for them,' Adam LaRoche said after yesterday's game, the Olympic theme music blasting in the background." - "Nationals Pastime: Hitting the road and going for gold" - Dan Kolko,

• "Gio Gonzalez can become the Major Leagues' first 19-game winner when the Nationals open a three-game series against the Mets on Monday at Citi Field." - "Washington Nationals at New York Mets - September 10, 2012" - Andrew Simon, Preview

• "'He can be tough. Just depends which guy shows up, and today he had really good stuff,' Washington outfielder Jayson Werth said." - "Nationals can't get anything going against Nolasco" - Brian McNally,

• "The Marlins won two of three games in the weekend series against the NL East-leading Nationals (86-54)..." - "Nationals lose series finale to Marlins 8-0" - AP/

• "It was only 12 days ago when Ricky Nolasco was handed the ball by Ozzie Guillen to face the Nationals and didn't give it back to his manager until he had completed a five-hit shutout." - "Nats shut out again by Marlins" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "The sun played a significant factor in today's ballgame, and the Marlins ended up benefiting more from the tough outfield elements than their hosts." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats get nada off Nolasco" - Dan Kolko,

• "The Nationals still have a cushion in the NL East race. But again, their division nemesis claimed a game from them, a deflating 8-0 loss on Sunday afternoon." - "Nationals stomped by Marlins in 8-0 loss" - James Wagner, The Washington Post

• "[Edwin] Jackson has been an effective addition to the Nationals’ rotation this season, but he’s been as hit-or-miss as anyone else on the staff." - "Davey Johnson says Edwin Jackson was too deliberate in loss" - Tom Schad, Washington Times

Nats Insider: VIDEO: On Sunday's loss

• "On a day Nationals manager Davey Johnson rested regulars Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond, Nolasco didn't allow a hit until Michael Morse's one-out single in the fifth." - "Nats shutout in loss to Marlins" -

• "[Ricky] Nolasco looked like the same pitcher who blanked Washington on Aug. 28 in Miami." - "Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals - September 9, 2012" - Bill Ladson, WSH Recap

• "Davey Johnson sat down for his postgame press conference and flashed a smile. 'Well, there's not much to say about that one,' he said." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson talks after Nationals' 8-0 loss" - Dan Kolko,

• "Starting on his 29th birthday, [Edwin] Jackson gave up six runs over 4 2/3 innings. It wasn't entirely his fault..." - "Instant analysis: Marlins 8, Nats 0" - Mark Zuckerman,

• "'[It’s] just one of those situations, let it go,' [Gio] Gonzalez said. 'You mostly can’t talk about stuff like that. He’s doing his job, I’m just giving him a heads up – that’s all it was..." - "Gio Gonzalez explains his ejection" - Tom Schad, Washington Times

• "[Sean] Burnett played catch again on Sunday. And if all goes well, he will throw a bullpen session on Monday in New York, and return to pitching in games if that goes off without a hitch." - "Sean Burnett playing catch, feeling better" - James Wagner, Washington Post

Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama): "When we are caught up in a destructive emotion, we lose one of our greatest assets: our independence."


Class-A Short Season Auburn: "The Auburn Doubledays (1-1) evened their New York - Penn League semi-final series against the Tri-City ValleyCats (1-1) on Sunday night at one game apiece..." - "Doubledays even series with 5-2 win" - Eli Pearlstein, Auburn Doubledays News

• "The Auburn Doubledays could have played their final game of the summer of 2012 on Saturday against the Tri-City ValleyCats." - "A Citizen on Sport: So your tellin' me there's a chance" - Ben Meyers, The Auburn Citizen

• "The Hagerstown Suns, Single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, today announce the home schedule for the 2013 South Atlantic League season at Municipal Stadium." - "Suns Announce 2013 Home Schedule" - Hagerstown Suns News

• "[Nathan] Karns, who was honored Friday as the minor league Pitcher of the Year within the organization, said being healthy this season will be really important to advancement of his career." - "Karns preparing to repeat this season's success in 2013" - Byron Kerr,

• "Auburn Takes Tri-City To The Limit" - Luke Erickson,


• "September 10, 1935 - In Griffith, the Nats thump the Tigers, 6-0. Detroit sprays 6 hits off winner Bobo Newsom. The Nats send losing pitcher Schoolboy Rowe to detention after 6 innings of work." - "This Date in Washington Senators History – Joe DiMaggio hits 3 homers at Griffith stadium" Art Audley, D.C. Baseball History

• "Meet the Nats Super Seven 'Olympians' that didn’t quite make the cut for London." - "PHOTOS: 2012 Washington Nationals Rookies" - Cheryl Nichols, District Sports Page

• "Last year, Nats rookies were forced to dress as Smurfs. Strasburg was Papa Smurf." - "Nationals rookies as Olympic gymnasts" - Nats Enquirer

• "... the 2012 presidents race title remains very much up for grabs, and Saturday’s contest showed that the contestants will do just about anything to gain an advantage." - "Video: Racing presidents push and shove to the finish line" - Presidents Race Fan, Let Teddy Win!

• "In the typical rookie hazing, the Nationals went above and beyond again this year." - "The Olympians that you didn’t hear about" - Kristen, Win For Teddy

"SHARK CHOMP" - Sharkadina

• "We interrupt the beginning of the Redskins march to the Super Bowl to bring you the weekend that was for the Washington Nationals." - "Nats lose Marlins series, Strasburg shutdown, rookies hazed" - William F. Yurasko, William World News


Phillies: "For a short time Sunday afternoon, it appeared as if the Phillies would have a real chance to get within five games of the second wild-card spot that seemed so far away even at the beginning of September." - "Phillies sweep Rockies and climb closer in wild-card race" - Bob Brookover, Philadelphia Inquirer

Mets: "Chipper Jones’ final Flushing visit ended the way so many others had before it, with the Mets being swept at the hands of the Braves, mired in yet another season gone awry." - "Flush another in Flushing to Jones, Braves" - Brian Lewis,

Marlins: "Ricky Nolasco described his rough patch in the middle of the season as a 'little gray cloud.'" - "WASHINGTON: Miami Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco shuts out Washington Nationals" - Clark Spencer,

Barves: "In the past week Fredi Gonzalez has made three moves that he had never made before..." - "Braves pull out the stops to complete sweep of Mets" - David O'Brien, Atlanta Journal-Constitution